I’m not sharing the actual article because I haven’t been able to determine if it’s legit or not but, I think there’s a very strong message in it for parents whether it’s true or not. There are a few articles circulating about a game being played on the internet by teens. They find out about this game on social media through hashtags and join. The goal of the game is to commit an act a day for 50 days and send a photo to the host as proof. The final act is to commit suicide.
Apparently, by that point, a lot of effort and emotion has been put into the game and the teens have been lead to believe that if they don’t do it someone else will because the host has all of their information.
I can’t stress the importance of the relationship we have with our kids. Kids crave love and affection. The best ways to show that love is by spending time with your kids. The most important thing being quality time. As a mom that works from home, I’m with my toddler all day and spend the day with my oldest once she’s home from school. But there’s a difference between your presence and your attention. Even though I’m home with them, I don’t spend all of my time with them. I tend to the house, prepare meals, talk to my own mom on the phone for an hour a day, work on building my business, and blog.
What I know as a person whose primary love language is quality time is that it doesn’t matter if it’s half an hour or three hours. My kids would rather spend half an hour a day of quality time with me, than have me in the same room with my attention diverted to other things all day. It’s so important to put the phone down, let the email wait, and prioritize so you can do things that can wait until they’re at school, at practice, or in bed.
Not only are our kids being raised in an era dominated by virtual reality, they’re being raised at a time that seeking approval from others puts more pressure on them than ever. They measure their popularity by followers, value themselves based on their likes, and compare themselves based on the version of reality shown on profiles. Kids have a lot of things to deal with that we as parents didn’t experience in the same way. Even as a parent in my early 30’s having instant messenger, my own email, and growing up with a computer connected to dial-up internet at home, things have changed drastically since then. Now computers fit in the palm of our hand, the popular kid isn’t at school but on the internet with millions of followers, and trends flood from one side of the country to around the world.
The best way I know to support and love our kids is by being there for them. Make time for your kids every day. Talk to them at dinner, find out about their day, have their friends over for pizza, go on a weekend road trip, have a family game night, take a class at the local community center together, challenge them to a game of basketball, hang out in their room and listen to music, connect with them on whatever level their on. Surprise them and take them to the mall just to hang out, go on a mini road trip to see a place nearby you’ve never been and talk and listen to music on the way. Start now if you haven’t already.
I know there are those that say that we shouldn’t be our kids’ friend’s but in my house, we’re all best friends. There’s no one we’d rather be with than each other. That doesn’t mean that I don’t fulfill my role as their mom what it means is they feel comfortable coming to me, talking to me, and confiding in me. I think every child no matter their age deserves to feel like they are the most important person in the world because they are. Not in an entitled way, but in a way that they know they are wanted, loved, and valuable.
Like I said, I don’t know if this online game is real, but it doesn’t seem that far-fetched to me. There are lots of terrible things going on in the world, kids that are preyed upon. Just because you live in a good home, on the nice side of town, and have a good job, doesn’t mean your child is exempt. The one thing I see in common is the kids that are often preyed upon are the ones that feel left out. Whether they’re unpopular, shy, or just don’t get enough attention. It’s much more important that your kids live in a good home that’s filled with love, conversation, laughter, and attention than they live in a good house that’s in the right neighborhood, the right zip code, on the largest lot, filled with the most things. Those things don’t matter if your house isn’t a home.
One thing I’m painfully aware of is that not all kids go home to the same kind of home. Some homes are filled with love and laughter and others with pain and disaster. I’d like to encourage you to consider extending that same love and laughter to kids that don’t know what that feels like. If you feel lead to, please find a local organization for kids. If you can find one with kids around the same age as your own, and sign up as a volunteer it will make it easier for you because you know how to identify with kids that age since you have experience. You might be the only one in that child’s life that provides the attention and connection they’re longing for.
What are your thoughts on this post? Is this the reminder that you needed? Has this inspired you to seek out a local organization to volunteer your time at? I’d love to hear, feel free to share in the comments!