Building Deeper Connections
Yet again my newsletter is off topic and not connected to the series on How Adoption Impacts Our Children, but I promise to take up where I left off (on Fear) next week. Sadly, this week’s newsletter is important in light of the recent high profile suicides. As I’m sure you’ve all seen the past couple of weeks, suicide in the United States is up 30% since 1999. That’s huge. That number is shocking!
I read an article today that had such an impact on me that I felt compelled to share it with all of you. It is entitled Americans are Depressed and Suicidal Because Something is Wrong with our Culture by Kirsten Powers in the USA Today.
One of the people Ms. Powers interviewed for the article was a journalist, Johann Hari, who wrote in his best-selling book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression — and the Unexpected Solutions,
“… the epidemic of depression and despair in the Western world isn’t always caused by our brains. It’s largely caused by key problems in the way we live.
We exist largely disconnected from our extended families, friends and communities — except in the shallow interactions of social media — because we are too busy trying to “make it” without realizing that once we reach that goal, it won’t be enough.”
That, that right there is what I talk about all the time. Being connected. Creating connections. Maintaining connections. Being present. Being an active listener. You’ve likely all heard me talking about this for several years now but I truly believe this from the bottom of my heart (and well, research backs me up) that building deeper connections will create happier and healthier children. It works with spouses, family and, friends too by the way.
But bottom line, we already know that adoptees have nearly double the likelihood of contact with mental health professionals. That’s our kids. My goal is to help all of us mitigate the need for professional help by being the best parents we can be. We signed up for this job. Our kids did not. Let’s do everything we can to connect more deeply with our children. Let’s help them gain a positive cultural perspective so they are proud of their heritage. Let’s help them build self-esteem and learn how to grieve. Let’s be present and most of all; let’s be active listeners. If you need help with any of this, call me; I’m happy to work through a plan with you.
When I read statistics like a 30% increase in the rates of suicide, it scares the hell out of me. It should you too because our children are potentially at an even higher risk than the general population. As a Professional Coach, building connections is what I talk about constantly. When I write or do workshops it is also a common theme. As a Travel Professional, I design trips that allow families the space to connect more deeply with each other, build self-esteem and create a positive cultural connection that fosters a strong sense of identity. Connected parenting (connected living in general) is the hallmark of my work and I hope, will be the hallmark of each of our parenting styles.
Let’s read more, talk more and build more community. That’s the way we’ll keep our children safe. Thank you for being a part of my community. I couldn’t do this without you! It really does take a village.
When you are ready to explore the world with your family or if you want to learn more about connected parenting, please schedule a 30-minute Discovery Session with me at www.calendly.com/bambi. I’d LOVE to help!
Bambi Wineland is the mother of two internationally adopted children, a traveler, a Certified Professional Coach, and the Founder and CEO of Motherland Travel. Motherland Travel began by designing Heritage Journeys for families with internationally adopted children. The emphasis of those Heritage Journeys has always been on deepening family connections, building self-esteem and cultivating pride in a family’s multi-cultural heritage. Motherland Travel also uses the philosophies of transformative Travel for designing family trips with purpose – building rich connections, with each other and the world! Read more about her here >> http://motherlandtravel.com/