Every time you tune into the news, you can see evil working its way into the world. Whether it be ISIS beheading journalists in the Middle East or kids bullying an autistic teen in Ohio, darkness seems to be covering the world. But you can do something about it, starting by having honest conversations with your kids. They are growing up in a safety bubble, and we shouldn't shield them from the horrors in the world.
Below is a transcript of Glenn's opening monologue
Tonight, I want to start here though on kind of a conversation that I would like to start to have with you over a longer period of time, and that is this, I really think that we all basically are the same inside. We might vote differently. We might, you know, like different colors, whatever, but we all want the freedom to choose. We want the choice of our own path in life. We want the freedom to speak out. We want the freedom and the respect that our voice is being heard without fear of any kind of persecution or repercussion, at least when it comes to the government.
We want to belong to something bigger than ourselves. We want to see a grander vision and build that, mainly for our kids because we want our kids to have it better than we did growing up. There is a ton of noise that gets between all of us, and it suggests otherwise, but I believe it’s true, that we can disagree on a ton of things, and those disagreements are often really very real, but when it all comes down to it and the dust settles, we have more in common than not.
In the days and the weeks ahead, we’re going to be trying to find people who really get that. We might disagree on really big things, but it’s important that we find the things we do agree on. Tomorrow, I’m going to be talking to a guy who I think is one of the more interesting people alive today. I’ve not met him yet. I’ve had him on the show I think once before. His name is Andrew W.K.
He is a rock star. He is a guy who I think writes for the Village Voice. And I’ve read his articles. I agree with this guy. I think he may be one of the most important voices in America today, and I want you to meet him. We’re going to have a fascinating conversation with him. That’s tomorrow night. He’s trying to unite us on the big stuff, and that’s what we have to do.
Now, is that going to help or hurt? Because a lot of people are like you can’t even talk to anybody. No, and by saying that I want my kids to not have the same kind of fears and worries that I had as a kid, is that help or hurt? I don’t know about you, but do you remember when we were kids, and we had this, you know, war, this Cold War, with the Soviet Union. That was really scary, right? I thought we were going to be vaporized. I can’t tell you how many nights I had nightmares as a little kid because that’s all you saw on television. Well, think about what our kids are seeing on television now.
Now, conversations like this may hit close to home, but I think that’s what TheBlaze is really all about. TheBlaze is a place to where we want to be able to challenge and question everything, everything that we’re doing as a parent, everything that we’re doing as people, but that challenge might just affirm the path that you’re on as well.
The world is becoming an increasingly dangerous and dark, dark place, and you know it. You just watch it. I think that’s why people are not watching news the way they used to, because they don’t know what to do about it. They feel helpless. There is no perspective, and when you see something like ISIS and everything else that’s going on, you think to yourself, “What am I going to do about it?”
You don’t have to look overseas to see evil, either. In Ohio, this is one of the most tragic things I’ve ever seen, an autistic child was tricked into doing the ice bucket challenge, and some of his “friends” dumped feces and urine on him instead. In Seattle, a wheelchair-bound couple had their computer stolen by a pair of thieves while they were at the mall. There is evil everywhere. It’s there. So what are we going to do about it?
Well, I don’t think there’s a better time than right now to first self-examine and honestly ask ourselves, “What are we teaching our kids?” Are we teaching them the things that they will need to be prepared to make sense of the world that they’re going to inherit and then change it for the better or are we just sheltering them so they can save their childhood and then send them off into battle completely naked, woefully ill-informed, and armed with only a phone full of selfies?
We mean well, but in our quest to make things better, we’re probably disabling our children, and we’re shielding them from reality or we think we’re shielding them from reality. I don’t think you can anymore. The things that we saw on TV, our parents kind of monitored. If they walked away from the room, we could change the channel, but there were only three channels.
Now, things are happening, and people have cell phones everywhere. It’s happening, it’s happening live. Anywhere from the greatest of the greats to pornography is happening all around our children in the schools, everywhere. We’ve worked hard to afford suburbia and give them the things that we didn’t have, often times at the expense of our own presence, and then we try to make up with things or we make up or we’re tired.
This is mine. I’m so tired at the end of the day, I’m just like, “Whatever, that’s good. You know what, honey, just go ahead.” No. We prop them up with false compliments. We give them these fake trophies for participation. We don’t discipline. We don’t train them for a life in a broken and a very harsh world. Instead, we try to protect them from it. We’ve shielded their eyes.
You know me well enough to know that I don’t claim to have any answers. I don’t, especially when it comes to parenting. Anybody who says they’re, you know, I’m a parent, and I’ve figured it all out, you’re a liar. As a father of four, I can confidently tell you I am fumbling my way through it. I think I’m getting better, but make no mistake, raising and leading a family, mom or dad doesn’t matter, most important job and the hardest job there is.
But that I think is why we have to have an honest conversation. We have to have this conversation with each other because I don’t know, you’re like me, my wife and I, we sit in bed at night, and we will look at somebody else’s, our friends’ Facebook pages. And we see their put-together life, and it’s not our life. And we have a pretty sweet life, but our kids are, you know, messy and complaining and everything else, and so we look at this, and we say, “How do they do it? How do they do it?”
We can’t figure it out. And then we post all of our perfect moments on Facebook, and our friends are going, “Look at the Becks. How are they doing it?” The deal is none of us are doing it, none of us. And the things that we’re dealing with now have never been dealt before in all of human history. There is no detailed manual on what to do with kids, let alone kids with this kind of technology.
Never before has mankind seen this. With so much information out our own fingertips, what do I show my kids? What do I not show my kids? How do I keep my kids away from finding it on their own? Do I let them see the scary parts of movies? And what is even scary? What was scary is so far beyond what is scary now. What about video games? Do I tell them the truth about what’s happening to children in the Middle East?
You want to talk about nightmares, they’re teaching their children to hate and kill and to behead people. Do I teach them that? Do I show them that? Are they going to see that on their cell phone in grade school? This week is the anniversary of 9/11. A lot of us didn’t even show our kids the horrors of that day. Think about this, the kids born after 9/11 are now reaching their teenage years. That is incredible.
I will never even forget the smell of that day. Our kids weren’t living during that time. We saw evil rain down. We felt it. There was no mistaking it. Now we don’t even show the planes hitting the towers. It’s too scary. It’s too disturbing. If we don’t show them the truth, an entire generation is going to rise up blissfully unaware of what awaits them.
They didn’t feel the terror the morning of 9/11 when one plane hit, and we all said, “That’s a small plane. That has to be a small plane. That was just an accident. Maybe he had a heart attack.” And then another and then another, and then we all said, “How many do they have? Where are they going to hit next? Is this going to go on all day? Are suicide bombers going to be on the streets? Are they going to be in the malls? Is our country over today? Do you remember having that feeling, is our country over today?
Damn right, we were scared, because even though we didn’t know who Osama bin Laden was, even though we were all like who’s doing this to us?, we understood how fragile, just that day, how fragile this whole thing is. Our kids don’t know that, because it’s not. It’s bailouts. Everything is fine. There’s no mistakes. There’s nothing that can ever hurt you.
When our kids get old enough to understand the Muslim Brotherhood and that it’s a legitimate organization and that their real designs…when they get old enough to understand that ISIS is not a jayvee squad, they’ve got an eye-opening experience for them. Heck with our kids, half our population doesn’t even know that. We’re living in denial, and in our quest to give our children better, in our quest to make sure that our kids don’t have the nightmares that we had, they’re growing up in a safety bubble that doesn’t exist, and it’s not working out.
Do they really have it better than we did? Do they really have it better than our grandparents did when they were growing up in the Depression? Are we helping or are we hurting?
So what do you do?
Glenn invited Dr. James Dobson onto the show to explain how you can have conversations with your kids about what is happening in the world: