Life Values to Teach Our Kids in Dark Times
If you’ve been tuning into recent news, you know exactly what I’m getting at.
The current condition of humanity is a deeply concerning one. I don’t usually do serious. I’m not serious by nature. My blog isn’t named ‘Serious By Nature’. I’m all about having a whale of a time, making people laugh, sharing my Mum fail moments, and living for the experiences. No, serious kind of cramps my style.
But when a horrendous act of terrorism sweeps through my quaint little German hometown – it hits home. It injures my very soul. It hits my angry notes. Not hangry. Because being hangry is a laughable matter.
It’s a terrible feeling, but it’s the kind of angry that trickles through your blood and makes you want to drop bombs over Syria. The kind of angry that makes me feel hateful towards a larger majority. The kind of anger that makes me feel less of a human being because anger is so narrow sighted and belittling.
But they are emotions that you just can’t help but let yourself feel when, each day, you turn on the TV, another awful tragedy has occurred. Another terrorist attack. Another suicide bomber. Children murdered.
Tonight, whilst shoving down BigMacs and nuggets in the McDonald’s parking lot, we reviewed the sad state of this world and what exactly is going on in the human psyche. Whilst slurping on my choco thick shake, we discussed the deluded concept of ‘world peace’.
It’s wishful thinking, that’s all it is. I don’t believe in world peace. I hope for it. I pray for it. But it will never, ever happen.
So long as humanity reigns this Earth and, we, each have a mind of our own – world peace is just everyone’s wildest fantasy. The ideology is a form of paradise that should belong in religious manuscripts, somewhere in between the realms of the existence of heaven and hell.
We, human beings, are only capable of having moments of peace – and I think that’s the best we can do. Our history of existence has never been peaceful; we learn about wars and revolutions. But peace? No.
What disturbs me the most is that the majority of the recent sprees of terrorism and acts of violence were orchestrated by teenagers. They’ve barely had the chance to live, experience and thrive in life yet. And that makes me feel very afraid.
How be a good influence for my own son? How can I stop my own kids from falling into the web of darkness?
How do we show our future young adults that all these confusing feelings you experience in your younger years are merely fleeting emotions, and that belonging, becomes a lot easier as we grow? How do we, as a society, teach them to follow the light?
When Andy and I examined this topic – it came down to teaching our kids three vital values:
1. OPEN COMMUNICATION
Creating a comfortable environment for open communication without judgment is pivotal to for any relationship to thrive. Everyone yearns to be heard. Everyone needs words of encouragement. We would have very little leaders in this world if it weren’t for the people in the background offering constant encouragement and praise.
Andy and I have been through many bouts of ups and downs in our six incredible years together. It’s taken us many trials and tribulations to realise how important it is not to let problems build and bottle up negative emotions.
These days, when shit hits the fan, we press the pause button. Then, we reflect on where, we, ourselves went wrong. If we can teach our kids the importance of self-reflection and focusing on improving our own characters to become better, more understanding and gratuitous – we all might just stop blaming all our life’s problems on the world and look within ourselves for answers.
Open communication must also always involve words of encouragement, positivity and praise. People want to hear what they did right and good so that they continue doing so. Let’s encourage and praise – kids and adults alike – so that everyone enjoys doing more good.
Proper upraising and communications starts with our parenting; we are, potentially, the root of all things good and bad and we need to show our kids that they CAN talk to us. That we will listen. We will walk in their shoes. We will understand. And we will offer our wholehearted support.
2. TREAT OTHERS HOW YOU WOULD WANT TO BE TREATED
Simple enough, right? Give a smile and you shall receive one in return. Give a scorn and you will, undoubtedly, receive one in return.
Let’s teach our kids that if someone is evidently having a bad day – don’t ignore them. Their mood can take a dramatic turn for the better if we offered them a smile and a helping hand. We all harness the power to turn anyone’s day around so long as we do it with an air on intention and good will.
Let’s teach our kids to make an effort to respect even the unrespectable. If we can keep in mind that everyone is on a journey in life and that we each have our own struggles and a story to tell. Let’s be open-minded like HONY and keep in mind that every person is fighting their own battle and what we see at first impression is nothing like the beauty that lies below.
3. REMEMBER: THIS TOO, SHALL PASS
As Prince EA describes in his perspective changing video – the feelings of depression and negativity are like clouds moving past the sky. We are the sky. Our feelings and emotions are merely the clouds that move past. Negativity will pass, just as feelings of happiness do.
Let’s teach our kids that everything has a life span and every feeling we’ve ever experienced, will pass.
As Buddhist and Hindu teachings go – nothing in life is permanent. This is called Anicca. I have this tattooed on the inside of my arm to remember just how impermanent life and our time here on Earth is.
Everything that we own, right as of this moment, must be returned when we die. It’s important to teach our kids to not get too attached to the material things in life. Let’s teach them to spend their time and energy on connecting with people and build experiences.
As a new Mum, I would love to know what values you intend to teach your kids? How do you plan on doing it?