There’s no hope

Love heart in sunshine

Parenting teens and a toddler simultaneously is a stressful role. On the one hand you worry your toddler is watching way to much TV, on the other you wish too much TV time was top on your list of ‘worries’ for your teens.

As children get older they inevitably start to become sensitive to their environment. Not just at home but school, with friends and other family members.

You try to instil confidence, assurances that they are loved, needed, they belong and are a vital and important part of your family and society in their own right.

You try and protect them from certain things, as best you can, and make them feel safe. The more the years go by the more they are subjected to. They learn through one medium or another, be it television, school or everyday conversation. They learn that the world isn’t the same as their warm and secure home environment.

You don’t want them to be frightened or appalled by the things that happen, the horrors humans are capable of,  but you know that they must, at some point, know about them in order for them to become well-rounded and aware young adults.

On Friday evening I sat watching the news with Holly, the reports flitted between the heartbreaking footage of war torn Syria to discussions of Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on chemical warfare and the devastating school shooting in Oregon.

Holly turned to me and said ‘There’s no hope, Mum’

I asked what she meant and she explained that she felt there was no hope for the world, for the people in it, that she couldn’t understand how or why these things are happening and that there was no way back from it.

And I felt heartbroken for her, heartbroken that in that moment her outlook was hopelessness. That her life, the world she lives in has lost hope.

How do I answer this, what can I say to make this better?

The thing is, nothing I could have said can make any of this less horrendous, less frightening for her.

So we start to talk about all the wonderful, courageous and brave people we know about. We talk of different charities and the amazing work they do. How good, decent and selfless people give up their entire lives and dedicate them to helping others.

Holly has always said since she was a young girl that she wants to work as a volunteer in another country and so we talk about the ways in which just one person can make a difference to so many lives. That they can inspire and teach and promote change.

We talk about how she might do this one day, how we might even experience it together and I feel that day I have done my job as a mum, but it is so very tough.

The feeling of being torn between protecting your child from all that is evil, to that of moulding them into the type of person who may, one day, have a hand in defeating it.

As you grow older please remember our conversation Holly, and the things that we decided that day.

Where there is war and hatred there is also love.

Where there is devastation, there is the promise of peace.

And most of all,

Where there is humankind, there is always, always hope.

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Comments

  • Lucy Melissa Smith

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    Amy, you are an inspiration to all mums and this post is a beautiful light coming from a dark place X X

  • Gemma Pearce

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    This is what I worry about. How to protect children from all the crab in the world but also to make sure they know what goes on so they not oblivious. It’s getting the right balance which is different for all children but it’s us as parents that have to have the responsibilities for what our children know. I think your daughter got a good response from you :)

  • Sarah

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    I could have wrote this post myself! I can so, so relate to it! My eldest is almost 12 and he has became very sensitive to the world around him. Asking questions and asking “why are these things in the world happening”. It’s so difficult to explain when we don’t have the answers or even understand it ourselves.

    Bless your daughter wanting to help and volunteer in other countries, that’s amazing! And you are right. There is always hope. xx

    • Amy Treasure

      Written on 19th November 2015

      Reply

      It is so hard trying to make them feel better when we feel so desperately sad about it ourselves but there is hope, I do believe that x

  • Cliona

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    Oh, such a beautiful post! It is hard negotiating all the emotions of the teenage years, I think it’s so important to listen and care and take their worries seriously. And it sounds like you dealt with things in the perfect way, by highlighting the good in the world.

  • Claire Kane

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    Very inspiring post. I’m not a mother I don’t think I ever will become one, the protection aspect is something I worry about the most. I know that my mother was over protective and that this stopped me from doing a lot of the things I wanted to do as a teenager and even in my early 20s. Obviously as a mother you want to protect your child, but as you say you don’t want to hold them back from being the person they should be. This is something I would really struggle with.

  • Zoe Alicia

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    That’s such a heartbreaking thing to hear Holly say. I think the media can focus too much on negative stories, and it is natural to think that there is no hope. You’re so right, we have to remind people of the hope.

  • Sabrina (The Mummy Stylist)

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    Oh I can so relate. There are so many horrible things happening to people across the world that I don’t want my boy to see. But he is going to have to see one day. You’ve done a great thing bringing a positive reaction to your girl, in that she can help. Sabrina xx

  • Leigh - Headspace Perspective

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    Such a beautiful post, Amy. You must be doing such a good job with your daughter for her to be so attuned to the needs of others. You hear so much about teenagers being wrapped up in their own lives. There is so much tragedy and sorrow in the world, but with attitudes like your daughter’s there is hope in the world xxx

  • You Baby Me Mummy

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    Stunning post lovely. Holly, Lewis and Rose are so lucky that you are their mum. You are doing an amazing job of ensuring they grown into the best people xxxx

  • Amanda

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    A thought provoking post as alwaysx You have 3 beautiful children who are so well cared for by you.x I know my self coming from alarge family of 11 you can feel stretched trying to meet all the different needs of children – toddlers and teens.x You are doing a fab job and i have no doubt your lovely Holly will thrive under your care as will all ofyour childrenxx

  • Sarah Golding

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    That’s so inspirational. Mine are only toddlers so we haven’t got to conversations like these but when we do I hope I can answer as well as you

  • Catherine

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    What an inspiring post! I remember being that age and feeling quite similar, I was that age around the time of 9/11 and the war in Iraq, and it was a very difficult time to start learning about the world and how other people live. Even now I often think that all of these problems and troubles will never end, but we just need to concentrate on trying to make it a better place. And as you said, there is always hope.

    C x | Lux Life

  • Helen | Wonderfully Average

    Written on 5th October 2015

    Reply

    Oh Amy, what a beautiful and heartbreaking post. I have the same thoughts as Holly sometimes so I have no idea how to respond. But the fact that she cares gives me a glimmer of hope for the future- she will be among the next generation of voters and policymakers. It sounds as though you’re raising a very empathetic young lady xx

  • Janine

    Written on 6th October 2015

    Reply

    What a lovely post. You have explained it so well to Holly about all the different people in the world and to get her attention away from the bad things that are happening right now.

  • Ickle Pickle

    Written on 7th October 2015

    Reply

    It is tough parenting a tot and teens. We do not watch the news. At all. It s too depressing. There is hope – there is love and kindness out there. Kaz xx

  • Katie / Pouting In Heels

    Written on 9th October 2015

    Reply

    A beautiful post Amy. There is horror in the world – as we are all so aware – however as you say there is also great love and much hope. I’ve no doubt Holly will remember these words, and if not, she always has you as a shining example ;-) x

  • Amy Metcalf

    Written on 12th October 2015

    Reply

    This is something I constantly worry about and Matilda is only 3 and Merry is only 3 months! I want to press pause to keep them little so that I can protect them! Your daughter sounds a delight though wanting to do volunteering already..old beyond her years too! The world is a scary place but we can only do our best. I’m going to have to keep this blog for reference so I know what to say when my girls are older!xx

  • Hannah Parker / Mums' Days

    Written on 12th October 2015

    Reply

    Brought a tear to my eye, Amy. Bless you’re kindhearted girl. In someways I find it really encouraging to know that she cares but of course it’s awful for her to feel such a burden and such feelings of hopelessness. I feel like that too when I watch the news. I often cry when I watch so these days I tend to avoid it. But if your girl can, I should pull my socks up and watch too. See what I can do, in my own small way. You can tell Holly from me that she is an inspiration xxx

  • Hannah Parker / Mums' Days

    Written on 12th October 2015

    Reply

    Brought a tear to my eye, Amy. Bless your kindhearted girl. In some ways I find it really encouraging to know that she cares but of course it’s awful for her to feel such a burden and such feelings of hopelessness. I feel like that too when I watch the news. I often cry when I watch so these days I tend to avoid it. But if your girl can, I should pull my socks up and watch too. See what I can do, in my own small way. You can tell Holly from me that she is an inspiration xxx

    • Amy Treasure

      Written on 19th November 2015

      Reply

      Aw thank you Hannah it’s just so bloody hard, especailly when it’s difficult for us to process but we do our best and I told Holly you said that and she BEAMED xxx

  • The 'C' Word, A Cownouncement and Soft Play | Tots 100

    Written on 14th October 2015

    Reply

    […] Parenting teens and a toddler simultaneously is a stressful role. On the one hand you worry your toddler is watching way to much TV, on the other you wish too much TV time was top on your list of ‘worries’ for your teens. As children get older they inevitably start to become sensitive to their environment. Not just at home but school, with friends and other family members. You try to instil confidence, assurances that they are loved, needed, they belong and are a vital and important part of your family and society in their own right. Read more from Mr and Mrs T Plus Three here.  […]

  • Mummy Tries

    Written on 14th October 2015

    Reply

    Such a heartbreaking but gorgeous post Amy. Your Holly sounds amazing, so full of compassion, and wonder. We must never give up hope, because without it, what’s the point? LOVE the new look site btw xx

  • Adrian

    Written on 17th October 2015

    Reply

    I’m a little way off this but when the questions come I will try to put things in perspective. I’ll explain that there are bad things happening in the world and sadly there always have been, but also that the story of human history tells us things do get better. You could talk about the fact that there were so many more wars in the past – that all the countries in Western Europe used to fight and now live in peace – and that has happened in the lifetime of people alive today. There used to be slavery and we abolished it. Women didn’t have the vote until 1927. Democracy is still spreading – there are far fewer dictatorships worldwide than at any time in history. So there is a lot of hope but we only see it by taking a step back and looking at the big picture. You could also explain that the news thrives on bad things and it isn’t always healthy to watch and read about it. Take a break from news and social media. Read sites like http://positivenews.org.uk/ and as you say think about how she can make a difference. Finally I think it’s worth noting that in general our corner of the world is pretty safe. Crime is falling http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30931732 and our health is better than at any other time in history. We’re really lucky to be living now and not in the past and things are likely to keep improving. We just have to work together and give it time.

    • Amy Treasure

      Written on 18th October 2015

      Reply

      Thanks so much for your comment Alan, you are right, there are so many positives to look at and I have really enjoyed the positive news site that you mention. I like to know what is going on but sometimes it is good to take a step back and not focus on the negativity of the news and SM, this is especially important for our young people too. You will have a wealth of answers for when your time comes and your children express similar concerns, they are lucky to have someone to talk to like you. Thanks as always, for taking the time to read.

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