Raising Children to Prevent Violence
While discussing social and domestic violence is so very important, many of us shy away from it because it’s an uncomfortable topic, but we cannot hope to see change without confronting the matter at hand.
More often than not, the focus of the discussion is on the social and domestic violence that we see first-hand or hear about, but rarely does the energy of the conversation shed light on the root of the evil.
All behaviors are learned, and our core identity is developed early on in our childhood years, which shapes us into who we are as adults. Thus it is crucial to, as the Dalai Lama so beautifully put it, “When educating the minds of our youth we must not forget to educate their hearts”.
We tell boys things like, toughen up, don’t cry like a sissy, stop being such a wimp, and you throw like a girl, sayings that are commonly accepted. But those comments stunt their education of proper social and psychological functioning and create men with a lack of empathy and ability to process emotion.
We tell girls, He pulled your hair, because he likes you or he called you names, because he wants to be your friend, that’s just how boys are. By excusing those behaviors, our young girls develop a warped sense of what love and affection looks and feels like, leading them to accept the unacceptable.
So let’s stop the cycle of psychopaths and victims by teaching our young boys that it’s okay to cry sometimes. Let’s tell our girls that they are beautiful, strong warriors. Let’s teach all of our youth to have empathy and treat others as they would want to be treated.
I truly believe that the youth of the world can make an impact on our future and make a change for the better, but it starts with us and our decision to educate them.