21 May 2007

Youth in Jeopardy

Why are our children in such a hurry to grow up? Why are younguns looking like 30-year-old men and women? More importantly, what is the rush to get be older? Hell, I’m grown and it’s far more than I can stand to deal with at times. A demanding full time job; being a single parent, and giving my hard earned money to some fool named bill with whom I’d rather not have a relationship. I highly doubt I’d want to be a child in this day and age, but to not have all the responsibilities I currently do; yeah, I’d take that. So, again I ask, “what’s up with these kids wanting to be so damn grown?

I recently witnessed the horrifying effects of a teen thinking she was grown and it broke my heart, which left me wondering are we failing our children or has society given license to such foolish ways of thinking. So here’s my dime of opinion.

Children are shown images of lush and lavish lifestyles without being taught they need to have an education and eventual gainful employment in order to maintain said lifestyle.

By the time our children have graduated high school, they’re already receiving credit card applications without being taught fiscal responsibility and the adverse effects of a negative credit report.

We’re giving our children endless amounts of designer and name brand clothes, shoes, purses, etc., of which they probably will not be able to afford and/or maintain when they’re in college or off on their own.

We’re teaching our daughters the importance of their looks instead of the importance of their brains henceforth starting the “princess” complex, which leads to them neglecting their education or expecting to get by in life on their looks.

Our sons aren’t being taught how to be men of substance instead of solely full of testosterone and the higher the bed count the better.

Our sons think being an athlete or rapper is their means of success instead of having something else to all back on. What happens when an injury occurs? Or how about not being able to secure the record deal? Misguided thought processes at their finest.

Collectively, our children are force fed the media’s hype of who they are and parents aren’t taking an active role and stand in developing their children.

To name a few...

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of parents who are playing their part, advocating discipline, education and such; however, their children are just down right defiant and challenge what they’re being taught. These are the children I fear for the most. I fear for the teen that thinks because they’re now 18 affords them certain rights and privileges and that they can make it on their own. They’ve not yet realized that they’ll need to get and maintain a car to get to/from work, an ability to balance a bank account in order to afford gas, rent, food, clothes, healthcare, etc.

Too many children are misled, misguided, and down right confused about the real world and will unfortunately be cashing some really huge reality checks before they realize that their parents were doing them a favor by enforcing rules, maintaining discipline, and continually being a hands on. Bailing a child out every time they’re in trouble only perpetuates dependency and irresponsible behavior. There are consequences to bad behavior and it’s best to receive it at the hands of a caring and meaningful parent than at the hands of law enforcement, the credit bureau, an abusive boy or girlfriend, or even death.

As a parent, I’m forced to rule with an iron fist at times and I have no qualms about it. I don’t sugar coat shit and call it candy for my child. I know the importance of providing a good foundation for her to stand on so she can do well in life. I’m sometimes happy when my daughter is forced to learn the hard way or see things for herself that I've told her, so she can understand that certain actions will cause her more harm than good. I intervene and argue with what society says about what my child should or shouldn’t have or should or shouldn’t do. Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, or some other tart will not be her role model. Men, who abuse their girlfriends or wives even in the most subtle of ways, are unacceptable mates for her. Men with no drive or ambition, but have good looks aren't quality men. Without a doubt, I fall short at times, but parenting is a learning process and sometimes we have to learn together as parent and child. I can and will say this though, I chose to be a parent and therefore, it’s my responsibility to provide her with the tools and resources she’ll need to succeed. A good education is essential, being proactive in her own life, taking chances, making a change, and striving for success and happiness in her own life are the things I know she’ll need.

So far, I guess I’ve fared well and hope to God that we both continue as mother and child against the world. I pray other parents are equally successful with their child. I especially pray for those parents who are doing everything in their power to raise their children well and are defied every step of the way. I firmly believe that we all need to take an active stand with our children, siblings, nieces, nephews or any child in our lives because it really does take a village to raise a child. We truly need to revert back to some old school ways before our children are more doomed than they’re already showing signs of being.

18 comments:

Shai said...

Whew! Amen to that.

Just remember we were younger we wanted to be older. LOL. SMH.

Kids fights these days are so different from ours.

BZ said...

Seriously! Thank you for writing this because it is so true!

Blu Jewel said...

shai - you're right we wanted to be older too, but we still had a level of respect the kids today dont. also, their fight is different, but the rules haven't really changed that much.

bz - i thought about your post about the pregnant girl when this entry came to mind. i know you can relate *sigh*

Hawa said...

Yes yes yes, Blu. I heard one wonderful explanation of why the young generation is getting lost in the sauce: Well meaning parents wanted to remove the "struggle" from being young... while forgetting that the struggle is what built our generation's character.

In the effort to spare our children of any kind of pain, we often shield them from lessons that prepare them to be much stronger adults. As a result, they want to be grown, "have it all now," but don't understand the first thing about the responsibility that comes with building and maintaining "the good life."

Thank you for this, because as a single mom, this is a daily concern for me. Like you, I find myself satisfied when one of my sons learns a lesson the hard way. I gave up trying to "shield" them when they were young after I took a moment to realize that my wisdom comes from necessary lessons.

Ali's Zay said...

Don't even get me started. My stick figure of an eight-year-old daughter aspires to be a super model and Bratz dolls are her idols. meanwhile, I just want my baby girl to be just that, a baby girl... for a couple more years at least. [sigh] But apparently that ain't happenin.

chele said...

I love the fact that my mother was as strict as she was because I'm passing it down to my kids. Children yearn for discipline as well as love. I feel sorry for the parents who feel it's important to be buddies with their children. F that! They already have buddies ... I will always be the MAMA.

Sojourner G said...

Amen and again, AMEN! If parents would just go back to the bible, there would be no questions and a lot lot less of this BS going on today.

The problem is 1) as previously stated, we want them to have it better than we did by removing the struggle. If we cut open every cocoon, no butterfly would ever fly because they didn't develop the strenght necessary to be able to fly.
2) Parents want to be friends more than parents. We all know how friends can be to one another.

Important post!

Rosemarie said...

http://ingridspeak.blogspot.com/2007/02/school-of-entitlement.html

Ingrid wrote something like this. A shout for her!

And, my answer then is still the same...I pray that my path in parenting is successful regardless of a wrong turn here and there.

You are absolutely on target! You have so much to say it could fill a book or an hour or two seminars.

I'm so glad my break is over. It's good to be in your company again.

Copasetic Soul said...

great post! as my granny would say, tell the truth shame the devil.

i just went through something with my 14 year old daughter last thursday that shook me to the core. it hurt my heart so bad that i had to call my mother....

Blu Jewel said...

hawa - see; you get it! the trials of a single parent aren't easy, but we have to do what we need to do to get our children right

zay - enjoy her while you can and always remain a strong, powerful, and consistent role model for her. she'll need you so much as she grows and you giving her the right foundation will make a great and positive impact in her life.

chele - i feel you; i feel you. thanks for adding your say on this subject.

sojourner - thanks for stopping by and for your powerful supporting comment. if we revert back to some good old fashioned teachings, so many of these kids and parents would be better off.

rose - it was very hard for me to condense my thoughts as this is a subject i could have gone lengths with. i agree with your prayer.

copa - *hugs* whatever you went through with your daughter, i hope you'll both be able through it and find a positive outcome for whatever took place.

ALL - i'm happy that i've gotten such positive feedback on this from parents and non parents alike.

YouToldHarpoTaBeatMe said...

What did Grandma 'nem use to say? "Ain't nothin' new under the sun", right along with "Once an Adult, twice a child. Don't be in such a hurry". Oh and waaaay back in the day, the 8 track of Natalie Cole got played on me...."Annie Mae", when I was trying to wear a halter instead of my "kid power" shirt.

If you don't mind, I think I'm gonna have slide this link off into a few kids (and ADULTS) email accounts.

Paula D. said...

Can you say 'Church!' You are so right! I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said!

Ingrid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ingrid said...

You and I are in the same relationship with "bill". I keep trying to leave him so he can spend time with his other women but he just won't let me go. He's like "Miss Ma'am" every month he turns up.

If you every figure out how to shake him short of living off the land in the woods let a sista know!

I keep telling my daughter to hold on to her youth! I feel you on the example we set by placing priorities on the physical. Especially where girls are concerned. My daughter is built like a brick @#$% house. And although I try to reinforce the fact that she is beautiful (which she is) I take an extremely hard line on her using her head. I refuse to raise a dumb broad.

The problem with this is that at least 2 of her friends have parents that must be ok with raising dumb broads & peer pressure is a mutha fo ya!

We have to be so diligent and when you are doing it alone sometimes the job seems soo much bigger than you.

I feel you on this post. We are there in the same mindset. I just wish I could raise my baby in the 70's. 3 channels and the raciest thing on the radio was Let's Get it on!

Wendy said...

Thank you, thank you! You read my mind. I was going to write about this today, now I don't have to because you feel me. You know I have to forward this to a few people.I have stopped visiting people because of how they allow their children to run the house. It just can't take it.

rayne said...

You are oh so right about this. Good post.

T.C. said...

the important thing is that you posted this, you are going to make at least one parent look at what they are or better yet are NOT doing for the betterment of their children...true indeed it DOES start at home, but more than ever i think we need to go back to the old adage "it takes a village to raise a child" see back in the day we didn't have an opportunity to do half the stuff that young people today do because we KNEW that if we had a party or someone over when our parents weren't home, OR if we decided to sneak out, or whatever Ms. Thelma (yes that was her name) from across the street would say something, if i acted a fool and my friends momma found out, i would get it from her and then again when i got home...today to many people are only concerned with THERE children or parents don't want anyone to say anything to THEIR kids...well for me, its like plan and simple, if i can't discipline your kid then don't leave em wit me...period!

we need more good people surrounding our young people, talking to and mentoring our young people...parents need to know that its ok for others to positivly affect our young people...let's talk to them and dialogue with them be honest about stuff we have been through so that they don't have to....

i could go on and on about this...

peace and blessing big sis blu...this was ON POINT

rethots said...

...what really struck me in this write up is, "Our sons think being an athlete or rapper is their means of success ..." this is so painful & a simply fact misunderstood. No wonder, we lack common expertise in some fields (professions) now. Nice post.