There are no pretty words this morning. No descriptive views or stories to begin my post. Only an anger and sadness that permeates my prayers this morning.
I was on Pinterest the other day, looking for recipes and clothes I will never buy and doing normal Pinterest pinning things when I decided to click on the category, “Kids.” I was expecting to see children’s clothes and activity ideas and maybe a funny story or two of fellow bloggers and life with children.
I found all this and more. And then, the “more.”
“Jokes” about needing wine to get through a day with children, letting children run wild until they kill each other (something referring to Lord of the Flies), questioning a child’s intelligence, waiting for the children to go to bed or grow up so life can begin, wondering how one is not a drug addict because of his or her children, etc. etc.
It makes my stomach turn.
No Facebook status, pinned pin on Pinterest, tweet, or text that calls into question a child’s worth and value is funny. Ever.
Many people probably think that their children will not see these posts or pins or will laugh about them when they are older and have children of their own. But what if you speak this in front of your child now, what would they think? About themselves? About you? What would they feel?
An extreme but altogether plausible example: if a child is told his or mother has to drink to make it through the day, that child can begin to believe he is not okay as he is, that others have to change to feel he is tolerable and so he may need to change who he is so that others can stand him. Or he may feel that he should just disappear so as not to be a bother and make others want to get drunk.
What you say about a child, written or aloud, whether you think they are listening or not, impacts how they feel about themselves and what they tell themselves.
Devaluing a child is not humorous. If you truly feel that you have to drink or do drugs or are exhausted or insert-complaint-here, then the problem does not lie in the child.
We have all been to the brink of exhaustion. We all have days when the children do not listen, when they do things you do not understand and all you want to do is take a nap. It is easy in those moments to make a comment or lose your temper and rant.
There are almost always more good days than bad and challenges will arise. If you feel overwhelmed or distant, talk to someone, seek help to take a break, do something different.
Speak life into your children. Build them up. They are our future and they are worth something. They are worth more than a “funny” e-card or words spoken in passing.
So much more.