Its Time for Parents to Start Parenting Again

Parents need to take more of an interest in their child's day to day life to teach them how to become socially responsible.

How many children must fall victim to gun violence at the hands of another child before society comes to the realization that the root cause of this evil is a result of bad parenting and the lack of family values?

I'm asking this question with a heavy heart, you can't turn on a local or national news program or radio station nor can we open a newspaper or log on the Internet without reading or hearing how another young life has been tragically cut short by a weapon that was invented to fight wars. Our homes, neighborhoods and schools are not battlefields so therefore should not be treated as such. Now if you're the parent of a child who has committed or taken part in one or more of these heinous acts YOU HAVE FAILED MISERABLY AT YOUR JOB! Long gone are the days of hopscotch, jump rope, swinging on the monkey bars, climbing the jungle gym at the neighborhood park, riding a bicycle or going to an institution of learning without feeling the need to look over your shoulder. Attempting to conduct any of these activities can now cost a child their life. When did the killing of innocent youngsters become such an epidemic in our country? We can't go back in time and pinpoint one particular incident that would give us a definitive answer. There's several factors that have lead us to the brink of this destruction with BAD PARENTING being at the top of the list. Having a child myself I understand we can become overwhelmed at times, but that is not a good enough reason for us not properly paving the way for our children to live long happy fulfilling lives. Before we decide to make ourselves responsible for another human life outside of our own, we must take into consideration the amount of time, patience and diligence we'll be needing to effectively handle our obligation for the next 18 years. Community leaders are preaching and marching the streets of crime infested neighborhoods talking about stopping the violence and working together as a community to make it safe for our children. How can we expect the community to come together when the families of these delinquents are so dysfunctional that they can't or won't take care of their own flesh and blood? What good would come from community organization if everyone who shares the same zip code were not on the same page? None that I can see. If you're going to scream the message of unity in the streets I say march to the homes of the children who are committing these horrific crimes and find out what is, was and is still going on in their home environment that has contributed to them becoming felons. We have an unrelenting duty as parents to send our children out into the world as compassionate, responsible, productive members of society who value their lives as well as the lives of others.

It sickens me to know that some of us parents may be forced to deal with the unimaginable grief of having to bury a child who was not blessed to experience another tomorrow. It also scares me to think how this could happen to any one of us at any time. There was once the notion that this kind of violence only happened in poverty stricken low-income inner city neighborhoods. We now know this to be completely false. African American and Hispanic American youths are shooting each other to death in their own homes, on street corners and just about anywhere they may go to hang out over a case of mistaken identity, wearing a certain color, being seen in the wrong neighborhood or because someone has taken a  facial expression the wrong way. While Caucasian and Asian American youths are taking an even more extreme approach in this pandemic by committing or plotting mass murders in public schools and on college campuses because they can no longer take being teased and bullied or because they come from a well to do family that has given them everything and they're bored with their life and are looking for something to do. If your son or daughter is currently being charged with such a crime this shows that you have not been paying attention to your child or taken a real interest in their life. We can no longer sit around believing these things only happen to other people. No one is immune to this madness. Have we forgotten that life is a precious gift from GOD that should be cherished and lived to the fullest everyday? It would seem so when you take a minute to observe the festering cesspool that has formed around us. Is it really that difficult to teach our children how to solve problematic issues with another child like mature decent human beings? I don't think so. I'm standing on the shoulders of two women who were able to instill the difference between right and wrong in their children. My grandmother did it alone with eight and my mother did with three after she left my father when I was eight years old and we've all turned out okay. Being a single parent, having multiple children, working more than one job, going to school or not having a lot of money can no longer be used as excuses for why so many of our children and young adults are turning to violent crime to deal with their inner demons. As we all can see when parenthood is taken lightly it only leads to pain and suffering for the families of the victims who will never get to see another day. A family does not necessarily require a married mother and father working together as one unit. That would be ideal, but it's just not and may never be a reality for many of us. With that being said, if you find yourself in any of these situations you should use that as the ultimate motivation for wanting the best life possible for your child. If you're a parent whose truly gone to great lengths such as sending your child to boot camp, jail, reform school or you've sent them away to live with other relatives hoping they can help you make a difference in your child's behavior and nothing  seems to have worked then you are not on my "bad parenting" list. This is a case of that child having to want a better life for themselves. You've done all you know how to do. You can't help can't help those who won't help themselves.

To sum it all up I know some of you who have taken the time to read this article may not fully agree with me and that's fine. Everyone has the God given right to express how they feel. This is just one frustrated mother's opinion on why gun violence is so rampant with our children in today's society. Parenting isn't for everyone and we have a mountain of gravesides to stand on for this statement to reign true. 

  

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Ray
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