Everyone will remember the 94th Academy Awards, and it won’t be because of the many great films and creators that were celebrated. No, it will be because of an incident that happened on stage between the host, comedian Chris Rock, and the Best Actor winner, actor Will Smith.
A Very Public Slap on the Face by Will Smith
We all know the role of hosts at award shows — they’re there to guide us through the nominees, the winners, the losers, and make us laugh in the process. But, not all jokes are created equal. When Chris Rock made a G.I. Jane joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith’s wife, things got out of hand. Jada has been dealing with alopecia-induced hair loss, and she was visibly unhappy with the joke. Will was just as livid. He immediately went on stage and slapped the comedian in the face with a string of curse words in an attempt to defend his wife’s honor.
Needless to say, the audience was stunned. Reactions have been mixed so far, with some defending Smith for protecting his wife and refusing to tolerate bullying in the form of jokes, while others condemn his actions as an example of toxic masculinity. Some even wondered if it was all a well-planned act.
In truth, neither action was okay. Joking about a person’s illness isn’t just a poor choice of words — it’s detrimental and unacceptable. Displaying feats of rage is just as inexcusable. And while Smith has since apologized, many Black families are struggling with his representation of their culture. They’re wondering how to communicate what happened to their children. Every parent is.
A Teaching Moment for Everyone
While stars like Chris Rock and Will Smith have the privilege to have a public conflict on TV and still keep their careers, freedom, and lives, that doesn’t apply to everyone. Instead of focusing on the incident as meme-worthy material or accepting such behavior as normal, we need to start conversations. Conversations about reflection, healing, and understanding. These are especially important topics to discuss with our children after incidents like these.
Five Ways for Parents to Spend Meaningful Weeknights With Their Kids
No working parent wants to hear that their child is spending more time with their nanny than with them. Unfortunately, modern-day dynamics are forcing moms and dads to face this harsh reality. On good days, parents get to spend between two and four hours with their kids. This means that working mothers and fathers are bound to miss some important milestones such as a baby’s first words or steps, a child’s first day at school, or a teenager’s first crush.
While two to four hours may seem too little given that there are 24 hours in a day, it doesn’t mean that parents cannot make the most of it. There are different ways for moms and dads to spend meaningful weeknights with their kids.
Enjoy The Moment
The secret to contentment is the ability to take the time to notice and enjoy a moment as it is happening. It doesn’t have to be something big. In fact, it can be anything — a cute mispronounced word, a funny situation, or a nice meal. Being present while spending time with their children is not only good for bonding but will also reassure kids that their parents see them and care for them.
Forget About Work
Many mothers and fathers make the common mistake of bringing their work-related worries home. This creates tension that children can feel, meaning they choose to keep their distance instead of being with their parents. Furthermore, this bad habit gives kids the feeling that their moms and dads shouldn’t be bothered because they are busy working. Parents should find ways to take a pause from their professional obligations so they can truly be with their children during the few hours they have together.
Pull Away From Phones
Smartphones and other devices can really get in the way. While it is understandable that the modern world expects people to be reachable 24/7, it doesn’t mean that moms, dads, and kids should be on their phones the entire time. Pulling away from devices is an excellent way to create memories. Parents and children can play games, watch movies, tell stories, discuss ongoing events, exercise, and more.
Special Events With the Kids
Traditions are important. They have a huge impact on the dynamics between different family members. Creating regular events is a great way for parents and children to have meaningful weeknights. It can be anything from taco Tuesdays to Friday game nights. Having a special day and hour when the family gathers to be together can make a big difference and bring happiness to everyone.
The Power of Touch
Touch is a very powerful sense. It helps us feel connected to one another. Several studies have shown that skin-to-skin contact with their mothers allows premature babies to gain weight faster. It also helps kids deal with pain regardless of their age. Hugging their children or putting their heads together is a superb way for parents to show their love.
Parents can combine these five techniques to spend amazing weeknights with their children no matter how much time they have to be together.