Mindful Monday - Helping Our Children

in #mindfulmondaylast year

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Hello Steemverse!

So I have been pondering what to write about. I've been reading through some really great posts and articles recently. One post had brought several things to mind. O.K. a lot to mind. @jayna wrote this amazing post Can Our Society Be Happy Again She covers a few different things. One of them being basically our kids dying at an alarming rate.

In the time my kids were in high school, from 2012 to 2019, 8 children died in our community. Seven of these kids were students at my kids' high school. One was a young child in our community who was getting ready to start kindergarten. Only one of these was an accident; all the others were the result of violence, murder or suicide. Six of these deaths were directly linked to mental health problems.

What does this say about our society in general? Yes, there are more people than 20 years ago. Yes, statistically most things are proportional. Yet this one statistic had more than tripled. Bullying has been around as long as people have been around. What hasn't been around is such a lack of disrespect for life in general. A general apathy towards just about everything. I get that some people are purely self motivated and driven.

As we know mental health has been a roller coaster almost since it's 'invent.' As time goes on we hope that there come different treatments, strategies and so forth. Yet we seem to be spinning our wheels in this area. We went from our mentally ill being homeless, on the streets or in jail. The psychiatric facilities came into play which took nearly 100 years of severely abusing patients before making any head way in a reasonable treatment. Only to have the vast majority shut down or to have those that need it cannot afford it. To people not getting treatment because of a misdiagnosis, no insurance, or not diagnosed. Now you can go to any doctor complain about being sad or low energy and have a thrown a pill at you.

As we have seen that mental illness is becoming more and more of an issue. We have a generation dying too young that don't know how to ask for help when they need it. All they know life is miserable and they want the pain to stop. Yet in general we don't we still don't know as much as we should. This is one of the many reasons I am constantly saying to not beat yourself up over mistakes or mishap. To talk kindly to yourself.

In general, we need to learn how to recognize issues/symptoms, how to speak to someone in crisis. We need to teach our children how to express their feelings and help them learn to make healthy decisions. I know kids say things like 'OMG, I was so embarrassed I just want to die.' They learn that from us. We say things absentmindedly and our kids pick that up.

My first swear word was shit. That was my mom's comment to anything that just didn't go right. She was surprised when it just came out one day. She shouldn't have been. I know when my kids were young I encouraged them to tell me how they felt. My son had told me 'Mom, I just want to cuss. I don't know what to say.' So I told him to express it how he needed to. We then of course worked on use of language after that LOL. I personally had to make sure I watched what I said because of my illness and the nasty divorce. My ex took them to a psychologist because he thought I was putting stuff in their heads and the doctor told them no, that they have been educated to express themselves and they do it rather well.

Of course, I can only speak from my perspective and experience. Every situation is different. No child should ever be made to feel bad over expressing themselves. I think bullying has gotten out of control. I still think that schools don't do enough or punish the victim rather than the facilitator. I know when I was young I was bullied mercilessly by kids, and adults. My name alone invited mounds of jokes and being the smallest in class did not help. Expressing my feelings I was laughed at. So I know understand.

Kids don't know or understand that things do get better. We have to help them understand that. If we have to take action, the do it. We had an incident when my son was in 5th grade where another boy had been picking on him and went as far as telling him that he was going to chop him up in pieces and hide them so his family couldn't find him. The school had mentioned the incident a week after it happened. I knew earlier because my son told me. I called the school since I was unable to go in. It took them a week and several messages for them to call me back. They blew the whole thing off. When the kid started taking swings at my son, they still did nothing. I had to go to the school district and mention going to the county school board before the kid was removed. As a part of all of this the school had expelled my son for 2 days because they didn't want to show they were showing favoritism. This is not 'normal' behavior. What 10 yr old says things like this?

Anyway, love your kids. Show them a better way. Show them feelings are natural and expressing them is OK. It is not weakness by any means. Anger is OK, So is being sad. Let them express it. Sometimes you do need to be a friend to you kids.

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It's a bad combination of a lot of bad things for things to go this way. Imo here's a pretty accurate meme that explains part of the contribution...

When people accidentally pushed their kids to a place in which they can't even express themselves, what do they do? And I doubt that many understand the implications. Yes, put the blame on the internet, on the school, on the phones, computers, whatever that seems to cause these statistics, but come on...it's what you get for having better technology, it comes with a price. More sources of bullying and problems, more things for the parents to handle.

I admire the parents that have a 100% clear two-way communication with their kids, that's how things should work...

It's easy to blame. It's hard to fix. Love the meme it's true.

Teach a child fact from fiction from birth to seven years of age, once school going age everyone is putting new information into their heads. There is no time for baby talk a young mind is like a sponge.

Spare the rod, spoil the child, no not beating them up, when a baby crawls to an electrical socket what do you do, flick little fingers with stern warning, this is where they learn boundaries, or protect them from imminent danger buying socket covers to hide, leaving the child none the wiser.

Let the children play outdoors, fall in the sand, come home dirty it is all about learning.

Sadly times have changed, children don't get the opportunity to explore, parents give them gifts for accomplishing the most trivial of things, they never learn how to earn on one side, the other side is impoverished people who hold down (or are seeking) work, leaving the child with child minders who have more than one child at a time, not enough attention being shared in formative years.

Very open ended conversation since this affects different people in different walks of life, main thing parents do need to know it is not up to the educators (IMHO) to teach children the basics in life.

Very well said @joanstewart. I completely agree. We have to let them live and make mistakes and most of all get dirty.

My ex (only did this with my daughter) said he didn't want to say no to her, because she was going to hear a lifetime of no's. I asked him then what was he going to do when he needed to tell her no? I understood what he wanted, but in my mind that is where they start learning boundaries. You can't rationalize to a 7 month old crawling around that putting their finger in a socket is a bad thing. Yelling 'No' just startles them. So yes I agree a flick on their fingers is the way to go. It kind of puts that idea too that touch = hurt. We had very different views on parenting (one reason he's an ex).

I tried to be as open ended as possible and not 'inflict' too much personal opinion. If we don't start talking about these issues, nothing will change. It has to start somewhere.

Politicians/government are trying to push an agenda with rulings, personally I feel those first 7 years are critical when the parent teaches right from wrong, fact from fiction, lots of reading to fill a young mind with ideas.

Once they go to school they should now how to behave, be able to have enough knowledge to stand up for their rights, I know it sounds a crazy start to a young life but life is exceptionally challenging, there is not time to waste on baby talk.

Most fairy tales in books will take a young parent far, think of Hansel and Gretel going into the woods, it teaches children never to accept anything from people they don't know, this needs to be explained that the child fully understands the concept.

Have an awesome day and keep up with making people think @tryskele

There are people in this world that just shouldn't have had children. Those that don't have the time or energy to put into raising one. Honestly. What have we done to our society?

Is it the greed for more that moves us to make it impossible for most to have one wage-earning family? Once upon a time, there was one wage earner and even though there were some concessions made, life was good. Families were bonded by different things. Time well spent with our extended family, siblings, games without moving pieces and love. I can honestly say that I am distressed at the family model of today.

Must have a house and two cars. Must go on vacation. I am so off subject, but, part of the reason we are where we are as a society speaks for itself. I am alarmed at the rate of suicide and parents that don't talk to your kids. Some don't feel comfortable. Seriously? These are your offspring, Darlin.

Kids like when you pay attention and speak to them. More interaction with them frequently shows off fewer problems in the classroom and school in general. Why? Because they don't want to disappoint you.

They have a moral code. They care. They love you.

I am not saying if they do this they don't love you, I am just saying that if you bond with your kids early on, chances are, they are a lot different being influenced by you than Fast Eddie in the kiddie playground. Who do you want your kids influenced by? Now, we all know that the kids have to grow up, but, with the proper tools you have provided them, they are able to make better choices.

And I am so sorry I am off topic. These statistics are horrifying. Great post!

!tip

LOL you're brain works like mine. On @jayna 's post I did the same thing then figured just to start putting it into my own post and then it changed even more. I know this is unrealistic, but there should be some sort of test before people are able to have children or we're going to end up in a cross between WALL-E and Idiocracy

I know for a while it wasn't greed to have both parents work, it was the economy. It meant the difference between eating cereal for dinner and chicken. Or in some cases gas in the car (oh the joys or gas rationing) You're right now everyone has to have a house, have to have a car for each driver, have to go on vacation, have to buy big toys.

Bonding is everything. If your child knows they are loved, wanted and cherished no matter what it is the world to them and gives them such empowerment. No they don't want to let us down, but we do need them to know that even if they did it doesn't change your love for them.

Exactly!

They don't want to let us down, but, not going well in things or wandering off the path is exercising their growth. It would never change your love and because you have bonded so well, they would not be afraid to tell you about it.

I agree that there were times that working as a two-parent team was necessary, but, mostly not. We had nine kids in our family and we clipped coupons, my mom got inventive with what she cooked and she made meals that would stretch. Gas rationing? Yeah, that slightly sucked. For real. Excuse the french.

But, yes!! We agree on so many counts.

One of my kids really pushed me away. Or tried. It was really rough. But I stuck it out and remained constant and kept saying “I love you,” and we are much closer now.

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I think that is all so true, @dswigle. Having gone through the parenting thing and mostly come out the other side, I remember thinking many times that I would rather not approach my kids about some things and have uncomfortable conversations, and how hard it was to push through that. But I did it. I just think that the thread of connection starts to unravel otherwise. Parents must be a resource for their kids, and if they aren’t showing up as people who will talk about really hard stuff and set rules and keep providing guidance even when the kids act like they are too old to need it, that tether is going to break.

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It's easier for us to forget what it's like growing up the older we get, as we look at everything through the lens of our experiences as adults and have become completely unaware that, as a child, we thought we'd never get to 12 years old - it took so long! Then to 16 and the driver's license. Time moves so slowly when we are kids, and it seems to us that we will always be a kid.

There's so much going on when we are kids. I remember that it was difficult for me to imagine what life as an adult would be like right up until I realized that I had become an adult.

So very true @free-reign. Our vision in that time of life is a very small field. Tomorrow is forever a way and yesterday was so long ago. I think that's part of the reason they feel so helpless and lost when these feelings come in. They can't comprehend that in a year, 5 years and such it will no longer matter.

Such a sad story snout your child being picked on. I’m glad you kept dealing with the school and the district until it got dealt with!

Yes we do need to cherish our kids. I completely agree. And really communicate with them and give them the tools they need to travel the bumpy roads if life. We can navigate so much if we have the live and support and know how to handle adversity.

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It was definitely a learning curve for me. Thankfully, he barely remembers it. He's moved on which I am grateful for. I have a friend her 9 yr old recently went though something very similar. He's the one I refer to as the victim being punished. Nothing happened to the other child. When classes started up this year the school had realized they put the 2 of them in the same class (The teacher had requested to have him in her class) the removed my friends son rather than the other. In addition, told him if he is near the other child he is to remove himself. My guess is their thinking is he is more responsible than the other, but he should not be in the position of having to police himself.

Overall, if I had not gone through what I did I don't know if any of this would have come to mind. I like to think it would. Life is the best teacher, if we're listening.

Also, thank you. You touched on so much with your post that you have triggered something in me to want to talk more about various things like this.

Oh how often do we stifle our kids! That is such a good point to teach them that it is okay to express your emotions and that big one to help them recognize that things change and it will get better so they aren't stuck feeling this will go on forever! And of course to make good choices!
Powerful message you have there - Thanks for sharing!

Thanks @porters 😊 I hate to say I learned the hard with expressing my emotions. My mom's side of the family are Norwegian and farmers from Minnesota, I think that speaks for itself. The hardest one that I still have issues with is anger. I was taught it was a wasted emotion. Scary huh?

Great message! Been thinking about the same thing myself. Erich Fromm (The Sane Society) wrote about this so long ago, and yet we are still as bad, if not worse. :-(

Thanks @cindyhartz. I think it's gotten worse 😥 When you think about it, who kills kids? Who pushes someone to the point of wanting to die and going through with it? What part that puzzles me is some kids have been threatened that their parents will be killed if they say anything. How does a young mind come up with this when the either side can't rationalize that it really isn't possible for the to do something like that. If it is then we have a much larger problem.

A very smart man once told me the sickest mind in a group rules the group, because everyone else acquiesces to try to keep the peace. I have found this to be true. I wonder why can’t we can’t do better and then I remember one of my Bible lessons - that Satan has been granted limited time to wreak havoc and sorrow over the earth. That’s the only way I can make sense of it. 😟

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Let's just pray that this all turns around before more children die. Hug your kids tonight. 🙏

I don't think this is going to get better anytime soon. Until people recognize that there is a problem, it will be slow going. It will get there though.

@tryskele I must say your post was an eye opener and I totally agree with you on it.Thank you for your post

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@tryskele - a great post for mindful Monday. Child-rearing is a tricky and scary thing. You can give them your values and your guidance and in the end, they will be their own person. You hope to give them to best possible building blocks and nurturing. But it doesn't get any easier when they are grown and you see them making mistakes that you are powerless to correct for them.

Oh I agree, each stage has its own challenges. I had a friend get mad at me when my son had moved back to California with his girlfriend. I told her he's old enough to make his decisions and live with the consequences. They moved back in 9 months LOL. I wasn't about to stop him even as much as I didn't want him to go.

It is completely abhorrent what children are put through these days. You're absolutely correct in that bullying has always existed, but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't stop or be educated against. Wrong is still wrong.

I think compounding the issue with children is the intense amount of pressure that we put on them from such an early age. By grade 8 - 13 and 14 years olds! - we're expecting them to "know what they want to do" and begin to plan out the rest of their lives, where they're going to go to college, what they want to study, go to two or three or more activities in a week and so forth. It's crazy. They're kids! They should be outside playing.

I levelled a complained against my boy's school once with the US Dept of Education; I completely bypassed the State because of the love affair the school at the State dept have with each other. That was when I finally got results. School's need to be held accountable too (flip side, they also need to be resourced correctly).

I wish there were an easy solution. In @jayna's post I remember suggesting that the only thing I can think of is to re-invest in education from a community standpoint, and I still think that's key. It's not short term by any stretch, and it will only work if we as a society can have faith in an education system, which may be an issue in and of itself.

You're are absolutely correct. Bullying does need to be fought. So many don't understand the extent of bullying and it's consequences. As we are seeing it has far reaching detrimental effects if someone is not given the tools or support needed to combat it. Using the old 'Sticks and Stones' phrasing is the worst way to confront this too. Words hurt. Words do more damage. A broken bone heals. Yes the bone is 'scarred' but it usually is a bit stronger as a result. Word work their way in to the small recesses of your mind and take root. Whether you blow them off or not, you can't unhear it. The second it enters your mind it's there. With a broken bone we learn not to do something that can cause it.

I agree we need to let our kids be kids. Enjoy that time while its there, it's too short of a time in our live not to allow our children to have. Be creative and crazy. Go play in the mud. Go ride their bikes, skateboard, play sports.They may even figure out what they might want to do with their future if they did all of this.

That sucks you had to go to those lengths to get results. I don't understand why schools, and local school districts seem to be pretty apathetic towards a lot of this.

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Are right that kids are the topic nowadays..
And strangely, someone send me an article about what parents do wrong to their kids.. it's not about education or discipline but not associating their children to the community reality world
The real world out there where people understands what it means to be on the ground and not floating to gain fame and fortune

Sounds like a great article @ireenchew. It's another aspect that is not thought of much as it should. There are so many things that seemed to have gotten lost along the way and something that have needed to change, but haven't. Having goals and dreams are essential to succeeding to life in general. Having the mindset to be realistic about them is another.

Wisdom comes with age, but age does not necessarily lead to wisdom. Great post, @tryskele.

That is one of my favorite phrases. Thank you so much @blockurator

Great read! It’s so important for parents to give their children the tools they need to survive in a world that can be rather cruel at times.

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So true and so close to home. I couldn’t imagine being without one of my little ones and I immediately stop thinking about it if the notion crosses my brain.

I try and teach them to be adventurous, enjoy being bad at stuff and try many things. The best thing I have found for my girls is kids Brazilian jiu jitsu. So good for the brain and confidence and has real life use.

I am a bit caught between grow up! Don’t grow up so quick! Nd try an talk to them all the time about what is going on. I hope they keep talking as they go through high school!

The blockchain is a great place for a continued discussion of this importance.

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When I read these kinds of things, I think of all that I still need to grow and the panic it gives me, because I have a son who is just three years old and our society is unfortunately in decline with the passing of time. It only occurs to me to continue giving him a lot of love and try to give him the best education and ask God because he never fears to tell me the things that happen to him, many times the silence of our children are the most dangerous!

You have him at the perfect age 😄 and you're in the position to learn from the mistakes and from things we didn't know. Ultimately he will just need to know that you love him no matter what, completely unconditionally. We all make mistakes and he shouldn't be afraid to make them.

Oh that quote by Frederick Douglass is so good and true! I agree, we have a huge problem with mental illness today. If people are really bad off mentally there aren't any institutions for them anymore.

The jails are full of mentally ill people. Trust me I know from personal experience and they don't know what to do with them there, THAT is crazy in itself.

I don't know if anyone has any answers. But your advice is very wise!

Mental Illness and Mental Health are/is still a taboo subject and it shouldn't be. When I started to put this post together this is where my mind was ..

If people are really bad off mentally there aren't any institutions for them anymore.

The jails are full of mentally ill people. Trust me I know from personal experience and they don't know what to do with them there,

Then I ended up here while looking up information. I read 6 articles from the past year alone on suicides under the age of 13. Every single article I read had quoted WHO as stating that the rate had tripled in just the 10-13 age range and that in some areas far more than that. There was even a suicide of a 6 yr old girl.

I don't know about answers either, but at least we can get people talking and exchange thoughts, concerns and ideas.

Wow, those are some shocking statistics! So sad. Did those articles have reasons they think that is happening?

Varied reasons. The little girl had gotten into an argument with her mom and was sent to her room. Mostly being bullied in school and on social media for things like liking the wrong person, rumors that were made up about them just straight out lies someone made up.

I couldn't believe some of the reasons. One girl liked a boy that was someone's boyfriend and they just went to town on her. Said she was sleeping with people, was pregnant and had to get an abortion because she was too young. Of course none of it was true, she simply told someone she thought was a friend she like the boy and thought he was cute.

Wow that is vicious stuff they do to each other! Kids can be heartless. Social media has made things alot worse in many cases.

Some great advice here my friend!
I don't know if you have seen my post yesterday about the free trauma training for child workers?
Many of the issues that you mention here are included in the course.
Blessings!

I missed that. I will have to stroll over and take a look!!

While it's not the only reason we chose to homeschool our three kids (now all adults), bullying was definitely a consideration as hubby and I both had bad experiences with it ourselves. I can't say it was the perfect choice, but I do know that these days, whenever one of our kids tells me something in an honest and straightforward way about something I'm doing wrong, I'll "yell" at them, "How dare you use the truth against me like that!" and they'll shrug and respond, "Hey, can't help it, it's how we were raised." 😊

Also...
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I know quiet a few people that have pulled their kids from school because of bullying issues. Sadly homeschooling in a lot of cases seems to be the better route anymore for more than just that.

"How dare you use the truth against me like that!"

I love this. Mine do something similar. All we really can do is just build them in to good strong people. What they do with what we teach them is up to them. I hope I gave them the skills they need and hopefully I didn't rub off too much on them 😛