Monday, November 28, 2016

Advice from a Mom to a Teen: Make YOU PROUD!

I'm pretty sure I just made a monumental statement. My 17-year old son made a mistake recently. It's the FIRST mistake he's made in 17 years that has resulted in grounding. I'm a very lucky Mom and I hope things stay on that course.

Part of me resorted to the fact that he's a teenager and to "expect" not so great things at times. A few days later I realized THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

When I discovered his "mistake", a very unexpected one at that, I had a conversation with my son about the things that parents just expect of teens, even if they don't REALLY expect them. It was the proactive speech per se.

YES! I want to be proactive, but NO I don't expect those things of you. You're better than that. So, I said to my son "make me proud". Then, I changed my mind. I said "better yet, make YOU proud".

I really hope that resonates in his mind. I don't want be just another parent who allows the "he's a teenager" excuse.

He's better than that and he needs to know it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

America, I'm Disappointed In You

Today I woke to learn that Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States of America. Whether he was my choice yesterday or not, he's our next POTUS for four years whether "WE" like it or not.

I read it and I moved on my merry way to work. That's not to say I've removed myself from politics, but he's not even in office yet, so nothing has changed. Will things change? Yes. Change is inevitable.

The disappointment comes from watching what would ensue on social media after the fact, mainly Facebook. I'm just really disappointed in humans right now.

I saw posts from Hillary supporters bashing those who voted for Trump, as well as Trump himself (sometimes rightfully so - dude can't control his mouth). I saw posts from Trump supporters bashing those who voted for Hillary (or didn't vote for Trump).

I saw people threatening (and following through with) deleting their own family members (as well as friends) because they chose to exercise their right to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, Freedom of Speech.

Since when is okay to disallow folks to have their own opinions on things that affect them, their families and their future? Scratch that. It's not that that folks are "disallowed" this right, it's that we suddenly feel like it's our duty to share our judgement of how other folks choose to live their lives.

Why is that? Quite frankly, I think it's because of social media. Flash back 50 years ago. The amount of information we shared about our "personal" lives was far less. Insert social media. Social media has caused the first amendment to backfire on us. We can share our opinions more freely than ever before, but now those who we choose to share it with (haphazardly at times) are free to share their opinions about ours.

I've personally never had an issue with talking about my political views with (most) friends and family. I believe that's because I don't assert my views on those that don't agree with me, but rather question things in an effort to gain a better understanding. This all occurs in "real-life" conversations (sometimes electronic "personal" conversations - It's 2016 for goodness sake), rather than "public" social media.

I never really understood the "don't talk politics" thing until now. It's unfortunate that our expression of what is best for each individual and/or their families is chastised. Then again, why do other people really need to know? Why are we sharing it in the first place?

Part of me believes we should revert to living more personal lives and STOP sharing so much. Then again, sharing can lead to learning if used correctly.

That didn't happen today, though. The news of the incumbent has led to embarrassing acts on behalf of humankind and I'm just truly disappointed.