Tuesday, October 28, 2014

31 Days with Mama A: Let's keep it together folks (Day 28).

I've got bad news. 

Children's crafts involving food = contamination.
Ebola could have been on that door handle you touched earlier today and you forgot to use hand sanitizer immediately afterwards.

I bet you also came down with the swine flu a few years ago, too.  You know, while you were too busy to fix your face mask because you were searching for anthrax in your mail.

There's also a good chance that all of the political ads are telling the truth and everyone is right and everyone's wrong all at the same time.

Seriously folks?  

Everyone just needs to calm. it. down. 

Everyone is so busy FREAKING OUT about everything these days.  We inform everyone of every last thing on social media.  Breakup with someone you've only dated a few times?  You might as well roll over and die from the agony.  Late to an important event, but yet you still have time to update your status to tell us about it.  Elderly person cut you off in the grocery line?  Post pics of the event and let us know how peeved you are about the situation.  Barista messes up your coffee?  Devastation.  

Complete and total devastation.   


News channels break in to tell us about all the horrific things happening all over the world.  The scrolling ticker at the bottom of our screens keeps us up to date all the time.  We spend a lot of our time being inundated with bad, bad, bad news.  And we post and share this bad news all day long.  

And as a result we are teaching our children that everything is catastrophic.  These babies are the instant generation.  These kids are the ones that don't know how to wait for anything.  And when things don't come together as quickly as planned, they explode into confusion and panic.  I have children in my classes who completely meltdown when they don't know the answer to a question or if, heaven forbid, they answer incorrectly they go from zero to ballistic.  These kids are still in elementary school and they are scared to death to make a mistake.  This goes beyond the typical overachiever anxiety--this is almost on the verge of insanity.    

Let me go ahead and raise my guilty flag--I tend to walk the fine line of anxiety.  I like things to be orderly and under control and I get uncomfortable when it's not the way I thought it was supposed to be.  I have been known to snap at my girls whenever we are running late in the mornings.  I tend to get a little overwhelmed when I can't fix whatever is in front of me.  

I think we all need to work on tempering our reactions.  We lose our minds when there isn't wifi available as advertised, and then we have the same reaction when we hear about a kidnapping.  No wonder our children are confused about how to respond appropriately in situations.  We demonstrate to them on a daily basis that everything deserves a similar maxed-out response, and that couldn't be further from the truth.

But, is this really what I want to teach my girls?  Do I want them to worry about things like being late once in a blue moon or being out of their favorite snack, or do I want them to be upset over things that really matter like their classmates who go home hungry each night?  It's a silly question, and it's an obvious answer.  I want them to get upset over things that deserve our emotional responses.  I want things like injustice and abuse to hurt their hearts deeply--deeply enough that they stand firm in their resolve to put a stop to it.  I want them to get upset over things like bullies and inequality in their classrooms and I certainly do not want them wasting anger or tears on things that won't matter days or weeks from now.  

And it starts with us, grownups.  

Love and smooches, 
Mama A. 
xoxxo

. . . to be continued . . .

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