It’s Sunday night, and as I sit to do my weekend/Monday post, I’m having a very hard time articulating the feelings I have had all day. By this time, I’m usually ready to schedule the post and enjoy a nice night in front of the TV. Nothing is working. Three drafts, unkind words and even tears have been drawn by me.
Even though I was reluctant to do so much social media for this blog, I have to admit that I have grown to love it. Today, of all days, I should have stayed away. The truth is, it’s unrealistic to stay away when we are accustomed to receive breaking news by the second and at a time when we want to know what everyone in the world is thinking. Conversations that occurred in the privacy of our homes are happening publicly. I have become dependent on it.
And every now and then, a big controversy occurs, and things spiral out of control. People are angry or happy and want to be heard!! That is exactly what social media is for. Today though, social media commentary added to the pain I felt when I heard the news right before going to be last night and the news I heard when I woke up this morning. So instead of paying attention to my ill-behaved children, I was glued to my iPhone and computer, shaking as I read people’s status updates and tweets. Baffled by the clear division and anger the Zimmerman trial caused so many to feel. And my heart ached for Trayvon Martin’s mother. Glancing at my own boys, fully aware that they have been out of control lately, I worried about them for just being.
I worry about the regular stuff all parents have worried about since the beginning of time. Nonetheless, times are different, yes? We are oh so very public. And I wonder:
How can I guarantee that I am raising kind, empathetic, smart children? How do I make sure they are not spoiled, bratty, and defiant to others? Or rude, mean, and maybe too confident? Too confident that they always think they are right? So right that they can’t respect other’s opinions? How can I show them to have conversations without insulting? Can I teach them to stand their ground when schools teach them not to fight back? Will avoiding fights make them wimps? Cowards? How can I teach my three boys to react better to criticism than I do? How can I teach my boys to be competitive without being divisive? How can I teach them to be passionate without being pushy? How can I teach them to believe, but not too loudly? How can I teach them to defend, without attacking? How do I parent without shaming, cowering, and drawing back?
How can we teach our children to be better than us?
I don’t know.
I do know that we are having different interactions with each other, and in this very modern time, we have to get it right.
As always, I had my weekly list of links for you, however, I think these four are more than enough for today. Please check them out. They are very moving, hopeful and helpful.
“If there is only one thing that people read in the aftermath of the verdict, it needs to be this.”
Empathy starts at home.
How fourth-graders view the world.
An example of how we are all consciously trying.
What are you thinking? Let’s have a good week!