This weeks post is somewhat sensitive in nature because it will hit home to so many adults. I have titled today’s post, “Guarding your children” because I want to help parents to avoid unnecessary heartaches with their children. Just remember this one fact as we continue; “Every child learns best by mimicking the behavior they see portrayed by their parents.
However, in the absence of this example, they will seek out other examples that will shape their personal identity, good or bad.”
Having come from a broken home myself, I experienced being left to learn things on my own. My parents were the typical black parents, too busy working and trying to stay married that they forgot to raise their kids. Children today are no different and they desperately need guidance, structure and identity from their parents. For far too long, many parents have thought that providing for their children financially, providing shelter, clothing and occasional discipline, was actually equated to good parenting. And while they are blinded by this belief, their children are being influenced by television, bad influences of peers, music, and even worldly cultures such as the hip hop culture.
I would like to point out that many of today’s problems with kids can be linked to a lack of responsible and informed parenting. It’s time that parents realize that they are actually helping to create the very problems that they complain about. In future posts, I will give examples of issues that have been created due parents not “Guarding their children”.
For now, I want to start by giving some tips that will help you provide your children with the type of parenting that is expected of any mom or dad;
1. Monitor what you allow your kids to watch on television. Because children need identity, they are easily influenced and can pick up bad habits from what they see others do. Take time to watch tv with them and pay attention to what happens on the programs that they like. Ask yourself questions such as, 1. Is this age appropriate, 2. Do I want my kids dancing like that, 3. Do I want them thinking that dating as a teen is ok?, 4. Do I want my child dressing like these kids? I mean, you get the picture. When you see something inappropriate, be proactive and explain to them why they should avoid the behaviors they are seeing. Never be blunt in telling them to not do something without explaining why and not just, “because I said so!”.
2. Monitor the music you kids listen to. You can shake it off if you want, but kids are being programmed with bad behavior and language through the music they are listening to. Just think of this, if you hear something enough, it can become a part of you. This will then feed your conscious mind, causing you (the kids) to mimic or act out the behavior that they hear being portrayed, sung or rapped about. In addition, they can become influenced by the apparel choices of the artist and make it a part of their identity. Young girls began to accept that they are valued based on their look and their body. Young boys, many growing up without a father, will learn to disrespect authority, women and themselves. On example is the droopy pants that show your underwear. This originated from prison and was introduced to kids through music artists that went to prison and came out to continue their chosen career.
3. Tell your kids the right things to do, but show them first! Kids learn best by seeing a behavior modeled and taking on that behavior. The worst thing you can do is tell your kids not to do something and then engage in that behavior or activity yourself. One example is to tell your kids not to smoke, and yet you are holding a cigarette in your hand at the same time. Same goes for drinking and many other displays of bad choices.
Next week, I will be giving more tips and examples to shed light on why responsible parenting is a proactive and not reactive.