She's Spoken

Advice, opinions, and critical thinking all in one place!

Archive for responsibility

How large is your child’s Social Networking Footprint?

I have read a few a good stories her lately about cyber-bullying and the devastating effects it seems to have on mostly young girls. In both the cases I read the families are alleging their children’s deaths were caused by other online goers. My question is this, why did these children have so much exposure to the internet? To social networking sites that clearly have age limits that are often broken and side stepped? I am not saying that the families caused these suicides or that he bullies were completely innocent just that all parties need to be held equally responsible. Too many teens have cells phones, iPods, netbooks, and other mobile devices that have web access and this leaves them open for constant exposure to this social networking sites and other mostly inappropriate internet arenas.

Instead of paying attention in class these kids are updating their Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace pages as often as they breathe. Children today have too much free and instant access to way too many social venues and not all the children with access are emotionally, intellectually, or psychologically fit enough to be engaging in activities hosted at these sites. Bullies are nothing new; they are as old as the institution of uniform education. But the avenues change and as parents we need to be more aware. I mean these kids aren’t buying their own cell phones or paying their own internet bills. We as parents have to take more measures to check our children’s social networking footprint. If half of you checked your child’s current Facebook or MySpace status you would be very shocked if not mortified. The lack of communication that exists is astronomical. We have to be more aware and take advantage of parental controls. If you allow usage of social forums monitor pages, have access and check it often. If you see red flags shut it down.

In one case the mother admitted to experiencing some red flags, which should have been enough. She saw some of the cruel messages that were being posted; she should have stopped the access immediately. Nothing positive could come from those messages. Even more so on the flip side parents of bullies you should be more proactive and less reactive in terms of your children too. You know when your child’s mood changes or if their aggression levels change, you hear the comments about peers and you see the little things. STOP ignoring them. You have the ability to stop things like these suicides before they occur. Blaming others does not restore life. Monitoring initiatives should be proactive not vice versa.  Death should not be the cause of responsible parental action or the introduction of civil measures of protections. We have to do all that we can to protect our children, to make sure that they are exposed to the right types of attention and social forums. Use those parental blockers and stop being afraid to ask questions, check social forums, access text messages, and when necessary cut access to these arenas. You are responsible for your children’s safety. In some cases it is us that is enabling these harmful forms of communications and obsessive and constant access by supplying our kids with the latest and what is raved as the greatest Technology. Children DON’T NEED INTERNET ACCESS ON A CELL PHONE! CHILDREN DON’T NEED LAPTOPS IN THEIR BEDROOMS AND WE NEED TO MONITOR MORE!

Food for Thought…

We as people have to be more cognoscente of the choices we make and the true impact they may have on the lives of those who love us. Until recently I never looked at some of the situations I have been in as a direct result of other’s choices, but rather as a matter of happenstance. My mother chose to abuse drugs and later in her life alcohol, and as a result of her habits she became unable to care for us which lead to the state stepping in and removing us from our home. Her choice to abuse drugs and alcohol had tremendous consequences for not only her but for her children as well. I was forced to make choices regarding situations that I had been placed in due to her addiction. In her abuse she took away my option to choose what direction I wanted to go in in certain facets of my life. Her choices of yesterday had lasting effects on my life years after the fact.

Did she realize that? I am sure she didn’t, and that right there is the problem with the world today. There is a young lady that I work with that always tells me that I am methodical in my decision making process, and until she said that I never thought about it. The fact of the matter is that I don’t have the right to make choices for other people. When I make irresponsible choices that affect others in essence that is exactly what I am doing. Now, granted that I cannot foresee the future and have no way of knowing the true scope of my actions. Never-the-less, I can make sure that I am methodical and responsible in my arriving at whatever decision I do finally make. I can exercise the best judgment possible so that I minimize any potentially negative impacts I may have on the lives of my loved ones. If we all learned to be more selfless and less selfish the world would really be a better place. Having free will to choose is a tremendous human feature, we owe it to our creator, to our families, our friends and our world to do a better job of exercising our free will. Reckless regard for others is over rated and selfish. Our choices have tangible and psychological effects that are transferred to others. Let’s try to make decisions that limit any potentially adverse effects to ourselves.

Making my list…

If you have been following my post this is a follow-up to the Tsunami post I published a few days ago. During that post I shared how scared I was for my family’s safety as well as my own. I also urged my readers to really understand the concept that no one is guaranteed tomorrow, if we wake up and God has given us another day he has not only blessed us but given us an invaluable gift. A precious gift that too many of us (myself included) have placed in a drawer or closest and grown ignorant of its presence. I also urged my readers to make amends and forgive those who have hurt them and to rekindle broken relationships. So, to show you guys that I am not only preaching I am practicing; I have made my list and I am giving you access to check it twice!

The anticipation of the impact of the Tsunami alone really left me in a place mentally that I did not want to be in, nor have I ever been before. I started thinking about people that I wronged, people that I have not forgiven, how much better my relationship with God should be, and how much more I need to appreciate all that I have been so mercifully blessed with. I have to love what I already have, let say this part twice. I HAVE TO LOVE WHAT I ALREADY HAVE, in order to receive anything more that God has in store for me. I can’t ask for anything more or truly appreciate anything else until I have come to love and appreciate what great gifts I already been given. So, my list is below and I hope that you take the time to make amends in your life too. Please trust me when I say you don’t ever want your final moments to be filled with prayers of apology for elementary grudges, poor relationships with God, regrets about your life status, or about how you should expressed your love and appreciation of others more.

1. I will take the steps through blogging/journaling to share whatever experience and useful knowledge I have with others in hopes that maybe my words will be helpful to another.

2. I will take steps toward forgiving those who have hurt me, and toward forgiving myself for those that I have hurt.

3. I will express my love and gratitude to my husband and daughter more frequently.

4. I will no longer be annoyed or irritated by my Uncle’s strict family check in policy as he was right in the fact that are days are numbered.

5. I will obtain my Master’s and then go on to my Ph.D.

6. I will be more physically active and become more involved in community service.

7. My husband and I will adopt a child in need.  So we are preparing ourselves financially and emotionally for the task.

8. I will strengthen my relationship with God (This should be # 1).

9. I will read the word more often. In doing so I will mediate on the scriptures and try find away to apply them to my situations.

10. I will be pleasing unto the Lord through my words and actions.

After reading my last two posts will you make some changes in your life?

(polls)