It’s only been a week since 17 innocent lives were taken during a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. As America grieves and pleads the government for stricter gun laws and more mental health support, parents across the world are having to have that uncomfortable talk with their children.
One mother, Miranda H., in a county not too far from the school shooting, shared a heart-wrenching story about how she had the conversation with her 7-year old child.
“We talked about what’s been happening in schools lately and what WE could do to help make a difference,” she said. “After dinner, she asked if we could make a list for her to share with her class on ways to make sure everyone in her class has a friend.”
This was the list little Braelyn put together all on her own, to share with the class. In hopes to spread her sweet soul’s message even further, I asked Miranda if I could share the story with my Smother Mother community.
- ⭐️Be Kind
- ⭐️Play with them
- ⭐️Stick up for them
- ⭐️Do not be a bully
Braelyn’s list shared a few qualities that I think we all could adopt as parents to instill in our children.
Let’s unite this country. There are so many broken hearts out there from this senseless tragedy.
How We Can Make a Change As Parents
Working off of Braelyn’s list, we as parents can leverage some of these qualities to encourage our own children.
1. Teach Your Children to Be Kind
Be kind to everyone. For EVERYBODY is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Teach your children to be kind. Teach your children to ask ‘are you okay?’ when someone is sad or crying. Teach them it’s wrong to push or shove other children, that it’s wrong to call people hurtful names. Start now, so that it sticks with them throughout their life.
2. Teach Your Children To Include Others
Remember in school when you’d have to pick a team for a group project and someone was always left out? What about recess, you’d see a kid sitting alone on a bench. We’ve got to change that. Teach your children to be open minded when making new friends. Tell them to include people and how hurtful it can feel to be left out.
Fun fact: Did you know Loneliness is not just an emotional state of mind, it actually triggers genetic changes which can cause illness and early death.
3. Teach Your Children to Stick Up For Other
Sometimes all it takes is for someone to know you’re rooting for them to change their entire outlook on life. Teach your children to be happy for other people. Teach them to stick up for others and to say something if they see something wrong. No one deserves to be treated crappy.
4. Teach Your Children To Not Be A Bully
This goes back to being kind. Teach your children not to be a bully. We as parents raise the children in the classrooms. Tell them what’s right and wrong. Show them compassion. Speak highly of them when you’re talking to others to show them that they are in fact, worthy.
Be the Change You Wish to See
As a parent, I’m concerned and angry that we live in a world where kids have to endure active shooter drills as they’re trying to learn algebra. It breaks my heart to think about the parents of the school shooting victims.
Be the change you wish to see in the world. Even if it’s as simple as sharing little Braelyn’s list. The world needs more of that and needs more of her.
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