This Call Shook Me Today and It Should Frighten You Too
I can't un-hear what I heard during my morning show today. I am shocked. Devastated. Sad. Angry. Pissed. Speechless. Fearful. I feel helpless because there is nothing I can do except this write this message.
I feel like it's my responsibility to reach you right now. I've been living in the Treasure Valley for the last ten years and have come so close with my listeners. This one is personal.
Let me first say that I won't divulge anything. I would never want to get in the middle of something that could impact the outcome of an event. I'm sorry if this post is vague but in my heart, I believe it's life or death that you read this and take it seriously.
I'm not the radio personality who takes calls and rushes listeners off the radio. I always ask questions and with that, you NEVER know what you'll get. I'm genuinely interested in what happens in that car you might be calling from. People's real lives are what interests me in the morning.
I can say, as parents, you should never assume you know what's happening in your kid's life. Never allow your children be somewhere that you might not feel comfortable with.
The hardest period of time for parents is when your teens are old enough to be out on their own, but you're still not sure of the situations. A parent I just spoke with told me,
You think you prepare you kids for life...and then...the time your babies need you, you're not there...
Listening to this story shook me because this is real life tragedy in our own city. Hate can visit you on your doorsteps.
My message goes back to a blog I wrote the other day where I attached a video I saw during the Academy Awards. I loved the angel it took because there was a twist at the end of the commercial that made you think. My goal is not just to teach my son what a good and bad touch is. It can't just be about stranger danger either. We teach manners with the yes sir and yes ma'am. There is something else we're responsible for and that is his morals.
I realize that Lennox will become pieces of the people that influence him and that is something we'll encourage. We want him to be whoever HE dreams of becoming. It's also going to be our constant reminders of what's right and what's wrong. In this video, I'm gonna post again the boy looks like a kid coming to pick up a girl for prom. They twist it at the end and it's actually the son leaving his house getting a responsible talk from his father. I think it was a very powerful commercial and was a great reminder that I MUST have these conversations with Lennox.
Today I'd like to challenge you to have the most uncomfortable conversations with your kids now. I'd like to take it a step further and remind you that it's okay to be "that protective parent" that all the kids love! It's our responsibility to ensure their safety and you DON'T wanna be a parent looking back and saying,
I should have followed up with those parents and made sure ALL EYES would be on my kids 24/7.
I worry that this parent will blame themselves and that's a lifelong burden to place on your shoulders. These types of tragedies can derail a family forever because the depressive hole gets so deep that you find yourself in and it's 10 times harder to get out. It doesn't matter that it wasn't their fault. I think parents will always hold that blame if something happens to their kids.
I'll just give my kid a cell phone and tell them to call me if something is wrong. That works right?
Not always and in this situation, no. Don't assume just because you have cell phones that everything will be okay. Prepare them for situations that might come up and assist navigating with safety barriers. Run through situations with your kids frequently. Try to also put your kids in the aggressor situation if they find themselves with a bully. My dad taught me from a very young age that If I was in a store with my friends and one of them got caught for stealing - we're all going down. Guilty by association.
I realize this is a vague email and it's for the protection of the current situation. I also understand that there are no boundaries or timelines to mark when crime enters your life. The Treasure Valley is a safer place than most without a doubt. I'll also tell you I've spent the last 10 years in this city listening to the most horrific abuse stories that happened right here. I know things you will never hear about because I was the first and only person to be told. I was there first step to breaking a cycle of abuse and getting help.
Bad things happen to good people. We already know this. They say raising a family is a job.
Let's get to work!