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This is quite true. A number of things account for the vast array of problems in our communities and the broader society today. These problems exist at every level and in every social strata of our society. Decades ago how often did we hear of teenagers killing their parents? Almost never; today it is a regular occurrence. How many of us would like to read the psychological assessment of the Adam Lanza case?
Ms Emery writes: “There was a time when parents who had to work could leave their children in the care of a grandmother, aunt, or another family member. Though this is no longer possible for most families, it should remind us that there are alternatives. We could work less, buy less, and spend more quality time directly with our children. When we are absent in our children’s lives, we wreak havoc.”
While this is certainly true, we also need to bear in mind that some parents, and some of today’s grandparents, also wreak havoc in the lives of children; how do we address these issues? While shopping in a local grocery store a few months ago I witnessed a small boy (seemingly between the ages of two and three-years) trying to get a candy from a machine in the store. His grandmother, who was sitting on a bench apparently waiting for someone, told him to “get over here!” The child turned to her and said: “I want one grandma; I want one.” The woman, who I estimated to be in her 40’s, got up, grabbed the child by one arm in the shoulder and said: “I tell you to get the F--- over here. You not getting none!” The child started crying. She slapped him down on the bench and screamed: Shut the F--- up! The store security person (to his credit) said to her: “If you do that again, I am calling the cops.”
I spent 11 of my 28 years as an educator traveling to, and teaching in, some of CT’s most affluent high schools. In one very wealthy town the science coordinator had a large black board in the upper left corner of her class room. On that board were the phone numbers for Suicide Hot Lines, Rape Crisis Center, Runaway Hotline, and Therapeutic Counseling among other such emergency response agencies. I asked her – why would you need these numbers in a school such as yours? Her response was a real eye-opener. She said in her years at the school, there has not been one quarter when she and some of her teachers have not had to utilize those services. Quite often the wealthy parents simple sent a check to take care of “the problem.” Yes, in some wealthy communities parents don’t even know what is happening to their adolescent children; they don’t want to know; they pay for such services. This is the reason we do not hear about the problems in some of these affluent communities; it is not because the problem s do not exist; it is because they are taken care of quietly. In NHPS and other inner city areas, the problems are public knowledge because the police and various emergency services such as DCF and DSS get involved. The fact is: we have a crisis in parenting throughout our American society.
Ms. Emery ended her article by saying: “Now is the time when we need to sit down and reevaluate our priorities. Our children are the future; we must make it our priority to raise them in a nurturing, structured environment, so that we can ensure a healthy future for them.” We agree 100 percent. Where do we start? How do we educate parents, grandparents and caregivers of children about the value of what they do in shaping their children and America’s future? There might be some value in the links below.
The A to Z Guide To Raising Happy Confident Kids
Nine Steps to More Effective Parenting – Information in English & Spanish
Raising kids is one of the toughest and most fulfilling jobs in the world — and the one for which you might feel the least prepared. If you have a VLC player on your computer You can listen to the article by clicking this link or the Spanish version below: Listen
Welcome to Parenting With Love, your friendly online parenting magazine
Resilience In African American Children and Adolescents - A Vision for Optimal Development
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