Posted in community, Family

Creating Stronger Communities

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week at work and writing. Always with the writing! LOL! But I do love it. I can’t seem to stop.

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But enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about creating stronger communities. It saddens me when I hear about school shootings or mass shootings in movie theaters or public places because these events are symptoms of a societal problem.

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That problem is disconnection. When someone feels isolated and disconnected from society they exhibit symptoms of this by being violent to people who are close to them. That’s the first sign there’s a problem. We need to stop turning a blind eye to domestic violence. As with so many things, it all traces back to the home.

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Now we can blame poor parenting, throw our hands up in outrage, and point fingers. We can do that, but that doesn’t solve the problem, does it? And let’s be fair, none of us can say we’re perfect parents. We strive to be the best we can be, but there are days when we fall short. And in parenting, the most important job we have, there are no do-overs. You can’t go back and erase your mistakes.

So what can we do?

We can create communities where we all come together for the sake of the kids. I believe schools do an incredible job of offering extra-curricular activities be it sports or theater or clubs. However, what about the kids who don’t make the team? I think we need to create community centers within our cities where kids can go and play a pick-up game of basketball, or use a computer, or just hang out after school. A safe place to go with adult supervision until parents get home from work.

 

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I know some community centers exist, but we need more and they need to be affordable. It costs money to run these centers and that’s where I run into a snag because I don’t know where to get the funding. How about you, do you have any ideas? I’d love to hear from you so leave a comment and let me know you’re thoughts.

Posted in Parenting, raising kids, Teen, Writing

Protecting Our Kids

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back after a busy week of revisions and editing. My revisions for my first MS have been sent off to my beta readers, and I’ve started editing my rough draft of my second one.  I’m crossing my fingers. The characters in these books have made me work hard and I’m proud of the results. Let’s hope the Beta readers like them.

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But enough about that. Last week I wrote a post about finding your passion because I’d done an author visit at one of the schools in the area. I received some emails from some of the students who enjoyed my presentation and I thought I’d share one of them with you.

 

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for coming to our school and talking to us 6th graders about your awesome books! I got the second book from the Super Spies series, and I am so excited to read it! Thank you for answering all of our questions. We learned a lot about being an author and how to write good stories!

Thanks Again!

 

When I get feedback like this, it makes all the hard work and sacrifices worth it. I love inspiring kids to step out of their comfort zones and pursue their dreams. After my presentation last week, some of the kids gathered around me and told me about the stories they were writing. Their enthusiasm was overwhelming and sparked my resolve to keep going with my writing.  It’s funny all it takes is spending some time with kids, and it urges me to keep pushing forward.

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Our kids are our most valuable resource. We need to protect them. It seems like our world is getting more and more dangerous and our kids are the ones suffering because of it. We have human traffickers, mass shootings, and child abuse.

 

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How do we protect our kids?

 

To protect our kids from human traffickers and child abuse we parents must be involved in our children’s lives. Most predators target kids who come from low income homes, whose parents are busy trying to make ends meet. They also target kids with low self-esteem. Kids who don’t have a role model to look up to. So in a nutshell, we have to do a better job at parenting.

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As for Mass shootings, better parenting is only half of the answer. We also need to have stronger communities. For those families whose circumstances aren’t ideal, the community should pull together and support them. Make sure the children don’t fall through the cracks and become victims of bullying and other stressors that affect teens. Once we’ve got those support systems in place, then we can move forward from there.

My next question for everyone is this. How do we go from an idealistic kid like the one above to a kid who’ll take a gun into a school and shoot up his classmates? If we can answer that question, we’ll be moving in the right direction.

Let me know your thoughts. Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in community, Family, Politics, Public Service Announcements

Giving Guns to our Teachers?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a hectic week of revising. I’ve got two manuscripts that I’m trying to polish. The first one is polished and ready to query, and the second one is rough and needs polishing. It’s a never ending task that’s for sure.

 

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Anyway, I was going to write a post about a couple of books I’d recommend but then I saw the above graphic and decided to write about this latest response to the tragic mass shooting in Florida instead.

It would be a horrible mistake to give our teachers guns. First of all, there are very few teachers that I know of who’ve had combat training. This is a big deal when you’re tasked with shooting at another human being.  Aside from that glaring problem, are we going to give our teachers assault weapons?

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Because let’s be honest, we can’t expect a teacher to go after a kid carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with a teeny tiny hand gun.

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As a parent, I’m horrified by this idea. We’re just adding more guns to an already volatile situation. What does that mean, more deaths and one of those deaths could be your kid.

I’m sorry but that’s the ugly truth.

The only answer to this situation is to keep assault weapons out of the hands of civilians. No civilian needs an assault weapon. They are guns designed for combat. They are not meant to be used for hunting or target shooting.

Let’s take a look at Japan. They’ve only had thirteen mass shootings since 1922.

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According to the Mass Shooting Tracker we (US) had TWENTY ONE mass shootings in 2017 alone. Unbelievable.  (On a side note it’s incredibly sad that we even have a Mass Shooting Tracker.)

 

What is Japan doing that we’re not. Stricter Gun Laws and that’s it.

Here’s a list of some of the laws:

  • You have to attend an all-day class
  • Take a written exam and pass a shooting-range test with a mark of at least 95%.
  • There are also mental health and drugs tests.
  • Your criminal record is checked and police look for links to extremist groups. Then they check your relatives too – and even your work colleagues.

For a more complete list click here: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38365729

Arming our teachers is not the answer. They’ve got enough on their plates from dealing with behavioral issues in the classroom to coping with all the testing they have to do. If we want a public school system, we have to protect our teachers and our children while they’re in school.

We also need to bring our communities closer together. Isolation is a huge indicator for a mass shooter. If our communities were able to eradicate isolation, mass shootings will decline and maybe even disappear altogether.

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I know this is a hot topic and there’s always more than one solution. I’d love to read your thoughts. Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in community, Family, Parenting, raising kids, Teen

Can we prevent Mass Shootings?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m saddened by the events in the news this week. I’m talking about the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. How did a nineteen year old get a semi-automatic weapon?  Why are we selling these weapons to children? Yes, in my eyes a nineteen year old is still a child.

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We have to do something about this because our children, our best Natural Resource, won’t survive if they don’t stop killing each other. That means our species won’t survive. I know, you think I’m taking this to an extreme, but maybe we have to, to wake everyone up.

The question I have to ask is why? Why is this happening? Why does a young person become so despondent that the only answer for him is to go to school and shoot his classmates? And why are warning signs ignored?

To answer this question, I did a little research and found that most mass shooters are profoundly alienated from society and there are warning signs.  Mass shooters don’t become mass shooters overnight. They usually assault, abuse, or threaten people close to them. Domestic violence is something all shooters seem to have in common. But how do we as a society predict which abusers will become mass shooters and which ones won’t?

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Here’s an interesting article on what mass shooters have in common. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/09/14/what-do-most-mass-shooters-have-in-common-hint-it-isnt-politics-video-games-or-religion/?utm_term=.6c89f9ef1859

That is a good question and one we don’t have an answer for. So what is the answer? I’m not usually in favor of more regulation, but in this instance until we can find ways to predict who will become a shooter and who won’t, I feel more regulation is the way to go.

First of all, let’s stop these young kids from buying weapons.  No child or adult outside the military needs a semi-automatic weapon. They shouldn’t even be available for the public to purchase.

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We also need to go to the extreme where people who have a history of domestic violence are banned from buying weapons. These people don’t have to have convictions, just a history of it because we all know domestic violence rarely gets reported, and convictions are hard to get.

I know what you’re thinking, but it’s in the constitution, we have the right to bear arms.  You’re right it is in there, but our forefathers didn’t have assault weapons to deal with back when it was written.  I’m not saying all guns, but even the most staunch NRA supporter must see that the general public does not need semi-automatic weapons to defend themselves.

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The next thing we need to do is make our communities stronger, so these people who’ve been alienated from society won’t fall through the cracks. How do we do that? We do it by creating community centers where teens and adults can come together to be socially interactive.

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I would love to open up a community center in my town, especially for teens because the teen years are tough. I love the fact our schools have team sports and band and orchestra, but the problem with these programs is there’s a limit to how many kids can be in the program. What about the ones who don’t make it?

That’s where my community center would come into play. If money were no obstacle, I’d have a center where kids could come after school and play pick-up games of basketball or football. They’d be socially active and learn the skills of team play and how to compete fairly.

It’d be a place where they could hang out and do homework instead of going home alone and playing video games. I feel these community centers would alleviate the social isolation that many teens feel especially if they don’t make the team.  Team sports are wonderful, but like I said before, only so many kids make it.

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I’d have a counselor on staff so kids could talk to him for free and learn healthy coping mechanisms. Let’s face it, some kids aren’t getting the love and attention they need at home so what a great way to try and help those who don’t get the support they need.  I know this won’t solve all the problems, but it is a step in the right direction.

We as a society need to take care of our children. They are our most valuable Natural Resource so let’s do a better job of protecting them.

Bringing back community centers is one solution, but I’m sure there are others. What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment!

 

 

Posted in Parenting, Teen

Dealing with the Pain of Ostracization

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about Ostracization. Did you know rejecting, ostracizing, or dissing one of your peers can have major effects on their immune system? If sustained, these changes can increase risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, mental illness, and some cancers.

This worries me as a parent. How do we combat the effects of this behavior? I’m sure everyone has faced this type of rejection before. It is very painful and can create depression and anxiety in our child.

Did you know that chronic ostracization can lead to violent behavior? According to a study performed of fifteen school shootings, eight seven percent of them were a direct result of ongoing exclusion.  This is alarming.  (For more information click this link: http://www.alternet.org/culture/social-death-penalty-why-being-ostracized-hurts-even-more-bullying)

 

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Since school shootings are on the rise, we need to combat or deal with this problem. Not only to help end violence, but to maintain the mental and physical well-being of our children.

Why are certain people ostracized?

That is a good question. Ostracization expresses a group fear. It can be either physical or spiritual.  The person being ostracized is considered a threat in some way.

The problem is the communication between the group and the individual ceases. The individual may not even know how he’s threatening the group, so there is no possibility of recourse.

What can you do if your teen is ostracized?

 

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Well, the first thing we need to do as parents is realize there is a cycle your child will go through.  Click the link below for more information:

http://ostracism-awareness.com/recovery/

  1. There is a period of grieving. The individual will mourn the loss of the group.
  2. After that the individual happily removes anything that reminds them of the person or group ostracizing them.
  3. The next stage is Lifting. The person is distracted by life and let’s go of the group that ostracized him. The distraction of life lifts the person out of the grief cycle and they move forward.

Ways to help your teen deal with Ostracization:

  1. Keep the lines of communication open with your teen. If he’s willing to talk to you about what’s happening, you’ll be able to help him deal with this problem.
  2. Be sure your child can identify the difference between unkind behavior and bullying.
  3. Discuss what is controllable and what isn’t. We have no control over other people’s behavior, but we do have control over how we react to it. Discuss ways your child can cope with this and deal with the feelings this type of behavior brings out.
  4. Give advice but don’t fix things. It’s natural for parents to want to step in and fix the situation for their children, but it’s not recommended. Instead, let your child decide how he wants to cope with it and support his decision. This will go a long way to building self-esteem.
  5. Encourage participation in outside activities. Help your child develop new friendships and rebuild his support system. This can be extra-curricular activities at school, sports, or church groups.
  6. Consider outside help. If your teen seems depressed or isn’t coping well call a professional to help.

 

For more information click the link below:

http://bullying.about.com/od/Victims/a/How-To-Help-Your-Child-Deal-With-Being-Ostracized.htm

 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope I’ve given you some good information on ways to help your teen deal with rejection. It’s painful, but they can recover. If you’d like to share your ideas leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Related Articles:

Can We Prevent Mass Shootings?

 

Volunteering: Another Solution to Teen Angst

 

What is the Underlying cause of Violence in our Schools?

Posted in Parenting, Uncategorized

Can We prevent Mass Shootings?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today talking about mass shootings. Just the other day, I saw a video on social media demonstrating a product that will lock doors during a shooting.  It’s called the Barracuda Intruder Defense System. Here’s a video demonstrating how it works.

Barracuda Intruder Defense System

It’s depressing that we even have to have this type of product on the market, but we need it. Mass shootings are on the rise. Most shootings happen in schools or businesses where people feel safe.  On February 20th of this year there was a mass shooting in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A lone gunman stalked random victims, killing six of them.

How do we stop these shootings?

No one has the answer to that question. They do know many of these acts are committed by young men who are mentally ill and have access to guns. Unfortunately, such broad traits do little to help determine who will actually attack.  In fact, most mentally ill people are usually the victims of violence as opposed to the perpetrators.

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What are some common factors of these shooters?

That’s a good question. They are usually socially awkward, feel alone, and have access to guns. Many of them have been bullied, harassed, and ignored. It’s my opinion, bullying is the underlying cause of many mass shootings.

Most shooters have suffered some kind of loss such as a break up or the loss of a job. This loss puts a strain on an individual who’s already vulnerable. The majority of mass shooters don’t have a support system and when tragedy strikes they have no one to turn to.

What can we do?

Many people believe stricter gun control is the answer, and I tend to agree. When you get right down to it, no one needs an assault rifle. They shouldn’t be easy to get, but they are. You can buy them online.

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I also believe communities should pull together and school administrators and teachers need to be aware of some of the traits that all mass shooters exhibit. Below is a list of the traits and the mental process a shooter goes through before he takes action.  For more information click on this article.

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/spycatcher/201506/identifying-the-next-mass-murderer-it-s-too-late

 

Narcissistic Traits: They believe themselves to be special, they have the right to do and say as they wish. The right to act out, feeling omnipotent in their beliefs. They feel they alone have wisdom and therefore their solution is the correct one.

Paranoid Ideation: All of these individuals have an irrational fear of something. They call it hate, but its fear. Ted Kaczynski feared technology. Timothy McVey feared the militarization of the police.

Passionate Hatred: Paranoia, the irrational fear of something fuels a passionate hatred. The kind that drives these individuals to take action. It’s palpable. People can see it in the comments they make, in the way the dress, and tattooed on their bodies.

Wound Collectors:

These people are individuals that collect social or historical slights, procedural wrongs, and injustices real or wrong. They nurse these wounds and use them to fuel their hatred.

Communication:

Communication almost always happens before action. The wound collectors tell others of the slights they’ve received and it escalates from there.

Violence as Magic:

Violence becomes the magical solution as the wound collector keeps track of all the slights he’s received.  It’s at this point that the individual rejects any other form of dealing with his wounds and starts gathering weapons and devising plans.

Isolation:

Before the violence takes place the individual with self-isolate to ensure he’s not listening to outside forces that would derail his plan.

The Lethal Cocktail:

So there you have it. The combination of narcissistic traits, paranoia that fuels hatred, and wound collecting is a volatile combination, a ticking time bomb. The only problem is where and when are they going to strike?

 

Thanks for reading my post today. I’d love to here if you have any ideas how we can stop these individuals before there is a loss of life. Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!