I had another post planned for today, but it had to be bumped, because something is on my mind. I work up this morning to hear of yet ANOTHER school shooting, this time in Maryland, and luckily there do not seem to be any deaths. I then was checking my Facebook and a friend posted an article about a teen suicide, and what caused it. Needless to say, there is a lot of crazy things going on this this world and the more I think about it, raising kids today is so much different than when I was a kid and more so, when my parents were kids.
When I was young, we knew which house all of our friends were hanging out at because there was a pile of bikes on the front lawn. Today, kids can check their social media and instantly know who is where and what is going on. As I got older, I looked forward to learning to drive a car. By the time my kids are old enough to “drive,” chances are all cars will be self driving and it will be skill they do not have to learn. Obviously, there are thousands of examples of this, but the point is, technology is changing our lives.
The school shootings are crazy, because with social media, we are learning about these sooner and rumors spread just as quickly, which means of all the information we are gathering, not all of it is 100% accurate. With so many “Celebrities” that made their name on Facebook and Instagram, people see the idea of going viral and their shot at fame, by doing something through these mediums. Do not get me wrong, I have a Facebook and an Instagram and love the idea of Social Media and technology, but I think it can also be dangerous.
The danger can be seen in the article posted above, about a seemingly happy 16 year old, that felt constant pressure from everyone to succeed. With the likes of Social Media, people are sharing their accomplishments or making it seem they are doing something great (in an effort to get likes), which can make the rest of us feel depressed and left out: and this is an actual problem!! When I was in High School, I was actually suspended from school for changing grades in a teacher’s book. I was the TA for a teacher who was also my English teacher. I had a few friends that asked me to help them out with a few grades and I noticed quickly how easy it was and how perfect my system was. I actually started to change some of my grades as well… this worked till someone informed the teacher and my system crumbled. However, the reason for this was simply that I felt the pressure to do better. I was an all-star swimmer and was set to get into college on my talents alone. But because I was swimming so much, my grades slipped, and despite my swimming achievements, I felt like a failure to my parents and coaches and some of my friends who maintained 4.0+ GPA’s.
As I have stated in the title of this post as well as (more or less nonsensically) within the text of this article, the idea of how to raise our kids today has become very difficult. I have 2 kids who are 3 and 5, and the truth is, I don’t know what the future holds. Technology moves so fast, that what we see in cell phones and tables now, will be different in 10 years. How we commute in our vehicles will be different when our kids are of age. The days of warning kids simply about a stranger with candy are beyond us. Now we have to ALSO be cautious of people online, what we share, who can see our pages, and the hardest part: preparing our children for the unknown. We do not know where technology is headed and how our kids will use it. Teens now didn’t have parents who grew up on Instagram and Facebook, so they were not necessarily warned ahead of time of the dangers of viral posts and not believing everything you see. Parents now do not understand the pressures our children are facing, that differ from the pressures we faced. When I was growing up, schools were safe. I was in High School when Columbine happened and even then, it felt safe… we didn’t think this would be happening so much more often.
For our children, there is hope that we do something about guns (banning or becoming much stricter is ideal). And there is hope that us as parents can continue to stay in the know on the new trends and the dangers they pose to our children, whether we can see them or not. For me, the best way to raise our children is for them to be inclusive of others. To be nice and positive and to follow the golden rule. I want my children to feel comfortable coming to me with any issues or what they feel is a problem. As parents we can all do better and for us to move forward as a society, we have to.
This article is a bit all over the place as I had to get things off of my chest, but I would love to hear your thoughts below. What do you agree or disagree with me about? What are you doing to help raise your kids right?
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