Family connectedness, family stability and family rituals. That was the ongoing message when I went to an advanced traumatology workshop yesterday, discussing pediatric supportive responses to trauma for the 21 and under crowd. What is wonderful about this, is that every day 'next right things' are the best answer to that STILL, and everyday nurturing in regular family life.
This morning, I found a letter, written to me long ago by my paternal Grandmother. She was a professional artist and taught gradeschool and art for a number of years in Tulsa.
As a child I loved getting letters from her, see the photo of this missive for two reasons. One, her penmanship was perfectly formed and easy to read and two, she always sent us ( my brothers and I) some seasonal activity... a how to art project, a story or something she had made. Both of my Grandmother's and my Grandfather wrote letters to my brothers and I, and their style, personality and gifts live on in those pennings.
Letters like this, (even though many people don't send letters anymore snail mail) was the 'importance' of receiving 1.) something addressed just to myself (individualize), that my Grandmother had taken time to 2.) write a message just for me (personalized), that she was considering 3.) my daily activities (how time spent) and how to encourage the 4.) growth(getting older daily), 5.) celebrate a season (these marked family traditions Christmas and Hallowe'en) and 6.) improve or introduce a skill (personal mastery, family traits as storyteller and artist) 7.) and she did it because she loved me, and she did it because someone else did the SAME thing for her.
This letter came when I was an older grade school student and had just begun babysitting in my community and at my church and even years later, things like this have been used for entertaining children, in counseling sessions and as working as a sub. It is pretty rare to meet a kid who doesn't like to learn simple re-reusable leisure skills like cartooning or to hear or tell a story.