P.O Box 41194 Eugene, OR 97404

Being Present As A Parent

Jun 21, 2024 | Blogs

In our gun safety classes for kids, we see kids who cross the full gamut of learning experiences and learning abilities. When you meet as many kids as we do, you see a little bit of everything. We believe that every child needs our help and we will always go above and beyond to ensure that every child gets the opportunity to learn true gun safety. Being a parent in 2024 is not an easy job. You have inflation that has raised prices on everything, which has put families in a position where they may have to either make cuts or work more hours to make ends meet. Busy schedules and lack of free time put a burden on parents and some tend to allow technology to play a bigger role in the raising of their children. As an Organization, we have a love and hate relationship with big tech! Meta censors us all while we are dependent on their platform to bring awareness to our mission and to reach the families. It is not the most comfortable position to be in. So we empathize with parents and understand how difficult it is to raise children. We are the lucky ones because we only have to spend time with the kids an hour to two at a time.

We have to look at some behavioral challenges some children face. Some may be hyperactive, some face dietary challenges, and others may have issues due to stimuli. Each child is unique and the challenges that face will be different. Socioeconomics does play a factor in some of the challenges that our youth face. Parents, for the most part, out of all of the families that we meet are really trying their best to raise their kids. It is the most difficult and rewarding job that you will ever have. One topic that I would like to focus on is how video games and social media apps, like TikTok, are destroying the minds of our youth. I know this will be an uncomfortable topic for some, but we must talk about it. It will most likely be difficult to speak about because it takes you being self-aware of the issues that your children may face. We have seen an increased amount of children that are being raised by video games. What is dangerous about this type of lifestyle is that it glamorizes firearms. It makes them look like they are toys. It desensitizes them to violence and most importantly, it teaches them to kill for points. This is making young boys more aggressive. Some studies will support my claims. My claims come through the sheer amount of hours that I have spent in my professional career as a gun safety expert.

Instructor giving presentation to attentive audience in classroom.
Another problem that we are seeing is how TiKTok is affecting the behaviors of young children. You will see trends that are causing our youth to do things that they really should not. We can use the Tide Pod Challenge as an example and it all started with one kid eating a pod and putting it online. This puts many of our kids at risk. Our children are being raised by apps that are not their friends. Many are living in an altered state of reality and this also opens them up to be victimized or groomed by predators. We hear horror stories all the time about kids being cyberbullied as well. It is our position that parents should do all that they can do to protect the innocence of their children and try to protect them from the crazy world out there. I know this is easier said than done, I get it. What we all have to realize as parents is how fast information is flowing towards our children. We could all argue that this is not a value added to our families or society. Being present in your child’s life to help guide them in job #1. The biggest challenge is juggling all of the other parts of your family’s life. This is where structure and order help keep everything under control.

The issue that we see with video games is how some young children learn their first views on firearms from a media source that is not based on reality. While video game makers strive for realism, the games are not 100% accurate. Quite often young kids come to class and see our Aero Precision M4E1 or our Solus and either they are a machine gun or a sniper rifle!! This couldn’t be further from the truth. Our Kids Firearm Safety 1 class gives us the ability to redirect the conversation and reeducate them. The goal is to bring this important conversation about gun safety back to reality. We reinforce “What happens in our video games, stays inside of our video games!” We also talk about the parental settings on the games and appropriate forms of communication with others while online. One thing to think about is how predators will try to access your kids while online. Predators will try to groom kids while online, your kids will need to know that side conversations online are not good and should be prevented. We always say “There are no secrets online, the only secrets that we keep from parents are surprises!” The only acceptable secrets that kids should keep from parents are surprises, like if they got their parents a birthday present. Having an open line of communication is really important. The future of the Republic depends on YOU as a parent on raising strong children. No pressure, together we will help. We are all in this together. Until next time. Be Safe!!


  1. Catharine O'Conner

    This was very enlightening, offering perspectives I hadn’t considered before.

    • derek

      Thank you for reading it!


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