Whenever there’s a mass shooting, the mainstream media and different political factions always want to find someone to blame. The recent shootings at a naval base in D.C. promoted the usual declarations when it was pretty evident that the shooter was simply mentally unstable. So, instead of accusing our society of having a problem, why not just fix the issue of letting mentally unstable people not only have access to guns, but have unfettered freedom?
Teaching our kids empathy is this Thursday’s #DadChat topic on June 27 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. PT/9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET. EVERY parent knows that our kids tend to see the world through one view – their own. Then they become teenagers and ONLY see it ALL from a self-centered POV. How do we parents teach them to care about others, the world at large, and away from their own immediate needs and wants? That is what we’ll discuss with co-host Marie Roker-Jones this week.
I am writing this on the morning after the Boston bombings, so much will be uncovered in the days between this writing and publication. But, this column is not about the who and why of the Boston bombings. It’s about the role Social Media plays in our lives today and how empathy and grief come to bear during these events. It’s also about why we must teach our children well to care about others and reach out in tough times to those in need.
Note: Please listen to or download our special radio show, The Boston Bombings and Our Kids, in which Dr. Weberman offers excellent tips for parents about how to handle such an issue with our kids, and we hear from Pastor Drew Sams with a spiritual viewpoint, and Cheryly LeBon giving a political perspective.
First air date: Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wayne Levine (BetterMenCoaching) for “The Men’s Room”
Pastor Drew Sams (WeWillSingANewSong) for “Teen Rap”
Special Guest John Boyle (BrandFlair) discussing gifts for HIM!
This show was based on this week’s “A Dad’s Point-of-View” column, “The E Word is Empathy.” We also discussed great gifts for him with special guest, John Boyle.
For many of us, the holidays are a mixed bag. We want to be happy and get into the spirit, but there often is a lot of baggage we carry with us. It may be sad memories from childhood. It may be sad consequences of divorce. Or, it may be loneliness. For me, it’s been a sense of a longing for a bigger family, as for much of my life my family unit was small. Most of us have it good and that is why I want to focus on empathy as a great way to cope, understand, and feel good.
I took today’s column title from the very great REM song, Everybody Hurts. I also happen to love The Corrs’ version of it as well (see above). The lyrics are incredibly deep for a rock ‘n’ roll song, though I’m not sure that REM can be so simply classified in a music genre. Regardless, these lyrics are important and touched me the other day as I was walking and thinking. I do some of my best thinking when I walk around a small lake near our home.
Take comfort in your friends. Everybody hurts.
Don’t throw your hand. Oh, no. Don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone, no, no, no, you are not alone
How often have you made a choice, in which you knew that you were right, yet it turned out wrong? If we, as adults and parents, can do this, what can we expect from our children, especially our teens? And therefore we can ask the question: is being right enough?
I still can’t get over the fact that human brains don’t fully develop until their early twenties. I learned this from a lecture by Dr. Bruce Powell, dean of a local private school, and expert on raising teenagers. So, for teens, their judgments, empathy, and other functions, like knowing when to keep their mouths shut, just aren’t present. Yet, we expect them to often behave as if they were fully adult.