Raising our Rainbow of Children…

In light of all the media coverage regarding violence against individuals by different police departments, I felt it important to focus on one of the topics that comes up frequently with clients I encounter.  How do we raise good children in today’s society?

Now this isn’t your common “us versus them” type of discussion in my eyes.  All of our children, be they Black, White, Brown or otherwise, face the same dangers and struggles when you consider it.  It is NOT easy to be a child/adolescent in 2016.  I often have said, if I were paid a million dollars to go back to adolescence, I’d pass.  But I think it stems deeper than just a race relation, where you’re born and/or what kind of people are involved in your upbringing.  It’s roots lie in the idea that we have to raise GOOD PEOPLE.

Case in point, my work as a school counselor. I cannot tell you how many times practical, normal, common sense goes out the window with the students I deal with.  “Pull up your pants.  No, you can’t listen to music in the classroom that has curse words in it.  No it’s not nice to make fun of your peer who isn’t wearing the same shoes as you. What did you just call me?”  Children continue to focus on themselves as the rulers of the world.  Those who don’t, well don’t matter.  Who is making this the social norm? Are we, the parents who are focused more on the rights than the upbringing adding to this “Generation Me” mentality?

My father, from very early on, had this mantra: “Think, Analyze, Do.”  Now it would seem that there was a little bit of repetition in this, but what I believe he meant was once you think about something, be very sure about what your actions will be.  Our impulsive nature makes for many of the mistakes that we fall into.  You have a situation where you have but seconds to make a decision and you are far more focused on what someone better not do to you as opposed to what action you should take to honor yourself.  In real terms, we are owed nothing and are only entitled to whatever it is we put out in the universe-be it good or bad.  We can’t continue to blame others for that.

I’ve watched the videos as well as read the storylines behind what has happened.  No, there is no justification for someone to die at the hands of misunderstanding, impulse, frustration, ego, you name it.  But our concentration cannot be just on how others are going to change and wait with the expectation that there will be a movement by wrongdoers to bring that change.  The only control we have is related to the children we raise, the examples we set, and the future we hope to see within our family and selves.    This all in the hopes that they are not only affected by these ills, but by can revel in the merits of their own actions.

Fredrick Douglas said, “It’s easier to build strong children, than to repair broken men.” Here’s to our efforts on that end and positive prayers, hopes and vibes for a better tomorrow.

Until next time…

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