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My Turn: No excuse for poor parenting

By Tangy H. Roseborough

Have you ever wondered why this generation of parents parent so differently from the way we were parented?
Looking back on my childhood and how the nine of us (yes, my parents had nine children) were raised, I often ask myself, what are the differences in parenting styles? We were all raised during the early 1950s through the late ’70s. Well, the first difference is: My parents believed “if you spare the rod, you spoil the child.” Second, my mother took us to church — yes, took us and not sent us. Third, we were raised to show respect, manners, self-control and home training, no matter what the circumstance. Your family name was upheld at all cost. Blaming others for your choices was unheard of. And if you were caught doing it (whatever it was that was unacceptable), you suffered the consequences. If you chose to cut up in school, you were disciplined right then and there and then again once you got home. And you knew not to let a neighbor catch you misbehaving; you’re behind belonged to them without fear of confrontation from your parents. It was called a sense of real community.
Nowadays, if you attempt to correct the behavior of another person’s child, you can count on that child’s parent questioning you. It really takes a village to raise children, and until we go back to the old landmark, each generation will become weaker and no wiser.
As my husband and I raised our three children, I often used some of the techniques my mother used. My siblings and I often joke about how my mother would put whippings on the “shelf,” and when you did that one last thing that broke the camel’s back, you were given a whipping suited for a lot of today’s children.
Working in early childhood education for some 30-plus years, I’ve learned that everyone doesn’t believe in spanking. Child psychologists believe that spanking children teaches violence and spanking a child to get them to stop a behavior only encourages the negative behavior, especially if the negative behavior is hitting.
The family dynamic has changed so much since I was raised. There are more single parent families, high divorce rates and lack of fathers participating in raising their children.
Being poor is not an excuse for poor parenting; being a single/divorced parent is not an excuse for poor parenting. There are many resources available to enhance parenting skills. Parents must take the time to access these resources so the next generation of parents will be equipped.
I realize that parents often have to make decisions on whether to pay the light bill versus buying food or keeping the water service or enrolling a child in an extra activity. These are difficult decisions even in the best of times for many parents, but again, I say it is not an excuse for poor parenting.
Organizations across Rowan County are seeking mentors for public school children. I surmise that we need parenting mentors. Until parents get on board with seeing education as something valuable, our society will continue to falter and see a generation of underachievers.
My challenges to parents are: Put your child first; raise your child in a Christ-centered home; spend time with your child, (money is not a replacement for emotional bonding); and love your child unconditionally. If you sincerely attempt to meet each challenge, society will reap the positive benefit.

Tangy H. Roseborough lives in Salisbury.

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