This video has received almost 10,000 views since I posted it to You Tube. You Tube is a great pathway to “show ‘em what you got”. Please have a look. It speaks for itself.
Second Hand Shock
Dr. Ellie Izzo
Linked In is one form of social media that actually feels less “social” and more professional to me. It carries an air of being sophisticated, savvy and success-oriented. Navigating around Linked In usually feels like a worthwhile investment of my time and attention.
I use Linked In to generate interest in and direct traffic to my blog. Here is one strategy for optimizing Linked In:
Here is an example. As a communication specialist, I belong to several alternative dispute resolution groups on Linked In. When I blog, I will go to each group and ask a respectful question, such as, “How do we help our children to be okay when divorcing parents continue to fight?” I will then follow the discussion question with the link to my blog which expands an answer to my posed question.
This think-tank approach has increased my reader-base and has kept my energy and enthusiasm elevated for continued blogging.
I am trying so hard to find a way to deal with my own trauma and grief from the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. One way for me to feel better during a time like this is to try to help. As a mental health professional, one way to get through my own sorrow is to share a trauma-relief option that might help the surviving children to deal with their internalized grief and sorrow. I might as well share it. I’m sure others have this same idea.
The children at Sandy Hook Elementary School have an incredible challenge ahead of them. They have to find a way to debrief and resolve the trauma that they have absorbed. The daunting trial for them lies in their experience of an extremely traumatic event, developmentally. This horrific experience defies their developmental ability to put words to it and verbalize their feelings about it. Internalized trauma has the potential to arrest, or at least arrest a portion of, their development at this painful point in time and burden them in the future.
So, here is one healing idea for the children who survived the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Help get them back into a new, safe, school environment as soon as possible. Spread out paper all over the gymnasium floor. Make sure that safe adults are standing all around the perimeter. Let the children create art and sign their names to it. Let them express themselves for most of the day, for the first day or two back into school. Assemble the children’s art and incorporate it in into a permanent memorial for their fallen classmates.
Just one idea.
Little six year-old Robert sits on the floor by the low table in my office, carefully choosing crayons and chatting with me as he begins my requested task: “Please draw me a picture of a house.” Robert frowns and I become quite confused as he quickly completes the picture and hands it to me. I hold it up and remark, “Robert, tell me about this picture.” He whispers, “I drew a boat. I don’t want to draw a house.” He looks at me squarely in the eye and continues, “My Dad cries all the time and says my Mom is trying to make him leave our house because of the divorce. He says everyone will have to leave the house. He says there is no more money for a house. I am not going to draw a house.”
Yikes! Even after thirty-three years as a mental health professional it still never fails to amaze me when I experience the sadness and anxiety of children of divorce. When I shared this innocent child’s picture with his parents, they were shocked. They were shocked at the picture of the boat and how Robert placed it on the page in very heavily lined, dark, stormy waters. They became quickly motivated to find ways to stop power-struggling over their failing finances. They simultaneously got back to their commonly held value: the well-being of their son.
Honestly, I think things have gotten even harder for children of divorce after the Great Recession. Kids used to be scared about their parents, their stuff, their rooms in the face of divorce. Now I see kids, along with their divorcing parents, also fretting more and more about money and the financial challenges of two-household families. I, myself, worry about these transitioning families and believe now, more than ever, that Collaborative Divorce is the best option to care for this population.
Collaborative Divorce, with its full-team model of two lawyers, two coaches, child specialist and financial specialist can address all the dimensions of divorce and help today’s financially weakened families transition peacefully, putting the needs of their kids at the forefront. It has historically never been the cheapest divorce, but has always provided an incredible value for the family in flux.
So, in today’s world, how can fiscally struggling, divorcing parents afford to pay all the people on a Collaborative Divorce team? By attaining a streamlined Collaborative Divorce; that’s how. The economically stressed divorcing couple can now use the peaceful power of the full-team to help their kids while they help themselves to reorganize and regain control over their finances.
Collaborative Divorce Institute is offering the first-ever training in the Streamlined Protocols for Collaborative Divorce, January 10-12. These new protocols train the team of professionals to directly and efficiently guide, coach and educate the clients. The clients are thoroughly prepared within their team to skillfully communicate with each other and resolve their divorce as they set their sights for a brighter future. Children who witness their parents approach divorce in this capable, confident, and hopeful way are less anxious, less sad and more resilient. Don’t you think every child of divorce needs this type of experience? I sure do.
Calling all family lawyers, mental health professionals, and financial specialists! Take our contemporary, cutting-edge Streamlined Protocols for Collaborative Divorce in January. Reserve your place because it is filling up fast. Contact my co-director, Vicki Carpel Miller, at email@example.com for details on how to register or visit our Facebook page: Streamlined Protocols Training: Collaborative Divorce.
I just read a book that described the research behind the Bystander Effect. It is a disturbing phenomenon, indeed, and it has been empirically proven in many studies. The misconception most of us hold is that when someone has been hurt, witnesses will rush to their aid. The sad truth is the more people who witness a person in distress, the less likely it is that any one person within the group of witnesses will help.
The line of thinking in the Bystander Effect is that if one person , alone, sees someone in trouble, he or she will feel compelled to help. If three or more people are witnessing someone in trouble, each supposes someone else in the group will help and so the individual abdicates his or her personal responsibility to step in. According to David McRaney, author of You are Not So Smart, the Bystander Effect has cost plenty of victims either their physical and/or emotional well-being. In many cases, by-standing has caused victims their lives, while others looked on.
I can personally relate to the Bystander Effect. When I was traveling in Florence, Italy, I was unaccustomed to the uneven cobblestone walkways. Upon exiting my hotel, I tripped just outside the entrance and went down sprawling onto the sidewalk. I hurt my knee and could not immediately get up. The number of pedestrians who literally climbed over me was astounding. Scores of them. Not one person offered help. I don’t remember what hurt worse: the injury to my knee or the shame of being ignored via apathy. I think the latter. Gosh. How do some people sleep at night?
I believe that the Bystander Effect needs to be considered as seriously as leaving the scene of an accident or leaving the scene of a crime. If it was our civic and legal responsibility to help someone in need, perhaps there would be less bullying, less domestic abuse, less hate crimes, less assaults, fewer injuries and fewer victims. Why do you think people abuse or bully other people? …because they can!
I have decided that by-standing someone in distress is officially not part of my behavioral repertoire. If I see someone being mistreated or in danger, I want to act in some way to be of aid to the victim. In my opinion, not only is it the moral choice; it is my honor to be of service to another who may be in distress. Give it some thought. What stand do you take?
My baby brother is officially a mid-century man. He is turning fifty. How he got there is beyond me. Nine years my junior, it seems like only yesterday when he was a toddler, crawling up and down the narrow little hall-way of our modest home in New York. He sure has come a long way since then.
I’ll never forget the day he was born. Nine years old, myself; I was in the bathroom getting ready for school when I heard my father take the fateful call in the kitchen. “I have a son”, he said. I could hear Dad’s voice quake with joy as he uttered the words. I intensely gazed into the mirror at myself and quietly muttered, “Oh s#*t, a son.” Faced with the birth of a male sibling and immediately ousted out of my position as youngest…that was a day of great transformation for me. I was officially bumped into middle-child position in my nuclear family; but that Shakespearean-soliloquy is meant for another day, another blog.
I can not say I am extremely close to my brother. Almost a decade his senior, time and space has created a gap between us that has been somewhat hard to bridge. I would have to say I admire him greatly, although from afar. The upside of that vantage point is an appreciation of the big picture of his life-experience. So here is the fraternal view from where I sit…
The half century point of my brother’s life, like any human’s, is probably one of reflection and introspection. “Does my life manifest my talents? Does my life demonstrate my contribution? Does my life embody a legacy for others to carry forward?” I believe my brother’s response to these questions would have to be a resounding “Yes”.
He went to work for IBM after graduating from Tuft’s University with a degree in Chemical Engineering. While young in his job, he completed an MBA at New York University, which launched an incredible career path. He travels all over the world, creating and sustaining vital, global business-relationships. He and his wife of many years (also a Tuft’s and NYU grad), have fantastic children with accomplishments of their own.
As if all the above weren’t enough, my brother possesses a gentle, unassuming air, a honed skill in appreciative inquiry, and a passion to pursue various hobbies and creative interests. Most of all, he embodies an awesome, entrepreneurial spirit that has remarkably inspired others.
All I can say is, “Mario, you are a great brother and although you are always “the baby”, I can authentically assert that I look up to you as a role model for how I wish I could be. Happy 50th to you!”
We are in the midst of a powerful sociocultural shift: a Gender Revolution. No longer can we ascribe the same old traits for purposes of defining gender. Historically, our sex was the first thing noted about us and then our early personalities were expected to conform in some predetermined framework to our gender. If we were girls, we were socialized to be “feminine”. If we were boys, we were socialized to be “masculine”.
Many of us suffered in our development simply because, and for a myriad of reasons, we did not fall into any one assumed gender-category. Guess what? We are now encased in a Gender Revolution which demands a redefinition and recognition of what makes a person male or female. And guess what? One is no longer easily distinguishable from the other!
A stay-at-home dad? Households where Mom and Dad ebb and flow between parenting and working roles? Male nurses? A high-powered female CEO who doesn’t want to marry or have children? Society has taken huge leaps since the June Cleaver days. It’s a good time to take a look at and redefine shifting views of men and women’s place in the world.
Attitudes towards gender roles are more varied than ever. Nearly every school of thought, whether it’s business, theology, sociology, marketing, psychology, or family studies, has its view of where men and women “belong” and naturally, these views are not without controversy. The Web is rich with sites that bring to mind an ongoing tug-of-war of “he said, she said”. However, one observation is clear: in today’s world there is way more to gender roles than trite, stereotypical archetypes.
While most of us can agree that change takes time, we have seen gender roles evolve in leaps and bounds. Many people are positively transforming with the idea of being taken care of by a male nurse; they are seeing the value in having their sons play with dolls and they are championing their daughters to become firefighters or serve in the military. There continues to be an ever-strengthening movement where the boundaries between the masculine and feminine are becoming more fluid and easily transmuted.
As far as gender is concerned, it is no longer a case of the tail wagging the dog. We are increasingly less pressured to have to engage in self-limiting activities to prove our gender. I, for one, am relieved and excited about the possibilities for women and men alike.