Parenting addressed

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

We have a large number of wayward and unmotivated children traveling a troubling route often due to lack of parenting skills. All too often external factors such as environment and economic disadvantages are the main culprits identified when analyzing children who have a chronic history of criminal and deviant behavior. Yes, these are factors that cannot be overlooked. But regardless of these detrimental factors, appropriate parenting may be the major tool in circumventing unwanted behavior in our children.

No one can argue that one’s environment plays a pivotal role in one’s development. A safe and inviting community where the parents are able to offer the child the financial security to experience different things is ideal—but not always possible because of one’s financial status. Thus you have the ‘haves’ and the ‘have not’s.’ This consequently causes problems because the have-nots linger for the proprieties and entitlements of their counterparts. This could be emotional or intellectual as well as financial.

Children are programmed at an early age by a capitalistic society to want material things and long for the things their parents may not be able to afford. This is subliminally done by the media through TV, movies advertising, and the news in general. Although being able to provide your child with financial security can be advantageous, nothing can act as a substitute for a dedicated parent or parents who realize that their top priority is for the best interests of their child. That means making sure your child is offered the best opportunities for social, emotional, and intellectual growth. These attributes are bestowed by parents who realize their responsibility to their children is paramount. In other words, nurturing their children to be happy, respectful, productive and successful individuals is not a choice. It’s a given, even if it means putting their own personal needs or wants on hold. It is a sacrifice that some parents may verbally express but fall short into bringing to fruition.

Parenting a child is a serious undertaking and should not be taken lightly. While raising a child can be very rewarding, it is time consuming and demanding. All too often, you have young women having children for the sake of trying to capture someone in a relationship not meant to be. Thus, you have some children being born for the wrong reasons to parents who don’t have the means to support the child financially or mentally. Thus, the child becomes the biggest loser.

While you may make you own rules when deciding to bring a child in this world, countless studies suggest it is an endeavor that should be shared by two loving parents preferably in marriage or in a loving relationship. One must remember, children did not ask to come here or have any choice in who would be their parents; therefore they should not be used as pawns in dealing with parents’ personal frustrations or as reminders of someone’s infidelity. Children are born innocent, loving, and trusting, needing the proper love, support and guidance to blossom.

You owe your children everything and sometimes everything is resonated in quality time, support, and love. Love doesn’t mean giving a child everything he or she asks for but being able to say ‘no’ at times and mean it. However offering you child a safe secure environment where the child is not constantly in fear of harm or being killed is a no brainer, even if it means sending your child to live with other loved ones in a safer secure environment. Such a move calls for real unselfish love that seems to be missing in too many situations.

One must not deduct the importance of perhaps the greatest gift a parent can offer their child and that is time. Spending time with their child as their greatest fan, reading to them, reinforcing what they learn in school, exposing them to different venues, helping to develop their individuality, and instilling morality and a sense of spirituality are a few of the responsibilities of a devoted parent. Certainly one can see that raising a child is a great responsibility and no easy task, but certainly a rewarding experience when done with love. If you lack the skills to be a good parent because of a poor upbringing or because you may be too young and not mature enough to be a parent, perhaps you should seek advice or counseling. Bringing a child into this world shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Too often we have grandparents who should be enjoying their twilight years raising or taking care of their grandchildren or great grandchildren because the children’s parents are inept, lacking the financial means, maturity, or emotional stability to adequately raise their children. We can find so many culprits to blame in the shortcoming of our children, such as inadequate schools, teachers, peers, gangs, and poverty. The list goes on and on, but let’s take our heads out of the sand and stop blaming others for what many of us can correct by enhancing our own parenting skills. We can start with better supervision of our children, spending more quality time with them, supporting them academically, monitoring their friends, and instilling morals and a strong sense of spirituality. Teaching children to respect and love themselves and others could be a great lesson by parents in producing successful productive adults.