Wednesday, October 23, 2013

All We Can Ask Is "Why?"

This Nevada school shooting is really bothering me.  I feel so bad for this nation.  We have entitled ourselves and our children to anything we want (we deserve, we think) and if we don’t get it we get mad and get even.  I don’t know why this happened.  I can’t even pretend to get in this boy’s head, this twelve year old boy, and try to figure him out.  And he’s not going to be around to answer any questions.  And his parents are probably clueless too.  Unless he left a note, or he was going to counseling.  I really have to wonder if his parents didn’t see something coming.  I know when my daughter was a teenager and even now, I can tell when she’s ready to boil over.  I can see and feel the simmer before she blows.  I can’t do anything about it because she is an adult, but I also DID do something about it when she was a child.

Here are some things that I think contribute to the shoot-em-up society, in regards to children:

1.             Video games.  You can say that they are just games, but when children commit crimes psychologists are the first ones to say that their brains are not totally developed and they are highly impressionable.

2.            Medication.  Not theirs, yours.  Either they are taking it or see you abusing it.  And they think it’s ok, because it gets you through the day, or the hour, or the last five minutes.

3.            Red Bull.  I’ll probably get in trouble for this but I’ve seen a ton of kids drinking this and other highly caffeinated drinks that will get them going, screw up their sleep cycles, make them cockier, etc.  When I was a kid even Pepsi was kept away from us.  Only for the adults.   In previous posts I have mentioned living a sheltered life, so this was probably not true for a lot of kids.

4.            Access to the internet.  I don’t care how many stops you put on your computer, phone, tablet, etc – the kid will always find a way.  You look at what they do on the internet?  Riiiggghhhttt.  And I won the mega millions last week.  You do realize they know how to erase history and clear cache before you look over their shoulder, correct?  What they see, and what they post, and the fact they feel they can say anything makes them extremely dangerous.

5.            Children’s rights.  Yes, it’s good that we can help the children who need it, but has your child ever said “You can’t put your hands on me!  I’ll tell the police!” when you’ve threatened to spank?  They teach that first thing in school now.  It’s supposed to teach them that their body belongs to them only and no one should touch it without their permission, but what it really teaches them is that they can get away with ANYTHING because you are afraid to get in trouble yourself.

6.            "Everyone’s A Winner" mentality.  Kids have to understand that not everyone can win and handing out awards to all does not help our children.  This melds into the theory of bettering oneself.  If you think you’re going to get an award anyway, why do better?  Why push yourself?  These kids are bored out of their minds.  They don’t have to figure out anything – all they need is technology and they are on their way.

There’s more, there’s always more.  Maybe you’ll add to my list.  I think we need to go back to the fifties, or even the forties.  Whenever kids went to classes for manners and how to behave in social situations.  We’ve lost that.  I think even people my age could use it.  These things were taught because they were important.  Not for fun, not for credit.  It was something you needed to become a productive member of society.  I think we need to start paying more attention to the people around us instead of our smart phones.  If you see someone in distress, take a moment and see if you can help.  Smile at the person in line behind you.  Make small talk.  Show your child there is more to your life than them.  Show them there’s more to their life than you.  Take away the video games and technology and bring them outside.  Show them parks and zoos and museums.  Walk by the water or in the woods.  TALK to them.  Make eye contact.  Make them respond to you.  Be quiet with them.  Be still with them.  It may be exactly what they need.  Let self-confidence be their weapon of choice.  Please, for their futures as well as our nation’s.