Sept 14 – Are the kids not hearing or listening or watching?

I am not quite understanding why I keep hearing about stories in real life and on my social media from and about kids and parents about the things that are happening in their lives.  Kids not being nice to one another.  Kids sharing pictures of themselves still.  Kids not understanding the repercussions of cruel jokes and gestures.  As teachers, we always ask the question – how do we develop our capacities?   Now we also need to ask — how do we develop resiliency?  Is timidity even a word?

I think often about how we don’t see or listen to the all the signs in the kids that aren’t happy.  They don’t feel like they are being listened to enough and they sometimes just give up.  Or they go from the confident child to the quiet and lonely one.  Becoming more isolated.  As parents, we think this might be ‘just a teenage phase’.  We remember the days when we were in our bedrooms listening to our 45 rpm records and then cassette tapes.  But the kids are in their rooms for different reasons and usually technology and social media are part of that reason.  Unless social media among our children is somewhat monitored, there are chances that it may be the catalyst that causes hurt and angst among them.  As parents, if we heard our kids say hurtful things to a friend, we would take our child aside and let him/her know (a teachable moment we would call them).  But if we are not able to see or hear what goes on and the teachable moment is not present, does it reinforce the kids to repeat their behaviours?  How do we teach moral responsibility?

This week, I spoke with a mom in Saskatchewan this week who lost her young son.  She was sad and distraught over what she was going to do in her life without her baby boy.  As I grappled with the ‘right’ words, I had to think back to 11 months ago and what I was going through.  What did people say to me?  What were my reactions?  Did I pay attention to their words?   I know there was much sympathy and sadness.  But I also know (even now), no one really knows the right things to say.  And sometimes they come out sounding like the wrong things.  What I said to the mom was that she needed to follow her heart to wherever it may land.  Cry when you need to cry.  Laugh when you need to laugh.  Surround yourself with friends and those that care for you unconditionally.

As parents who lose children, we are in auto mode for the first month (at least).  We look like we are walking, talking and functioning but I am not so sure how lucid and coherent we really are.  If it weren’t for those around me telling me to eat and sleep (which of course we don’t listen to), I probably wouldn’t have made it  So rule #1 – Make sure that you have people around you that can look after you.

Back to the topic of kids …. are we making a dent in what the kids are hearing and seeing in how to interact more appropriately?  For example – IF IT ISN’T NICE, THEN DON’T SAY IT!!!  So why are there those that are continually mean – online and offline.  What purpose does it really serve other than trying to exert power and control.  If ignored, would those that annoy and bother stop and go away.

How does one create more power with the bystanders?  Where should it start?  Home? School?   Or shouldn’t we just work as a community.  Have working partners in the community and school?  Start the educating early.  Teach parents before they become parents?  Have workshops on a regular basis?  And most importantly, encourage all to come.  Have childminding services so that those with young children can participate.  Have older youth child mind to encourage youth leadership and mentorship.

I will be attending Me to We Day Toronto this coming week (September 19).  The list of presenters and performers looks phenomenal.  The best part will be seeing the many youth/young people in the arena.  Knowing that they have ‘MADE A DIFFERENCE’ in their global community or school.

If we could all do a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) every morning for someone we know or don’t know, it could be the start of a happier day for someone.

Today was a year to the date when Amanda and I went to Whiterock BC to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather of September and take so many selfies of each other.   It was a hilarious day.  One of which I will never forget as I saw Amanda in the carefree state that she once was just a couple of years back.  Even walking through the shops, she was calm and less anxious.  When she felt herself stressing, she knew what she needed to do.  Go outside, look at the ocean and just breathe deeply.

Miss you Princess Snowflake!!!

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About Carol Todd

Being the mother of Amanda Todd has lead me on this journey shortly after Amanda's death on October 10, 2012. Amanda's prolific You Tube video has been viewed over 33 million times. Through this video, there has been an increased awareness about cyberbullying, social media safety and mental health. www.amandatoddlegacy.org
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6 Responses to Sept 14 – Are the kids not hearing or listening or watching?

  1. Hamsi says:

    It is very poignant that a day out in the sun was the high point of a young girl’s (and her mom’s) life. We appreciate your sharing these moments with us, even if it is painful to do so. When I read about the mom who lost her son, I think, why does this continue to happen? A young girl took her life in Tampa last week because she kept getting messages through the internet to kill herself (shades of Amanda?) I feel bad saying this but unless there is punishment for bad behavior this will not stop.

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  2. merle48 says:

    I meant this: 20/20.

    Like

  3. merle48 says:

    “Hindsight is 20?20.” How true! First, children need their parents’ guidance and understanding, so they may not feel hopeless. Children thrive on the love given by their parents first, which is surely what we, as their parents, want them to know as they will always feel safe and secure with us. Then “life” happens. We get caught up in everyday things and sometimes lose sight of what’s MORE important. Only until it HAPPENS…you know…something so unfortunate that makes all the other “stuff” we sweated look like a picnic. That is our hindsight, and all becomes clear…and in the case of children…is there anything more important? All your healing comes from you sharing yourself with others who have experienced the similar heartache, and children who have been hurt by others and feel hopeless, and you may not know the same God as I do, or even believe in one, however, WHAT you selflessly do, is what MY God intended us to accomplish. This is what your life…our lives…were meant to be! This quote says it better than I. “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  4. Tristan says:

    What a great Blog, Carol! You are such an inspiration to many,, especially those who may be going through what you have been through and are going through. The world needs a leader in every circumstance. So wonderful to see you reaching out and helping others going through tragedy’s. Its a wonder why so many kids out there have not yet caught on of the potential dangers of the lack of safety or care when using the internet. Amanda’s story and Legacy that you work so hard towards is definitely an eye opener for everyone,, kids ,parents, and internet users. Amanda’s legacy is the foundation to which we can all learn from for the ‘what to do…” “where to go…” and “how to prepare…” when it comes to online safety.

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  5. H.I.D. says:

    You are soo right Carol in all that you wrote.
    Maybe the people who have contacted you, have stopped living…..
    they just happen to be waking up every morning.
    Also, if only these kids could realize…… Love Is Everything….. We All Need Love.

    Like

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