Get a Cat

close up portrait of lion

Since I have started researching ADD and PTSD from the perspective of someone who lived there for many years and has finally broken through the anxiety barrier, I am beginning to notice some patterns.

I like to make people think, not tell you how to do whatever it is you need to do. Throwing answers at people gives them a single answer. Guiding them to that answer provides enlightenment. Even if their final answer is not the same as yours, the trip to the answer can be enlightening enough. My kids can verify this because it is the same way we did homework when they were younger. No direct answers, but I will guide you to the general area of the answer. This approach worked great most of the time. Except in chemistry, nothing is easy there. 🙂

A couple events over the last week triggered this post. Actually, my mind triggered the post when these two events clicked together just a couple hours ago. These both have to do with kids and the ADD /Anxiety epidemic in this country.

The first entry we will tackle again takes back to our old friend Pinterest. I was browsing for some new things to add to my Random Funny board. You know, laughing helps your mental state; I do it as much as possible now. But anyway, as I was browsing through myriads of old jokes, not funny wannabe jokes, and so on, I came upon one that caught my attention because it was the same cartoon twice, one had been edited.

The cartoon portrayed a mother dragging her son outside to get some fresh air. The caption above his head said, “But I already seen this level on my game.” In the second cartoon, the child’s caption had been modified to read that the problem is not the kids choosing to stay inside all day. The problem is that parents are working more, focused on material possessions instead of family, afraid to let kids go outside, and at the same time very stressed themselves.

I left a comment on this image that I agree, parents are spending less and less time with their kids and depending on the “smart devices” to take care of them. The likes to this reply, while not stellar, have been growing by a few per day since this. I think as of today, it is up to 50 likes and 10 “this was helpful.” This kicked my mind into gear on which way to direct this post.

As of this update on May 21st, 2021 the popularity of this reply continues to grow, up to just over 100 likes and many more have said it was helpful.

The second article I read was about research being done to show that cats can help children with ADD or Anxiety problems. More or less, they say it is because the cats are comforting, warming, and non-judgemental. Well, they don’t know my cat, but that is a different story.

See, but here is the problem. Another entity in a child’s life should also have these qualities plus much more, including unconditional love and total understanding. That would be the parent, parents, or other caretakers, depending on the situation.

Our world has changed. Our country has changed. We have changed. Some changes have been for good, some not so good. One of the not so good that I see is that adults are being asked to ruin their health, physical and mental, by their employers or, for that matter, society in general by working until they are totally worn out. Whether you realize it or not, your children feel this.

Even if they do not know the whole truth, they are very sensitive to situations and emotions. And this makes it even worse because they do not know what they are feeling, just that something is wrong.

Or it may be a situation where children are more or less being forced to do something that they do not want to do. Like, playing a sport just because the parents want them to. But to that note, the schools do that all the time. Even in 2005, they tried to force us to make our son use his right hand instead of his left hand. We blatantly refused. Now he is a happily grown adult who is predominantly left-handed; he has survived just fine.

But you could even take this a step further and have a long debate about the standardized knowledge tests that have to be passed before you can graduate high school. But standardized to what? The same thing as everyone else in the country? This is not progress. This is stagnation.

Kids are raised by this society to think they have to meet someone else’s standard. This is wrong and part of the problem. Not all kids, nor adults for that matter, are alike. Actually, we are all quite different, even you from your children. They may look like you, but their brain is not wired like yours. It becomes that way over time as they try to emulate you but at the same time have to keep up with the new standard that society has set for them.

This can cause great confusion. Let’s take a quick look at an excellent example of the differences between your thought patterns and your children’s thought patterns. This debacle is called common core math. And before my generation, the big thing was long division. Of course, by the time I was in school, long division was the norm.

I look at common core math solutions, and I want to scream. Yes, I can figure it out, but why are we doing it? The way we did it works fine. The difference between this and long division is long division made math easier. Common core, more or less, just makes it more complicated. So, in the end, most parents can not help their children with it because they do not understand it. So the parents help the way they know, the answer is right, the formula is wrong, so the answer is incorrect. The child is sad, the parent is sad or angry. The kids feel it.

I just used common core math as the subject there because I just don’t like it. But the point is, society is putting too much pressure on children and families to be like everyone else but excel at the same time. How can you excel if you are confined to the same box as everyone else? You can not. The math does not add up. And unfortunately, adding to that problem, that box gets smaller as you go down the income scale and gets much too big as you go up the income scale. Or is it the other way around, because there are a lot of people in one of those boxes. No, just a whole lot of people in a tiny box. This angers me also but I will save that for another post.

But some parents are pushing their kids to do just this and not listening to what they need. I did not say what they want. I said what they need. Believe it or not, they need more than they want. Many are just seeing those needs as wants and ignoring them. Or filling those needs with material things.

They don’t need material things. They need you. They need your love, your compassion, your understanding. You need to understand if they don’t want to go into the career you want. You need to understand if they don’t want to play the sport or join the club or hang out with the friends you want. You need to understand they may not want to go to college, or at least not the one you choose. Your understanding if your son wants to wear pastel purple, or your daughter wants short hair and dresses in jeans and t-shirts. There are so many things you need to understand. You need to understand that your kids want to tell you the truth, but they are afraid. They are afraid because of the expectations society has set on them and you reinforce. You need to understand above all that you are their parents and the choices you make while raising your children are now and everlasting.

You need to understand when you became a parent, you gave up the life you knew. Your children should be number one for the rest of your life. If you have to give up some of your material things to spend more time with your children, then so be it.

You created a beautiful child, now do the right thing and listen to your children, love them unconditionally, and let them find their own path without binding them to a set of expectations leveled by a society that is barely holding its self together.

Or get a cat. There are many at your local shelter that I am sure would love a warm home and free food.

–Don’t worry about tomorrow, cherish today.–

–Bryan

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