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Parenting in a big, bad world

Child miners in Congo
(Pic: Julien Harneis/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-2.0)
If I had a magic wand, the first thing I'd do is put a smile on the face of every child in this world. Nothing troubles me more than reading or hearing about crimes against children. It has been this way even before I became a parent. Any act of abuse or violence against children is simply the lowest point in our eroding human values. Because children are so innocent and defenseless, it's a complete act of horror for adults to harm them. It hurts my heart to read about the children barely surviving in the refugee camps around Syria, the children who were maimed in the landmines in Afghanistan, the child soldiers and diamond miners in Africa, the millions of child labourers in India, or the victims of school shoot-outs in the USA.

Is the world becoming more dangerous for children? 
I know that this is a question that probably every generation of parents ask themselves. And it always does seem that the crimes against children are getting worse. Or maybe, we are just becoming more informed about them. The bottom line is, our children are not as safe as they used to be, and we often end up feeling powerless as protectors because we can't fight these malevolent forces in society. How do we deal with it and what should we do? I don't have any answers (none of us do), but I do want to talk about it. I want safety of our children to become top priority to the United Nations and to governments around the world. We can't single-handedly put an end to wars, but we should do everything we can to make our homes and our neighbourhoods safer.

Do we teach them to distrust?
We are walking a thin line between preserving the childhood of our kids and telling them about the dangers of the world outside. It's really sad that we have to start this at a younger age. Children as young as three have to be taught to protect themselves and I find this very disturbing. It's even tougher to teach them that even the ones closest to them may not be 'safe'.

How protective should we be?
I try not to watch the news on television (haven't done that for months), because if I do, I'll never let my son out of my sight! It is easy to become paranoid and just hover over our kids all the time, but that would just make them rebellious. What's the meeting point, then? I think it's safer to be cautious than to just let go. There's only so much we can do, so what's wrong with keeping our eye on them?

Creating a safe environment
There's something each one of us can do to make our homes and communities a better place. Tough as it is, read about the modus operandi of crimes against children. See every child in the playground as your own. Are they safe? Are they unattended? Are they exposed to danger? Don't be afraid to react to threats and report them. Don't be afraid to call the authorities if you suspect child abuse. There's nothing you will lose, but you may in fact, save a child's life.

As I said, there's only so much we can do. But we must do whatever little we can. Children around the world deserve to be happy, even if we have to fight for it.

This post has been linked to Finish the Sentence Friday and the Post Comment Love blog hop.

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27 comments

RACHEL TaoOfPoop said...

My husband and I were just talking about this subject today, especially now that chemical weapons seem to be back on the table. It's hard not to feel crushed under the weight of it all. I, too, have stopped watching the news. I like the wish that you made with your magic wand. I will make it too.

Tarana Khan said...

It is hard to watch all this, isn't it? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

anna said...

definitely agree, so hard to see or think of children suffering

Attachment Mummy said...

We all need that magic wand I think, it is a scary world. Just hold yours close and do the very best you can, that's all we can do I think. Plus political and charitable action as and when we can, of course. If our children learn about the world from those who care, hopefully they will also do what they can to change it. Great post. Popped over from #PoCoLo

theuncheshirewife said...

When I was a child we never heard about what was happening in London, Birmingham or even Manchester which was our closest big city. News travels further and faster now. So I don't know if life is much worse or we just hear about it more. There are definitely more things to be wary of now though.

Suzanne Whitton said...

A very interesting post and something I think about a lot. I think it's easy, in this day and age, to become too over-protective and not allow our children space to breath. Having said that, everything seems so much more dangerous these days. Wise advice here. Thanks for your lovely comment on my b,of earlier in the week :)

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you for stopping by!

TK said...

Yes, I think it's important that the kids keep a positive attitude and pass that on, despite what's happening around us.

Tarana Khan said...

I think technology has made the world a more dangerous place, but yes, we hear more bad news than we want to.

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you too for yours!

Lou's lake Views said...

I totally agree, especially with your last comments about creating a safe environment. we should all do our bit to protect any child not just our own. #PoCoLo

Tarana Khan said...

Glad you think so to, thanks for stopping by!

Considerer said...

YES! This is a brilliant response. I wish that you had that magic wand! It's absolutely heartbreaking to see how little consideration is given to these children around the world and the ways the adults in charge make life difficult or impossible for them. Or sit by and do nothing to help change it.

THANK YOU for posting this response.

Janine Huldie said...

Children do very much deserve to be happy and very much love the way you responded to our prompt this week. Thanks for linking up and hope you will join us again, too!

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, glad to see the same passion in you!

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, I plan to!

Kristi Campbell said...

I love your take on FTSF. I, too, want every child to be safe and happy. It tears me up that they're not. I'm so glad you wrote this - such an important message!

Ruchira Khanna said...

Tarana, first time to your blog.
Love your name :)

Your thoughts are beautiful and yes, children do deserve more than what the world is offering them. Amen to that.

Katia said...

I've really identified with the questions you pose here. I once wrote a whole post revolving around the question whether we teach our children to distrust. I love your closing paragraph. Great post.

Stephanie Sprenger said...

Amazing post, TK. So glad you joined us this week! That line between protecting them and teaching them to distrust is such a fine one. I often feel discouraged trying to walk that line.

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, it tears me up too.

Tarana Khan said...

Welcome Ruchira, and thank you for the compliment!

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, Katia! Will check out your post too.

Tarana Khan said...

It's a tough decision to make. Thanks for stopping by!

Tarana Khan said...

Can't find the link, but you must share it with me!

Sandy Ramsey said...

This post hits so close to home for me. I never watch the news anymore because it makes me sad. I miss the world as it was when I was a child/teenager. Sure, we had our share of bad stuff but today it is overwhelming. I know I am an overprotective mom but I do try to find balance, especially with my daughter who just started middle school. I am as honest as I can be without scaring the mess out of her. Both my 11 year old daughter and 9 year old son have 1st degree black belts in Tae Kwan Do! That does give me a little comfort. Even so, my eyes are always open. Thanks for this amazing post!

Tarana Khan said...

Glad you liked it! Self-defense is another great idea to protect our kids.

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