MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
As a parent, there is nothing more satisfying and more stressful than raising a young child to be able to excel in life. Such a parent knows the line between being there to help the child and when they might be overprotective. However, such a line is difficult to distinguish and the stresses may outweigh the satisfaction when you are 1,000 miles away from your child in a combat zone.
This was one of the many topics of discussion during a seminar teaching how to raise resilient children in military-oriented lifestyles taught by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., MD Ed, a nationally-renowned pediatrician and psychiatrist, at the Russell Marine and Family Services Center Auditorium aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, March 3.
“A child’s world is turned upside-down when their mother or father is deployed overseas,” said Ginsburg. “So when their life gets hard, do they fall and crumble or do they rise above?”
An expert in Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as well as the author of several books dealing with child psychology, Ginsburg was more than in his element speaking to the scores of Marine and Navy parents about what their children go through during a parental deployment. In the one and a half hour class, Ginsburg categorically broke down every kind of external influence on a child and how it affects them during their growth period.
“It’s easy to make children happy, just buy them toys and there you go,” said Ginsburg. “But to raise a resilient child in today’s world takes a lot more effort. Resiliency is a mindset to see trouble not as a disaster, but as an opportunity.”
Attendees looked and listened eagerly as Ginsburg wove various parental choices and outcomes in their children into everyday situations, drawing from his ‘seven C's of resiliency,’ competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control.
“This class let me see that some of the things I’m doing as a parent are right and some others leave room for improvement,” said Staff Sgt. Ron Jones, scout observer with 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. “I realize as a parent that my kids can be just as stressed about deployment as I am.”
While Ginsburg originally toured the country presenting his resiliency class to civilians, he has currently made it a special point to introduce it to the Department of Defense, and more recently, to the Marine Corps.
“This is my first Marine Corps base I’ve taught my class on, and next week I’ll be at (Marine Corps Base Camp) Pendleton,” said Ginsburg. “I’m teaching this class here because connection is at the core of resiliency, and it’s important that families stay connected during a deployment. That, and because of my (Attention Deficit Disorder) I think it’s so cool to be on a Marine base.”
As the class drew to a close, everyone in attendance was more enlightened on the ins and outs of child resiliency and how to apply the take-home skills taught that night. Raising a child to be successful in a modern dog-eat-dog world takes a lot more than coddling them throughout their growth – it takes an even balance of love and discipline; both traits easily found in Marine Corps parents.