We frequently hear news about bullying, youth and children who are part of organized crime and terrifying crimes committed by children. Whose fault is it?
We live in a world where violence is more common every day. This one has breakfast with your children while you listen to the morning news that reports – each time more indolently – about the men, women and even children murdered the day before in your city or country. She accompanies the children on the way to school, during vehicular traffic seasoned with verbal aggression from motorists and pedestrians. She inspires her school day when you advise her something like “You have to be the best in your class”, when she hears you treat other people in a derogatory way and also when teachers and classmates mock someone who does not know or “does not fit in. ” Back home, violence becomes your children’s playmate – perhaps their favorite – and not only in the form of war toys and video games, but in all the ways that stepping over someone else comes across like something fun.
When the suffering of others is not lamented and even entertains, we can glimpse the decline of a society. It is true, the responsibility for this is not yours and the fault is absolutely not of the families. But we must recognize that we all participate in this when we allow, favor and overlap that violence becomes so common that we no longer see it, nor does it disturb us.
We are murdering the childhood
One of the most serious and painful effects of all this is that with it we are killing children. Hundreds of children die today in armed conflicts, as a result of the war around organized crime and even at the hands of their own parents or relatives, as a result of domestic violence. But there are also many others whom, without taking their lives, we symbolically murder.
From child exploitation and the participation of children and adolescents in organized crime, to the more subtle ways in which we take away their candor and joy every day, we kill children whenever we deny them the present and the future they deserve, to which they have the right. Here are three ways in which I believe we are destroying our children; I do it in the hope that together we can stop:
1. We teach them to compete, not to show solidarity
In our society, one of the most respected values is that of competition. We transmit it to children daily, promoting individual interests over the collective good. If you do this persistently, your children will learn that they must put their wishes before the welfare of others and that, if they do so, they will be rewarded (more loved and recognized) by their parents (and those they love). That is, you teach them that love comes as a reward for beating another, and that this is synonymous with success.
In contrast, when you teach your children to play and work as a team, to help and be helped by others, you are forming in them the awareness that happiness and success lie in being with others , and not in being above others. others . Can you imagine how different their future would be if we educated the new generations in the value of solidarity, and not in competitiveness?
2. Hypersexualization and gender stereotypes
If you pay attention, you will surely notice how boys and girls show adolescent interests, tastes and attitudes at an early age. This is largely due to what we call hypersexualization of childhood. This commercial and media phenomenon promotes practices and lifestyles typical of adult sexuality, but in children. Little girls who wear makeup and sexy clothes , or who participate in beauty pageants, type Miss Universe . Although this phenomenon is more visible in girls, it also affects boys, who are socially pressured to be “virile” at an early age, to make comments and jokes of a sexual nature in order to be accepted and recognized by their peers.
I invite you to read: 4 reasons why your daughters do not become princesses
If you think about it, this is a slow way to kill children, as it pushes them to accelerate physical and psychological processes that shorten their childhood and that do not really prepare them to face the sexuality of a responsible adult in a healthy and pleasant way. On the contrary, as this is an eminently marketing phenomenon, it is accompanied by great ignorance about the body and sexuality. Full of prejudices and stereotypes, this trend puts the health, self-esteem and even the lives of thousands of children at risk.
Combat this by taking care of what toys, clothes and accessories you give them, as well as the TV shows and movies they watch. Talk to them clearly about sexuality, based on their age and psychological maturity. It also ensures that gender stereotypes, sexist jokes and behaviors that strengthen unfair relationships based on the sexual difference between men and women are not reproduced at home.
I suggest you read: Do you want happier children? Educate them on fairness
3. Give up the defense of your rights
I’m sure that when you glimpse the chaotic world your children will inherit, you cannot help but worry about their future and what they will face. Submerged in the incessant task of solving immediate needs, we adults hardly stop to think that other parents go through the same thing we do, and that together we could find ways to build a better future for our children. Defending your rights is one of them. There are numerous civil associations and diverse groups that work in this regard, to which you could join. Or, you can create your own in your community, involving your family. When we passively see that the rights of other children are violated day by day, we let our children die with them, because we kill the present opportunities to which each other is entitled. In addition, we deny them the possibility that in the future they have access to the rights that they possess as human beings.
Finally, remember that we all murder children every time we do, justify or allow something to happen that denies them their right to be children, and happy. Striving to build a world with others where all children can be children is a way to save your children — and those of many others — from a fatal future. In addition, it is a task of immense value that will bring happiness, great experiences and teachings to your family.
I invite you to also reread this very interesting article: The hypersexualization of girls: your daughter on the razor’s edge.