Parents, Y’all Need To Get A Handle On Your Teens

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Hot temperatures are no stranger to the Lowcountry.  It’s been an unusually hot and humid summer. It’s something about the heat that makes folks go haywire. While the heat is on the rise, so is teenage violence.  Last week a 15-year-old shot and killed a 17-year-old and another 17-year-old, Zamere Raeguel Treawn Brown, shot and killed the 15-year-old. First of all, let’s put this incident in the proper perspective: What is a 15-year-old doing with a gun in the first place?  The 17-year-old also had a gun. Where are these guns coming from and where are the parents?

January 2018 literally started off with a bang when a 15-year-old was fatally shot in the chest in North Charleston. The owner of a 2013 Hyundai reported his car stolen. The next day the owner went looking for his car and spotted it with the 15-year-old inside. There was a confrontation and the owner shot and killed the 15-year-old.

Also, last week there was an incident caught on video of a home invasion by a 13-year-old in Shadowmoss Subdivision. The neighbors formed a neighborhood watch after more than six break-ins had been reported.

The sad ending to all of these young lives is every one of them is senseless.  Kids nowadays are so hot headed. You can’t tell them anything. They have not lived long enough to know anything, but they think they know everything.  What we are seeing now is the result of those same “cute kids” that parents allowed to have their way. These are the same kids, if they went to church, were allowed to stand up on pews or run up and down the aisles. I betcha these are the same kids that wore $150 tennis shoes to school and had cell phones before they could spell phone. These are the same kids that spent most of their wakening hours playing video games and not making up their beds.  Many of these 13 and 15 year-olds are the products of parents who themselves were teen parents.

Where are the parents of these teens who are allowed to run the streets at odd hours of the night?  These kids belong to someone. They weren’t hatched. Even chickens take better care of their children.  They keep them under their wings until they can make it on their own before turning them loose. At 13, 15 and even 17, what is it that they know?  Most of these teen murders are about girls, drugs or both. As old folks would say, the milk has not dried up behind their ears before they start feeling “themselves” or think “they are in love”.  There is just too much sexting, texting and shootings going on much too early.

A friend of mine, who is a grandmother, recently learned that her 16-year-old grandson got a 14-year-old pregnant.  She said she was not surprised. She spoke to the girl’s grandmother about allowing her grandson to come to her house when she wasn’t home. He would go to the girl’s house with the grandmother’s knowledge. What in the hamsandwich is wrong with these modern day mothers and grandmothers?  Don’t they realize they are asking for trouble leaving their children home alone while they go to work? That child should have been in a summer program. Perhaps granny isn’t worried about her granddaughter’s indiscretions because she knows taxpayers will foot the bill. A law needs to be crafted with stiff fines for parents that allow their children a gateway to sex and the streets before they reach an age of responsibility and accountability.

Our communities are being taken over by out of control teens.  I don’t know about you but we need to take back our communities from the thugs, drug pushers, gun runners and teens. It’s getting where seniors don’t feel safe walking the streets in broad daylight.  The irony of all of this madness is baby boomers worked hard to move out of communities beset with problems to provide better opportunities for their children and now in their retirement years find themselves prisoners in their own homes and communities.

Whatever happened to anger management training? Children need to be exposed to anger management. They need to know how to deal with situations.  I challenge my run-away school board to make “anger management” training a priority this year.

How does the school board expect children to learn when they come to school with a chip on their shoulder and a gun in their backpack? They come to school just waiting for someone to say something they don’t like or to step on their $150 tennis shoes and they blow a fuse? Values should be taught in the home but where there are none, we are missing out on a teachable moment.


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