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A Time to Start

December 18, 2012

This is not a political blog but from time to time some of the info I share with you about the food system in place here in the United States edges into the political landscape.

Today, I am not going to talk about food though. I want to talk about Family and Choices.

I think everyone I know is very upset about the events of last Friday in Connecticut. As horrible as the other recent mass shootings have been, this one clearly demonstrated how innocents are hurt and lost because of choices we make.

The coming weeks will call for calm heads to talk rationally about the opinions felt and held so we can try to reach a place where individual freedom is not lost while enhancing the common good.

All each one of us can do is start at home. Start with your own close group of loved ones.  If you have not had a good discussion about this issues, do so, as age appropriate as needed. And after this issue, talk about other things.

I was raised not to speak about things that made me angry or sad and I knew that was wrong. I actually took parenting classes when they were offered so I would know how to enable my children to have a voice. How to teach them to share their thoughts as well as to listen calmly to mine. How to share and discuss to reach a family decision. I had two rules- 1. speak in a  tone of voice and using words that will let me listen and 2. Everyone gets a turn to talk.

To do this some of you will have to make some changes.  First of all, turn off the television, the I-Phone apps, the video games, the computer. Sit together to eat a meal and aim to do that daily. Make time to be a family; actually put one day a month aside ONLY to play together. Let each person have a chance to lead and to talk. Make it normal to have  discussions,  and get away from parental lectures.

Inform your kids that this is the new system and with only those rules, they can talk about ANYTHING.

But, remember, you are the parents. This is not a democracy. You are the ones who are teaching them and if you want them to be “better” than they are today, you need to model that for them. And if there is something about them that you do not admire, YOU are the one who needs to help them change. Whether it is bad habits like smoking or school work like math. It is YOUR job to raise your children to be healthy functioning adults who can contribute to society, not be takers.

It is time we get back to basic ethics…..become a more moral nation. Too much cheating and lying and stealing going on. Too many corners being cut and a lack of pride of ownership. Too many people who push others down to get ahead. Too many people who never plan for their future and too many people who feel things are unfair but do not take responsibility to take the steps they need to to manage their pathway as well as help their kids on a pathway that will be better than their own.

We need a better nation. Start with your home and work with the people you say you love. Start walking the walk. Help them to be the BEST they can be.

And then, go out and love your neighbors. (Sound familiar?)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. carl permalink
    December 18, 2012 8:10 pm

    Well said!

    • December 18, 2012 8:26 pm

      Thanks Carl. I remember my 1st grade teacher helping us learn the concept of “self control”. I think that is also something that has been lost. We see a lot of adults having the equivalent of tantrums if they can;t get their way. We have to relearn that each one of us is in charge of making the steps needed to achieve a goal. We have to relearn to have pride in actually achieving a goal, not just breathing. We have to stop being afraid of work.

  2. December 18, 2012 9:39 pm

    Well said, indeed… but I think we need to bring back what was once a reasonably good mental health system which was slowly dismantled in the 70s and 80s…. and seems to have been pretty much gutted in this age. There are some folks who are a bit beyond what normal parenting can reach.

    • December 18, 2012 9:49 pm

      Gunta, you are right about that. As medical costs rose, cutbacks have happened and this segment generally has a small voice, if any. It is important, however, that people do not defer the responsibility once again. There is SO much wrong with the ethics in this country and THAT begins at home.Walking the walk is the way to teach. Kids have bullshit meters that can clearly detect when someone is telling them they need to behave a certain way and that person does not demonstrate the behavior themselves.

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