I'm a mess...I feel let down and very scared for my children's safety. I think a lot of people are trying to process what happened today. 20 children died and 7 adults...one would have been too many. I don't know if we'll ever know what motivated this crazy person to inflict so much pain on so many families. I do know that our world is really messed up right now. Though I really didn't want to know anything about this crazy gunman, one thing stands out, his Mom bought him the guns. His Mom gave in to his insanity. We as parents, need to be parents. My parents were parents, though not perfect, we knew who ruled the roost. Today, parents are friends with their kids and do not want to do anything to disrupt or upset them. They give their kids everything and hope that they turn out okay. Well, guess what? Kids need discipline. They crave direction and are not able to handle grown up situations. I see it so many times, a family goes through divorce or other big life issues and the popularity contest kicks in. Parents buy their kids everything, let them do anything in hopes that they like them in return. These kids end up miserable. I'm not a trained professional and I'm only sharing what I've experienced. I think a lot of parents are afraid of their kids. Why are they so afraid of saying "no" to them and instead, buy them anything they ask for? There's also this element of God not being present in the home. Kids have no sense of guilt or responsibility for their actions. Am I the only one who noticed that we are becoming a much more secular country? These kids grow up to believe that are entitled to everything and anything. I grew up with the belief that if you hurt someone or did something wrong you needed to pray for penance, forgiveness. There is no remorse anymore. As we try to process what happened today, I hope we all look at our children differently. This could have been our child who was slain or our child who was the killer. What could we do to change what had happened? Talk...Talk...Talk to your kids about everything. Make them talk to you. We've all been there. I was one of 12 so it was hard getting 2 minutes with either of my parents but I would talk to my sisters or brothers to understand what had happened. As I waited for my kids to get off the bus today, it felt so much different than yesterday. My first grader came home with a big bag of art projects that he couldn't wait to share with me. STOP what you're doing and listen to them! When you don't, they feel it. I'm guilty of that many days when I'm too caught up in the work stuff but their feelings are much bigger than ours. All of what they are experiencing are shaping them for later on. Yikes! When you think of it that way, it really makes you stop and think.
From now on, I'm always going to stop and listen to my kids better. I'm going to be keenly aware of their feelings, good or bad. I'm going to cheer for their accomplishments but set them straight when I have to. I wish, so badly, I could keep them tucked under my wing and protect them from all these evils. I have to do everything I know to prepare them for this crazy world, through example and God. They get the same lecture every Sunday as to WHY they need to go to church or church school. That's a subject I can write for days about but will close by saying, stay close to your kids. Tell them as much as possible that you love them and that they are loved no matter what. Hold them in your arms and remind them how special they are. No one could do what this crazy gunman did today if they truly knew they were loved.