In the last few weeks, there have been some interesting discussions in my home as a result of the news, thank you Justin Bieber & Co. Here’s a glimpse of our Q&A:
Q: Why do people do drugs? Answer: To numb the pain.
Q: Why would a star feel pain? Answer: There’s immense pressure to stay on top.
Q: Why is there so much violence? Answer: Because people are angry.
Q: Why are so many people angry? Answer: In my opinion, because of the increasingly outrageous disparity between the rich and poor.
Over the last 30 years, while we’ve undoubtedly seen the standard of living of the poor improve, the fact is the middle class is struggling to recover from all the hits we took in the Great Recession, meanwhile the rich have never had a more concentrated level of wealth like this since the Great Depression. Seriously, according to a recent article in the Atlantic, the 85 wealthiest families have as much wealth as the poorest 3 Billion combined. Hopefully, I am not the only one that wanted to throw up after reading that article.
While the media tries to “search for answers,” I think parents need to step up and help our kids face some harsh realities. We have to accept that thanks to modern technology, in a post 9/11 world, our kids simply will not grow up as naively as we did. Schools are no longer immune to danger, and without teaching our kids to discipline their emotions, tempers will continue to flair, precisely because the disparity of people’s lifestyles has never been more apparent, and the extravagant decadence of the top 1% can be infuriating to those that feel disenfranchised and/or have lost hope in the American dream.
I’m getting off my soapbox now, and leave you with this interview I did recently with a local mental health expert, Steven Stein, who shared some tips with parents about understanding a child’s emotional thermometer, and how we can talk to kids about violence: