Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Time Is NOW


      As I write this, there are so many of my previous posts that are coming to mind.  Or maybe it's just my brain is a swirling with all the craziness of the world.  The impetus for the "Go Forth & Behave", was a person screaming at my husband for being parked too close to the bumper of their car.  Long story short: we did not park next to the bumper, and there was no damage to either vehicle.  Nevertheless, this person began our "correspondence" with yelling and swearing, all the while our daughters were cowering under a blanket out of fear of this outrage.  At the time, I thought of "Take A Moment...Then Pass It On", but wanting something more to the point, I came up with "Go Forth & Behave."
      Today, a friend shared the story of Brian Holloway's house.  If you click on the link it will take you right to the site that Mr. Holloway set up.  I'll get back to that in a moment, however, it was the post by Kelly Lynch on Huffington Post, "An Open Letter To The Parents Of The Stephentown 300", that kicked off my interest.  In an attempt to encapsulate in order to make my point; 300 or so teens caused $20,000 in damages to Mr. Holloway's house.  So, I am thinking, "what the?!"  Then you read that most parents are mad because Mr. Holloway has made known some of their children's actions; some are even planning to sue!?  By this time I am reeling.  So I clicked around for a bit and just kept on shaking my head.  Then after finding the "Help Me Save 300" site, I read down through and saw a tweet: "so glad my parents don't give a fuck what I do".  That, was a wake up call for me.  Another one.  Despite the fact that there are parents that are planning to sue Mr. Holloway, I am curious: how are the parents perceiving the destruction that their child took part in?  I have a hard time with parents that "don't give a fuck" what their child does.  Really??  I am open to believe this was only their child's perception; or may be even just the first thing that came to the kid's mind that they thought would be cool to tweet.  After all, you can't expect logic from a drunk or a child; much less if you have a mix of the two.   Any ol' way you stack it... it's not good.  It's 'tweeted' so it's out there: everywhere; with or without Mr. Holloway's site.  Out there for everyone to interpret however they will; even out of context.  Most without knowing the person who tweeted, much less the parents that "don't ..." care.  That is the impression that it comes down to.  That 300+ so many, don't care about Mr. Holloway, and don't care about a whole lot more.            T H A T   I S   S C A R Y. 

     Seems everyday there is a wake up call for parents these days.  Which reminded me of another earlier post of mine, "Know Your Kids?" However, instead of just a link, I have decided to add a little, then repost it.  The impetus for that post when I wrote it was the Skylar Neese murder.   If you are not familiar with it you can google about it, but in a nutshell, two 16 year old friends allegedly stabbed another friend to death, because they no longer wished to be friends.  One of the trials starts in October.
     There are times that I think the world's gone crazy.  Then I remember about the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Holocaust, Slavery, and I know sadly, it's nothing new.
     My kids are young.  Still, it is history and news that make me realize the importance of daily vowing to make damn sure they know without one smidgin of a doubt, that they are loved, and I do indeed, "give a fuck" what they do.  

Because I don't believe "teens will be teens" or "a parent can only do so much" would serve as much consolation.

      Now to repost "Know Your Kids?" because the time is NOW.

Know Your Kids? originally posted June 8, 2013

      Not sure how long this post will be.  It is something I have always felt strongly about, and today, as a parent, more than ever.
      How well do we know our kids?  Let's start with the light stuff.  Favorite color?  Favorite ice cream?  Favorite food? Favorite movie? Favorite TV show? Favorite sport? Favorite book? Favorite song?  Favorite thing to do rain or shine?  Now, a little heavier: favorite class? favorite teacher? Why? Do they have a best friend? Do you know who it is? Do you know their parents?  Heavier: What frightens them? Real and imaginary, example: being laughed at vs. vampires.  What makes them happy?  Do they have thoughts about what they want to be when they grow up?  Are there any kids that they don't get a long with?  Are they being bullied?  Are they bullying anyone?  How do they wish their life was different? Now for the difficult odd questions that we think are a given, but are they?  How do they regard killing? How do they think of death?  Do they understand that for all we know it is final?  How do they see themselves? When they think of you, what do they think of?  Your spouse? Other siblings, and other family members?  What do they think you expect of them?
You know as well as I this is only the tip of the iceberg.

     We live in a time where our children are exposed to so much.   Some of it obviously good or bad, but then, some doesn't fit into "good or bad";  some things we just don't know, and who knows how our kids are understanding it all?  They could be the victim, or they could also be the assailant.  Yesterday there was a shooting in Santa Monica.   Skylar Neese, a 16 year old from WV,  snuck out with two friends last summer, who later that night stabbed her to death.  One of the murderers feigned concern and tried to help the parents find their daughter, which was understandable to the parents since she had been inseparable with their daughter.  Months after the incident, she confessed to the murder along with another girl.  The reason?  They didn't want to be friends with her anymore.
 
     All of these are someones kids.   I know as parents we, as our parents did, and theirs before, are doing the best we can.   Every now and then though, I think we need to think about our relationships with our kids.   Ask ourselves the hard questions; then ask our kids the same questions.

My daughters are young, but I know, NOW is the time to start. 
 
HAVE LOTS AND LOTS OF DIFFICULT, AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS.  DIG DEEP.

REMEMBER- IT'S NOT ABOUT BEING RIGHT.

LISTEN.

REMEMBER THEY ARE KIDS.  THEY STILL HAVE STRESS.  DON'T PUT MORE ON THEM.

REMIND THEM THAT EVERY ACTION, AND CHOICE COMES WITH A CONSEQUENCE.

REMIND YOUR KIDS THAT THEY CANNOT CONTROL WHO WILL SEE WHAT THEY POST ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND SO MANY MORE SITES

FIX YOUR PROBLEMS.  IT'S ONE THING FOR YOUR KIDS TO BE AWARE, IT'S ANOTHER FOR THEM TO BELIEVE IT'S UP TO THEM, TO FIX YOUR MARRIAGE, YOUR FINANCIAL PROBLEMS, ETC.  YOUR KIDS ARE NOT YOUR MOTHER, FATHER, SISTER, BROTHER. YOUR GIRLFRIENDS, BUDDIES  OR YOUR SHRINK.

Is this a lot?   Yup.   But I think we owe it to our children, ourselves, and our communities, to try and keep trying.

We can't fix it all by ourselves, but if we keep trying we can sure make it better.

YOU ARE A PARENT. GO THE DISTANCE.  THERE IS NO CONSOLATION FOR ANYTHING LESS.