On the way to work today I was flipping radio channels back and forth from one talk program to another. I guess this is a sign of the male gender exercising control by switching programs at will or a sign of the culture where our attention span lasts about 15 seconds.
Whatever the case, I heard a radio personality talking about an experience he had one Saturday when he was responsible for taking care of his kids and had taken them to a park in a large US city. As he was watching the children playing on the swing set, monkey bars, etc. he noticed a young girl (she was around 6 years old) squat in the middle of the activity and go to the bathroom. Somewhat aghast, he was looking around trying to find her mother. Then two other girls proceeded to do the same thing, in the same place going number 1 and number 2.
When the mother showed up she wanted to make sure her daughter was finished but had no reaction that this was anything other than an expected behavior for her child.
He then quoted his wife who has said previously, “I hate this city.” He thought that was a bit of an over-reaction but after this playground experience said, “I hate this city.” Was he now over reacting? He went on to say how his family is constantly under assault. Everywhere he goes, his attention has to be razor sharp, being constantly vigilant for that which might threaten his family.
One of the mantras of Parents Make A Difference is that we need to provide protection for our children, protection that makes sure they don’t play in the street, stick their fingers in electrical outlets or talk to strangers. On the positive side of the equation is building up their character through learning common social graces and developing an internal moral compass, delicately guided by the parents.
The culture used to provide support for these values through our institutions. Even the media bought in, banning seven words that could never be uttered on the air. But now those who are the helm of these institutions seem to be hell-bent on destroying the values of the home and marginalizing the influence of the parents.
In the days ahead we will look at these threats and offer some practical idea for how to make your home a fortress. Even then the alligators will be in the moat, but hopefully not at the front door.