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Do You Know Your Children?
12/9/2015 5:22:54 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch 

Children have too much leisure time on their hands.  While parents are busy trying to make a living or just out engaging in unlawful acts, children are left home alone with access to television shows and computer programs that are not children friendly.  There are programs to block out unwanted and unsolicited shows.  There is just no excuse why children should have access to adult programming.  Why isn’t it illegal to post online step by step instructions on how to make a bomb?  This brings me to five fifth graders in New Jersey who allegedly planned to blow up a high school?  
According to Huffington Post, “Five fifth graders in New Jersey were arrested after police said they were plotting to detonate an explosive device during an assembly program at Clifton High School. The children’s teacher uncovered the written plans.   The device recovered was filled with vinegar and cinnamon.”  Now, I know vinegar and cinnamon is good for lots of ailment but now I am learning it’s good for bomb making.  It’s no wonder that concoction takes care of pain.  Where did these fifth graders get such an idea?  Did they act alone or in concert with someone who wanted to settle a score at the high school?  Whatever the reason, how does the thought of blowing a school up even enter the minds of 10 and 11 year olds?
As we approach the Christmas holidays, there are all types of toys out there that are not appropriate for children.  I have never been a fan of giving toy guns or action figures and videos to children that display violence.  And, you wonder where your children get the killer instinct from.  
Be sure you know what you are buying your children.  Children ask for all sorts of toys for Christmas and parents are eager to please, so you get what they ask for before really checking the toys out.  I came across what seemed to be an innocent looking stuff frog with a lollipop until I listened to the lyrics.  Make no mistake, Mr. Froggie isn’t singing a lullaby.  

The lyrics are from 50 Cent’s Candy Shop.  Judge for yourself!

“I'll take you to the candy shop
I'll let you lick the lollipop
Go 'head girl, don't you stop
Keep going 'til you hit the spot (woah)”
[Female Voice]
“I'll take you to the candy shop
Boy one taste of what I got
I'll have you spending all you got
Keep going 'til you hit the spot (woah)”

Now, why would you want to buy a child such a toy?  I tell you those lyrics are just too grown up even for me.I also came across a “Drug Dealer” magnet set with fake money, telephone, etc.  Unless you are encouraging your child to become a drug dealer, why would you even consider purchasing it?  Why would toy manufacturers approve such a toy for children? Who do you think they are targeting?
Some of the best gifts for children are those that you put a lot of sweat equity in.  I am a part of the baby boomer generation.  I am from the old school but I have children who are a part of the “new school” generation.  So, y’all old schoolers can relate to what I am about to say.  Old schoolers weren’t blessed with such abundance like kids of today.  My dad would find used bicycles fix them up and repaint for Christmas.  

There must have been an abundance of green and grey paint back in the day because all of our bikes were green with grey trim.  The only things new I ever remember getting as a kid were skates and a doll house.  Even most of my clothes were hand me downs.  I never knew until much later in life that the bikes I received for Christmas were not new because my dad put such painstaking care in making sure the bikes looked new.  He even hung a big red bow on them.  What a dad!!  A dad who never had much for himself who made sure his children had more.  A dad who grew up without a mother and father (both died before he was seven) who the world didn’t get to know but who meant the world to his children.  

That’s the kind of parents we need today.  We need parents who know where to draw the line.  We need parents who still know how to say “no”.   We need parents that will not go overboard Christmastime for children that are failing in school, children without manners, children that constantly get into trouble and children that threaten you in your own home.

Y’all can say what you want about “old schoolers” but you can’t fool “old schoolers”. Old Schoolers know a thing or two about raising children.  Be selective in gift purchasing and gift giving.  How the heck you gonna buy Jonny a phone when Johnny done curse you out?  Even if it is Christmas, stop rewarding bad behavior.  Take time this season and really get to know your child.  While it may be a season for gift giving, it is also a time for soul searching. Y’all listening?


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