Parents, Please Pay Attention to Your Children and Don’t Be Afraid to Take Action

BY: - 21 Dec '12 | Parenting

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I am sickened, saddened and grieving for and with the families who lost their loved ones in Newtown, CT. However after the sadness, for me, has come anger and confusion. I cannot imagine getting my 6 year old ready for school that morning, preparing breakfast and dropping her off and heading to work only to get a call like the one the parents in Newtown received. My heart just breaks at the thought. We just go through our normal daily routine never thinking something like this could happen. I wish I could personally be there for each parent and loved one just to hold a hand, wipe a tear or shower with love. What I continue to come back to is how this could have been prevented and what needs to happen so that no other family ever experiences this level of pain again, ever.

Yes, there should be stricter gun laws, although I am not quite clear of the difference it would have made in this unspeakable crime. But my thoughts track back to the killer’s parents. I pray that Nancy Lanza rests in peace. I just wonder what warnings were ignored. I am having trouble believing that there were no signs. I am sure that nothing of this magnitude could have been expected, but I feel as though there were clues that were missed.

The moment we discover that we are going to be parents, a few of the things we pray for is a healthy pregnancy and that our child is born with all his/her fingers and toes and that they are healthy. We naturally want the best for our children and their futures. We want them to do well in school and be successful, have friends, not be teased and so much more. We want these things so bad that sometimes we ignore symptoms that reveal they aren’t quite like everyone else. Because of that, there are parents who don’t do everything absolutely possible to ensure their children are properly diagnosed and receive the help or treatments they need. As parents, we can no longer ignore the facts.

Unfortunately, violent tragedies are happening every where, every day. There are parents who know their children are in trouble and are doing nothing. In addition to those children who are struggling with social disorders and mental illnesses, there are those children whose parents know are perpetrating violent crimes, participating in gangs and carrying guns and no actions are being taken. In some cases, parents have completely stopped parenting, which puts other innocent lives in jeopardy. Parents, our job has to extend past the normal care we provide. We have to be fully active and present. Being aware of changes in our children and maintaining transparent communication with them is critical. And when behaviors and attitudes seem to change, we can’t be afraid to take immediate action. Our children and their actions are our responsibility.

I will continue to pray for the families who have lost their loved ones at the hands of such a disturbed individual. But I will also pray that more parents show up and make sure the emotional, physical and mental needs of their children are taken care of.

BMWK – what do you think needs to be done to prevent tragedies such as this in the future?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 574 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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One thought on “Parents, Please Pay Attention to Your Children and Don’t Be Afraid to Take Action

  1. brebre

    This is all so very sad. I agree very much so that parents need to find warning signs in their children. Parents don’t often give the needed attention. Many children act out with rage or just plain bad to try and get this needed attention. It may not be good attention that the person gives them, but it is still attention.

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Do We Give Our Kids Too Much?

BY: - 21 Dec '12 | Parenting

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Recent conversations between myself and my kids:

My 12 yr-old son: “Mom, can I upgrade to an iPhone?”

Me: “Umm…Son, why do you even need an iPhone?”

My son: “Well, all my friends have one.”

Me: [mean mama stare down]

My son: “Never mind…”

or this for instance,

My 5 yr-old daughter: “Mommy, can I have a faster Barbie Jeep?”

Me: “Why? What’s wrong with the one you have now?”

Daughter: “Sophia’s and Nathan’s cars go faster than mine and I wanna go fast in my car, too.”

Me: “Baby, your Jeep rides at that speed so that people can see the pretty princess that’s driving it. If you speed pass them, they won’t get a glimpse of your beauty.”

Daughter: “I still wanna go fast!’ (pouts, huffs and walks away)

Now, my children are blessed with their own rooms, an abundance of toys, electronics, and the leisure of knowing that they will have good, healthy food to eat and a fairly decent roof over their head. YET…they feel like what they have is not enough. I set out to raise my [first-born] son to be humble and learn the art of earning. Somehow, when you are in a blended family like ours, things get kind of in the grey area and I guess having two sets of parents has its benefits.

I don’t mind spoiling my kids, as long as we spoil them with time, attention, love, and affection — as we should. I love spending time with my kids and one day I will miss the prolonged nightly “tuck-in talks” and the stalling before going to bed in order to stay up and spend more time with Mommy/Daddy. I know these days are numbered. This is what I think they should have an overabundance of, not “stuff and fluff”. So why give it to them? Well, don’t we all work hard so they can have nice things, go to good schools, so that they can be successful and go to better schools to get good degrees and have great careers to have a wonderful life with good “stuff”?!?!

But, what do you do when what you’ve sacrificed to get for your children slaps you in the face as ‘not enough’? I preach to them that they are blessed and not everyone has what they have. I’ve even thought countless times just not to provide “things” for them, because they can’t miss or measure what they never had. That doesn’t work unless you’re Amish or rural homeschooling. Becuase as soon as they walk outside or go to school or turn on the TV, its a wrap! So…what do you do? Where is the happy medium of balancing and giving your kids nice things while teaching the virtue of gratitude?

While I have no answers, I am full of questions. How does the madness stop? How much is too much? Until I figure it out, or at least what works for me and my brood, I will just continue to keep my “Mother of the Year Award” (insert sarcasm) and keep on keeping on with my semi-old fashioned values and teachings of hard work pays off, save your allowance and earn it!

So, if you see my son with an iPhone — its mine (or my husband’s)! If you happen to see The Princess speeding pass you in a Barbie JEEP, its the neighbors!

BMWK – are we giving our kids to much? What are you doing to raise appreciative kids?

About the author

Sheree Adams wrote 117 articles on this blog.

Sheree is a wife and WAHM of three who passionately blogs about marriage, family, health tips and more as Smart & Sassy Mom. Sheree is committed to helping blended families and keeping marriages strong, healthy, fun and SPICY!

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