April 16, 2019
I haven’t written an update letter in a while so I have a few things I want to cover; hence why this is longer than normal.
First, I want to thank everyone for their continued support. Thank you to everyone who has stepped up to help our children have a better future. With that being said; I want to let you know of a new project we have started. You will notice new articles titled “In My Own Words”. These articles are written and submitted by parents and people in the community that wish to tell their story. These stories are intended to help create a community of support, understanding and; hopefully,will help people that can relate to them not feel alone in their battles. All of these pieces will remain anonymous. I will not tell anyone who they came from. I hope; if you have a story to share, you will trust me with it to share. Feel free to email me if you are interested in telling your story. We will talk about and cover any and all subjects.
Next, I have not been able to post as many interviews on topics lately. This is due to the fact that I am super busy with prior commitments and I put a lot of time into the interviews and posts I do. However; I have decided to step down from my other roles and focus mainly on Parents Step Up and the projects for this organization. I am excited to see how we will grow and evolve. Even though that means I will have to put other plans on hold for now, I am excited for this adventure and feel this is where I need to be and what I need to do. I would love to hear about some of the subjects you wish to know and understand more about. Please email me ideas so once school is out this year I can get started on new topics.
As we all probably already know, April 20th marks the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. This year marks 20 years since this horrible incident happened. It is very important that we do not forget. We need to remember those we lost, support those that survived and we also need to do what we can to help prevent this from happening again. I encourage everyone to talk to your children about Columbine and how they can be safe at school. Talk to your children about how they can leave a positive impact on our community, how they can help stop the hate and violence and how they can help move forward towards a more accepting and loving future. Last year Parents Step Up did a day of random acts of kindness and service in honor of this day. This year we will be doing the same again and hope you will join us. You can decide to do a random act of kindness to help make someone smile and know that they are loved. You can do a service project to help make the community better and brighter. You also can have an open and honest conversation with your children about how to stay safe in school and how to report anything of concern. Be sure to ask them about anything that worries them when it comes to school safety so you can find answers on how to address those concerns. Please make sure your children know about, and know how to use, the Safe 2 Tell Program. There is information on this and other school safety information in the articles I have posted about school safety.
Lastly, I have heard countless times how we can talk to our children but that does not mean they will talk to us. Or, we can try to be open and honest with our children but that does not mean they will be honest with us. I want to share how I feel about this subject. Yes, these statements hold some truth to them; however, these statements also open the door for your family to grow and improve your communication. No child wants to be open and honest with their parents if they feel, or know, they will be looked down on and possibly punished for being honest. Whether it is a positive or negative thing your child wants and needs to tell you; they will hesitate if you are not receptive to hearing them with an open and caring mind. I am by no means saying that my own children have never lied to me or have never been hesitant to tell me something. I feel though that it is our job as parents and caregivers to realize that our children will only come to us with stuff if we create an environment in our home to support them doing so. We must try harder to create an atmosphere in our homes for our children to feel safe, accepted and loved enough to actually open up to us. I know in our home we work every day to grow and we always encourage our children to talk to us about any and all things. Over the years we have been able to create an environment that encourages these behaviors by us being open and honest with our children. We talk to them about all topics, without judgement or anger. We have told them, and stand by the fact, that if they are honest; even with harder subjects or when they have done wrong, they will not automatically get in trouble. As a matter of fact; if they do something to warrant punishment, they will always get in less trouble by being honest compared to if they are not. I think we all need to remember that this environment of open and honest communication does not come easily or over night. We have to put in the work and eventually our children should feel like they can talk to us. As long as you are willing to take the necessary steps to create this environment; where your children feel comfortable, then it will happen and one day your children will come to you about things. Remember when we were young and didn’t want to talk to our parents. It probably was because we didn’t want to get in trouble or be put down. We really wanted and needed guidance and understanding most of the time. It is time for us to break the chains of our past and offer our children a better future where they can talk to us and come to us about any and all things. We are the only ones who can step up and help achieve this goal. Instead of saying my child won’t talk to me, let’s start saying that we will work harder to create an environment in which they can feel comfortable to talk to us; and then put in the work to achieve that.
As always, remember that everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about so choose to be kind.
President of Parents Step Up