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This is a statement that has come back into my head so many times. “Shut the door…please.”
And so last week I met a new neighbor. She told me that she is a mental health nurse at a prominent public high school in my home town. We joked and chatted how the area is so wealthy now that the teacher parking lot is where all the “beaters” are parked but the student lot homes all the BMWs, Mercedes’ and Audis. They have it all.
Indeed -Things have changed. This coming from an upbringing whereas I drove a former taxi… junior year of college. And my husband drove a brown Pinto. Ha! A death trap. And we we thought we were awesome.
Unfortunately the status of cars isn’t the only thing that has altered. My new friend told me that her kids (the ones she oversees and tries to guide in the student body) have “everything” but often feel they lead lives of nothingness.
“Why?” I asked. She picked up her phone and pointed at it. “Because of this”… she said. “Most of my students are depressed. Anxious. Have high anxiety. Anger. Many abuse alcohol or drugs because of the pressure. Virtually 3 out of 4 take antidepressants. Many just can’t seem to cope.”
I responded. “They have not lived life enough to be depressed and angry.”
And she corrected me.
“These young people have no off time. They are open to view and correction and judgement and competition and criticism and bullying 24/7. They are highly influenced by outward forces and agendas and have no way of knowing truth from feeling and from fact. Social Media is their teacher. Their parent. Their peer group. And they cannot stop it.”
I sighed heavily. My heart hurt. Yup. I get it. I was “that mom” who refused that dendrites from entering our household when we raised our younglings. It was hard then. Even harder still.
Back in the day – (ya know – the dinosaur age… before every thought and feeling or chance appearance was documented for the world on social media) – my own parents had strict rules about what we were allowed to do with our time. And frankly. Very little of it belonged to us.
We had a job to do. It was called an education. Not a social construct. Not a myriad of feelings and dramas. But facts. Math. History. Grammar. Civics. Writing. Arts. Sciences. Government.
There wasn’t time to have emotional breakdowns. You went to school. Sports. Came home. Did chores. Homework. Family dinner. More chores and then maybe an hour or so to yourself.
The rule was when we walked through the front door of our home. We closed the door. It was family time. And the world could wait until the next morning. Sounds ridiculous right? I mean what about FOMO? Fear of missing out? Too bad my dad would say – “It’s family time.”
Inherently he knew what we kids didn’t. We NEEDED down time. We needed family time. We needed quiet time. We needed mental rest and repast. And so we needed to SHUT THE DOOR. Physically. Mentally. And especially socially.
So I ask – Do you lock your doors at night? Why? Is it to keep unknown danger out? Strangers who can come hurt you and yours? They may have an agenda. To take from you – to get access to you and make you vulnerable…so that physical door is closed and locked.
Consider that most if not all social media is the same. We invite media strangers into our homes – our mind. Our hearts. Our very psyches. And who is to say that these assaults into our being are not at least in part trying to do the same thing to us. Our children. Our whole social structure?
All of us. Especially growing children need a break. They and we need the safety and acceptance of our own. Family. Trusted close friends.
We do not allow “strangers” to peer into our home windows. Why oh why do we allow social media and it’s influence to stare down our minds hearts and souls. And Parents. Why are we allowing bad actors to influence our precious children?
So back to my new friend. She was clear. Why are they depressed? Why are they anxious? (Why are we adults as well?)
Because we all need to SHUT the door to the strangers of this 24/7 information virus. Demand back your family time. Banish outside influences. Give your kids time to BE kids. There is plenty of time for future adulting. My own parents insisted on limits. I didn’t like it at the time. Thank God they were wise enough to force me to shut off. Shut down. And pull back. This way I got mental rest. Recharged. And had the opportunity to tap into real life…not a web based narcissistic one.
Why are kids who have everything depressed? Because “everything” doesn’t teach them self esteem. Wisdom. Responsibility. Or self love. That comes with quiet introspection. It comes with failure. It comes with earned success. And it comes from support and guidance of wise ones around them. And an opportunity to be kids in a kids world. Not forcing them to “adult” when they are not yet emotionally and mentally able to do so yet.
So parents. Teachers. Loved ones. Make some hard choices. Be “that parent” or that care giver. And for your young person… teach them, no require them- to SHUT THE DOOR.
Tomorrow is another day. And the same drama will be there. But give your younglings a safe space and break from the influence of a self serving and agenda driven world.
You should be the real influence in your child’s life. Why oh why should you let strangers usurp your blessing and privilege?
Do not forget that the children are the future for this world. And there are those in the past and presently who understand that. And want that platform of influence.
Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.
Take back your children from outside influence. Give them the rest and peace of Mind they deserve. Limit the influence of the negative spirit of social media control. Lest we all lose the next best generation.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. | Psalm 127:3
Oh AMEN! My wife and I have talked about it so much. The sad thing is, the way society is today, you can’t go back “home.” Those days were a time we will always cherish and we were blessed to pass them on to our kids and now they are passing it on to theirs, but not with society trying so hard to make inroads! Powerful, powerful message!!