My heart has been heavy this week. Is your heart heavy, too? Are you watching the news of what is happening here in the United States?

It makes me pause and figure out how I can do better. What can I do to stand up for injustice? How can I use my place in this world to better love others?

How does what I teach here at Parenting with ABA really help make this world a better place? Am I making a difference? Can I make a difference? Does this behavior stuff really matter?

I think it matters more than ever.

Make a HUGE difference in this world starting with connecting with your own kids and teaching them to be good humans, kind friends with open eyes, ready to stand up for the right thing.

A few days ago, I was out on the walking trail in our neighborhood with my two young girls. We were out in a wide open field playing with airplanes you throw up in the air and they would loop-de-loop back down. We were having a lot of fun together and as there was a lot of foot traffic on the trail, I saw many people smiling at us. It was a good day for all of us.

A man left the walking trail and started coming across the field right toward us. I told my little kids to come to stand by me and give him lots of space to pass us which they are used to with social distancing. The man wasn’t passing us. He was walking right toward us.

I was uncomfortable, mostly because of social distancing. Why did this guy need to get so close? I noticed more than one pair of walkers/ joggers on the trail stopped to watch and I was thankful they were looking out for me.

The man offered to throw the airplanes way up in the air. He said he thought he could get them to go really high and make my kids laugh. It was a kind and thoughtful gesture.

I told him no thank you because we are still social distancing and worried about germs and all that. He apologized profusely and said he didn’t even think about that and totally understood.

As he walked away I told him thank you for offering and that it was so thoughtful. I smiled and waved and my kids smiled and waved as he walked away.

The walkers on the trail continued on, seeing that the mom with two little girls was fine.

I didn’t think too much of it until I watched the news later. The man who approached me was African American. That didn’t really register at the moment as being weird or different. But later it gave me pause. Is that why people stopped to watch and make sure I was okay? Because of his skin? I thought it was just because it was a man approaching me and my little ones.

But that probably wasn’t it, was it?

This is why parenting matters now more than ever. This is why connection with our kids and open communication matters more than ever.

My kids’ takeaway from that event: we say thank you, smile and wave, and appreciate when someone does something nice for us. Who cares what color their skin is.

As they get older, I need to teach them to see injustice and stand up for it. To love all people, and demonstrate love and respect in all situations, To find ways to fix that injustice they see in their own circles, in their own communities. To use their power at the voting polls to choose leaders who stand for all that is right about our country, not all that is wrong.

Here at my little platform, Parenting with ABA, I teach parents simple behavior tools to connect with their kids better.

I teach positive behavior supports to get problem behaviors under control and build up your child’s ability to communicate effectively.

These things matter today more than ever. How can we teach our kids such important life lessons if we can’t connect with them and they struggle to communicate with us?

Use your behavior tools to get past the little problems- the whining, the nagging, the arguing, the power struggles. Get to the heavy stuff and face it head on. Make a HUGE difference in this world starting with connecting with your own kids and teaching them to be good humans, kind friends with open eyes, ready to stand up for the right thing.