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Children Are Suffering 😔

By Joe Lu ...

(Recorded after the Uvalde Texas school shooting in 2022)

Never in my wildest dreams would any of my classmates in Winfield Iowa, think to shoot up our own school … and it wasn’t for lack of guns.

Small town America is big on guns.

But when I was growing up everyone was big on getting along, playing fair, following the rules … because that’s what you gotta do if you want to “Have Fun”.

Kids played together without parents needing to supervise. Sometimes we got in arguments. But we learned to communicate because we wanted to have fun together.

That was the only rule in my house…”Have Fun” 🥳

That one rule led to the three other “rules” of freedom, kindness, and service to others.

I didn’t make up the rules.

We agreed as a family that we wanted to have fun…and the other three rules just followed logically from there.

You can’t have fun if someone is forcing you to do something you don’t want to do.

You can’t have fun if people are not playing nice.

You also can’t have fun in the long run if you squander your time being selfish and not making yourself useful to others.

That made a lot of sense to my daughters.

That’s why I got to stop parenting by the time they where ten … so we as a family could focus on having fun.

But before that ... it took a lot of work.

Mostly talking.

I would talk to my kids for hours about everything ... almost always about what they were doing or what they were into.

I tell stories constantly ... but the stories are always relevant to what they are interested in. I watch their eye and body language carefully to make sure they are enjoying our discussions.

Like yesterday when I was visiting an old friend whose son likes Legends of Zelda. My buddy was asking about my new house. Kids find these grownup topics boring, so I asked his son about his game.

"Why do you like it?"

"Do your friends play?"

He could see that I was genuinely interested so he just lit up! 🤩

That gave me room to tell him a story about me when I was five, playing my first video game "Zeliard". I got so scared when my dad was playing one time that I was crying in the closet out of fear. After my dad beat the big bad monster at the end, he found me in his closet...told me the battle was won, and I just hugged him with pride.

I love telling stories to kids like that. It helps them see adults as just more experienced humans ... just like them but a little older.

At this point I've stopped trying to talk to other kids differently than I talk to my own. I figure parents who invite me over know what they are getting into.

Some parents love me.

Some parents get really annoyed.

Rarely do I get a ... "meh".

The one's that love me know what I am doing. I'm building up their kid's confidence so they have the mental space to listen.

I do it by listening to them...without playing with my phone, talking over them, talking for them, or telling them what to think.

I also try really hard to include guiding conversations so they can participate.

I accept them for who they are so they have the mental freedom to explore themselves.

That's where love the feeling comes from.

That's why kids love me back!

We can take away all the guns, but if we want to stop the rise in depression, suicide, self-harm, and mental illness generally in our young people, including gender confusion ... we need to really listen to our children ... so they feel accepted ... so they feel valued.

Why are our children are suffering?

Why do school shootings, suicides, and other forms of teen mental illness continue to rise in the USA and around the world?

Sumay and Dr Donald Cohen gave a pretty good answer right after the Texas school shooting. She would know. She meets parents and kids in search of a community that will lift them up every day.


Dear Reader,

We are writing a book about the story of WEquil School. This is one of the chapters we are considering for inclusion. Let us know what you think by joining WEquil App and introducing yourself. Everyone who creates an account is given their own private room to meet our founders and share their story! Sincerely, WEquil Family



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