Sunday Message: Adults First

So all over the news lately are children taking their lines because they are being bullied. What is a child doing with this much pressure and disappointment in people that they feel the need to take their life? This saddens me however we talk so much about what to tell kids to do we forget one aspect and that is the adults play a huge part.

Now it’s not my place to judge the parents of those kids who took their life but I can encourage parents and adults now to do better. We show kids how to hate and then expect a different response. Let me use myself as an example. There are a handful of folks I don’t care for. I try my best not to speak ill of them but in addition I just don’t be bothered with folks. I know that out of sight will never take away anything that transpired but self preservation is healthy. We can’t tell kids to not engage when all we do is engage and go back and forth, argue and for what? After all of the back and forth you accomplish nothing.

They see you as a parent pop off so how can you tell them not to. I am a pop off type of person when warranted so because of that I tend to walk away. I can take a lot of digs but after awhile if I don’t walk away I would be 200% in and it’s bound to go left. I recognize in my kids that they have pieces of that. It’s my job through action to show them how to interact. I was in a store one time and this woman cut me off in line because “she was running late.” With my kids there I spoke up and of course she took it to the next level. Flames fuming in my eyes and mind I said what I needed to say and let that woman have the spot. I would have been justified if I had dug in her behind but it wouldn’t be easy to show my kids.

My kids and I had a long conversation. It wasn’t worth my kids getting scared or to be in that environment even though my mouth can be a professional roaster. Anyone who I have ever gone back and forth are usually taken back that I can hang with the best of them. I do not play. It’s important to understand that there are times to speak up, time to walk away, and a time to seek help.

If you want kids to mirror good behavior you have to mirror it with each other. You can’t always be the pull your hair in a ponytail, grab sneakers out the car parent all the time. You actually may have to find ways to end conflict instead of taking jabs to prove you aren’t a punk. When the time comes to take it to whatever level, be prepared to do all you can.

Also be careful with your internet handlings. Sometimes we tear folks down online and what have you accomplished. I’ve had one bad interaction with a family member that was a Godsend. It helped me in how I deal with everyone online. I refuse to go back and forth if the argument isn’t paying my bills, adding to my financial portfolio, or making me a better mother or wife. I refuse to engage in online banter and hand the time that’s all it ends in, banter. You haven’t changed someone’s mind, changed their life by speaking your mind. You and I both need all the mind we have and there is none to give. So save the online drama it’s fruitless. My online rule whether it be a stranger, family, or friends is that kids are ALWAYS off limits. You can speak bodily about not liking me I have thick skin but kids will today and forever remain off limits.

We need to speak more to our kids and respect them enough to ask what is going on. We got to do more listening then hearing. Just because you can repeat what your child said but didn’t hear what they said needs to be the goal. Be an active listener. When my kids say something happened, listen and then follow up. Some of these kids and what they do behind teacher and principals back can be damaging. My son told me of a situation and was so super detailed. I showed up spoke up and nothing happened. Then I walked up on the very thing that my son said and sure enough it was exactly how he described.

It wasn’t anything the teacher could say. I secured my son in the car which was semi in front of where the teacher and I was and let her know non politely how wrong she was. She was all the way wrong and it was at that moment where I learned that I too had to listen to my kids. I made sure that I went above and beyond to be in my child’s corner even more. He saw me there for him, he could trust that I was in his corner, the teacher knew I knew and from that moment I started documenting events. I still even though he’s not there have my notes and do I plan on using them? Most likely. Teachers and principals and administrators have a duty to protect. I know back in the say kids could say and do and it wasn’t nothing major but this ain’t the same day. You can’t have a closed mind with bullying and you have to be proactive. Lawsuits are real but more importantly kids are taking their lives and so the intolerance can’t and won’t continue. Any school or administrator I’ve worked with, that has a piss poor attitude regarding bullying, I’ve marked. I wouldn’t go on an active campaign against them but if asked I’ll forever give an honest recommendation.

We adults have to be there for these kids. I get so tired of older adults giving excuses of it “happened to me these kids will be okay,” “boys will be boys,” “they are alright,” or “they need to learn on their own” when it comes to bad behavior. If the climate for bad behavior will change it starts with the adults first. We must say the old way wasn’t benefiting and we must do what we can to change it. Do what you need to do to mirror good behavior. If your child is the aggressor acknowledge that too and actively work on it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t protect their bad behavior-deal with it!

We adults are all in total fault for how our own kids treat others kids. You can try that I didn’t teach them that but if you’re honest you know you do in how you talk, and interact with those around you. Kids do what you do not what you say not do!!!! Let’s step it up! Let’s make sure each classroom is a safe space. Let’s go into the classroom as parents and sit kids down and work out issues. Let’s work as a team.

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