Last week I woke up to the news of a school shooting. Today, I’m waking up to the news of a terrorist attack in Brussels.
Every day I wake up to a newsfeed full of parenting battles. Breast or bottle, co-sleeping or not, helicopter to free-roam parenting, working mom or stay at home mom.
This is what the parents of our generation do. Well, not all of them, but almost all of us.
When I hear the terrible news of school shootings and terrorist attacks I realize one thing is certain.
We, as parents, are fighting about the wrong things.
We should be fighting to protect our children. We should be fighting to teach them to love everyone, no matter the color of their skin, if they are special needs or disabilities. If they are gay, transgender, bisexual, lesbian. It’s not our job to judge, it’s our job to love.
We should be fighting to inform our children of different religions. Even if we have a religion we are certain is 100% true. We should still fight to let our children know there are other religions and that it’s okay to have friends who may not share your religion. To include all. Not to try and persuade them to join our religion, but because we’re all deserving of love.
We should fight to tell them that not all their friends have happy homes. Maybe their friends don’t even have a home. That mental illnesses exist and that maybe even mom and dad need help, too.
We should fight to keep them informed. This is the world our children will be inheriting. We can’t keep them ignorant forever. They need to know about politics, economics and social welfare.
We should fight for their humanity. How can they help others. They need to know there are starving children. We often throw this at them when they don’t want to eat their dinner, but they need to know how to help as well?
We need to fight for their safety. What will they do if they are under attack? How will they protect themselves? They can’t live sheltered forever.
We need to fight for their survival. Where can they turn after an attack? They need to know there are survivors who will help bring them to their feet. Who understand what they’ve been through and can guide them if the worst does happen. It’s okay to ask for help.
Ignorance is not bliss. Our children need to know the truth.
Let’s battle to keep our children safe and end stigmas.
I truly hope my children will never be judged on their looks or religion, but the truth is, they will. They need to know this.
Then, maybe they can help be the end to hate.