Everyone is Talking
About the little girl who was caught ‘playing’ lockdown drill in her bathroom at home.
Why do I care?
It’s a poignant reminder that our children are living in a different world than the one where we grew up, and it brings to the forefront the need to discuss the scary parts of our world in a way that our children understand so they can feel a sense of safety.
Tell me more.
About a week ago, Stacy Wehrman Feeley posted a photo of her 3-year-old standing on top of the toilet in their family bathroom. What she thought was a silly and mischievous moment, quickly turned into the realization that her child had already lost a bit of her innocence and belief in the safety of the world around her.
Stacy’s daughter was practicing a lock down drill, which had been done at her preschool at some point prior. Stacy’s shock led to a call for more gun control. She said in part:
“Politicians – take a look. This is your child, your children, your grandchildren, your great grand children and future generations to come. They will live their lives and grow up in this world based on your decisions. They are barely 3 and they will hide in bathroom stalls standing on top of toilet seats. I do not know what will be harder for them? Trying to remain quiet for an extended amount of time or trying to keep their balance without letting a foot slip below the stall door?”
Her message came just prior to a big decision day on gun control in the senate, one that did not yield a vote in favor of more control measures. Gun control has the country divided, and it’s something on the minds of many parents in the United States this week, as well as the lawmakers who staged a sit-in shortly after the vote occurred.
S – Search for hidden questions and fears. Dig in deeper by asking your child pointed questions. What are their questions about an event? What worries do they have? And address those things in a way that makes sense for their age.
A – Act – engage your kids in things they CAN do. For example, have them participate in acts of kindness for others. More importantly, focus on keeping their routines and rituals the same through a time when the news and media may be inundating them with negative reports – consistency will foster a sense of safety.
F – Allow them to feel – telling kids their fears are unfounded isn’t an effective way to deal with tragedy. Show empathy, patience, and understanding by letting them express how they are feeling in the wake of an incident.
E – Ease their minds – remind them of all the good people in the world, the helpers.
If you and your kids were a fan of the nasal flu vaccine, you’re going to be disappointed in the coming year. It turns out it’s minimally effective at preventing the flu according to new CDC released data from the 2015-2016 flu season. As in, it was only 3% effective. So, like not useful at all.
That’s What She Said
Between the incident with Harambe the Gorilla and the most recent incident with the toddler being snatched by an alligator at the Grand Floridian in Orlando this past month, the pitchforks are out and parents are debating how such things could happen. What’s the point in piling on judgement to parents who are already suffering their own personal hell? We’re not sure either.
Your Digital Kid
Do you know what your kids are doing online? Have you put protections in place for them to avoid stumbling onto questionable content while browsing The Google for information? What about their interactions with their peers – are they playing nice? Are they posting appropriate and safe material? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, chances are you have no idea what your kid could be into and it may be far more than you realized.
One high school teacher is calling out well meaning but oblivious parenting practices when it comes to digital media. She points out the dangers of live streaming sites and their use among teens, talks about concepts like ‘subtweeting’ (anyone know what that is?) and the popularity of anonymous apps like YikYak and Kik where kids can socialize unchecked.
Trusting your kids is a big part of parenting and allowing them to grow up, but oversight is certainly in order in this unfamiliar terrain. We know that it can feel like a foreign language when you do read through the social postings of teens, so here’s a starting list of common acronyms to help you decipher what they are saying. Get to know the apps, get to know their ‘language’ and dig into your teen’s online social life as much as you would their IRL.
It’s been a heat wave this week, so time for Ice Cream Buffet! Load up a bunch of small mason jars with toppings, break out the vanilla and chocolate and you’re ready to roll. If you want to add a little cookie into the mix, try these Ice Cream Sundae Cookie Cups from Lovely Little Kitchen.
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