When I first became pregnant I asked my mother how could I ensure that my child wasn’t going to be a terror. I knew that you can’t have perfect children, and I definitely wasn’t a perfect child, but I honestly like the child that I was and the adult that I’ve become.
Even though I messed up and rebelled at times, ultimately I was very respectful to authority figures, didn’t engage in backtalk and sought ways to improve myself. But, I like the way my sister Kelli turned out more, so I asked my mother did she do anything special with her. (J/K) But when I would ask my mother she would always quote the Bible: “Raise up a child in the way that they are supposed to go and they shall not depart from it.”
But my mind couldn’t help going back to some children who had parents that were strict, or their parents were clergy members and their children knew religious doctrine like they knew their own names and still ended up wilding out.
But you tell yourself that the parent tried, and that you’ll try your best to keep your child on the best path until they’re able to make their own decisions. It doesn’t squelch your fears of the future, but it does pacify them.
It wasn’t until I ignored my right mind and went to Worldstarhiphop one day that new parenting fears surfaced. On one particularly disturbing video in the comment section someone wrote: ”And to just think, these girls all started off as innocent babies.”
That realization scares you and you begin to wonder what went wrong? You know that there are people who try their best to teach their children the right way to go, but there are also parents who encourage their children to go the wrong way as well.
There are children I’d came in contact with in the past who could point out what a cigarillo was and how to break it down to make it a blunt, but didn’t know their ABCs.
There were adults who told me that when they were children their parents/caretakers would allow them to sip as much alcohol that they could from a straw, and encouraged them to smoke weed with them when they were only 14. YouTube is full of videos of parents who encouraged their children to fight, and who fought right along with their children.
Even though I’m not too well versed in football terminology I do know that there are two sides to each team. The defensive and the offensive. If I’m correct (and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), the offensive side is the one that has the ball and has the responsibility to score.
The defensive side is the side whose responsibility is to stop the offensive side from scoring. With each day that my daughter is getting older and I’m anticipating on handing her the ball of acceptable behavior, it makes me wonder, has the game changed? Is it no longer enough to teach your child the right way to go?
It’s like driving. When I was being taught how to drive I was being encouraged to be “a defensive driver.” It wasn’t enough that I knew what I had to do behind the wheel, but I had to be prepared to deal with people who didn’t know what they were doing.
The person who was on the phone and who took their eyes off the road and started to swerve.
The driver who thinks they can beat the light while I’m going through it, or the drunk driver who didn’t realize how tipsy he was until he got behind the wheel. Being a defensive driver is about being alert at all costs to avoid a catastrophe.
Is this what parenting is coming to now? No longer allowing our children to be blissfully ignorant and teaching them as they get older of the dangers that can happen between them and their peers?
But letting them know that with their first steps there might be someone willing to hurt you, fight you or kill you for just being you?
Not just teaching your children what to do, but having to teach them the contingency plans on how to interact with other children whose parents are encouraging them to do the wrong things in life; and the poor children who are just trying to gain their parents’ approval by blindly following because they don’t know any better.
During the game of life, you want your child to win; but I realize that I need to reveal to her the possibilities of people trying to intercept her from going the right path.
I know that not all children are bad apples, but for the ones who are, I pray that I what I teach my daughter is enough for her to learn how to avoid a fumble in life.