There comes a point in our lives as parents that we can no longer shield our children from the ongoings of major world events that they see are happening in the news. My son has matured to ask questions about world events that he experiences that effects him in interferences, connect with in empathy, and finds identity with in cause in regards to him personally. The most recent events impacting the nation were ice breakers to share in a heart to heart with my son in comforting us both collectively.
My teenage son reaches out the most in wanting to ask questions amongst his younger siblings. He shares his personal opinion on what he sees usually from what’s on social media. My son was particularly distrub by the Captiol siege while still managing to adjust having a “normal” teen life living through a pandemic. My son said, ” Ma, Do you see the craziness going on in D.C. ?” He sounded just as alert as he was this summer in witnesses the various Black Lives Matter protests. He wanted to know how protests could turn in the riots, he wanted to know why it seemed that the protesters from BLM were treated differently than those who were at the Captiol siege with armed guards, and he felt in his opinion how could so many people get away in conducting themselves so heinously while he has to walk around watching his normal mannerisms and clothing due to the color of his skin. Wow! This wasn’t a moment for a mom to deflect with a corny joke to soften the mood in seeing that the veil was lifted from the kiddie blinders of childhood. I decided to use this moment as a teachable moment in hearing his concerns without pushing any biasness of any political party, address the social issue of the need for civil rights for all, explain what justice should look like by definition within the law, and to the best of my knowledge share what many of the various groups were standing their ground in fighting for.
We talked about non-violent protests verses protests that turn into riots. I shared with him that civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez and Fannie Lou Hamer stood passionately for change without inciting violence through destruction. I told him my stance on some of the major social issues brewing in our tense climate as a Christian, an African American woman, and a fiercely protective mother of her children. My son knows I don’t condone violence on any level, and he hears in our collective prayers at the dining table the need for a truly United America. I will admit to being angered in seeing how outlandish it was to see adults scaling walls in full combat gear with weapon in tow ready for a ” new revolution of a Civil War” while my heart breaks for the mothers of Trayon Martin ( carrying Skittles and Arizona Sweet Tea and Tamir Rice ( carrying a Play gun on a playground) who were gunned down like terrorists without a second thought. It burns me as a black mom! My son is similar to me in absorbing the energy that is around him in allowing that to come through his emotions. I listened as he vented out his frustrations. I guide him not to become numb as many of his peers have in a lackluster approach in not caring for anything other than Tick Toc videos, but I tell him to take a social media break in enjoying things he loves like playing with his sisters. My mom comforts me to this day no matter what is going on in saying ” Baby, it’s going to be alright.” I do my best to comfort my children with the comfort my mom has given me that no matter what it’s going to be alright to alleviate fear. However, will it truly be alright America? Will we ever have the courage as a country to address the division in the country and double standards? We spoke about democracy. We talked about human rights over entitlement. I tell my son that sadly that nothing we’re experiencing is new under the sun, that change starts with each one of us personally in freewill to make a positive difference, to know the power in your voice in speaking up, to release what we can’t control in ignorance for those who choose to forever live in hate, yet to know that there is power for justice for change with those who walk in peace with God. I will admit that as a mom I too am searching for answers in these trying times in may not having the right response all the time, but I will use these teachable moments to strengthen our faith as a family in reliance on God.
2 Timothy : 2:22
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith,love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from pure heart.