On Monday morning, here in Ohio, a teenager walked into school and started shooting. Two are dead and others are wounded.
Some say the boy was bullied, others say that he was just "different".
But was that his only option?
When I was in school, kids bullied each other, teased one another and were cruel. Very cruel.
But it certainly did not justify killing anyone.
And believe me when I say that I know bullying has gone to a whole new level these days. It starts much younger and can be done in ways that were not an issue when I was younger.
But what is it that makes a kid think that the answer is to start shooting people?
As parents, we need to say ENOUGH!
We need to stop exposing kids to such extreme violence on TV, movies and video games. Even if you think your kid can handle it! It's not for kids. And you might not see the effects now...it might be when it's too late.
And we need to teach our kids the value of a life. Every life. Even the people you don't know. Even the people who hurt you or are unkind.
We need to teach our kids about kindness and compassion. Be an example of that to them. Teach them to treat people with respect and dignity, and make sure they do.
Talk about forgiveness in your homes. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes and wish we could take back things we said or did. Start by asking your kids for forgiveness when you do something wrong.
Have conversations with kids about how they feel. Boys too! Make sure they know that their feelings are important and that it's okay to talk about it.
And keep your eyes and ears open. If you see a kid who's struggling, help them! Not every kid comes from a caring family. Not every kid has a listening and empathetic ear at home. As people who do care, we are going to need to start adopting those kids into our families. And I'm not talking about legal adoption. I'm talking about caring for them. Having them in your home for dinner. Helping them with homework. Asking them about their life. Be the difference for them!
Because this is happening too often. Too many kids are going off the deep end because apparently, they feel like that's their only option. We have to help them from getting to that point.
All the families affected are in my prayers, and I hope you will join me in praying for them, as well as praying that schools, families and communities start to address these issues in a way that gives kids another way to deal with their feelings.
If you are interested in talking with your kids about bullying and violence in schools, here are some resources for you:
I will be linking up with We Are THAT Family for WFMW.