A good friend of mine who I grew up with just informed me that EA Sports opted to remove Ray Rice from the Baltimore Ravens on its popular video game, Madden 15. I told him that I thought that it was a good idea for EA Sports to do so and praised the company for its technological savvy in making the game as realistic as possible. I also asserted to him that if I were playing the game with my son and happened to use the Baltimore Ravens and Ray Rice, then I may be forced to have a conversation with him that I may not be comfortable with. So, as a parent, let’s talk with our children about domestic violence by offering a few rules and some insight…
- ou never put your hands on anyone under any circumstance.
- You never allow anyone to put their hands on you. If they do, seek help. If no help is around then you leave the situation and get help.
- You are never allowed to use profanity, spit, or provoke anyone into a fight.
- If someone uses profanity, spit, or provokes you, seek help.
- People fight, curse, and provoke because they typically feel as if there is no other means of recourse or alternative to deal with their anger. You always have more alternatives and choices than what you may realize. You just have to think.
- It is okay for you to be upset or angry with someone and it is okay for someone to be upset or angry with you. It is what you do with your anger and how well you handle your feelings that demonstrates how strong or weak you are. Keep your hands to yourself, know that you cannot please everyone, and remember the choices you have.
- The event in the elevator between Ray and Janay Rice, was sad and unfortunate. Both of them will need a lot of support during this time to reconsider alternatives for their behavior. No one ever deserves to be physically confronted in any way. It seems important that as parents that we talk with our children about domestic and friendship violence. We are losing too many children and good people to senseless acts of aggression because we are afraid, unwilling, or incapable of talking or seeking support. Know that if we cannot talk and address sensitive issues with our partners and friends, then our children will only re-enact those behaviors in the schoolyard, in the community, and in their adult relationships. Our children need to know that they have alternatives to aggressive/violent behaviors and that they have other options than fighting. Finding a parent, adult, teacher, or neighbor who is willing to listen to our children when they are
troubled may diffuse inflammatory circumstances. While the situation between Ray and Janay Rice is tragic in a myriad of ways, it has afforded all of us an opportunity to talk with our children and partners about our concerns and the kind of support that’s needed in order to have healthier relationships. Please, do not let this national “teachable moment” go by without talking with our children.