As a parent, I don’t appear to be able to go an hour (or less!) without worrying about or questioning a decision or choice I’ve made for my children. Did they eat enough? Should I be feeding them only organic? Maybe three biscuits was a bit much… Am I interacting with them enough? Should they have less screen time? Do I need to let go of those reins a little and give them space? What if, what if, what if?
In the wake of the recent tragic incidents to have occurred in this country, I have seen the following sentence uttered on more than one occasion – ‘what kind of world am I bringing my children up in?’ I’ve read friends admit that they feel irresponsible for having them, with one even claiming she wishes she hadn’t as she is scared and afraid for their future.
But why are we seeing things in this way? Why are we accepting that this is it; this is now life? Why are we not realising that we can make a difference to our children’s future.
We are ultimately the strongest influencers in their lives. How we raise them, the kindness and compassion we show them, are all crucial in ensuring they grow up into adults who too show that love, compassion and kindness to others and influence the next generations.
I truly hope my children never, ever have to witness or be caught up in anything as horrific as what has happened in recent times. I wish we were just all able to enjoy every precious moment of the short time we have on this beautiful earth.
I’m not naive to think it is possible to have ‘world peace’ but I’m also not prepared to accept that it is right for us all to live in a world that is filled with fear, animosity and hate.
Today, my Facebook newsfeed was filled, for the most part, with posts responding to last night’s incident – adding a frame to show support, offering words of solidarity, sharing iconic images that were so quintessential and reflective of the British spirit. These posts or ways of responding to times likes this cannot undo the devastation caused and they may not be everyone’s cup of tea or but I for one would much rather have a newsfeed filled with them than to be sharing or being associated with some of the horribly ignorant and hate-filled posts, which are also unfortunately being shared. Those posts that are made to strike up fear, to provoke reactions of anger, resentment and mistrust – to create a divide.
We cannot let our children be influenced in this way. We need them to see that despite all of this, the good still far outweighs the bad.
Unfortunately, we cannot wrap them in bubble wrap. We need them to be more mindful, more alert and vigilant. But we also need to ensure that we talk to them about all of those people who have been there to protect and care for individuals; to encourage and nurture our children to always want to be one of them.
The Police and Security Services who work tirelessly to keep us protected and safe. To our incredible ambulance crews and the NHS hospital teams who have worked double shifts to take care of the injured and hurt and the health professionals, families and friends who will go on caring for all those affected, providing physical, mental and emotional support to them. We need to tell our children about all of the people who came together – who took people home in their taxis for free to ensure they got home safely, to those who delivered hot meals, provided hot drinks to those on duty, who opened their homes to those who couldn’t get back to theirs.
To all of those who are standing shoulder to shoulder tonight, united in Manchester and showing solidarity.
Our children need to know that we are surrounded by so many more kind people, who will be there for us, take care of us and we will not be divided. One love 💜 #onelove