I got a real kick out of watching Spider-Man complete his ALS Ice Bucket Challenge this weekend.
Maybe it was the look on his face as the cold water and ice was dumped over his head, the fact that he didn’t do it in my kitchen, or the sheer joy of watching him do something he was challenged to do…that happened to be for charity.
But the fact remains…he never gave a dime to ALS.
And until this week, he didn’t know what ALS was.
Social Media can be a truly powerful thing. We’re raising our teens in a time where they’ve more information at their fingertips than ever before. As parents, we have an opportunity to use this information they’re accessing…to educate them, to open the lines of communication and to see what they’re all about.
Spider-Man did the challenge on a dare. It wasn’t for the charity. At this stage in his life, he doesn’t do a whole lot without a little motivation but that to me is pretty normal for a 15-year-old kid.
“Mom, will you drive us to the movies,” is often followed by me asking him to clean out the car. “Can a friend crash for the night,” usually entails him having to clean his room and do a few loads of laundry. Sometimes, I give him a few dollars to vacuum and dust the main floor and believe me, I can’t wait until he gets his license to get a few extra chores thrown in when he wants to borrow the car!
Rarely, do things get done without some motivation from my end and, let’s be honest, sometimes the motivation is to simply not have to listen to my nagging!
On occasion, Spider-Man does something completely on his own and…if I’m doing this right…as he gets older, he’ll do more and more without me needing to ask or prodding him along.
Recently, Spider-Man volunteered on the ice with Joe DiPenta’s NHL Hockey Clinic where all proceeds went to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I’m pretty sure he volunteered for the thrill and opportunity to be on the ice with an NHL hockey player. However, I took the opportunity to chat with him about the cause as, until that moment, he didn’t realize that the man he was named after had died from Leukemia.
It made going on the ice and volunteering his time…that much more important to him.
This weekend, my son did what many other kids are doing these days…he poured a bucket of ice and water over his head in “support” of ALS…then nominated three more friends to do the same. If they don’t do the challenge within 24 hours, they’re supposed ot make a contribution to ALS.
I don’t expect many of these kids are making contributions (though I’d hope that many of the adults and celebrities are.) However, as a parent of this kid standing there with the shocked look on his face as the cold water was dumped over his head, the opportunity presented itself to chat about a wonderful organization…about a disease that, until these videos began, he knew nothing about.
I’ve watched his video a couple of times…in fact, got a great bit of entertainment value out of it. So today, I’m making a donation to help in the fight against ALS…and those living with the disease.
If your social media timelines are filling like mine…if you’re getting a kick out of seeing some of these fantastic videos…take a moment to make sure your children know what it’s all about. And, if you’re so inclined, donations can be made online securely through CanadaHelps.Org. Locally in Halifax, you can call the office at 454-3636 or by mailing a cheque to ALS Society of NS, 900 Windmill Road, Suite 113, Dartmouth, NS B3B 1P7.