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The Lookout | April 13, 2021

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Stocken Speaks: best medicine is love

Stocken Speaks: best medicine is love

By Shauna Stocken
Editor in Chief

In the last print version of The Lookout, issue 13, I wrote a column on our shared human experience. 

My article was on feeling lost in a daydream; something I feel the majority of people do daily. 

Now, more than ever, I’m sure people are lost in fantasies about missed proms, celebrations and other events. 

As the coronavirus continues to infect the world, people undoubtedly daydream about better days to come. 

My stepdaughter Summer, almost 9, asked if this virus was “big, like something that will be written about in the history books?” 

Summer is a third grader. When I was in fourth grade the World Trade Center in New York was attacked by terrorists.   

I watched my teacher and family cry in front of me. I remember my favorite show, “Survivor” was canceled on TV. 

On every channel there was news. My younger sister and I watched as people jumped from buildings, adults cried and chaos continued for days. 

I hope Summer doesn’t grow up to remember 2020 as the year a virus canceled the world: remembering a virus full of death, adults crying, President Trump and chaos on the television. 

With the coronavirus being a top concern for adults, kids will worry, too, whether it’s because a parent is anxious, or they are. 

Summer already has an elaborate imagination, so I have to be careful what I say around her. I must be careful not to mistake her maturity for that of an adult. She can’t handle the death toll or how quickly Michigan is getting the virus.  

We want to keep our children informed to protect them, to encourage them to wash their hands, to ease the fact that they are not returning to school with their friends this year. 

Despite her father’s and my best efforts, I think the facts come out scarier than we’d like at times. Other times, when she is playing with water bottles in the backyard, perhaps she doesn’t understand the severity and shortage well enough.

Children are the future. It is important to reflect on the affect that childhood trauma can have, even on the bravest of kids. 

I hope Summer and other children around the world aren’t scarred forever by the events of the coronavirus. For some children, family members are dying, their parents’ income has stopped, and fear has moved in their homes. 

Much like the virus itself, childhood trauma doesn’t discriminate against race. So hold your kids close and turn off the news when you can. 

Kids with big feelings also have strong reactions. Monitor their mood and remember; at times the best medicine is simply love.