Friday, February 24, 2017

Parenting WITH Fear Today

I have intentionally worked on parenting *without* fear. Not making decisions influenced by fear-based-outcomes but focusing on the positive. For the first time ever, I had a discussion with my ktbunch, giving advice, based strictly on *fear*.

Because yesterday, a grown man grabbed a 13yo against his will, refused to let him go and eventually pulled out a gun that fired. I watched a few of the original eye-witness videos last night before they were grabbed by local news media, edited, altered and chopped to pieces. I watched with fear in my own heart thinking I was about to witness a 13yo get killed. I watched as a human but probably more, without trying to, as a mother.

 I've heard and read the commentary on the incident. About how horrible the 13yo was for "being disrespectful" & that he "deserved" it. Somehow justifying the use of physical force and an armed weapon to accomplish what? Control? Prove a point?
We teach our children stranger danger, if there was ever an attempt by someone to grab them they must fight, kick and scream, do whatever needs to be done to get away...yet this 13yo, being grabbed & dragged by a stranger, who is bigger and stronger, is being called disrespectful? His entire generation is being called disrespectful. His mother is being accused of being a horrible parent.

So I tell my kids, from now on...yes, be respectful BUT...But what? Be *perfect*? You have no rights? You won't be protected? You can't make a mistake? You can't trust adults? What!?! What DO I tell them? That there are CRAZY people out there who obviously have NO problem with the idea of pulling out an armed weapon if you walk on their lawn or speak back at them when they curse you, or are surrounded by other teens walking home from school, or you're wearing a hoodie at night...

Do I tell them they can expect to be viewed as guilty until proven innocent? So walk with your eyes down and your nose clean. Mind your business son...just keep on walking. Do I tell them they are not allowed to make mistakes? That the strongest guy will win. The lightest color guy will win? YES, I know other mothers have lived with this fear for decades. I know. I'm sorry.

Of course, being disrespectful is never appropriate. But is the correct response to a mouthy teen to pull out a gun!?! Since when it is ok to put your hands on and grab a 13 year old, you don't even know!?! If a parent reacted the way the man in this incident did, they'd be charged with child abuse! So how is it ok for this guy? Why did the teen get immediately cuffed, arrested and charged and the man got a calm, 'talking to' and then given 72 hour 'administrative leave'. No charges have been filed against him. Apparently he is entitled to an investigation. What was the teen entitled to?

It's true we do not know what happened before the video. We have only heard the teen's side of the story so far. From what I saw, the teen was acting like a punk, sure. However, I don't see where that justifies the grown adult, reacting physically, trying to force his will upon the teen and then pulling out a weapon. That is an abuse of authority, intimidation, bullying, etc.

I have questions. I don't have answers. My heart is heavy.

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