#hashtag this

The other afternoon, my 6 year old asks me an interesting question.."Hey mom - what is that?" Living in an urban area, I kindly looked up to a wall that was "tagged" by local gang spray paint slang and said "oh, that isssss….(followed by what seemed to be a 10 minute pause)..that is how some people talk to one another, similar to how people on social media use hashtags (#insertwordofchoicehere) to get noticed by other people that use that same hashtag as you do on their social posts!" He proceeds to look at me with a blank stare, then it was as if the lightbulb went off in his little head, "OH - so can I write on this wall for my social media post?" - DOH...well played kid, well played. Being a parent is the most rewarding, yet scary thing I've ever experienced. As I look into the eyes of both of my sons, all I can think of is, how can I explain life so that they are aware, conscious, and mindful of their surroundings, situations, and experiences? I didn't even realize that gangs were still a "thing" but evidentially they still are. I'm also learning that protecting todays kids is nearly impossible if you are trying to shield them from the realities of today's world. Don't get me wrong, I leverage parental controls via technology, I use services like @barkacrossamerica that help monitor cross-platforms where myself, and my children, can easily become exposed to harmful content without even knowing it initially. But, for me and my family, we are taking it back old school - we're limiting screen time. We are not allowing our kids to play on phones or tablets when we are not around or nearby to monitor what they are doing, and we most definitely do our best to not allow technology to "babysit" just because we need a break. It's hard, but so far it seems to be working. So, for today's hashtag - I'm working with #hashtagthis because more of us should stop telling people how to raise kids, or judging parents for their efforts, because at the end of the day, we are all doing our best, we are trying, and we are the ones that have the ability to change the lives and future of tomorrow's generations - let's do this! Toodles, Tab

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