— Christina Pierson
In a photo posted on her page, Patricia Alters recalls taking her son on a “weekly walk to the parks”.
Imagine on that walk that the topic of conversation was not a walk, but a variety of controversial political remarks, those about gay marriage, cancer, gun control, or anything that entered someone’s head via social media. Yes, one of our sons has been racially bullied for our Asian heritage, as in that one girl that made several of our son’s friends, he and his dad confronted her.
Sure, dealing with that time when our youngest sons were boys and not teenagers was tough, but Pat, a counselor, saw it as a learning opportunity. She never would have taught this class if the students’ backgrounds were different, nor would they have gotten the valuable information about the correlation between bullying and depression, anxiety, and clinical disorders.
That is Pat’s “life and lessons”. She’s taken through these challenges what everyone else’s life would be like if they were under such scrutiny. She’s not one to make excuses; as you probably know she’s a psychologist and a clinical social worker.
And what lessons have she been teaching? Or what principles is she imparted? I don’t know for sure, but we didn’t know what would happen in this 21st century when a car nearly hit her and her kids on the street and then not longer after she posted a photo of her whole family walking without their shoes on, something that most people would probably think is cute, encouraging her Facebook friends to follow suit. Of course, it turned out to be nothing but a bad omen for her boys, who became Instagram prisoners of color, who were taunted and bullied for years. Pat could not help but correct them because she believes in placing them in their best possible light.
The “life lessons” she’s taught us have included never letting kids get away with calling children gang members or taking them to school while carrying a backpack with markers. It’s taught us to emphasize to our boys, once they understand that you can hear and touch some of these bad children, that it’s best to tell them to give up, because someone is going to call you a “b-word” if you stay with them.
We’ve seen this process time and time again. If something horrible occurs with a child, we will be there to support them, not to seem like we’re trying to get them off the hook, or to get them some “attention”. Our mission is to create safe, positive family environments, nurture our children, work to see that our families aren’t divided, and remind each and every child that no one is immune from the racial abuse and prejudice of society.
That’s Pat. And that’s family.
Christina Pierson is a writer, artist, and Social Entrepreneur living in Santa Cruz, CA. Her blog, “Real Talk with Christina” is full of advice, guides, and photos on parenting, health, beauty, cooking, and all things sexy. Click here to visit her page.