Wednesday, October 9, 2013

it's a scary world out there

The Scream
No, I don't mean Scream, scary movies, or Halloween, because it is October after all.  I'm talking about raising youth today.  Being a child in this age of internet has made it even more difficult for our children to be who they are without being judged, picked on, finding ways to compare themselves, or even find positive role models (not Miley or the Biebs).  Let's just say that I am soooooo very thankful I'm raising boys, but that doesn't mean it's any easier. 

I read an article last Sunday that scared the wits out of me. It should scare anyone out there raising children today, because if you're not aware or think it cannot happen to your child...  think again.

But in combating cyberbullying, which experts say has become the most prevalent form of bullying, law enforcement and school officials face an ever-changing challenge: The cruel messages and pictures Ivy received arrived on websites like, Snapchat, Instagram and Kik — relatively new sites that have been linked nationally to teen suicides but remain foreign to many adults.

We had a discussion about this topic while standing in line to eat dinner at church last night; it got quite interesting as it went along.  It began as almost any other in our house...  "did you see the story about..." and "are you using this app?  do you have a user-name or account?  what is it?"  You see, while my boys may think it's nagging or intrusive that I'm always inquiring for their passwords and watching their online activity, I call it thoughtful, thorough and aware parenting.  I will be there to monitor their use, step in when I see a need, or otherwise caution them where I see a friend who may be abusing cyberspace.  

Oliver then told me he was asked to wear orange to school today.  There's extra credit involved, of course, but he would have done it anyway.  The kids in middle school were also given bracelets for the anti-bullying message the school district is pushing through the ranks.  You see, in addition to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it's now also National Bullying Prevention Month.  There doesn't seem to be enough months in a year to keep up with all of the causes, does there?  I know there are many who may think that this is just one more cause being shoved in our face, but for me, it's one more opportunity to make a difference.  Especially in the lives of ma boys!

My employer is also on board with the message this month.  Raise a Giant. Sponsored by the Jolly Green, of course.  Who better to stand up to bullying, right?  We were handed this sticker to wear as we walked into work today.

I penned {okay, typed on the computer} a letter to my boys earlier last month before this campaign was launched.  Here's my words to My Son, all three of them.  I created a letter from the heart, my heart, and hope that someday these words will echo in their ears and ring true to the young men they will have become.  My boys are all on the cusp of a birthday this winter...  they will be 13, 15 and 21.  Each stage of these ages are ripe with facing challenges, making choices, and forming their minds and hearts. As I see it, the best birthday gift I can give them is my wisdom, love and support.


Will you write a letter to your child?  A niece/nephew?  Grandchild?  You can do it here.  Add your voice to the crowd of loved ones who wish only the best for future generations.

1 comment:

  1. Thank for stopping by and reading my letter to my sons. I loved your letter - it seems like your a very inspiring mom. PS - tell Henry, I'm 36 and still waiting to overcome procrastination.