The horrendous acts at Sandy Hook Elementary School weigh on all our minds. We have been shocked, terrified, outraged and saddened by these events. But now the question is: Where should we be looking for healing?
We have always known the fundamentals of life begin in the home. But TV, movies, video games, and work schedules that extend way past the typical 9-to-5 Monday through Friday have had a negative impact on the family unit.
We spend time at home together, but in separate rooms and in different emotional worlds. We text back and forth, but rarely sit together and talk, enjoying less real time together — eating, talking, sharing, laughing, and crying. Listening, enjoying and getting to know each other more deeply and respectfully matters. Whether at home, in our schools or through community programs, we need to focus our efforts on revitalizing these essential nurturing life experiences.
Miami Children’s Museum has as its goal to create events and programs that don’t just offer quality, connected experiences for the child, but for the whole family as well. We try to ignite the child’s imagination in each one of us no matter what the age. It’s an environment where the whole family can play, learn, imagine and create together.
Starting this new year I urge you to turn off your TV, video games and cell phones and enjoy quality time with your children. And, look to spend time and effort with those who have special needs. Go to the beach, Fairchild Garden’s new Butterfly House or the Science Museum, and we invite you to come visit us at the Children’s Museum. But whatever you choose to do, do it as a family.
Creating a renewed family focus is not easy, nor will it happen overnight. But it is the life-giving foundation of the solution we seek. Building strong family values and respect for each other shapes young minds into strong, caring individuals. Let’s work together to bring about more programs that provide these opportunities. It is an attainable goal for which we should all strive.
Deborah Spiegelman, CEO/executive director, Miami Children’s Museum