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MFA Weekly Newsletter

Turn Cancel Culture into Kindness Culture: 4 Things to Teach Your Kids - Newsletter Blog - Moms for America

MFA Weekly Newsletter

Turn Cancel Culture into Kindness Culture: 4 Things to Teach Your Kids - Newsletter Blog - Moms for America
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Mar 3, 2023

Turn Cancel Culture into Kindness Culture: 4 Things to Teach Your Kids

Cancel culture, it’s a catchy name for an ugly fog that has engulfed our nation.

It’s the offspring of an unholy union of “tolerance” (which is anything but) and a rampaging mob complete with pitchforks and torches.

Cancel culture’s doctrine removes free speech and thought. It uses the element of surprise to its advantage, often punching down before facts are fully known. You’ve become familiar, no doubt, with the dangerous topics that could find you or a loved one in the crosshairs: Covid, vaccines, race, traditional views of gender, who you voted for in the last election, and faith.

Who are these people, you may wonder? Who thinks they have the right to attack and attempt (often successfully) to strip individuals of their reputation, voice, and even their livelihood? One of the most insidious things about cancel culture is that it is populated by individuals who believe they are doing the right thing.

Surprisingly, our fellow citizens – “regular” folks –  have succumbed to the polarization of ideas and a general loss of civility on the internet. It is estimated that Americans spend an average of six to seven hours per day online1, with half of teens admitting to using the internet almost constantly.2 Why wouldn’t online norms of thought and behavior take root in those who commit that much time to it each day?

Sadly, it’s gone beyond our neighbors as even government officials used the excuse of the pandemic to shutter churches and businesses, some of which were unable to recover when lockdowns lifted. Don’t miss our podcast with Lindsay Graham, who is known as the Patriot Barbie. She lost her business when Covid mandates came calling. She made her stand – reopening her salon (the largest in her state) against the Governor’s edict. Though some may think she lost that battle, it’s given her a voice for freedom and truth. Battle scars notwithstanding, this Patriot Barbie is winning the war. Don’t miss her inspiring story.

As with many crises – Moms must come to the rescue. As bleak as the moment may seem – it doesn’t have to stay this way. We are poised to bring back civility, freedom, and dignity by raising the next generation of young patriots. We can turn cancel culture into kindness culture with these four things to teach your kids.

1. Teach them to be their own person.

Reject mob mentality. It may be unimaginable that your teen or tween would ever join a canceling mob, but think of it another way. When a cause seems right to a young person, it can be easy to get their buy-in. They’ve been raised to “do the right thing,” so what happens when others convince them of the “rightness” of a cause?

Consider teaching some criteria they can consider before joining a group cause.

  • What makes this right?
  • Do I have all the facts or just one side of the issue?
  • Will my involvement hurt someone?
  • Is it a conversation – or does my side refuse to listen to opposing thoughts?
  • Can it have an amicable “agree to disagree” conclusion, or is full buy-in the only goal?
  • Will your side inflict punishment?

If the answers to those questions reveal a mob mentality, teach them to be their own person by encouraging them to leave that group!

2. Teach them to choose friends with care.

Friends must make the cut based on whether they are life-giving and uplifting to your children. Teach your kids to only invite those with solid character and like convictions to be in their inner friend circle. Trusted friends can take time to find.3

There’s nothing wrong with having other friends who may not share a belief system and lifestyle – but they are more “outer circle” friends.

Then, there are those they meet on the internet. Instill in your child the idea that these are not their real friends. The healthiest and most promising way to begin a relationship is in person.

Suppose a particular friend begins to embrace dangerous ideas – such as gender ideology or racism. In that case, it may be time to sever those ties. Remember, the Bible says, “Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). This has been proven accurate time and again. If they decide to remain close to someone heading down a dangerous path, your child will likely not escape unscathed.

Good friendships with those committed to showing love and compassion to others – while holding to strong and true American values can impact the future of this nation. Teach them to choose friends with care.

3. Teach them to pray.

You’re probably already doing this,  giving your child a formidable weapon against the perils of this culture.

When you teach them to pray, you’re giving them the ability to stand in troubling times, have the courage to protect the weak, and acknowledge God’s ultimate authority. If your children learn to quickly identify needs around them – and take them to God, breathing quick prayers throughout the day, they will have tapped into a power cancel mobs don’t possess.

This becomes a go-to solution when they see you as their mom, modeling a vibrant prayer life. Pray all the time and show your child that when something’s up – you’ll turn off the radio in the car and pray with them then and there. It teaches them where their hope is – and that God is always present and listening.

Model prayer for enemies as well. It’s easy to bless those we love but show your kids you’re committed to praying for those you disagree with. When a group of friends wants to gang up on someone – your child will remember that your family doesn’t attack – they pray.

4. Teach them to cultivate kindness.

Like hatred and bullying, kindness can be cultivated. It can become the automatic response to difficulties and help your child look at others compassionately.

When my kids were little – we did this:

If a friend or classmate did something mean or unfair to my daughter (assuming it was not an issue of safety) – We took a somewhat unusual approach.

Instead of rushing to be sad with her, I would look shocked at what happened (facial expressions are essential). Then I would say, “That was a terrible thing she did to you! You wouldn’t ever do that to someone, would you?”

When she answered, “No, mom, I would never!” I’d look at her, obviously relieved, and pull her into a hug and say, “That’s good to know. I didn’t think you would, and I’m proud of you.” You see, I wanted her to not just focus on the wrong – but embrace the idea that she is standing against the offense by avoiding that practice.

Does that sound silly? It might – but that little girl is now 25. She mentioned recently how she appreciated our little exercise throughout her formative years.

Teach them that kindness holds high value in your family. Regardless of what others do – kindness is a “Jones Family Value.” Of course, you can insert your name there.

Given the time many kids spend online, stress that they are to exercise the same behavior there. They should never say something on the internet that they wouldn’t be comfortable speaking to someone face-to-face.

Help them learn to empathize with others. Imagine how the person who’s being left out or bullied must feel. How would your child feel if it was them? If they see a classmate in distress, encourage them to intervene by talking to a teacher or asking your advice – and of course, they should pray about the situation.

It’s okay to agree to disagree; they need that as part of their core. It can be frustrating, but we don’t have to gain everyone’s buy-in on everything we think or believe. Teach them to cultivate kindness even while they stand their ground on truths they hold dear.

Online voices, government overreach, and activist groups are everywhere. They seek to silence those who disagree – canceling freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution.

It’s easy to become laser-focused on what is going wrong – but then we’d miss the vast potential for what can and will go right. America is filled with promise because of the power and influence of moms like you. With your faith, determination, grit – and kindness – cancel culture doesn’t stand a chance.

1 Oberlo.com

2 Pewresearch.org

3 “Developing Friendships That Last”