Did you every start off trying to research something meaningful and so well-intentioned only to have it leave you more confused than you were before you started? This happened to me when I recently found myself down a rabbit hole of Instagram posts, blogs and articles about "wellness". As you may know SEL curriculums, better know as Social and Emotional Learning saw a dramatic uptick during and after the start of the Covid 19 pandemic. Schools were very intent on stressing the potentially negative social and emotional impact on children as a result of the being home and away from their peers. Teachers were instructed to conduct more wellness checks and eventually required to teach students about the same. While I agree that the lock downs did have a negative effect on most of us, it would seem like wellness could have many subjective points of discussion and I wondered.... what does the general public know about social and emotional learning and how are teachers going to instruct in this area.
The overarching theme of wellness branches off into several different areas and, in one of the many oddities about the subject area, leads the curious researcher to tons of information for parents about how to nurture, respect, (insert any other cliche word here) your child. Some articles are quite valuable but as I read on, I found myself confused about whether I support or reject the many ideas presented. Certain articles would cite phrases you should never say to a child, and others would give strategies for how to never raise your voice when speaking to a child. Some warned about the lasting effects of certain parenting styles and many use terms like "child-led" to support their positions. Given my background on the topic, I found it unusual that I wouldn't immediately be able to discern the value in some of what I read.
I decided to close my laptop and walk away. Confusion is not from God and when I feel confused about something it's an immediate trigger for me that something is not right and I need to pray about it. As I prayed I heard in my spirit, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). Peace came over me. See, God gave us the ultimate guide for all things and this verse reminded me of the standards we are to continuously check ourselves against. The word of God is the truth - period, full stop. It is the standard by which I am able to accurately discern whether something is in line with my beliefs or not. If a book, a movie, a teaching concept or anything contradicts the word of God, it's not for me and my family. Simple as that. In the world, especially today, there is chaos and confusion but I am able to find perfect peace in His word.
I hope this encourages someone to pick up their bible or turn on the app so you can have the narrator read the word while you're multitasking. For me, there is no greater peace than being able to confidently discuss with my children, or anyone else why I do or don't support something. I don't expect everyone to agree with my beliefs but I do expect that my children will see how their father and I make decisions for ourselves and for our family, and hope that those principles will stick for them as they move through their own challenging situations.
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