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失去丈夫后,我如何养育孩子

更新时间:2017-4-25 18:34:42 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Sheryl Sandberg: How to Build Resilient Kids, Even After a Loss
失去丈夫后,我如何养育孩子

Two years ago, in an instant, everything changed for my family and me. While my husband, Dave, and I were on vacation, he died suddenly from a cardiac arrhythmia.

两年前,对我和我家人来说,所有的一切在一瞬间发生了变化。在我和丈夫戴夫一起度假的时候,他突然死于心律失常。

Flying home to tell my 7-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son that their father had died was the worst experience of my life. During that unimaginable trip, I turned for advice to a friend who counsels grieving children. She said that the most important thing was to tell my kids over and over how much I loved them and that they were not alone.

飞回家去告诉我七岁的女儿和十岁的儿子,他们的父亲去世了,是我一生中最糟糕的经历。在那次难以想象的旅行中,我向一位为悲伤的孩子做咨询的朋友求教。她说,最重要的是,要反复告诉孩子,我多么地爱他们,告诉他们,他们并非无依无靠。

In the fog of those early and brutal weeks and months, I tried to use the guidance she had given me. My biggest fear was that my children’s happiness would be destroyed by our devastating loss. I needed to know what, if anything, I could do to get them through this.

在最早的那些残酷的日日月月里,一切都很朦胧,我试着把她教给我的东西付诸行动。我最大的担忧是,孩子们的幸福将被痛失父亲所毁灭。我需要知道,如果有我能做的事情,我能做些什么,来让他们度过这个难关。

I also started talking with my friend Adam Grant, a psychologist and professor who studies how people find motivation and meaning. Together, we set out to learn everything we could about how kids persevere through adversity.

我也开始和我的朋友亚当·格兰特(Adam Grant)交谈,他是一位心理学教授,专门研究人如何找到积极性和意义。我们一起开始学习我们所能找到的、关于孩子如何在逆境中坚韧不拔的一切东西。

As parents, teachers and caregivers, we all want to raise resilient kids — to develop their strength so they can overcome obstacles big and small. Resilience leads to better health, greater happiness and more success. The good news is that resilience isn’t a fixed personality trait; we’re not born with a set amount of it. Resilience is a muscle we can help kids build.

作为父母、老师和照顾孩子的人,我们都想养育有适应力的孩子,让他们靠自己的力量发展壮大,能克服大大小小的障碍。适应力让人更健康,有更大的幸福感和更多的成功。好消息是,适应力不是一个固定的人格特征;我们的适应力不是一生下来就固定不变了。适应力是我们可以帮助孩子锻炼的肌肉。

And every kid faces challenges. Some stumbles are part of growing up. Forgetting lines in a school play. Failing a test. Losing a big game. Seeing a friendship unravel. Other hardships are far more severe. Two out of 10 children in the United States live in poverty. More than 2.5 million kids have a parent in jail, and many endure serious illness, neglect, abuse or homelessness. We know that the trauma from experiences like these can last a lifetime; extreme harm and deprivation can impede a child’s intellectual, social, emotional and academic progress. As a society, we owe all our children safety, support, opportunity and help finding a way forward.

每个孩子都面临挑战。摔倒是长大的一部分。在学校演话剧时忘了台词。考试不及格。输掉一场重要的比赛。看到与他人的友情崩溃。还有更严重的其他困难。在美国,每10个孩子中就有两个生活在贫困之中。有一个父母在监狱的儿童人数超过250万,许多儿童受严重的疾病、忽视、虐待或无家可归困扰。我们知道,这些经历带来的创伤可以持续一辈子;极端的伤害和剥夺能阻碍儿童在智力、社交能力、感情和学术能力上的发展。作为一个社会,我们应该为我们所有的孩子提供安全、支持和机会,帮助他们找到前进的道路。

We can start by showing children that they matter. Sociologists define “mattering” as the belief that other people notice you, care about you and rely on you. It’s the answer to a vital question that all children ask about their place in the world starting as toddlers, and continuing into and beyond adolescence: Do I make a difference to others?

我们能够开始做的是,让孩子知道他们事关紧要。社会学家将“事关紧要”定义为相信别人注意到你、关心你,并且依靠你。这是一个重要问题的答案,所有的孩子都想知道他们在这个世界上的位置,从初学走路的孩子到进入青春期的少年都想知道:我对别人有影响吗?

When the answer is no, kids feel rejected and alone. They become more prone to self-destructive (“Hurting myself isn’t a big deal, since I don’t count anyway”) and antisocial behaviors (“I might be doing something bad, but at least I’ve got your attention”). Others withdraw.

当答案是否定的时候,孩子们会有受排斥和孤独感。他们变得更容易有自我毁灭行为(“伤害自己无所谓,因为我不算数”)和反社会行为(“我可能在做坏事,但至少我得到了你的注意” )。有的孩子则不再与他人交往。

Not long ago, a friend picked up her son from a summer day camp and found him beaming with pride that he’d finished the robot he’d spent two days building. The next morning, he returned to find his robot had been destroyed: Bullies had taken only his apart — and then told him that he was worthless. After that day, his mother watched him sink into a spiral of anxiety and depression. Even when he went back to school in the fall, she recalled, “he’d put on his hoodie and sit in the back, in his own world.”

不久前,一位朋友去暑期日营接儿子,发现他一脸自豪,因为他完成了花两天时间制作的机器人。第二天早上他回到日营时发现机器人被毁了:霸凌者把它拆了——还说他一无是处。那天之后,他母亲看到他反复陷入焦虑和沮丧情绪之中。她回忆说,直到秋季返校时,“他还用连帽衫的帽子套着头,坐在后面,沉浸在自己的世界里”。

Adolescents who feel that they matter are less likely to suffer from depression, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. They’re less likely to lash out at their families and engage in rebellious, illegal and harmful behaviors. Once they reach college, they have better mental health.

觉得自己重要的青少年更不容易被沮丧、自尊心低和自杀等想法折磨。他们相对不容易跟家人乱发脾气,更少参与叛逆、非法或有害活动。上大学后,心理健康状况也会更好。

As parents, we sometimes feel helpless because it’s impossible to solve our children’s problems. In those situations, we can still provide support by “companioning” — walking alongside them and listening. Adam told me about evidence-based programs at Arizona State University that help families cope with parental loss and divorce. These programs teach parents to create and maintain warm and strong relationships, communicate openly with children, use effective discipline, avoid depression and help their children develop coping skills and strategies. When families participate in these programs for 10 to 12 sessions, over the next six years children have fewer mental-health and substance-abuse problems, higher grades and better biological stress responses.

作为父母,我们有时会觉得无助,因为我们不可能解决孩子们的所有问题。在这种情况下,我们依然可以通过“陪伴”来提供支持——和他们一起散步,倾听。亚当跟我谈到了亚利桑那州立大学(Arizona State University)推出的帮助家庭应对父母离世或离婚的循证项目。这些项目教家长创造和维持温暖而牢固的关系,与孩子坦诚交流,采用有效的纪律,避免陷入抑郁,帮助孩子找到应对技能和策略。家庭参加这种项目的10至12堂课后,孩子们在接下来的六年里出现精神问题或药物滥用问题的情况更少,学习成绩更好,生物应激反应更佳。

One afternoon, I sat down with my kids to write out “family rules” to remind us of the coping mechanisms we would need. We wrote together that it’s O.K. to be sad and to take a break from any activity to cry. It’s O.K. to be happy and laugh. It’s O.K. to be angry and jealous of friends and cousins who still have fathers. It’s O.K. to say to anyone that we do not want to talk about it now. And it’s always O.K. to ask for help. The poster we made that day — with the rules written by my kids in colored markers — still hangs in our hall so we can look at it every day. It reminds us that our feelings matter and that we are not alone.

一天下午,我和孩子们一起坐下来撰写“家庭规则”,提醒我们那些必需的应对机制。我们一起写道,感到悲伤、从任何活动中停下来痛哭是可以的。快乐和大笑是可以的。对仍有父亲的朋友和堂(表)兄弟姐妹感到愤怒和嫉妒是可以的。对任何人说我们现在不想谈论这个是可以的。寻求帮助永远都是可以的。我们那天制作的海报——我的孩子们用彩色标记笔写的规则——依然挂在门厅里,这样我们每天都可以看到它。它提醒我们,我们的感受很重要,我们并不孤单。

Dave and I had a tradition at the dinner table with our kids in which each of us would share the best and worst moments of our day. Giving children undivided attention — something we all know is important but often fail to do — is another of the key steps toward building their resilience. My children and I have continued this tradition, and now we also share something that makes us feel grateful to remind ourselves that even after loss, there is still so much to appreciate in life.

我和戴夫跟孩子们共进晚餐时有一个传统,我们每个人都会分享一天中最美好和最糟糕的时刻。给予孩子完全的关注是培养他们适应力的另一个关键步骤。我们都知道它的重要性,但往往做不到。我和孩子们继续保持这个传统,直到现在,我们依然分享让我们感恩的东西,提醒我们,即使在痛失亲人之后,生活中还有很多值得感激的东西。

For my friend’s son whose robot was destroyed, a turning point came when one of his former teachers got in touch to see how he was doing and started spending time with him every week. She encouraged him to reach out to other kids and make friends, then followed up, reinforcing each step he took. She cared. He mattered. When a new kid started at the school, the teacher encouraged them to get together, and the friendship took. “It made such a difference for a teacher to take an interest in him and a friend to bond with him,” his mom said. “It was like the sun came out in our house.”

机器人被毁的那个朋友的儿子后来遇到一个转折点,他以前的老师联系了他,想了解他的情况,然后开始每周花时间陪他。她鼓励他接触其他孩子,交朋友,并跟进巩固他走过的每一步。她关心他,在意他。后来转来一位新同学,那位老师鼓励他俩多在一起,他们后来逐渐产生了友谊。“一位老师对他感兴趣,一位朋友跟他建立情感纽带,这带来了很大不同,”他妈妈说,“就像太阳又在我们家升起。”

Since my children were so young when they lost their father, I am afraid that their memories of him will fade, and this breaks my heart all over again. Adam and I also learned that talking about the past can build resilience. When children grow up with a strong understanding of their family’s history — where their grandparents grew up, what their parents’ childhoods were like — they have better coping skills and a stronger sense of mattering and belonging. Jamie Pennebaker, a psychologist at the University of Texas, has found that expressing painful memories can be uncomfortable in the moment, but improves mental and even physical health over time.

我的孩子们失去父亲时还很小,我担心他们对他的回忆会逐渐模糊,这让我再次感到心碎。我和亚当也知道,谈论过去能培养适应力。如果孩子在成长过程中非常了解家庭的历史——祖父母是在哪里长大的,父母的童年是怎样的——那么他们会具备更好的应对能力和更强的归属感,会知道自己的重要性。德克萨斯大学(University of Texas)的心理学家杰米·彭尼贝克(Jamie Pennebaker)发现,讲述痛苦的回忆可能会让人当时感觉不舒服,但随着时间的推移,它有利于改善心理甚至身体健康状况。

To keep Dave’s memory alive, I asked dozens of his closest family members, friends and colleagues to capture their stories about him on video. I also taped my children sharing their own memories, so that as they grow up, they will know which are truly theirs. This past Thanksgiving my daughter was distraught, and when I got her to open up, she told me, “I’m forgetting Daddy because I haven’t seen him for so long.” We watched the video of her talking about him, and it gave her some comfort.

为了保持对戴夫的记忆,我让他最亲密的几十位家庭成员、朋友和同事讲述他的故事,录成视频。我也录下了孩子们分享的回忆,这样他们长大后就能知道哪些真的是他们自己的记忆。去年感恩节那天,我女儿心烦意乱,我让她打开心扉后,她告诉我,“我快记不住爸爸了,因为我太久没见到他了。”我们看了她谈论爸爸的视频,那给了她一些安慰。

Talking openly about memories — not just positive ones, but difficult ones, too — can help kids make sense of their past and rise to future challenges. It’s especially powerful to share stories about how the family sticks together through good times and bad, which allows kids to feel that they are connected to something larger than themselves. Studies show that giving all members of the family a chance to tell their version builds self-esteem, particularly for girls. And making sure to integrate different perspectives into a coherent story builds a sense of control, particularly for boys.

公开谈论回忆——不仅是正面的回忆,还包括艰难的回忆——可以帮助孩子理解自己的过去,迎接未来的挑战。分享关于家庭如何凝聚在一起共度美好和艰难的时光尤为有用,能让孩子们觉得自己与某种比自己更宏大的东西联系在一起。研究表明,让所有家庭成员有机会讲述自己的观点有利于建立自尊,尤其是对女孩子来说。确保将不同的观点融合成一个连贯的故事有利于建立一种控制感,对男孩子来说尤其如此。

A friend of mine who lost his mother when he was young told me that over time, she no longer seemed real. People were either afraid to mention her or spoke of her in idealized terms. My hope is to hold on to Dave as he really was: loving, generous, brilliant, funny and also pretty clumsy. He would spill things constantly yet was always somehow shocked when he did.

我有一个朋友年幼时就失去了母亲,他对我说,随着时间的推移,他的母亲好像不再是真实的。人们要么害怕提到她,要么以理想化的方式谈论她。我希望还原戴夫真实的样子:充满爱心,慷慨,聪明,有趣,也很笨拙。他经常把东西弄洒,但每次弄洒时,不知为何总显得很震惊。

Now, when emotions are running high in our house, but my son stays calm, I tell him, “You are just like your daddy.” When my daughter stands up for a classmate who is getting picked on, I say, “Just like your daddy.” And when either of them knocks a glass over, I say it, too.

现在,当家里情绪高涨而我儿子保持冷静时,我对他说:“跟你爸爸一样。”当我女儿为一位被欺负的同学挺身而出时,我说:“跟你爸爸一样。”而当他们中的任何一个碰倒玻璃杯时,我也这么说。

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