Doing Good When People In The The World Are Doing Bad Things

Doing Good When People In The The World Are Doing Bad Things

Our connectivity is a wonderful thing – but with all the good, also comes the challenging.

Last week, listening to the terror and violence of another school shooting left me frustrated, angry, and so very sad. At times like this, being a teacher, it takes a tremendous amount of positivity and trust to walk into a classroom each day, wondering if like so many others, this ordinary day will end up going down in history.

It makes it hard to focus on the good – but in the end, that’s what I have to do. I have to trust in the beauty of people, in my desire to make the world a better place.

doing good

The world may, overall, be a beautiful, positive place that has more good than bad, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it even better. Most people have a desire to do good in the world, especially if they’ve been watching the negative news, but don’t really have an understanding of what they can do. Well, there’s good news: there’s plenty of things that you can do. Indeed, the potential stretches across many different facets of life, such as our careers, hobbies, and roles in the community. Take a read of some of the ways you can make a difference below:

What Can You Bring?

Everyone has something they’re good at. Discovering what you’re good at will be key to figuring out where you can make a positive impact. For example, if you’re a master organizer, then you might want to consider organizing local groups. Campaigning is one of the most effective ways to make a positive difference in your local community, but not everyone wants to play this role. Are you a good writer? Then start a blog, and educate other people about the world. find some platform to use your voice to make a difference.

Looking at your Career

Of course, how much time you can spend making the world a better place will depend on how much free time you have. You do, after all, need to make sure that your job is well taken care of first. But what if your job enabled you to make a positive impact? Take a look at careers in public safety, education, healthcare, or social work, and it will. People tend to think that doing good is something that you can only do in your spare time, but this isn’t true; many jobs allow you to earn a living and make a positive contribution at the same time. If you make doing good a priority, you will find a way to integrate it into all aspects of your life.

Small Acts

We’ve talked so far about the big things you can do in life. But the truth is, you don’t have to over complicate your desire to do good things. Indeed, some of the most powerful contributions are the small ones! Giving up an hour of your time to volunteer, or agreeing to donate a percentage of your income to charitable causes, or any other small gesture can have a ripple effect that stretches beyond the initial deed. If you don’t have the time to do more or don’t know where to start, then just start small and see where it takes you.

Being the Change

Finally, remember that make the world a better place doesn’t just mean going out and affecting other people. It starts with you. Gandhi taught us to “be the change we want to see in the world.” It’s a simple phrase, but oh so effective. Think about the global issues that you’re most affected by, and make sure you’re not contributing to them. You never know who else you might influence just by being the best version of yourself.

You’re not going to solve all the problems by yourself, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try: you might solve one of them! And along the way, you’ll be setting an example for those around you, building momentum, and doing good. Together, we can achieve great things!

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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How To Avoid Being A Stressed-Out Middle School Mom

Do you know how to avoid being a stressed-out middle school mom?

Beer.

No-seriously.

We’re nearly at the end of the summer, and you feel it coming. Your middle schooler has gotten quite comfortable sleeping away half the day. They’re either tired of their friends, or want to spend every waking (and sometimes sleeping) moment with them. Their room is full of dirty dishes, socks caked with dried grass, wet towels and swimsuits flung carelessly on the floor. Most days, you’re lucky if you get ten minutes of eye contact with them, and you delight when they string together more than three words in answer to any question you might gingerly toss their way.

Teenage summer is upon you, and you cannot wait until September when you can return your tween or teen to the structure of middle school.

Am I right?

But wait – does the thought of middle school stress you out more than it does your kid? Are you like many moms who find middle school one of the most stressful times of parenting? According to research done on 2,200 moms by Arizona State University, middle school moms fare the most poorly.

Does that make you feel any better?

If you’re feeling like a stressed out middle school mom, or you know a stressed out middle school mom, I’m here to help. After 25 years of teaching middle school kids (and parenting and teaching two of my own), I’ve got a few tips that might just help you feel a bit better.

stressed out middle school mom
How to avoid being a stressed out middle school mom – grow gourds?

How To Avoid Being A Stressed-Out Middle School Mom

Talk With Your Child – I mean really try to TALK to them. I know it’s hard – monosyllabic answers are the norm, and trying to get them to make eye contact is like jumping the Grand Canyon – but if you can crack open the door (literally and figuratively) and avoid ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions, you’ll likely create some space for a crevice into their world. This takes a bit of work on your part – try to keep informed about general topics of areas of interest (sports, music, books, class subjects). See what’s trending on Twitter for ideas. Starting off with “What do you think about” is a great way to nudge the conversation their way – remember, middle school kids are EGOcentric. Center a question around them or their interests and you’re likely to break through the zombie glaze.

Keep Calm and Parent On – Breathe, watch, listen, and let them fail. No, really. Trust the parenting journey. You can’t fix everything. It’s their life – you’re just the cheerleader/coach/cook/laundry person – don’t be the sage on their stage. Let them move through their own world – if they know you’re there to help create a soft landing when things get really rough, that will help. But if you catch them every time they fall, what are they really learning? Middle school is a time to let kids learn independence – and helping kids learn through mistakes is a place where you can really be a parent.

Get Active – Volunteer, pay attention, find your own hobby. It’s good for kids to see their parents passionate about life. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’ figure out how to push a stroller at the same time? Or did the idea of being creative-while-sleep-deprived keep you from pursuing your passion? Bonus points if your activity has an opening for your kid to participate – but remember, it’s not always about them.  Role modeling your own self-love behaviors is positive parenting. Middle school kids are watching adults – they want to see how different people go about life, and this is a great time to set a good example. Pay attention to what your middle school child is doing, who they are hanging out with, what they’re watching/reading/writing. Open your ears more than your mouth and listen.

Set Patterns – Help your kid learn to do the ‘process’ of school. Just like an effective classroom has expected systems and behaviors for learning, create patterns in your own home. Ask your child what they think will work for them, and create a system together. Do they need down time after the busyness of school? Are they hungry? Do they need time to ‘dump’ their day on you before thinking about homework? Just like when they were little, think about the basics: food, sleep, attention. Think about how to balance their social and creative or athletic interests with academics – middle school kids are all about their friends, and having a pattern established that balances time with others and time to focus on work can be key to their success – and avoid the stressful battles between middle school mom and kid.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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