Today’s society is very different than what it was 15 years ago. Today we have to deal with social media, cell phones & I Pad’s all in the hands of our children & youth. That’s scary. It’s scary because we as adults know how these things are being used on a daily basis. We know that the internet is full of temptations, opportunities and terrifying information that are at the disposal of our 10 year olds.
Gone are the days when our biggest problem as a kid was making it home before the street lights came on. Remember when you got your first computer and the most exciting thing about it was Solitaire or the Galaxy Arcade Game? That was before the internet. Before the drama. Before the hate.
Today, our young girls are coming home from school crying. They are running off the bus feeling left out and worthless. As parents and caregivers we all wonder what went wrong. Why are our kids being bullied and not getting along? Unfortunately, the answer probably doesn’t go much further than our own front doors.
We seem to forget that our kids are like little sponges. They hear everything you say and they hold it very close to their heart. In my opinion, the most important job you have in this life is the role of a parent. When your child is born, you are an instant hero. It’s a job that we know is important but we easily forget just how important it is. You have someone watching your every move. If you don’t like someone, depending on your actions, they know it and they automatically feel the same.
Why in the world would you want to teach your child how to hate?
Girls are so impressionable and can easily be involved in useless pettiness and unfortunate bullying at a young age. Girls who are best friends one day can get turned on the next. We need to make it stop. We need to teach our girls that lifting others up is more powerful than breaking them down. We need to show our daughters that gossip is wrong and hurtful and can impact a person for the rest of their life. But that’s the thing. We have to SHOW them, not just TELL them. If we truly want our girls to stop the hate, we have to first take a long look at our own selves. We have to change our way of thinking. Stop being jealous of the woman who you think is prettier than you, skinnier than you or with more curves. You have to stop being envious of the woman who has an amazing career that you always wanted, or that big house with 4 beautiful kids that all seem to get along so well. Stop gossiping and start taking a look at things that you have in your life that you can be thankful for. Learn to let go of the things that we cannot change. Start paying it forward and giving a compliment to the woman with the amazing hair instead of finding her flaws and gossiping about them to your friend. It doesn’t make you feel better. It makes you unhappy and it consumes your life. It’s exhausting! And guess who is watching you fall? That’s right. It’s YOUR daughter.
The last thing you want is your daughter going to school and making another girl feel stupid or going to school and being made feel stupid. That is NOT okay. Please don’t be the reason that this is happening.
I am very aware that I am not perfect. I gossip, I envy and I am jealous. I also know that I have a young daughter who is going to grow up in a generation where social media is used for hate and will have to endure many challenges that I never had. So I am starting now. I will use my power to build other women up because I know she is watching. I want to teach her that she does not have to love everyone but that she must treat everyone with respect and tolerance. She should always stand up for herself but that doesn’t mean she has to hurt someone else.
It’s not easy but we have to try harder. For our girls. For their futures.