Tuesday, April 1, 2008
ALARMING and DISTURBING!!!
I heard about this on the news while driving home today. I seriously can not fathom this line of thinking. I mean really...we are talking about 3rd graders here! WHY would even one young child plot to do this heinous act let alone a group of them??? WHY?
When I was in 3rd grade...I played with dolls, played school teacher, hide and seek, read books, kickball and trucks. Went swimming, caught fireflies, frogs and turtles and. I loved my family and my friends. I even loved my teachers..although...honestly my 3rd grade teacher was mean and I am pretty sure she is the one who was the catalyst for my developing math anxiety. My previous teachers were so sweet and she was cold toward me and yelled at me and I often cried in her class. I got along with all my teachers after her too. I was afraid of her and didn't like her.
It never occurred to me EVER during my school years to kill her or anyone else. This is a new phenomena, particularly with children so young. I was just a little girl and did little girl things. I also wasn't faced with a daily barrage of violence like kids are today through the various mediums.
I came from a broken home and was abandoned by my father. That was practically unheard of then so there was a stigma associated with it. There were some negatives in my life but I also knew the joys of an innocent childhood. I think kids were kids longer back then.
In raising our sons...I guarded what tv they watched or music they listened too until they were about 14. Seriously...songs with bad lyrics weren't allowed in here. I got a little lax with the tV when younger son came around (8 yrs difference) and one day his older brother whisked him out of the family room while chastising me for letting him be in the room when a certain show was on.
And I didn't just set rules that they had to follow. We had discussions- both ways...so they understood why things were done a certain way or why they couldn't do something their friends could. And when they did something wrong...they were disciplined...NOT punished. BIG difference. You want to teach and train your children as in disciple them. Punish is demeaning and creates resentment, blocking communication and trust.
Also...if I made a mistake and lost my temper unfairly...I would call them aside as soon as I realized it, tell them I was sorry, that adults make mistakes too and then...I would ask them to forgive me. They always did and we hugged and that showed them that I was always trying to be fair and honest with them and that we all make mistakes. They also learned the power of forgiveness.
I also encouraged them to speak their opinion if they disagreed. I think it is important to provide a safe environment for a child to share their feelings no matter what they are because you need to know what is going on with them. They need to know you love them unconditionally.
They also knew if they lied...they would be in MORE TROUBLE if caught than if they told the truth.
*Most importantly (in my opinion) I taught them about God from the Judeo-Christian teachings. That all the more reinforced the concepts of love, forgiveness and respect for others and the importance of doing what's right.
When you respectfully discipline your children with love...you have opened communication and are in the process of creating a foundational bond of love and trust. You will need that for when they are teenagers and affected by so many outside influences. And when my older son was a teenager he told me he had watched Freddy Kruger movies at his friends. So you can't protect them from everything but I think it is what you do most of the time that plants seeds within them to do what's right when they are faced with peer pressure. I also taught them to think independently and why it was way more cool to do what you want to do then follow the crowd. I would always tell them to be a leader for good.
And children might try to test you and rebel...but they really want that safety net of protection that comes with rules. I know this to be true. I lived it. Anyone who read my APB posts knows what I am talking about.
I could go on and maybe I will post about it at another time. As parents all we can do is our best and we will still make mistakes. I just mentioned my regrets in my previous post and comments.
I know it is easy to immediately blame the parents and I admit my first thought was what kind of home life do they have. But this is an alarming trend, with this one because of their ages being the most disturbing of all.
Does the fact that they have some learning disabilities factor in to the group mentality? But still...why would even one child think this way?
Societal factors...more impersonal world because of technology? Decline in moral/social values and breakdown of communication with love in the home? Instant world wide information on the latest, most news breaking crime publicized through the news media- over and over again. Violent electronic games? Are they on medication or need medication? What?
Why are the youth using violence to settle a score?
It used to be that you thought your children were safe in schools. Now even in our country community...schools are locked and many of them have security. That was unheard of when older son was in school...not that long ago.
It frightens and upsets me and I feel sad about it too.
What can we do to be proactive in preventing these things from happening? We can't save the world...but we can affect it for good in our little corner...during our daily activities.
I feel sorry for everyone involved. These things just should not happen...they're wrong. But they are a reflection of something and we need to find out why there is a trend toward this type of violence.