Parents. Stop. Put down whatever you're doing and ask yourself: Do I know where my kids are? Better yet, do I know what they're thinking?
I don't know about any of you, but I've got a big red flag raised in light of a few disgusting events recently. Just last week, allegations were brought against five Riverton, Kan., teenagers who were suspected of planning a shooting rampage at their high school. The occasion was the seventh anniversary of the Columbine massacre. Now, six middle-school students, thousands of miles away, in Northpole, Alaska (yes, Northpole), are in custody for allegedly plotting to bring weapons to school and kill other students. And this Monday, more than 500 junior and senior high students right here in Pearl skipped school for fear of a repeat shooting there. What?!
There's a disturbing trend here. I'm not talking about kids planning mass murders. I'm talking about parents and their ever-growing nonchalant attitude toward monitoring their kids. I'm not the perfect parent by any means—hell, I barely know what I'm doing—but I pray that I could thwart a plot by one of mine to murder their classmates.
In these new-school times, you may be shocked to hear I'm decidedly old-school when it comes to parenting. Now is a time when parents pine to be their children's "friend." Now we're urged to give kids their "privacy," while some of our youth are glued to a computer monitor, surfing for "information" they are too young to digest, or even reading up on how to build a better bomb. Behind that veil of privacy could lurk a real problem. Hence, I've found that instead of being a friend, I should be a better, more attentive parent.
My folks never allowed us to close our doors growing up. Before the age of the Internet, every book I read was scrutinized, every friendship carefully monitored, and any problem at school nipped in the bud. Had I been teased at school, Mom and Dad would have handled it long before it birthed any homicidal thoughts. Point is, we've got to pay more attention to our kids. For God's sake, don't be afraid to be the parent that's "not cool."
I remember April 20, 1999, like it was yesterday. It was the day that Tommy Boy Records released my group Crooked Lettaz's debut album "Grey Skies." It was supposed to be my and David Banner's finest day. But our personal achievement paled against the fact that young men and women lost their lives at Columbine High that same day. The images I saw that day were so horrific, I prayed I would never see them again. Unfortunately, there are those who wish to honor that sick memory with another round of mayhem.
So parents, teachers, guardians, I implore you. Look for the signs! Don't be afraid to ask questions. This isn't the first time plots of this kind have been hatched, and it won't be the last. So next time you pass your kid's room, take a peek inside. What you'll find will probably be harmless. But if it's not, your attention could make all the difference.
And that's the truth ... sho-nuff.
You are on point with this article. My son who is your age is raising his children like old school. i asked him about it and he said if we had not raised him like we did he would probably be dead or in jail. I will say this to you when they become grown you can become friends and it will be cool.
This was a insightful article and Kamikazee, you did an excellent job.
This article needs to be in the homes of all parents.
I don't have any children, but I completely understand your point. As I have had the opportunity to observe the interaction between parents and children and it is all too evident that society's perception of what good parenting is, may not be the truth.
I can't generalize that statement to all parents, but there are many parents who simply do not pay attention to their children like they should.
My mama was really stict on me and my siblings, and at the time I almost hated her for it, but in retrospect, I am grown now and I fully understand why she did what she did.
She was doing her job.... being a good parent.... not a friend.
Jada's statement: "when they become grown you can become friends and it will be cool." Is the truth straight up and down.
I see children these days talking back to their parents, parents scared of the child, children come and go as they please, and it is really saddening, because the cycle will probably continue: getting worse with each generation.
As are all things: to say 'be a better parent to your children' is much easier said than done, but that doesn't mean it can't.
Parents today have alot on their plate: some are going back to school, trying to work full time and raise children, but personally I still think that is no excuse. You can always find a way for it to work.
The old saying "I takes a village to raise a child" seems to have no meaning these days, but if everyone pulled together and worked as a community to raise children, I think much would be accomplished.
Another good article, Kamikaze. No children of mines would ever see total privacy while living in my house. I'm willing to possibly fool them into thinking they have some privacy as they grow older. Ain't no way in hell they will keep their doors locked at my house. They can shut but not lock.
I'd search their rooms so much that I might even seek a search warrant from the court just for protection. Only joking about the search warrant.
I want to know Charles Mansion is my son long before the rest of the world finds out.
- Ray Carter
Once again. I have to say right off that in my house growing up none of this was even an issue. I notice that my brothers and sisters who now have kids have all of a sudden forgotten this rule....seemingly a big problem nationwide, not just my siblings. However, I have not. It's not even a question. I don't even try to pretend like there's privacy. The only door that closes in my house is MINE. I might let my kid close the door to the bathroom when he uses it (HA!). But seriously, the things we thought back in the day were so cruel and unfathomable are the things that keep us grounded and focused on righteousness. Now a days our kids are not taught that. They have numbers to report parents when they are whipped (like we ever even had a choice...we got it from parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, friends....EVERYONE).
It has become acceptable for children to participate in grown up conversations. I remember when my mother had friends over, we were sent outside or to another room on the other end of the house. Now parents hold "grown up" conversations with their kids. All this does is confuses the boundaries. It confuses the authority. It confuses the natural balance of kid and adult. Then we have to deal with these gurus who writes these fake books telling us how to be better parents and they amazingly have NO children. Books can't teach me anything about how to raise mine that my grandmother didn't teach my mother and she passed on to me. It worked for them and it will work for mine.
GREAT ARTICLE MR. SHO-NUFF!!!!!