One lingering issue from my Year of Reflection is how much I hate where social media has headed. This is a truly tragic story and I can't even read online comments because of all the hateful things people have posted. About someone's baby trying to kill themselves. People use Facebook as their own personal complaining platform. People rage on twitter.
I see this myself. There are some people who ONLY comment here to point out when they disagree with me, or when I've stated something incorrect. These same kinds of people do this on my Facebook and Twitter as well. If you want to say something negative here, why don't you please try to post something positive first? Or email me. Or talk to me. I'm not some huge blogger with tons of hits.... I know most of you.
I'm trying to be the change I want to see in social media. Instead of opting out, I'm trying to make the internet a place I want to be. That's why I posted daily Christmas card out takes. That's why I'm trying to take the time to post positive comments on Facebook statuses and interact positively with people on Twitter. This is the world my kids will grow up in, and I hope to teach them these lessons also.
Back to the original story.
At our house, this suicide attempt prompted yet another round of discussions about bullying, and hoping hoping hoping the boys will be able to talk to us. We already know, AT AGE 7, that Nate gets made fun of for being small/short. It's not one kid, MULTIPLE KIDS say things about him being short.
I can talk to him until I am blue in the face about how everyone is different, being small is not a big deal, and he can always talk to us..... but it doesn't change how hard it is for him to hear these things. It doesn't change his emotions. We can be the parents who tell our kids EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, but we can't do it alone. We need all parents in on this one. We need the entire village to help this issue.
To stick with my goal of being positive and leading the charge, here is what I plan to do (and/or continue to do) and hope all parents will join me:
- Spend quality time with your kids. Put down the phone. Talk to your kids. Listen to what they say, even when they say it over and over and over.
- Think before you post and speak. Everywhere. Is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind?
- Unfriend people who continue to make your blood boil, even if you're friends "in real life." Life is too short to spend it listening to negativity.
- Model behavior you want to see in your children. They learn more from your actions than your words.