Opposing the Victim Mentality

Never let your kids accept a victim mentality. We need to teach that failure, being mistreated, or their past does not need to define them. The victim train goes through our community right in front of our kids every day. It’s all over social media in the form of hashtags and awareness campaigns. It’s taught in schools. It is contagious.

Look! I understand that we or life can crap our diapers. It happens to everyone in different ways to different degrees. My advice. DON’T SIT IN IT! Don’t teach your kids to adopt a whoa is me attitude and rely on others to pat them on the back or to change their “diaper”. Get up, clean up, and move forward. Fight back.

As a parent, I never wanted to give any encouragement, or attention to words, actions, or mindsets that allowed my kids to stay in a bad place. Today it has almost become a celebrated culture to promote oneself as a victim. There are people that will call you brave. Brave for admitting it?…uh okay. However, to stay there and accept it as a status is pathetic. Be an overcomer and show your kids how they can conquer situations. 

To stay or allow oneself to be kept in a state of negative circumstances gives that circumstance control over you. You will never be able to protect your child from all disappointment, mistreatment, or pain. They are going to hurt. Therefore, what are you going to do to show them how to rise above it? If they hurt themselves, they need to own the error and learn from it. If others or circumstances hurt them, they need to know it was not their fault and they have no blame. Therefore they are free to heal, strengthen themselves, and to serve others with their knowledge. 

The question is to teach them that each day has an opportunity. However, life is not going to hand them what they want. They must go after it. They have to be willing to go through obstacles, pain, and those who stand in their way…whether it be physically or emotionally. They must defy the labels, can’t, doubt, and anything that would define them by their past. We must teach kids to be defined by those things we can change. There are situations and people that we can’t change. However, we can always change something…even if it is only an attitude.

I remember when my daughter was in judo. At one point she had a hurt ankle. She could not do her throws. However, she could practice her finish moves. So guess where she went that night? She was in control of something. She decided to work on what she could improve. If I haven’t already told you, she is a huge inspiration to me. No one will control her attitude or effort. These are always in her control. This is really the secret.

Your kids will never be able to control what others think, say, and do. They will never be able to guarantee a win for the team. However, they can always control their attitude and effort. The idea to get on and ride the victim pity train is a neutering experience. Never encourage this. Raise a fighting spirit in your kids. Give them a work and life ethic to live by. People can hurt them, so can situations. They must accept their mistakes but reject any and all concepts that celebrates being a victim. If that makes you brave, then you and anyone can be brave by doing nothing. 

I’m sure that there are readers out there that may disagree with my point of view. Let me qualify my statement as one who went through abuse. That was no reflection of my lack of worth or potential. It meant that an asshole chose to take advantage of a situation. This, however, has not and does not define me. I am defined by the way I live. Everyone has circumstances or poor decisions in the past. Work on the things you can change. Refuse to be stuck or labeled by the bad times. Show your kids that they can move forward, learn, and better their situations.

Be vulnerable enough to share with them what you have been through and how you chose to deal with it…whether that be good or bad, so they can learn. If you are experiencing a negative situation now, talk to your kids. They may have some ideas for you. Love each other. Support each other. Be the best dad possible.

Deacon