What does “Teach Hope” mean? How do we teach our children today that they are our nation’s future leaders when we are losing our loved ones to suicide?
We do this by showing our children that they are valued, respected, and protected when they need it the most. Our children of this great nation are no longer afforded the innocence or wonderment of childhood. They don’t have to look to an adult or a higher power for information – they just “Google” it! The difficulties they face in social acceptance is not the difficulties we faced as children. We must be their advocate in their world, not ours.
I don’t view millenials as spoiled and self-seeking…I view them as the first generation which is saying “show me somehow that there is kindness, beauty, and reward in this cruel world”. “Show me that we are valued.” And I view all future generations making the same request.
As a military family, my job was to keep my children hopeful and equipped to deal with the stress of new schools and places we called home. I had to teach by example to be effective. These are the things I focused on that may help you:
Manners: I always say “Please” and “Thank you” when making requests from our children – and I expect the same respect in return.
Honesty: No matter what the mistake is, if you are honest it will go much, much better for you. 🙂
Loyalty: Stand up for your family regardless of how you might feel about your relationship. Protect one another no matter what.
Strength: Stand up for those that are being mistreated or bullied – be a leader by example, not a follower.
Reason: Think before you act… when you make a decision, stand by your decision. (But be willing to hear another’s view.)
Anger & Hatred: We don’t allow anger to be directed at others – go calm down and use your words when you have yourself under control. Take a time out – even as adults.
Forgiveness: There are always consequences for mistakes or not-so-great decisions. Consequences fit the crime and should not crush the spirit. My children are not treated like they can’t walk amongst us for not doing the dishes. LOL They did have twice the work though. 🙂
Communication: We talk about our day’s events every day – not just when they seem upset. You cannot expect a child to talk to you when they are upset if you don’t have communication already established. This is true of every relationship!
Kindness: Be the light for others and by doing that, become accountable to someone other than yourself. Be your brother’s/sister’s keeper.
56% of 1488 Iraq Veterans reported experiencing domestic violence as a child or adult. 1 of 4 of these Veterans will either commit suicide or think about committing suicide…
I believe we can change the suicide rates for our children’s nation by being advocates for one another. Be an advocate for your child and make tough decisions to protect them. Remember that they face much greater challenges than walking through 5 feet of snow to get to school. LOL They deal with social acceptance 24/7 – show them light at home.
Teach them Hope: Look forward! Things change for the better – weather the storm…keep going! No matter what, treat others with respect and value – share a smile with someone… It will brighten your day and may be the light they need to keep fighting.
We can no longer treat suicide as a stigma if we are to win the war on suicide. Talking with our children about who we have lost to suicide will begin to bring this stigma out of the darkness and into the light.
Hope is treating other and ourselves with love and kindness.
— Lynne “Spirit” Hanson, Let’s Promote Hope™
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