Parents! Love your children and end the shootings.

Parents! Love your children and end the shootings.

Parents. Loving your children will show them how to love others, and the shootings will end.

To be honest, I grew up in an abusive home. Verbal and physical moments took place that set me on a tough path for the rest of my life. Yet, if it weren’t for the fact that my abuse stemmed from a father who was taught that children are to listen and not to talk, children were not allowed opinions of their own, and children were to follow rules to a T, or get a spanking, or in my case, long beatings, he was my one parent who also poured on love, taught me to respect others, and tried very hard to teach me to be humble, although humility was not always his greatest treasure.
Eventually, this Jeckly/Hyde father I had, became the complete father I knew as a child he could be. I looked up to him, and respected and revered him. I may have even adored his attention at times, despite the beatings, and yelling and threats. He was a confused man. By the time I hit my teens, Dad was my savior. He helped me get through very hard times, and guided a sensitive young man to see the world openly, and accept others for who they are. He kept me from suicide many times, as I began to battle with life-long depression.
Fast-forward to 1999. My first baby was on her way, and I couldn’t have been more afraid, ashamed of parts of who I was, excited and mesmerized, all at once. Then, I became a dad. Not the best dad, by far…
All my father taught me through talks never set in until I turned 48. I spent the middle part of my life hating the world, hating hate, despising anything that didn’t go my way. I argued and fought with my two wives. I yelled in front of my kids, and I taught my first two children, my son, and daughter, that being angry was normal and okay.
I never abused my first two children. However, I didn’t teach them to be happy. Sure, all the good things about being a human being were embedded in their minds. Their mother was strict, and a teacher to boot. My kids were high honor roll students, but due to two parents who battled depression, and anger, and never got along for the 17 years we had been divorced prior to my children’s 18th birthdays, my children had reached a point in 2016 when they’d had enough of me. I haven’t heard from them since then. I haven’t seen them.
Why do I share this personal information? We have children killing children all over the country. It is an epidemic that only America seems to suffer from on mass scale.
Unlike my father, It took me years to learn to just love and not hate. All he taught me verbally went out the door. I was a renegade and a putz! Just like he did with me, I did with my first two children, and I although they saw me yelling about stuff, or at them, or saw my horrid rage on the road, even putting their lives in danger at times, I did hug them, give them kisses, cooked and shopped for them, took them many places and movies, sat with them and watched television and played games with them. I told them I loved them, every single day, and I looked them in the eye when I did so.
Like me, formerly introverted, we could have all turned out to be school shooters from the abuse I suffered to the anger I taught them. It was only LOVE that has saved the day! Even love in times of trouble, and mistakes can keep a heart at least somewhat in tune with the world and others. It leaves a door open to change. It leaves the heart just a bit softer to the point that you understand why your parent was the way they were. A parent who loves leaves the door open for hope and teaches to understand mistakes and to forgive. Forgiveness of yourself, and from others is a major key to love.
I still seek my children’s forgiveness for my crazy days. My big-headed, pig-headed, and misogynistic ways. I forgave my father years ago, and we ended up with a beautiful relationship eventually, as people really can change.
Once again, Colorado suffered another school shooting, close to where the most famous school shooting occurred April 20, 1999. 20 years ago. The very first school shooting took place long ago, in fact. Of all places, it was in Charlottesville, VA, November 12, 1840. The first mass shooting of 3 or more people took place March 26, 1896, in Plain Dealing, Louisiana.
There have been eight school shooting in 2019, thus far. Just three days ago, two shootings took place in one day. One killed, eight injured at STEM school in Highlands Ranch, CO, and a Savannah State University student was shot and wounded in a residential hall.
I believe it’s easy to gather that most, if not all of these shooters did not know love, or enough love when growing up. Maybe, they were ignored, or beaten, or abused in some other way. Maybe, their parents never hugged them and spent precious, important time with them, or spoke to them about life. These are the types of kids and young adults shooting up American schools, and I don’t see any other way to handle it than to start looking into their home lives and holding parents responsible for children under 18, who take other’s lives.
School shootings start and are planned in the home. Isn’t it time that we parents just love with all our might, and teach our kids to be happy and joyful, and to learn how to work through feelings, stress, and unhappiness, or depression. We need to be on top of everything our kids do, and who they associate with, and how they feel about things on a daily basis. They need that morning hug and a goodnight kiss. They need that lullaby sung to them, or that book read with them. All they need is love!
I was lucky enough to be blessed with a third child. My youngest, who now lives with just me, and counts on me to show him the most successful way to get through life and deal with others. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but it is possible. You can change. We can change. I have done nothing, but pour tons of love on my son. I’ve educated him in all the ways I can imagine about the world and about life, including teaching him my mistakes and outcomes, and the better way to deal with many of the personal issues I fought against in my life.
I know this sounds so simple. Right? Just love my kids and they won’t shoot anyone? YEAH! That really is the only answer! It’s time parents, for us all to step up to the charge and start treating our children with respect, love, and the same honor we expect from them. This will lead to a new world and a new hope.

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Colin B M Wood

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