Ran into a couple fabulous articles this morning that converged into an unexpected blog post. The first article was in relation to something I read in the book ORIGINALS by Adam Grant.
I loved this book for a million reason, but there was a particular concept that stuck with me and intrigued me. It also got me thinking about another article I saw this morning. But before I can build the connections, here is the back story…
Adam Grant talks about how to raise creative, original kids and how that might relate to the heroes who were Holocaust resisters–saving lives while putting their own at risk. This concept really stuck with me as I examined my own parenting, because who doesn’t want to raise the kind of kids who have enough moral fiber to be some body’s hero some day?
My friend Lynda Mullaly Hunt writes books and raises awareness about the impact every day heroes can have on every day lives…
BE SOMEONE’S HERO. NO CAPE REQUIRED ~~ Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things
Lynda also writes and talks about how…
I’m here to tell you that can be a beautiful thing. I know this concept (as Lynda is using it) is rooted in a subject close to me–dyslexia. But I also think it’s bigger than that. An important component of raising creative kids (according to this article by Jessica Stillman) is to reason with your kids–to create kids who think independently and don’t just follow the masses.
Laying down the law can be easier than explaining why the law is as it is, but if you’re interested in future creativity, you should take the time to reason with your little ones. Citing studies on the early lives of heroes who rescued people from the Holocaust and highly creative architects, Grant suggests parents “help children think about the consequences of their action for others,”
Not quite sure what Holocaust resisters (incredibly brave as they may have been) have to do with creativity? Morality and creativity are intertwined, Grant explains in another, illuminating TechCrunch interview. “Kids who evolve into creative adults tend to have a strong moral compass,” he says. “They’ve been nurtured by their parents, who’ve talked with them and modeled values of excellence for them that [seed ] concern for the consequences of their [kids’] actions on other people. At the same time, they’re given a lot of autonomy to figure out how they want to live with those values.”
But then the fireworks of connection really started firing in my head when I stumbled upon another article. It made me think about why we struggle to raise kids who are morally and creatively rich. There is a sad cycle holding us back.
Our children aren’t just battling their peers, who are also struggling to learn who they are and what they are about. Our kids are being terrorized by the very people who should be making them feel safe.
The good news, Saltz says, is that if you’re alert to the toxicity of bullying behavior, you can deflect it and send a strong message to your children, by example, that mocking, manipulating and swinging blows at other people is not okay. If you’re looking to stop a bully in her tracks, the best way to do so is to confront the bully directly. “Call it out,” Saltz says on TODAY. “Tell the bully, ‘I see what you’re doing, and it’s not OK. Let’s not do that.”
She adds that moms need to stand up to mom bullies to create a bully-free world. Parents have to teach by example
Here’s the thing, we all know that raising great kids and protecting children from bullying is a great thing to do. In the abstract–this is a no brainer. But we don’t always see the world from a place of perspective. We see it in relation to our own needs and interests and fears. I sympathize with that–it is human. But so is admitting we are sometimes wrong and need to apologize.
So, I’m just going to lay it out there. If you’ve made a mistake–we can get through this–together.
But if you think bullying is a great way to go–we can’t be friends. It’s that simple. I don’t condone that behavior. This is me telling you…
I SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND IT’S NOT OK!
Sometimes we get away from our better selves. It happens. It doesn’t make us bad people. It makes us people who need to be more original. We need to step away from the status quo and decide that it might be harder to own our behavior than to live in denial. But being brave enough to do it, might also make us exceptional.
Some days I look around me and realized it’s quite an uphill battle to teach our children to be original, moral, kind and brave.
We live in an environment where we don’t just worry about children being bullied by their day to day life–we have to fight this kind of ignorance on a cyber front. We live in a time that allows people to do and say things they wouldn’t have enough courage to stand up and say to someones face–in front of others. It’s a scary place out there, but it’s worse when bad behavior takes root and hides in the dark. We can’t let that happen.
What I’m asking of you today, is to stand up and be an original.
Behave better than the average person.
And use the internet to shed light, instead allowing bullies to hide in the dark behind cyber shadows.
You can repost this blog. Or you can share your own message.
But please find a way to be heard.
Will you be a bully or an original?
Will you raise a bully or an original?
Will you stand up and say…
I see what you’re doing and it’s not ok?
I’m counting on you…