Over the past couple of weeks, this country has been on an emotional rollercoaster. Well, more so than usual.
First the uproar of this latest Nike Ad, focused towards our youth that is inspiring. That is at least what our 6 and 11-year-old sons say that are biracial and adopted from the foster system. Somehow, seeing others who are different in this commercial lets them see it is possible to come from trauma and still be great.
Then, just this week, was 9/11. I will be the first to admit, I never once thought about talking to our kids about what this day means.
Our girls are not so much into sports, but love the excitement each week when we sit together watching football as a family. The boys on the other hand, are not only involved with the sport, but the current events that come with the athletes. With that, we have had a lot of discussions recently of why we are hearing two sides of our country is in a debate. We do more listening to how they feel about it and what they think, than us speaking.
Like most of the country, in our house, we reflected and read stories of what occurred on September 11, 2001. The adults in the house talked and shared the stories we have heard and read. Never once did it occur to us to discuss what happened that day with our kids. Until after school when the kids came home and not long after that, told us what they heard of this day before they were born.
A little petrified from hearing this, the boys have that fantasy of becoming Spider-Man and swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper in New York City. Now, discussing what terrorism is and how we have all as a country suffered together, but rebuilt together as well. We realized that living in today’s world, it is important to hear the negative that does occur, even though we would rather avoid it. Maybe it should have come from us first at home, rather than school. That’s what I am thinking now.
The questions started circulating back to why a week ago our country was divided over a motivational commercial. Now, that stopped because we forgot that this same day, race, religion, sexuality, civilian, or person of uniform did not matter. Everyone was one in the same; all that mattered was that we were in it together.
The only answer we could give as parents was that “it’s hard for some people to open their minds and hearts when someone else has a different view from us.”
Followed by, “Assumptions are made at times without caring to see all sides in situations.”
Sadly, what else do you say to a child who also trains often for how to act when their school is under attack? You must talk about why, in this day in age, we are all fearful at times, but that we still need to remember how to protect ourselves and each other.
The issues come back to teaching your child that no matter what is going on in the world, you need to respect others no matter who they are. If you want people to listen to you, then you need to open your ears before casting judgement. Your kids all hear the arguments and judgements of each other in society. Then in return, they also see that there are times when we all can put that behind us.
Our family believes that no matter who you are or what you are, you can make a difference in someone else’s life. What is the saying? “Seek to understand, before being understood.”
Maybe things would be a lot different if we could all follow suit for every other day like we do on that day.