Jill’s House: What parents teach their kids and how it impacts the future of the world

Shizuo Kambayashi / The Associated Press / File

Canadian Olympic gold medallist and Winnipeg mom Jill Officer gives us a twice-monthly look behind the scenes of her dual life in her blog, Jill’s House.

I walked off the ice with tears creeping in my eyes. I was greeted by my kid with a huge hug and excitement about seeing me. Then the tears fell.

“Mum, did you win?”

“No, honey, we lost – that’s why mommy is sad.”

She gave me another huge hug and said, “I missed you.”

“I missed you too, hun.”

Our team was quite simply very disappointed that we didn’t win our provincial championships this past weekend and that this will be the first time in over ten years that we will not be competing at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

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And while that is devastating to us because of all the time, effort and work we put into our passion, it is even more devastating to me, after ignoring the media for a week, to see all the extremely negative stuff that is happening in our beautiful world.

Every day there is something in the news I shake my head at and think to myself, I don’t get it. I don’t understand. Who are these people committing these heinous acts? What happened in their life that angered them to the point of taking some sort of violent action?

When the thoughts of doing something like attacking, shooting or bombing another human being comes to someone’s mind, what makes them think it is okay to follow through on that? Or what makes them think they won’t be caught? And if they don’t care if they are caught, why don’t they care? Why don’t they care about themselves? What has their life been like prior to that point? Were they shown and taught love and respect? Or were they taught that war, violence and disrespect of others, their opinions and beliefs is okay and even encouraged?

I could go on with the questions that come to my mind, but really it all brings me to thoughts of who the parents of these violent people are or were and what influence they had on any of these acts and outcomes.

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Now don’t get me wrong, there are many circumstances surrounding raising children such as mental health, disabilities, and various other challenges that I don’t claim to know anything about.

But what I want to say is that we as parents have a significant roll to play here in the future of our communities and of our world. I feel we need to be mindful of exactly what we are teaching our children – what we are teaching them about their behaviors, communication with others, and the best ways to respond to negative situations.

We need to think about what exactly we say to our children and how we word it because most of the time, what we say to them is the manual by which they live.

We have the opportunity to breed positivity, respect for themselves and others and proper behaviors and interactions with other people. But I also believe it starts with ourselves and our behaviors, actions and interactions.

So let’s take a look at ourselves first. What behaviors, beliefs, and interactions are we modeling to our kids and is that truly how we want to them to be?

We as parents are always trying our best and there is no rulebook for parenting. Camryn asked me the other night if there is parenting school. I said, “no, there isn’t but what a great idea!” And I’ll tell you; I’d be one of the first to sign up if there was such a thing.


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