Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Choose love, people, for everyone's sake, choose LOVE

My heart has been breaking in my Facebook news feed today.

So many of my “friends” are speaking out against accepting Syrian refugees. They say the refugees threaten our national security. They say we don’t have the resources to sustain them. They say they can’t be trusted. They say our leaders who show compassion are weak.

Then they say we should consider letting in the Syrians if they are Christian.

And my heart hurts.

Where is the love?

Just when I think hatred has been stirred by the fear and that the fear mongers and the haters are winning, I see this beautiful tribute from one victim’s husband and I’m crying.

LOVE.

I remember the families from the Charleston shootings offering forgiveness and LOVE.

LOVE.

Only love is strong enough to combat the hatred ISIS is perpetuating. Not the military, not closing our borders. It’s the worst kind of isolationism to send our troops to kill them and close our doors to their victims.

What the hell is wrong with our world?

Why aren’t we speaking more LOVE?

Only LOVE can save us. Prayer cannot, not when the people praying are also refusing to help. War cannot when the soldiers we send are flushing more victims into the world with nowhere to go. Politics cannot when the criminals are running a help desk and our politicians are tweeting fear and hate.

I tell Hollie constantly, “Speak with love. Act with love. Find the love and let it determine how you respond.”

People are angry. They are afraid. They are being told what we don’t have. But what we do have is love. Find it. Feel it. Give it. It is the one resource which never runs out and is violently contagious. It is the one action we have that is proof of a higher being: the source of love.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

lot of GenXers are loathe to admit we should have been wearing bike helmets as kids. It seems silly to us that our kids see them as essential as a seatbelt in the backseat or hand sanitizer before snack.
When did we get so deliberate in our safety efforts?

While I may forget to remind her about the helmet, I have been very deliberate in a specific realm of Hollie’s life: communication. Charlie and I are really, really good at communication. We expect Hollie to be, too. 
It takes work, though. Especially when she doesn’t always have the vocabulary to express herself.

Hollie and I stood on the stairwell and looked up at the family pictures I’d assembled there.
“What do the words say?” I asked her.
“Caring. Kindness. Love.” She read each one, rolling the syllables over in her mouth. “Honesty. Trust. Integrity.”
“Those are our family values,” I said. “Caring. Kindness. Love. I expect you to treat your friends with those values. Do you understand?”
She nodded. She’s learning. And I’m doing the best I can to teach her. 
So this is an apology to her friends, our neighbors, and any other kids we come in combat with. She’s learning.

I don’t want Hollie to adopt “hug your sibling” apology skills. 

I want her to understand what an apology actually is:
  1. acknowledge what you did
  2. acknowledge the outcome of that action
  3. recognize why the outcome was hurtful or bad
  4. demonstrate remorse.
And if she can do one and two but doesn’t think there is a bad or hurtful outcome, then I won’t force her to apologize.