For Our Children’s Sake
The President’s State of the Union speech dominated the media along with promises of follow-up coverage the day after. As of this writing, I have only heard parts of his speech since I chose to watch Dakari’s (my grandson) basketball team , UK, playing LSU in New Orleans. But I will make sure I listen to the entire speech and hopefully hear something that promises more for our children than death in foreign countries via the armed forces and on city streets via gun violence.
I must admit I’m not optimistic. Listening to the first ten minutes of Democracy Now!, airing on listener-sponsored WBAI, one gets headlines of disasters in countries around the world and the involvement of our country. Needless to say, these never make our corporate-controlled media.
We – parents and grandparents – are the first in line to assume responsibility for the lives of our children which include providing a home environment that supports a healthy self-esteem and allows pursuit of activities of interest, form and maintain relationships with others who demonstrate concern and willingness to take responsibility for the children of the community.
In order to get a sense of what all children are currently experiencing in America, I turn to the Children’s Defense Fund, founded in 1973 by Marian Wright Edelman. Parents, grandparents, adult relatives and educators owe our children more. Through your commitment, the children will be armed to create a world that appreciates life and humanity. From the Children’s Defense Fund’s most recent report: Each Day in America for Black Children – One mother dies in childbirth, one child is killed by abuse or neglect, one child or teen commits suicide, three children or teens are killed by guns, four children or teens die from accidents, 19 babies die before their first birthdays, 95 children are arrested for violent crimes, 95 children are arrested for drug crimes, 104 babies are born without health insurance, 199 babies are born to teen mothers, 211 babies are born at low birth weight, 310 babies are born into extreme poverty, 336 public school students are corporally punished, 384 children are confirmed as abused or neglected, 597 babies are born into poverty, 763 high school students drop out, 1,153 babies are born to unmarried mothers, 1274 children are arrested, 6,191 public school students are suspended.
For Each Day in America for All Children, White Children, Hispanic Children, Asian and Pacific Islander Children Combined, American Indian and Alaska Native Children Combined in addition to other important information needed in order to create CHANGE for our children and future generations.
For our children’s sake and the future of the world, it is time to engage in problem-solving, retiring blame….and taking responsibility for creating a different world, starting in our homes, healing relationships within our families, acknowledging and growing self-esteem with the children on our blocks. There’s evidence that children do as we do, not necessarily as we say do. There’s also evidence that human beings are flowers and have a need to be a part of a group. A popular story is that if one person stands on a street corner and looks upward, soon a group will have formed peering into the skies.
How can this information be used in our mission of parenting? The Notebook will focus on ways of modeling and use of groups to encourage appropriate behavior and supporting our youngsters in discovering and demonstrating their innate intelligences. We begin with this rule. Make sure you live the qualities you want your child to live. If you’re telling your child not to smoke or do drugs, you should not be smoking nor doing drugs. Assignment: 1) Observe the things about your child that annoy you and see if you’re guilty of them. (Success depends on the ability to tell the truth about ourselves.) 2) Review the following by Dorothy Law Nolte, who was a family counselor and writer.
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn – If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy - If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty. If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient – If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence- If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate. If children live with fairness, they learn justice. If children live with security, they learn to have faith. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children live with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find love in the world. We can only change what we take responsibility for. Send questions, suggestions, comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.