Writer’s Name: Tyeisha Downer
Title: Saving Our Children
“Child what are you up to out here in everything, but the right thing? Your parents have no idea what you’re up to while they’re at work. Well I got news for you! I seen what you did now go pick a switch off the tree… and not a little one either because I’m fixing to spank you real good and then I’m going to call your parents and tell them why.”
Those are the words that you used to hear when children were being disobedient to themselves or others. Once upon a time it was okay for the neighbors in the community to get together and teach children the difference between right and wrong. Nowadays most parents will be ready to fight if you touch one strand of hair on their child’s head – no matter if their kids are right or wrong. Many parents believe that their child could do no wrong and are very over-protective of their children.
Society and the media has polluted our children’s minds with the music that’s being played on the radio, and even encouraging our youth to dress half naked by implying that you have to look a certain way in order to appease a crowd. There is less focus on education and empowering the youth. It takes a community to raise the children of today’s world. No longer do we implement plans on disciplining our children the old fashion way. Now we will tell them to go sit in the corner until I tell you it’s okay to move and then when we tell them to move they are back to their old ways.
The young men are missing fathers, thus having no idea what it takes in order to become a man. Maybe if some of the elder men in the community took action in teaching them properly the world would be a better place. Years ago the men of the community would rip a young man to pieces if they even had a clue that they wanted to sell drugs and drop out of school. Many disciplined them and spoke from their own experience in doing the same thing and tried to protect them from going down the road they once traveled. Ruining your life was never an option.
Young women carried themselves like ladies and knew their self-worth because other women embraced them and taught them at a very young age on how to be a woman. These women knew their own self-worth. Lessons were given on the art of courtship and demanding respect from men and others. Now young ladies are confused on what has to take place in order to get a guy to like you. Questions surface like, do I have to dress sexier or pretend to be something I’m not? Maybe if we went back to being involved in displaying discipline for our young women, dressing too sexy may not be an option because others would intervene and instill these positive values in our youth.
Our community and elders need to go back to the basics in teaching our youth discipline. Get to know your neighbors and their children. Open up the line of communication. Start to gain trust amongst your peers. Granted we can’t trust everyone with our children but if you go with your intuition it will never steer you wrong. Maybe we can start off with one neighbor getting involved and disciplining our children and once that’s established we can move on to the next trustworthy neighbor that would never mean our children any harm – but rather who would want to see them successful and disciplined. Eventually we can end up with a neighborhood full of mentors for the youth and then gradually we will gain a community. Get involved. Start disciplining early. Our children need us to be their protectors, mentors, and role models. We hold their future in our hands.