Elizabeth Smart became a household name when she was kidnapped from her bedroom at knife-point over 8 years ago. The 9-month-long search for her gripped national headlines, and her safe return was one of the few happy endings to a high-profile kidnapping case.
Today, her alleged kidnapper finally stands trial. The suspect, Brian David Mitchell has already been kicked out of court for misbehaving, just a few hours into the proceedings.
Smart herself is returning to the United States from doing mission work in France to testify against him. She’s been so poised and remarkable speaking out about her ordeal in the past. How does she do it?
Her ability to heal after being kidnapped and repeatedly raped is remarkable. On top of that, she’s been able to speak publically about what she went through, and to testify about it in court. That all speaks to incredible strength of character on her part.
That kind of resiliance and strength doesn’t come from nowhere. In her case, she appears to have a loving, supportive family who gave her a strong childhood and have helped her heal. Seeing her poise and grace makes me want to know them, and how they’ve handled their own feelings while helping her deal with hers.
These kinds of horrific kidnappings are, thankfully, extremely rare. You can teach your kids self-defense and watch them like a hawk, but odds are overwhelming that you’ll never have to face the particular challenges the Smarts went through.
On the other hand, good parenting creates a solid foundation for the challenges life brings, whether they’re the unimaginable horror of a kidnapping or the more common experiences of struggling in school, dealing with health problems and overcoming social challenges.
Have you followed the Smart case? What lessons do you take from it as a parent?
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