IT’S a hard thing watching, reading or listening to the news these days knowing that at least one crime story might overshadow whatever positives are being achieved in this country. Quite often, the nation is left seemingly at a loss for words and comprehension as to why “good boys” and “good girls” keep raping our women, robbing our homes or killing each other through senseless violence.
Invariably, the blame is put squarely at the feet of the police and/or the government who bear overall responsibility for keeping the citizenry safe. However, in the rush for answers and a cure, the blame never seems to apply to the parents who raise these young men and women poorly.
It is no secret that many parents are becoming parents long before they have a clue as to what good parenting entails. Boy (or man, in some cases) meets girl, girl gets pregnant and ends up raising the child by herself through the selling of her body to other men seeking comfort. The cycle quite often repeats itself, leaving many children to think that their moral compass works best due south.
Undoubtedly, there are homes where the main breadwinners are either a young woman pimping herself or a young man either selling illegal drugs and guns or robbing people to make a quick dollar. Ironically, many parents view such children as nothing but angels making the best out of a devilish situation.
There used to be a time, the ancestors tell us, when it was expected that a child would be raised by a village. Today, aside from children raising children, some parents think it best that their bad parenting skills suffice and, therefore, are either too proud to ask for assistance or uninformed about the consequences of the bad situations under which they are raising their children. But bad seeds sown never amount to a good harvest.
The fact remains that no amount of money spent by the State can guarantee that citizens will be law-abiding. Even tougher laws do not seem deterrents to criminal behaviour. The ugly truth is that even those we elect to serve us and pay to protect us come from communities where the social fabric is so broken that a shift in philosophy becomes necessary to get any positive results.
However, that is easier said than done because society has become so selfish, unimaginative and self-defeating a place that any iota of optimism often gets shot down by those who feel that it is better to self-destruct rather than change our situation for the better. So we end up with parents who think it is their right to abuse their children and hypocritical enough to denounce the treatment meted out by the police to those very poorly-raised, rebellious children years later.
Parents need to face up and be parents for a change and not allow their children to veer out of control and end up becoming the sole responsibility of babysitters, school teachers, the church and the State.
Many of our institutions are already complaining about being under-funded and tax dollars never seem enough to curb the growing number of problems often created through irresponsibility, neglect and raising children viewed as being “good” who often turn out to remind us what a bad job we did. That’s the hard pill many parents find it hard to swallow.