Growing up I was a very happy child until around High School. Then the world did something strange to me. See I was raised by a, how can I say this? Ok, she didn’t take no crap Mom (I really thought about using the s word because it would make this post sound HARD but I didn’t want to get in trouble).
She was adamant about me making something of myself, to be successful and go to college yada, yada, yada. She was so serious about this she wouldn’t even allow me to take Home Economics or Parenting classes because she said “that’s not what my life would look like”, I was going to be a scholar. I tried. Really I did. Once I finally broke free from this “Shield” mom had around me, I starting paying close attention to the world around me. It wasn’t that pretty at times. Actually it was quite scary & sad.
When I became a parent, back in um you know, well what year is it again? *Sigh* Nevermind. When I became a parent, I remember making sure as I was parenting not to place all of my beliefs on my children. I wanted to make sure they were able to grow up and make decisions for themselves and in essence create their own Brand & Beliefs. And you know what, they did just that. Introducing J-Swagg & L Boogie. Yes they gave themselves rap names. I’m still waiting on the contract & the check. Moving along…
A few years ago, I suddenly began noticing a change in my Peanuts as well. Who they hung out with, what they did in their spare time & what they wore. Kids always gravitate to what they know and what makes them feel safe. From time to time you will see them venture out but they end up finding their way back to a safe & secure place.
Today, Peanut 2 looks at me and says “Mom, you know there is a lot going on in this world and truly, I don’t know what to feel”. STOP, start over from where I said “Today”. Yes read that again. Peanut 2 is struggling with how she feels about this world and what she is witnessing with her own eyes. Now, as a mom, I struggled with what to say. Do I SHIELD her and tell her everything is going to be alright or do I take the time and have that conversation AGAIN, but this time she will probably do what I did, say 25 years ago, become angry.
So I ask my Mommywurk followers, how do you decide when to shield your children from the reality that we are living today? Do you choose to shield them only from Explicit Lyrics? Do you choose to shield them from Feminism? Do you choose to shield them from violence? Or do you just choose to turn a blind eye and let them figure it out on their own?
I think it’s time we take the Shields off and talk to our kids. Teach them how to love, be compassionate, how to forgive and be understanding. Simply for Humanity or just because you give a damn.
Stop, Drop & remove the Shield