who are these parents raising MONSTERS???

are you cringing?

i did

but why are you cringing? b/c parents are being blamed or b/c kids are being called monsters........

this morning on good morning america i watched a story about a 15 year old girl from MA that committed suicide b/c she had been cyber-bullied. during the story they flashed to a townhall meeting where parents had gathered to discuss the situation. a number of parents stood up to voice their concern. one man in particular stood up and yelled something along the lines of "who are these parents raising these MONSTERS??" to which he received cheers and applause....and the story continued.  the final comment made by the reporter was something like "and one parent stood up and said to remember that these really are good kids"  .....phew.

it is so easy to label our children as good or bad. it is even easier to label someone ELSE'S children as good or bad. you eat your veggies - what a good boy! you don't want to go to sleep - why are you being so bad? i've done that to my kids. i've done it to my nieces and nephews (for the record only the ones that are like my kids LOL). it wasn't done maliciously - it was almost done in a sing song way - mainly to get them to do something i wanted them to do. i know that isn't right and i've been really trying to avoid the good/bad adjective - but that's not really what i am talking about now.

its bad enough that kids call each other names........but i believe its so much worse when adults call kids names...big names like misfit, loser, rude.............monsters. before kids i was a full time teacher....and believe me there is plenty of kid bashing in the teacher's lounge. since kids i've been involved in their schools....and believe me there is plenty of kid bashing in the parking lots too. i don't like being in a conversation when a kid or kids are being bashed. if i find myself stuck in this situation i find myself sticking up for the child - either finding a positive trait about him/her or pointing out that its hard being a kid or whatever else i can think of at that moment. most times that halts the bashing - either b/c they see i am not joining in or maybe b/c i've given the speaker something to think about.

now don't get me wrong - i'm no innocent. sometimes i find myself in a conversation with a close friend or relative and i'm blowing off steam or upset about a situation and suddenly realize that i am bashing a child.........but once i make that realization i stop...but then i usually feel real bad.......

i feel bad b/c i really believe that its not the child's fault that he or she is acting out or bullying or stealing or engaging in whatever negative behaviour they are engaging in. i believe that if a child is acting in a way that is negative - parents should take a moment to see what they are doing - or NOT doing - to cause their child to act out in that way.

i think about the times my boys act out....and i'm not talking about the once in awhile acting out...i'm talking about the times i find myself asking "what is his problem lately??? why is he being so bad all the time???" that is when i stop and look at what I'VE been doing lately............am i on the computer too much? am i fighting with my husband? am i depressed over my weight? usually the answer is yes - i am doing one or more of those things.........and thus completely ignoring my boys simply b/c i just don't want to be bothered with them.

in today's society there is texting and facebook and email. there are broken homes and affairs and loneliness. there is unhappiness and dissatisfaction with oneself. for every happy family you can name - i'm pretty sure there are 10 unhappy families you can also name.

its a vicious cycle - adults are unhappy and in an attempt to find happiness they are distancing themselves from their kids.

"just let me finish watching this show"

"not now honey i'm on the computer"

"i'll play as soon as i am done here on the computer"

i guess i am focusing on the computer b/c i have found myself saying just those things......and you know what? i didn't always play as soon as i was done online - i was actually happy when they walked away and found something to do - giving me 10 more minutes...........

i am not implying at all that adults can't take time for themselves. in fact - i am saying that it should be mandatory that adults take time for themselves! when i go out for a mno or take a class for myself - i come home HAPPY to see my kids and wanting to cuddle and kiss them. when i lose myself online - without REAL interactions - i'm not so happy........just like some adults need the quick pat on the back or immediate praise that facebooking or twittering gives - kids need the same attention.  it doesn't take a lot to make a child happy.  just give them 5 minutes of undivided attention to listen to their recap of their favorite show -  and you'll see how smoothly the household runs.  do i think that simply being present with your child and giving them attention is enough to solve all the bullying problems?  will it solve all the feelings of lonlieness in a parent?  well i feel like i should say no - b/c there is no black or white answer - but i honestly feel it will make a HUGE difference. 

so before you call a child a monster - take the time to stop and remember that if you look behind every monster - you are most likely to find an evil scientist working the controls......

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