Kids Are Our Future

Kids Are Our FutureNumb. That is pretty much how I would describe the day after Election Day 2016 in our house. After less than two hours of sleep, my boys woke up and came into our bedroom. First, my 13 year old son wanted to know if Hillary had won. When I told NHL to sit down because we needed to talk, he knew something was wrong. I explained the events of the evening from the time he went to bed until three in the morning when the president-elect came on stage. The look of horror on his face was real. When I saw that, I instantly felt tears in my eyes.

Thanks to NHL’s age and topic of his Bar Mitzvah Dvar Torah (read it here on TechyDad’s post), he knows history. He recognized similarities of a man from the past and the one that will soon become our president. I left him with words to be extra kind to the kids in school. To remember that this is going to be especially hard for many of the students in classes with him because of their race, religion, and where they come from. You see, NHL’s school is beautifully diverse. A large number of children are new to the United States. At the end of the day, he reported that there were tears at school. I can’t even imagine.

Now back to my youngest. I had shielded him from a lot this election cycle. He is only nine and doesn’t need to grow up too quickly. What I didn’t realize was he was painfully aware. When TechyDad and I told him the news he started to cry. Nine year old JSL could not pick up his head because he was crying and afraid. When we asked him why he was crying, it broke my heart. He worried about his friends, many who are new to this county. He asked about the wall and whether they would be kicked out.

I sat there and was numb, but tried to perk him up for school. I reminded him to be a great friend and try to make people smile if they were upset. That night JSL did not sleep well. It took me several days to figure it out. Apparently a buddy of his that is Muslim had been out since Election Day. My poor child thought he had already fled from what may happen in our country.

So why am I writing all of this?

I need to get it off my chest and I must do more to help others. Like my son wrote in his speech, if we don’t help others there will be nobody left to help us when the time comes.

The fear in my mind and heart is real.

  • I worry about family and friends that are not white. While I am Jewish, I am a white woman. I know that if I am walking down a street wearing regular clothing, I do not attract as much attention. My boys are white and I have had to talk to them about being the eyes and ears for their friends in case injustice happens in front of them. I want my boys to speak out and help a friend if they are wrongly accused of something. They must stand up if a friend is being bullied for any reason. It makes me sick and sad that friends have to worry about their children simply walking down the street because of the color of their skin.

  • Hate crimes have never gone away, let’s set that fact straight. They have been all too real for many living in the United States, but they are increasing and being more blatant for the public to see first hand. Silence from the President-elect on this topic is deafening and says a lot.

  • Religious freedom is being threatened. An entire religion is being attacked by the President-elect and many of his followers. Why? Simply because they share it with extremist groups. Friends I know have been threatened and told to leave the country, though they are United States citizens like me. The only difference? Their skin color and religion. Peaceful people now live in fear and are trying to keep their families safe. No, the election did not cause this. It has always been happening. The difference we have someone that is instigating it and not telling others to stop.

  • Deporting innocent refugees that came to our beautiful country to escape horrors is not the answer. This is not the American way and it never should be. We need to embrace those that come here and help them to get back onto their feet. My community is special because of all of the different people living in it. This is what we need to keep in the United States, not stop it and send people back.

  • Marrying a person you love should make no difference to anyone else so long as you are in love. I have family and friends that are LGBTQ. Some are married and others are not. They all should have the same rights that I have as a married person in this country. They should not have to live in fear of being hurt holding hands with their spouse while in public. Oh and if you are wondering, you can’t wish it away with therapy like a certain vice president-elect may think.

  • Most people know it is never acceptable to make fun of someone with a disability or special need. This could be physical, neurological, mental, or something else. Every human being is different and we need to stand up for them. They have right and should not be harassed. In addition to this, they should not have to worry about medical care. If we don’t watch it, they may be stripped away from people because of preexisting condition status.

  • While I do not have daughters, I am concerned for the future of women in our country. How can they feel safe? The President-elect of our country has stated that as a celebrity it gave him rights to touch women in places that are not acceptable. Hands off my kitty and anyone else’s! While we are at it, I don’t want any man or politician telling me what rights I have for my uterus and any care I need for it. No, I did not vote with my vagina, but I sure as hell want my rights to remain without someone putting their religious beliefs ahead of mine. Separation of church and state is here for a reason.

  • Seeing Swastikas in the news sends chills down my spine. Anti-Semitism is alive and thriving. Horrid groups are showing the country that they have been lurking and are ready to be seen again. Crickets from politicians on support from their group and the hate that they spew is a real kick in the gut. My oldest son sees similarities with the past. My youngest is still learning about the Holocaust and history of Germany and WWII. Neither of my kids have seen it first hand. I wish I could say the same. I still remember my synagogue being set on fire when I was slightly older than NHL. Swastikas were all over the walls and we knew it was an arson fire based on hate. As I am typing this, a known anti-Semite has been selected as a chief policy adviser for the new administration. I am going to be sick. I see history flashing before my eyes. I feel like I have entered the Twilight Zone. I used to have nightmares about being in the Holocaust like my ancestors. Now, I have to worry about this and more for my family and countless others that are not acceptable to the incoming administration.

So I am writing this as a starting point. I am looking for local, state, and national groups to work with and make a difference. I want to be actively involved and show my children what must be done. Below are some posts that I have gathered by different friends in the blogosphere. If you have more links to add, please let me know in the comments below and I will edit and add to this post.

Together we can and will make a difference. We have to because ALL of our kids are our future.

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Vote Today and Always

The day is finally here. Election Day 2016 has arrived for those of us in the United Stated. We are unable to vote early in New York State, so it is the time I can go to the polls and let my voice be heard.

 Vote Today

For what seems like forever, we have been listening to constant chatter and more about this big presidential election. I think this is probably why I was burned out and over it before the day arrived. Most years I have a plan for when I will go to vote. This time around I didn’t. Then, my nine year old son begged me to take him with me. He wanted to go and witness a presidential election.

This is the same child that sat on my bed working on homework last night. He was distracted by the television commercials. He kept hearing things that he didn’t understand and asking me questions. It was my own fault for leaving the television on, but I explained about political ads and how hateful they can be. I shared that rather than explain why you or your candidate is right for the job, they shame the other person for things they claim they have done in the past or will do in the future. It’s a lot for anyone to understand, no less a child in elementary school that does not recall another big election in his life. Let’s be real, there has never been an election quite like this one in anyone’s life.

We are lucky being in New York State because most of the political ads are for local races. The ones we watch are not even for races that we are able to vote in. There are occasional ones for the presidential candidates, but usually at odd hours. One of the best things for our family was getting away before Halloween. We were able to escape from most the nasty end of this presidential campaign. Sure my smartphone buzzed with news updates, but I was able to ignore them. Of course, our get away for a conference and vacation was Florida. This key state in the presidential election was swarming with ads. If we put the television on for a moment, hate oozed across the screen in one ad after another. If this wasn’t enough, sky writers were out for some candidates as well.

All I can say is I am done. I can exhale because I did my civic duty and voted. I may be conflicted with some circles that I filled in on my ballot, but I am going to live with my choices.

My son reminded me of what this election is about. It’s about keeping the United States a democracy. One day, I want to watch him go into a polling place to let his voice be heard. I want both of my boys to be excited to have the right to vote once they turn 18. Yes, I was that geek that was more excited to turn 18 and vote than 21 to drink. It was finally my turn to be an adult and have some say in those that we elect.

While my heart may not have been into voting this year, I know the feeling of pride in being American and having the freedom to vote. Tomorrow I hope that half of this country will get up and move forward no matter what the outcome of this election is. I know it will be hard to swallow for either side, but we must work together. If we continue to divide this country more I fear what the future will be for our children and generations to come.

Please take a moment today to get out and vote if you have not done so already. Oh and please get a sticker. Apparently we never have them here and I feel cheated!

It's Me

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Do Not Blame the Victim of a Bully

Bullying continues to be an undeniable problem in this country. Not only are adults dealing with it, we often have to help our own children through their own bullying ordeals. It truly can be a vicious cycle for many of us.

October is National Bullying Prevention month. This means that more attention is focused on this critical issue. We hear stories of kids of all ages being harassed in a myriad of ways. Why are they doing this? For many, it’s all about having power over another person.

What I would like to remind you this October is the following:

Never blame the victim of a bully

Yes, you read that right. As hard as it may be to believe, the victims of bullies may be blamed or shamed if they speak up. As if it isn’t hard enough to get the courage to say something, imagine another person pointing fingers at you for being intimidated and harassed by another individual. Like you had some kind of control of this matter.

Now, imagine what this would do to your self esteem. The person you trusted enough to talk to has turned the fault of the bullying on YOU.

NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

This is not acceptable and must stop. There is never a reason why the person being bullied should feel as if they did something wrong. They are vulnerable enough and should have support. The victim needs other to stand by their side so they feel comfortable enough to use their voice to stop the vicious cycle.

It doesn’t matter how you define bullying or harassment. The fact is that when another person is being touched, bothered, verbally abused, or feel like they are not safe – something is wrong. Nobody should have to suck it up and deal. The reality is that the victim also has rights.

Both of my children have been bullied. It’s something we have had to deal with many times over the years. I am thankful that NHL and JSL have both been comfortable enough to tell us when this has happened. In addition to this, New York State has the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) that grants rights to students that are bullied in school. This paragraph alone is extremely powerful:

New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.

This is a great start, but a lot needs to be done in schools and throughout our society.

How do you help others when you see or know they are being bullied? If you have been the person bullied, what do you wish others had done to help you?

It's Me

Some of my previous posts about bullying:

Bullying posts by TechyDad: My Bullied History

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Tracking What You May Misplace

#VZWBuzz Disclosure

Where did I put my purse this time? This is becoming a joke in our family. Sure, I should have one place where I put my purse down once I get inside the house. The reality is that I am often in a rush once I storm through the doors. I may race into the kitchen with perishables to put into the refrigerator. Other times, I may stop midway into the kitchen to toss my purse by the dining room table before running to get more in the car. There are also instances where I fly into the house to wash my hands or take care of some other business. (I went there.)

Tile Slim

I am also the person that could never find her keys most mornings before heading to school with my youngest. Were they in my purse, on the table, in my coat, by my laptop, or on the floor? Thanks to Verizon Wireless, my life changed when they sent me the original Tile. Once again, never in the same place or space to make my life easier. Several days a week, I calmly go to the app on my phone and ask it to help me find my keys. My boys now run to locate them and there is never any stress thanks to this nifty tech device. Now, imagine a new Tile that is super thin and can be tucked into a wallet, bag, or anything else when you travel.

Say hello to Tile Slim! This beautiful new device is able to get tucked away right into my wallet. While I may not put my keys away in my purse, my wallet is always tucked back inside. So if I know where my Tile Slim is in my wallet, I can find where my purse is currently hiding. Check out how the Tile and Tile Slim compare to one another.

Tile and Tile Slim

It was simple to add this to my Tile account. I just followed the steps and within a moment, my new Tile was named and set up. Now if (more likely when) I can’t find my purse, I simply go to my app and click on the Tile I want to find and wait to track it with Bluetooth. The music will play and guide me to where my purse is currently hiding.

Tile App view

Tile Slim will also help me on the go. I may be known to put my purse down when out and forgetting it. Could be at a restaurant, amusement park, or especially at a conference when I wander off from a table to say hello to a friend. This will be a great asset for me in my upcoming travels. I can’t wait to get away and not have to worry about my forgetful mind. I will also be picking up some extra Tile Slim to place in suitcases and other bags that will be along for the trip.

Where would you use a TileSlim? I would love to know additional ideas for the use of this product that is already changing my life.

It's Me
Disclosure
: As a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Bloggers, I receive cool goodies like the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Tile Slim to test out and share ways that I use them in my life. I am a long time Verizon customer, and all opinions are my own.

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Sweet New Year Wishes for 5777

The Jewish New Year is here and my family will be celebrating it together over the next two days.

Rosh Hashanah ChallahIt’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. TechyDad and I watched our oldest become a Bar Mitzvah and start his teen years. Our youngest son is busy reading, writing, and exploring the world around him. TechyDad finished writing and publishing his first novel (more coming on that soon). I am busy working on education and special needs advocacy. Of course, I am still working on freelance and revamping my special place over here. I have so much to share and keep adding things to my notebook when they pop into my brain. I plan on getting back to what makes me happy this year and that includes sharing parts of my adventures and world on The Angel Forever.

I leave you with a favorite Rosh Hashanah song by The Ein Prat Fountainheads.

To all of those that celebrate, I wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and sweet start to 5777.

It's Me

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