My three year old toddler came to me today pointing a ruler, yelling, “shooter, shooter”. My mouth dropped, my heart broke into a million pieces. We are a family of peace, speaking up loudly when we see pain inflicted towards oneself or another, holding fertile ground in awakening social responsibility. We value our stillness, our silence, living a purposely peaceful life, not even owning a TV so as to reduce the background noise of nonsense. When we do watch movies, it’s done so through online systems, where we choose what we see to absorb. Yet, let it be known, buying my son a Kindle was one of the best investments in education I could give at such a young age, prior to reading. He taught himself how to count to ten well before he was 18 months old. And he knew the whole alphabet around that age too. He was a budding student and teacher all in one. And as a parent you’re constantly juggling what is too much to what is not enough, in this day in age.
So, as we watched a movie (a quarter of it) about Woody the Woodpecker, which I now suspect was rated PG, though it wasn’t advertised, it starts out with goons shooting anything that makes them money. At this point, I hope to get through the first scene quick as all toddlers are impressionable but not wanting to watch a movie with primary colored cartoons and space aliens, so I let it slide for now.
Days later, he’s then reenacting a shooter, using a ruler as a gun.
It felt like time slowed down, which is actually good because I needed to think fast and instead of reprimanding him trying to make him aware of his actions, I needed to find the source. Thinking this reenactment came from a movie, I inquired deeper to find out which one…to delete from his queue. It was Woody the Woodpecker as I suspected, yet puzzled as to why since it’s a classic. Kids growing up in the 20th century played with toy guns, watched Elmer Fudd (1939) and reenacted war on a daily basis and my inward question was, “is this healthy”? Just because we grew up on this doesn’t say much of anything, unless you look at history. War is never pleasant, even if you win and it’s not a game. So, why play pretend with it? Maybe to discharge the DNA accruement from generational suffering? Maybe to play hero? But why needing a weapon to kill another, why not a voice of resistance in injustice? Why not run around playing Mahatma Gandhi “employing nonviolent civil disobedience“? Why not play Rosa Parks in the civil rights movement when playing bus? Why not play Alice Paul, “an American suffragist, feminist, and women’s rights activist, and one of the main leaders and strategists of the campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits sex discrimination in the right to vote.” Because WE don’t. Instead, we teach our children that running around with weapons, when they’re not even cognitively developed enough to understand what killing is, we think this is ok. Why? Because it’s always been done.
That’s not a good enough reason for me of why. Not on any subject.
Because of the internet, parenting skills have skyrocketed, no longer are the days we ask our mothers and grandmothers for sole advice. This has pros and cons, but more of the first. We no longer have to repeat history to learn, there is such a drive of significant life force happening at record speed, due to access of free radical information, we would be dumb not to get excited from it, but can be dumb when we don’t filter it by way of finding OUR own way first.
This generation of parenting is like no other and although we have universes deep of parenting practices, we must ask a fundamental question to ourselves. “Can this help my child, in turn helping society or hurt my child (on some level) therefore hurting society?”
So, as my son is acting out a scene from a movie, I address how those goons had really, REALLY bad behavior (I feel talking about a child’s behavior is much more effective than saying they ARE bad/good) so as to help him connect the dots that this make believe weapon isn’t a game. To translate that to a toddler is difficult but obviously essential because if he was able to act out this scene, he will be able to understand that it’s bad behavior to act that out. And so we settled it, but it’s not over. I will remind him. I will come back over and over the weeks addressing this exact enactment. Why? Because doing anything else would be avoidance. To really nip it in the bud is to address it, don’t shy away from it, even if it scares you. This is good parenting – 21st Century style.
The irony of this situation, is that we’re a gun owning family, we also live in Alaska much of the year, so you can understand as to why. For us, as early on as possible, we teach that guns (arrows etc) are weapons, not a toy. I’m horrified when I see parents enabling the play of “Cowboys and Indians”, thinking that they don’t want to be politically correct, not realizing it’s beyond detrimental to ones development. They’re not parenting, they’re just repeating how they grew up seeing as that was fun to them. That’s not parenting at all because it’s not thinking, it’s not QUESTIONING. To be an upstanding parent, with what we now know, one must question everything. It’s exhausting because it’s not automatic, but that energy that you put into questioning will soon become automatic in the psyche for your children, and your children’s children. You are more than just a father or mother, you are a teacher for generations, as that is memory and through the understanding of Epigenetics it gets passed down farther than you’ll be alive to witness. What you do now, matters.
So, I encourage you to parent a warrior…without weapons.
A warrior who uses their mind to conquer obstacles, thinking outside ones limitations.
A warrior who plays hero to help the inchworm not be crushed.
A warrior who frees those who cannot help themselves.
A warrior who speaks up, on behalf of what’s not fair for all and injustice.
A warrior who sees themselves equal to their play mates, those less AND more fortunate, squelching guilt or jealousy replacing it with gratitude that we all have different life experiences in which to gain great knowledge from and how to be of service when needed.
A warrior who stands for peace because peace is more valuable than ego.
A warrior who sheds so much love to his enemy that they’re blinded by their light, that they surrender to it effortlessly, noticing it’s their own inner light they were covering, shadowing themselves.
A warrior who saves thyself from their own pain and suffering.
To support your warrior, you must show them how to step into that role with honor and justice for all. Put down those metal weapons, remove the heavy chains of protection, for a warrior isn’t guarded against a projected enemy, a powerful warrior holds no weapons because he/she knows the enemy is in the mind, the war is fighting within itself and in its beliefs, thinking we must protect ourselves from something outside of ourselves. But when we choose to lay down our weapons and notice our daily fight against ‘what is’, we arise to our birth right which is to thrive, connecting the dots in our unconscious historical behavior and actions. We teach our children, that weapons are not play and to pretend to hurt another is barbaric. We teach our children to become warriors without weapons because the mind is most powerful when used. So help them use it.
Growing up through our children,
Vanessa Wishstar, Intuitive Medium
Vanessa Wishstar ∞ Intuitive Medium
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