Thursday, April 26, 2018

The book I’ve been thinking about

We go to the library at least once a week, and sometimes, the books I choose are just

A few months ago, I picked up about 10 books, and MOST of them were excellent.  I thought I’d share the titles along with a quick review....and I will very soon, but there’s one book that I read that needs a post all to itself.  Mainly to process feelings about it and hopefully to start a conversation with your thoughts as well.

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I picked this up because, in my mind, this is what I think Sadie might look like when she’s a little older.  Once I started reading, I was hooked and became terrified.  Maddy is a beautiful, popular, smart, Ivy League athlete and commits suicide after one semester of college.  A few of my personal take aways from the book....

  • I think kids get a bad rep these days, but honestly they are taking on a whole new world of challenges that even people from my generation know nothing about.  And I’m just in my 30s.  A study was done that showed that freshmen in high school now experience more anxiety than a psychiatric patient from the 1950s.  That’s a big deal.

  • Social media needs to be monitored often and WE need to do a whole bunch of self monitoring.  If we’re feeling some kind of way about a blogger in California (who we don’t even know) laying on the beach of Hawaii while we’re folding laundry and letting that affect our day....we’re in no way qualified to tell our kids “don’t worry about what so-and-so from your HS is doing!”  It starts with us!

  • The author talks about how she was also a college athlete and how her identity was based on being a basketabll player...and that’s it.  My thought after reading this comment and after reading Maddy’s story was, how do we make our children (and ourselves for that matter), realize that we are not one-dimensional...that we are more than just ONE thing?  That their identity doesn’t revolve around being just a boyfriend or girlfriend (if they have a breakup), a great student (if they have a bad grade), an athlete or dancer (if they have an injury), etc. etc. 

  • This is an ignorant thought on my part, but over the past few years with suicide becoming the spotlight of all conversations, I’ve attributed it to sadness and despair.  This is not the case with Maddy.  Hers was complete overwhelm.  Feeling as though her only escape from perfection and constant approval was to end it all.

  • Even though I loved the book, I felt like there wasn’t a “so now what???” or “how do we prevent our kids from thinking they have to be perfect at everything they do all the time?” 
    • So I came up with my own “and now what”....and it took me a month to have an ah hah moment.  We need to teach children how to handle their feelings.  So when they’re feeling overwhelmed, they know to do “this”.  When they’re feeling excited, they know to do “this”. When they’re feeling sad, they know to do “this”.  ALL the feelings are normal and okay, but some feelings need to have an action plan to go along with them.

And that’s that!  Would love to know your thoughts if and when you read it! 
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