What Do We Do When Trauma Is Trending?

You’ve seen the video. The parent walks in and says, “Hey, put your shoes on.” 

A child is playing video games or eating a snack or just sitting on the couch. They look up, incredulous. 

The parent explains, “Come on. A man is outside. He said they want to fight. I need you to come with me in case their child jumps in. If they jump in, I need you to fight.”

Of course, there is no one outside and it’s all a joke to see how the kids respond. The reactions vary: from kids who are excited about the idea of violence, others who outright say no, and everything in between.

It’s funny. The kids are so innocent and their reactions are so pure. It is entertaining.

But one video changed it for me. 

When his dad asked him to fight, he started putting on his shoes slowly. When his Dad asked him why he looked like that, he said “This won’t go well for me.” Dad said, “Why?”

He said, “I always lose fights.”

Many of us know what it’s like to be bullied, to feel like you have to fight even when you don’t want to. Because the alternative to not fighting is worse. Watching this little boy preparing to fight, even though he was certain he was going to lose was sad. 

Viral  trends are a major part of  social media. But where do we draw the line?

For the kids, they don’t know it’s a joke. They just hear their parents asking them to fight. And maybe we should ask the question: is this trend exacerbating the trauma that our children are living with? In a world where Children are getting shot in their classrooms and violence is around every corner, we should be careful. 

We think we know our children but how much do we really know about our kids and their school life? It made me think about how much I talk to my sons about their school life and their friends and how they feel about their school. Before we jump on a trend, let’s put some thought into what it represents and how it may be affecting the collective. 

Because trauma is real and can be triggered at the smallest infraction; no trend is worth that.