A New Kind of Helper
BY KAREN RANCOURT
During challenging times, everyone’s ideal neighbor, Mr. Fred Rogers, offered his famous advice to look for the helpers. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Rogers said to his television neighbors, “my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. ‘”
In a photograph that presents a new category of helper, a Ukrainian 78-year-old great grandmother named Valentyna Konstantynovska was seen holding an AK-47 rifle and learning how to use it after taking part in civilian combat training in Ukraine.
Because this widely shared photograph is outside most children’s and grandchildren’s experience, it behooves parents and grandparents to be prepared with an explanation should they be queried about it.
Children need to understand that because Ukrainian grandparents live in a country that has been invaded by Russian President Vladimir Putin, some grandparents are helpers by being trained as soldiers.
Other grandparents are being helpers in other ways — for example, by getting family members and friends to safety, or by distributing food and clothes.
The point is that the idea of grandparents as soldiers is a new concept for most children in America. We need to teach them about this reality while at the same time reassuring them that their parents and grandparents will not need to be trained as soldiers.
Read more from Karen Rancourt here
ABOUT MR. ROGERS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Karen L. Rancourt, Ph.D.
Advice Columnist, “Ask Dr. Gramma Karen,” hosted by GRAND Magazine.
Author, It’s All About Relationships:
New Ways to Make Them Healthy and Fulfilling, at Home and at Work.