it’s not easy

IT’S NOT EASY IS IT?

trying to find a title for a discussion of this magnitude is not easy.

trying to find a way to speak openly and frankly about this subject is not easy.

trying to come to grips with teen and young adult suicide is not easy.

trying to understand the minds of those that bully, in real space or cyber space, is not easy.

trying to find a solution is not easy.

seeing signs or hearing that your child may be a bully is not easy.

taking responsibility is not easy.

OR IS IT?

justifying their actions is easy.

saying that’s just how kids are is easy.

victim blaming is easy.

changing the channel or turning the page is easy.

giving a silent prayer of thanks that it’s not your child so not your problem is easy.

judging others is easy.

but…

facing facts is not.

easy.

WHERE ARE WE GOING WRONG?

Mattie Yates:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2607248/Im-doing-world-favor-Heartbreaking-farewell-video-girl-16-posted-YouTube-committing-suicide.html

Amanda Todd:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjvq23sPrHA

Ryan Halligan:

http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org/index.htm

Megan Meier:

http://www.meganmeierfoundation.org/megans-story.html

Phoebe Prince:

http://www.truecrimereport.com/2010/01/phoebe_prince_15_commits_suici.php

Jessica Logan:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvSvMA3qCgg

Tyler Clementi:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/sep/30/tyler-clementi-gay-student-suicide

Shannon Gallagher: (this one is especially hard to fathom…the teen sister of a cyber bullied suicide victim)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/13/shannon-gallagher-sister-cyberbullying-suicide-erin-gallagher_n_2296488.html

Rehtaeh Parsons:

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/09/rehtaeh-parsons-girl-dies-suicide-rape-canada_n_3045033.html

Audrey Pott:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/reports-3-teens-admit-assaulting-norcal-girl-who-later-killed-herself/

this list is far from complete, but I find I can look at no more.

those families left behind have not been idle.

they’ve formed foundations, initiated awareness campaigns, and again, the list goes on and on.

as do the suicides.

additionally, we now have, literally at our fingertips, the following, just to name a few of the resources available, as a direct result of this problem:

  • no bullying websites – one example

NoBullying.com features many pages dedicated to parents, teens, teachers, health professionals as well as posts related to cyber safety and the latest news about law making concerning curbing bullying worldwide as well as inspirational bullying poems and famous bullying quotes

  • suicide prevention blogs – one example

http://www.activeminds.org/our-programming/awareness-campaigns/suicide-prevention-month/suicide-prevention-month-blog

  • national suicide hotlines – one example

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

  • cyber bullying studies and statistics one example

http://cyberbullying.ua.edu/index.php/casestudies/

wherein they recite:

The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center estimates that nearly 30 percent of American youth are either a bully or a target of bullying

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people with approximately 4,400 deaths every year

(and those stats are just here, but this is not an American problem.  this is a world problem.)

PLUS:

  • child protection software
  • web filtering software
  • social media safety programs
  • free teen safety e-books

so…what are we missing?

what are we doing wrong?

or maybe the better question is…

what are we NOT doing right?

I am no judge

I am no jury

I am no winner of any super parent of the year award

however…I am a survivor.

and living proof that

‘it’s a phase’

belongs at the top of “The Worst Things A Parent Can Assume” list

STOP!  DON’T ASSUME!  ASK!  LISTEN!  PAY ATTENTION!

no one knows your child better than you do. and no one does or will ever, care more.

and then there is “The Worst Things A Parent Can Say” list
(and I’m as guilty as the next guy for saying most of these things because I heard those things):

“that’s just how kids are”
“you’ll grow out of it”
“you’ll get over it, you’ll see”
“go find something to do”
“it’s not that important”
“ignore it, they’ll get bored”
“you don’t want to be like everyone else do you?”
“you’re too young to understand”
“sticks and stones…”

i am not being a Monday morning quarterback, at least, I hope you don’t see it that way.

i am not blaming all parents for all things as I certainly couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I took the blame for everything my children did growing up.

what I am trying to do, is shed some light on a few of THE most common, albeit loving, words of advice and/or wisdom we impart to our kids in an attempt to make them ‘feel better’ about themselves.

it doesn’t work.  I know, that’s harsh.

but it doesn’t work.

our children know we love them. they know we’ll say anything to make it better (in our own minds).

but we need to stop putting acne cream or liquid foundation on what WE PERCIEVE to be our kids’ source of their low self-image, and I say that because, if they saw themselves as WE do, this would not be the fucking horrific problem it is.

they don’t see themselves through OUR eyes.

they see themselves through the eyes of their peers.

just as the majority of all of us did.

no…this is not a new war.

it’s an old war on a different battleground.

an anonymous one.

one that affords bullies (who otherwise might not ever have dreamed of pulling the trigger) a haven of relative safety with which to thrust their swords of misguided judgment and fire those malice filled bullets.

all in an attempt to…what?

you know the answer.

to hide their own insecurities, to assuage their own feelings of inadequacy, to belie the perception that they are lacking, to feel big, and most importantly…to mask their own pain.  to make themselves feel better than…by making someone else feel worse than.

this is not a new concept.

and it’s certainly not only employed by teenage bullies.

knowing this…is it a stretch to think that the corporate bullies, the ball field bullies, the ‘my kid is better than your kid’ bullies, were bullied as youths?

nope.

OR

on the flip side…

if not bullied…were bullies as children, left to their own devices because ‘that’s just kids being kids”?

sadly, there is no easy solution.

it’s not easy, after all.

but…there are things we can do, as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends…

stop making assumptions
stop making excuses
stop enabling our kids by ‘trying to be friends’

be a parent now and a friend later.
if you feel the no…say the no.
if ‘but johnny has one’ or ‘suzie gets to’ arguments sway you…get to know johnny and suzie a little better so you can perhaps point out to your kids the things they have that johnny and suzie do not.
allow your children to suffer the consequence of their choices but always offer an alternative to better ones. don’t take away the responsibility of their actions because you feel sorry for them.
if they say they hate you now…they’ll love you later, especially when they have their own kids.

no amount of money you spend ‘keeping up with…’ will ever make them feel pretty or popular on the outside if they don’t feel it on the inside. give them reasons to feel it on the inside. teach them compassion and empathy by living it. teach them to see beyond by doing it.

temper the time spent praising their feats by counting their blessings, whatever they might be.

teach them that each of us are blessed in our own way, some on the outside, some on the inside, but it’s all worthy of love and respect.

help them celebrate our differences by being well-rounded, informed, engaged, and interested parents who take the time to get to know their school, their teachers, their friends, and their friends parents.

yes, this is a different age. parents today have very little free time.
but…that was our choice yes?
say what you will…but every generation’s evolution is a direct result of that generation’s choices.
we cannot use ‘I have no time’ as an excuse to not raise our own kids.
we cannot blame society or teachers for ‘not giving’ our children the values we should be giving them at home.

our children need us.
they will never admit to this, but they do.
not just the first 10 years or the next…
it is a lifetime job.
and the job of a lifetime.

let’s help give our kids that lifetime, that looooong lifetime.

please

i dedicate this post to the fire starter, you know who you are, and you know what you mean to me…and i thank you for knowing i had something to say, no matter how small

It’s Good Friday Unless You Are Getting Nailed To A Cross

Rhonda:

I could warn those that follow ME, that the following is not your typical G rated with bad language Rhonda post. This may be the end of my blog reputation as I know it…and that’s okay, because this is one of the best “in your effin face ‘reason for the season’ posts” I’ve ever read. I’m re-blogging, with pride, and be damned. thank you kat…you are one amazing dudette! you’ve been through your share, you’ve shared through it all, and I think you are a star. xo

Originally posted on snarkysnatch:

blog churchHappy Easter!  For on this day we celebrate Jesus’ reincarnation into a bunny rabbit who delivers plastic eggs from CVS to the bedroom doors of snot nosed brats.  For the adults, Easter is a lot like Christmas except you don’t get any presents for holding in all that inner family hostility and rage.


Raise your Kinder Egg if you love Easter! 

raise hand easterNo?  Not a fan? 

Oh don’t give me your blanket statement about a godless universe and how religious holidays are for the narrow minded who have been systematically brainwashed into emotional servitude of a Jesus construct.   It’s 2014. Mocking Christianity is about as hip as mocking Lindsey Lohan out of rehab.

Besides, what did Jesus ever do to you?

jesus porn easterPersonally I think Easter rocks.  Jesus saved me, and I get a shitload of candy for it.

peeps layingWhile on the topic of candy….  What is the deal with those damn…

View original 2,222 more words

Ain’t Misbehavin’

One day God was looking down at earth and saw all the rascally behavior that was going on…

So He called His angels and sent one to earth for a time.

When the angel returned, he told God, ‘Yes, it is bad on earth; 95% are misbehaving and only 5% are not.

God thought for a moment and said, ‘Maybe I had better send down a second angel to get another opinion.’

So God called another angel and sent her to earth for a time.

When the angel returned she went to God and said, ‘Yes, it’s true. The earth is in decline; 95% are misbehaving, but 5% are being good…’

God was not pleased.

So He decided to e-mail the 5% who were good, because He wanted to encourage them, and give them a little something to help them keep going.

Do you know what the e-mail said?

Okay, I was just wondering, because I didn’t get one either!

 

Thou shalt NOT misbehave when doing one’s taxes!

$$$ Happy Tax Day $$$

Possibilities

IMG_0104

she is the light, she is the warmth
when she wakes the world wakes with her

“yours is the light by which my spirit’s born…”

yet he must go for her to shine

he too is light, but he is cold
when he wakes, the world calms

“…yours is the darkness of my soul’s return”

yet she must go for him to thrive

but before this day can turn to night
she fills the white western sky with fire
as she battles the end of another day without him

from her western prison, she throws her sol-mate kisses on long-fingered shadows
and inflames him with the vision of her fiery tresses caught on the wind
teasing, assaulting, as they reach toward the Bastille in the east where he is captive

IMG_0024

while the eastern sky shows no sign of struggle
still blue, he climbs unnoticed, in silence
desperate for a glimpse of her before the god’s
realize they are both awake

IMG_0465

he tries desperately to grasp her love
now caught in the branches of the tress that separate them
he, struggling to cast off his gossamer shroud
so she may see the love he yearns to shine on her
so she may know his calming and cooling touch
as he longs to know her passion and feel her fire

IMG_0858

she is gone now
he’d always known he would never feel her touch, nor she his
for as long as she was awake, he could not be
and she’d always known his power, his radiance, his true essence
could only thrive where she could not
and it would always be so…

IMG_0863

or would it?

as it is had always been
this night too, it was his light that lived
yet he felt warm
he radiated warmth
he was not cold
he was not alone

IMG_5543

for he knew her touch
and she knew his
through the power of love
the wonders of time and space
she lived when he lived
and they knew…each other

a rare evening
a lover’s evening
a curse lifted for but a moment
but a moment worth a lifetime

“…you are my sun, my moon, and my stars”

may it always be

P O S S I B L E

 

We paved paradise…

A beautiful spring day ~ A short stop at the mall ~ An anomaly still ~ But for how long?

IMG_0843

Centruies past, humans unseen
When land was lush and air was clean
North to south skeins did fly
They owned the flight paths in the sky

Now wings of steel steal the blue
 Their trumpets whine and cough and spew
Toxic breath and acid tears
That drip from clouds and will for years

Fresh water’s history thanks to the rain
Our manmade link in nature’s chain
And too, no longer on the ground
 Will gaggles thrive on what they’ve found

IMG_0844

Not sapphire blues or emerald greens
But concrete grays and blackish sheens
Migrate they will, migrate they must
But afore long it’ll just be dust

This earth below their broad spread wings
 This patchwork now of manmade things
They’ll adapt, to live, they’ll twist the plot

for…
 WE PAVED PARADISE TO PUT IN A PARKING LOT

IMG_0845

Yes Joni…after all these years…we’re still doing it…

 

(good to see you all again and thanks for sticking around…xo R)

An Interim Quickie…

A man and his wife were awakened at 3:00 am by a loud pounding on the door.

 The man gets up, goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push.

“Not a chance,” says the husband, “it is 3:00 in the morning!”

 He slams the door and returns to bed.

 “Who was that?” asked his wife.

.”Some drunk asking for a push,” he answers.

“Did you help him?” she asks.

 “No, it’s 3 o’clock in the morning and it is bloody pouring rain out there!”

 “Well, you have a short memory,” says his wife.

“Can’t you remember about three months ago when we broke down, and those two guys helped us?

 I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!  “God loves drunk people too you know.”

 The man does as he is told, gets dressed, and goes out into the pounding rain.

He calls out into the dark, “Hello, are you still there?”

 “Yes,” comes back the answer.

 “Do you still need a push?” calls out the husband.

“Yes, please!” comes the reply from the dark.

“Where are you?” asks the husband.

 “Over here on the swing,” replied the drunk.

Be nice to your fellow BirdBrain…we can all use a push now and then.  Now get out there and play in the rain!