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Train Up Your Child
3/5/2014 3:52:20 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Today is a special day for me as I pen this article. It’s my late mother’s birthday so in memory of her I thought I would pass along some of her teachings. Mom would say “there are consequences to your actions”. Children today, without realizing that there are consequences, continue to make decisions that are not in their best interest; and, later in life as they mature into adulthood, they continue to make poor decisions because they were never taught that their actions have consequences.

One of the first things we should teach children is respect. They need to know that they must first respect themselves before they can learn how to respect others. Children use way too much profanity and incomplete sentences to express themselves. Do teachers still teach the Parts of Speech? If not, our children are missing out on some really basic components of speech. Parents, teach your children how to communicate effectively.

Effective communication leaves an indelible impression upon others. How many of y’all have Smart Phones? Smart Phones are dumbing down children but that’s a subject for another time. While texting, shortcut text is used as a means of communication so children are not learning or have forgotten how to spell or use complete sentences.

Again, we are talking about teaching children to make good decisions that will carry forth into adulthood. Recently, a teenager was killed in Orangeburg County because she was “mistakenly” accused by two brothers of being involved in a home invasion at their mother’s house. The brothers lured her to a party, killed her and dumped her body into a swamp like it was trash. What kind of monsters are we raising that would “mistakenly” kill another? A third brother was charged with being an accessory after the fact of murder. Now, we have three children from the same family involved in a senseless murder.

Several others have been implicated as accessories or having knowledge of the crime. It boils down to the company we keep. Mamma used to talk about choosing our company? And, we need to pass the same advice down to our children. It was one of those pieces of advice that was non-negotiable in my home. My children knew it and never brought home anyone that did not meet the standards that I had established for them and for my home. I always discussed setting high goals and standards with them. I talked about reaching high and if they didn’t quite make it they would not miss their goals by much. Another advice I passed along to them that mom taught me was always hang your hat higher than you can reach or being around good folks and they will take you to the top with them but when you hang around folks whose aspirations are not akin to yours, they will pull you down with them.

Y’all please ‘scuse me. Y’all are bringing out the Gullah in me. I just have to call it the way I see it. I don’t know where some of US get our crazy thoughts from about having “pretty children.” I even hear y’all talkin’ it over with your friends like having children is a game. It’s an awesome responsibility that carries with it a minimum of 18 years or a maximum of a lifetime of parenting. We get so caught up in looks we select Mr. Light Bright or Mr. White to father our children. Your girlfriend has one of those Light Bright potheads, so you find one of those zeros as well to father your baby. It’s a dangerous game that you are playing with life. You are crossing up too many of those incompatible genes.

We don’t check out those handpicked fathers to see if they have a record or even graduated from high school. The only qualifications that you have for your children are that they look light bright and have curly hair. Give me a nappy head child any day with some brains. And give me some of those old fashioned fathers with morals who were long on discipline and short on foolishness. Real fathers provide for their children. They man up to their responsibilities. Some of you are having kids with morons who need a calculator to figure out the sum of one plus one. Oh yeah, don’t forget about the light, bright, unemployed pothead that you are ready to throw all of your values out of the window for just so he can father your light, bright straight hair, brainless, valueless child.

Parents have an awesome responsibility in preparing children for life. It is time to stop the nonsense. You have got to spend more time in your children’s developmental years teaching them right from wrong. Children that have been taught right from wrong know wrong the moment they even think about doing it. Mamma’s teachings never go away. They are forever embedded in our minds.

Parenting isn’t about color; it’s about proper training. You have to put in the time. If, at the end of the day, all you have are pretty children that can’t spell, read, write or do simple math, you really have done your children a disservice and created expensive problems for society. You may not think so but everyone pays for stupidity. Even stupidity pays for stupidity. On behalf of your children, thank you Lucille Marie Williams Gadson for taking the time to teach your children life’s skills and life’s lessons. We are OK!

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