Friday, November 18, 2011

Important Time with the News

This morning I watched a news article regarding the little girl who killed herself because of bullies. Ten years old.....

"Gabby doesn't know about suicide," my daughter said.

I told her that she would be surprised what her ten year old daughter knows. What she knows about bullying, suicide and heartache. We parents would be surprised.

Sydney loves to watch the news with me. We have done it for as long as I can remember. As she aged, so did her questions about what we were watching. Doors opened for dialogue. Now she asks for the news to be turned on. We watch the stories of the world we live in. We learn to communicate and talk about subjects that are not always comfortable. Her world expands beyond our house, our community, our country.

Gabby likes Sponge Bob better than the news, yet the conversations that happen between her older sister and me sometimes draw her in. We learn together about real life. Sponge Bob fades away for a few moments.

My heart aches that there are children out there hurting and have not the tools to deal with their situations. Desperation at such a young age should never be allowed to happen yet it does time and time again. We had bullies. Many of us have scars from cruel actions of other children. The innocent heart hurts from learning that there are mean people in this world. Confidence is ripped from them. Maybe they start to believe the words. Maybe they see no way out. Maybe they give up trying.

No child goes through childhood without being hurt by another child. Teaching our children that they can come to us and that we will be their voice is the most important tool we can give them. Listening to them from their standpoint and not our years of experience is so necessary. Taking steps to make sure that our children are protected even at our own discomfort can be no less important. I believe that schools need to step up and teach not just that bullying is bad, but to erase the roots and causes of bullying so those kids can change their behaviors. Bullies beget bullies.

I grew up in a time of conversation. I grew up with adults talking about crops, neighbors in need, world events. No one really talked to me, but I was drawn to those conversations learning with each one and later getting involved in the conversations.

We sit watching the television. Wars rage, hunger strikes, people are homeless and sometimes we hear wonderful stories of heroes at home and abroad. We sit beside one another often snuggling under a blanket sharing time together. Precious, important time.

"I like it when we sit and talk about things," Sydney once told me.

Me, too, Honey. Me, too.

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