Are we fear struck yet? Are we paying attention? Have we realized that the behaviors demonstrated by many people of our society today are a direct result of their upbringing. There are always exceptions, but we know for the most part, that what we ‘see’ is the result of what people have been taught and exposed to.
I am a baby boomer. I grew up in a time when church, prayer, and a great many school and church activities were an integral part of my life. I can safely say that this was the way of many of my peers. We were aware of and immersed in social settings that taught tolerance and respect. We were guided and instructed to exhibit appropriate behaviors wherever we went.
Schools set aside a moment for silent reflection. They seemed compelled to offer after school programs that kept students interested, happy, and busy. Summer programs were also offered as a means to reinforce academic skills which allowed many children to catchup or stay abreast. Classroom confrontations or unruly students were rare if not unheard of and neighborly concerns for children who exhibited inappropriate language or behavior were immediately addressed. In other words, we were paid attention too. Efforts were made to keep us focused and on the right path. Our minds, bodies and souls were nourished and almost everyone took part in it.
Children knew how far the ‘extended family’ extended. Parenting was a comprehensive task that involved all the adults in a child’s life; from home, to school, to church, to neighborhood. It was as if all the adults had gone to the same class for Parenting 101. Kids were secure and protected from worldly negative influences, even if they didn’t know or understand it. I have to say I’m grateful for it.
Though many things have changed and there are a phenomenal amount of distractions in the lives of parents today, many parents exhibit a true concern for their children. They are deliberate in their desire to mold a child that is responsible, fair, compassionate, tolerant, smart, and prepared for their future. They get concerned when their little one displays negative behaviors and are committed to finding solutions. And the last thing any parent wants is for their child to exhibit embarrassing behaviors in the midst of watching passerbys. They also know that the negative behaviors they ignore might be the behaviors that will evolve into something we may all pay for later.
The importance of our presence as parents can never be underrated. We are the link to our children’s success and they are the link to the success of our future; immediate and distant, at home and abroad. We are charged with teaching our children a code of conduct that will transcend time leaving a legacy of peace and harmony that will allow mankind to continue. We cannot take our roles as parents for granted!