Stress is a killer — and you’re the one that it kills inside when you get angry and upset about things in the news like Casey Anthony’s acquittal. Instead of REACTING and talking about it, and making it bigger and bigger with all the attention, why not spend that wonderful energy on doing something GOOD FOR CHILDREN. Here are some ways to get you started:
- Hug your kids. Now. If you don’t have any, hug your pet. Smile and be friendly to the kids in your neighborhood (without being creepy, of course)
- Be part of the solution to bring more love and joy into the lives of children.
- Participate in your local school and library programs to help kids read
- Be an activist for kid safety and after-school programs
- Be loving to all children and send them your happy vibes
- Intervene, in a safe and legal way — When you see a parent being cruel, yelling, slapping hitting, and even locking their kids in the car and walking away, DON’T (please please don’t) simply walk on, muttering angrily to yourself or the person with you about how irresponsible some parents are. Take an action — call the police immediately and stand nearby until they arrive. Do NOT try to touch the children (unless they are in obvious physical danger such as fire, etc) because you could be charged with kidnapping or whatever. Be sensible but be a LOVING HUMAN BEING. All children in the world are OUR responsibility!
- Pray for peace. Be an example every single day of a loving and kind person.
I’ve been yelled at by mothers for doing things like this– see a few of my own examples below of things I’ve done– but I don’t care. The message I gave the CHILDREN was the important thing — they heard that an ADULT CARED about them. They could SEE that for once in their sad little life all the adults around them didn’t just walk by and pretend not to hear Mom or Dad screaming or slapping them. They heard a message, even if it didn’t sink immediately, that what their parent was doing is WRONG.
Become an advocate for kids. Don’t waste your energy hating one single mom who apparently acted out her own sickness and despair.
Examples: If you see a mom yelling at their kid in the store, approach calmly and say to the mom, “Can I help you? It sounds like you’re having a rough time today. Need to take a break? I can call the store manager.”
Example: If you are in the restroom and you hear a mom screaming at her little kid in the next stall that she’d better hurry up and do her business or she’s getting a spanking, don’t just hurriedly flush and leave. Tap on her stall door and ask — again, staying very calm and modeling the responsible adult behavior that child needs to witness — “Can I help you out in there? Do you need to take a little break?”
Example: If you are walking to your bank ATM or to go inside, and you see a child sitting in its car seat or belted in or even sitting unrestrained but inside a closed car by itself — DO NOT PASS BY! On a hot day one time, I saw a 2 year old boy sobbing miserably, strapped into his car seat in a locked car with the windows rolled up. The car was in front of the bank so I assumed mom or dad would be found inside. I opened the bank door and called out: “WHO’S CHILD IS LOCKED IN THE CAR ALONE OUT THERE?” Yep. If you’ve heard my audio on this blog site you know I have a sweet little voice, but it would not serve that child well in this instance, so I let the outrage for that child’s well-being fill my lungs. A mom in the line turned and said some stupid excuse about the kid was fine and she wouldn’t be long. I made another comment about how hot the interior of the car gets in only a few minutes (yes, babies and children die regularly because of being shut up in a car while mom goes into a bar or to do an errand — get outraged about that and change the laws in your city if it isn’t already on the books to be illegal to lock kids and dogs in a closed car). I went outside and stood by that child’s closed window until the mother came out. She got into her car, cursed at me, and squealed away — but I’d be willing to bet she put on the air conditioner (for herself) and so at least the child would get some cool air at last.
Example: If you are getting out of your car at a tourist spot to go have dinner with your family, and you see the dad slapping around his young daughter as she gets out of her car next to yours, calmly (even if your knees are knocking, keep your voice calm, steady and cool) walk up to him and speak to the dad — Btw, never talk directly to the child. Talk to the adult, whether it’s a parent or older sibling or babysitter, etc — “Excuse me? We don’t hit our children in this country (the time I did this one, it was a family from another land).” Now, the man was so startled and perhaps a bit embarrassed. The wife bowed her head. The child was crying. The son, a couple of years younger than the girl being slapped, was immediately caressed on the top of the head by the abusive dad (giving the boy the clear message that we men stick together and it’s okay to hit women). The dad yelled at me that what I had said is the problem with America.
I could give you more examples. Another time, a mom was slapping her toddler in his stroller in a shopping mall. Several people gathered around and were simply watching her, whispering among themselves. I’m not a big person. I’m not gregarious or outgoing. So I’m telling you that you can do this too, no matter what type of person you are! I walked up to her, careful not to touch her or the stroller or the child and suggested that she calm down and back away from her child until the mall cops arrived. They came soon — apparently alerted to the scene — and I left it to their capable hands.
So the next time you see some news that is upsetting such as this particular trial “everyone” is talking about, stop and ask yourself: “Is there something better I could be doing with my time and energy than this, to make a positive difference in the world, instead of adding more anger?”
to your positive health,