Sunday, September 10, 2006

Who Is Responsible for Our Children?

Who in our society is taking full and total responsibility for our children?
In traditional and simpler times, the roles were established.
Mothers gave nourishment, training and nurturing of children.
Fathers were providers, protectors and disciplinarians.
Children respected their elders and learned to participate in chores and family responsibilities.
Childrens' basic needs were met with food, clothing, shelter, moral training and discipline.

Now, with our fractured society, parents are busy earning money, status and preparing for the future.
Mothers are balancing a job, household chores,family needs and keeping their marriage in tact.
Fathers are managing long work and commute hours, providing family's financial needs and maintaining their own physical and emotional health. Frequently there are no family meals, nor healthy foods prepared and offered. Someone outside the family may be hired to perform household chores. TV, video games, computer, phone and outside activities take the place of family interaction and conversation. Schools wants parents to help children with homework, but parents frequently have little time or patience.
Children are often left to support themselves in getting breakfast and ready for school. After school care and homework is usually with a baby-sitter.
Children are being raised and guided by teachers, care-givers, their peers and TV with celebrity role models.

Lastly and most important, family courts have now decided on the model of joint custody and equal time with both parents and shared responsibility. Children often have two homes, two different family systems, rules and customs. Neither parent has full responsibility, since the parents do not communicate or even agree on parenting styles. There is often no back up parenting support for divorced parents or accountability in single parent homes. Follow up, consistency, appreciation and consideration for the child's needs may be lacking or non existent. Children often have no one to care, listen or respond to their needs, because no one is available with the time, energy or consciousness. Children are doing the best they can with what resources they have been allowed. Kid's anxiety levels are high. Their self respect is low. They seek approval by keeping the adult authority happy or making their needs known through negative behavior. Being invisible alone with drugs, computer or DVD or ipod music plugged in is often their way to accommodate their isolation. Or they find gangs, explore too young intimate relationships or get in trouble at school or home to be noticed and have social interaction. Yes, there are responsible parents and respectful responsible children….But all of our children are our responsibility.

Who cares?

Who is listening?

Who knows what is best?

Who is willing to be responsible?

Our children are our future.
They are a gift of Love given to us to bless our lives.

They deserve to be loved and cherished.

They need to be guided, provided for and given loving and consistent consideration.

When I look at the level of disrespect, irresponsibility and lack of self care in our youth, I understand.
We have neglected and failed our children.
They are crying for our loving attention.
We can each say YES, I am willing to make and keep my agreements with these beautiful innocent souls.

Consider making a list of agreements for the children in your care.
I am taking responsibility for the grand parenting of this child.
I will listen to her needs in all circumstances.

I will help her learn how to ask for what she needs and wants.

I will teach her how to be kind and respectful of everyone by my example.

I will endeavor to be my best in her presence as a positive role model.

I will be kind and respectful to her in all circumstances.

I will provide her with consistency and keep my agreements.

I will communicate with her kindly remembering she is a child.

My intention is to love her by giving her the best I have every moment.

Blessing your willingness to give your best to each child who comes your way.
Betty Lue

How can we take responsibility for a child if we have not learned to be responsible for ourselves?