The Ramblings Inside My Creative Mind: The Kid Needs A Break

         I had thought about making a video on my channel for this topic, but I decided to make this post while the idea was fresh on my mind. 

       About a week ago I saw a post on Facebook in a group that I'm in that deals with black women and how they handle mental illness. This mother wrote how her teenage daughter was being challenging as of late and that she was on the verge of canceling Christmas. My shock was seeing all the other women encouraging her to not get anything for her child, when I've seen many of these member's detail the hardships they had growing up with their parents not seeing them as their own person and how a child should be able to express themselves and that children can get stressed, etc. Don't get me wrong, if you have a kid that is continually disrespectful towards their parents, that's a different story and sometimes you have to take whatever punishment you see fit. When you have a kid whose attitude is out of the ordinary it makes sense to try and have a one on one with them to find the root cause. I know that trying to get a teenager to open up is like pulling teeth, but they at least deserve the opportunity to open up.

        I know that it's easier said than done and that for me it's easy to say these things because I don't have a child. I understand how challenging it can be, especially when dealing with a teenager. I still believe that parents lose sight that children go through moods and emotions like adults do. Imagine being a teenager in 2020. You can't see your friends, your education is iffy, there's no dating, and now you're primarily in the house. 2020 is hard on us as adults and I couldn't even imagine being 15 and wanting to talk to your friends in the cafeteria, or see your crush in algebra, or missing school dances and events. Everyone's lives have turned upside down and our kids don't know how to express it and even prior to covid parents rarely gave their children the opportunity to be open and honest or make mistakes, have moods, have space, etc. Even without a pandemic the thought of treating children as property or servants always irked me. The idea of hounding a kid to do certain chores and not even realizing that child may be going through something like overwhelmed with homework, a fight with a friend, or they're heartbroken, and here we are hounding them for something that can be done the next day. Teaching a child responsibility is important, and so is structure, but allow them to decompress every once in a while. Allow them to be.

        Overall, don't take Christmas away from kids this year, of all years. They deserve some type of normalcy in 2020. That's if you're able to. I know a lot of families have had their livelihoods taken away because of covid, but still let them hold on to that Christmas spirit. It also doesn't hurt to really sit down and have conversations with your kids. Don't allow your kids to be like so many of us were growing up, feeling like it was us against the world or being told that we didn't have anything to stress about as if work and bills are the only things that bring stress. I know that this post has been mostly about teens, but this goes for all kids. Toddlers can be stressed because they don't know how to tell you what's wrong and are still figuring things out. Kids in elementary school can be stressed because of trying to figure out friendships and schooling. That doesn't even factor in the kids who are going through a parent's divorce, the death of a loved one, verbal/physical abuse, disease, homelessness, etc. They are people who go through all the range of emotions as well and we as adults should be the ones to guide them through that in a healthy manner that doesn't always lead to punishment.

-Asia Aneka Anderson, 2020(c)

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