What happened a week ago in Newton, CT was horrible and a tragedy that no family should have to face because they send their child to school. My prayers go out to all those extended families and the surrounding communities affected by the tragedy.
Since news of the tragedy broke the US media, and I’m sure the global media, has been expounding and preaching on how gun control would have prevented the tragedy from occurring and how it will prevent future tragedies from being enacted. Media spouting nonsense to gloss over and minimize the real issue and prevent real change that will do far more to solve the problem then gun control laws that can never, and will never, prevent a person intent on doing evil from acquiring the means to do so.
First world countries, like the US, Canada, and Germany, all suffer from the same fundamental societal flaw … rampant consumerism and abdication of parental responsibilities. Since the end of World War II, first world countries have become focused on the acquisition of goods, always needing and demanding to have the newest and latest fad.
A little personal history is in order here. I grow up in a typical middle class family in California, I had all the privileges that comes with but I also earned those privileges. My parents never divorced, in fact 2013 will see them celebrate their 46th wedding anniversary, and my mom stayed home to raise my brother and I. We had chores that were expected to be completed and failure to do so resulted in consequences. We weren’t handed the latest and greatest toy because we asked or the neighbor’s kid got what we wanted. We were expected to have and maintain good grades, participate in after school activities (so long as they did not impact academics), and to respect our elders. Any of the family friends, neighbors, or church members had no qualms about telling our parents when we stepped out of line when they weren’t around. If we were out, our parents knew where we were, who we were with, and what we were doing and if we were caught lying, there were consequences. My husband and I aren’t blessed with children of our own, despite years of trying and failing, but if we had been so blessed then they would be raised like I was.
Today’s parents have gone insane. They would rather hand over their infant child to be raised by strangers then risk living on one salary and not having the latest and greatest new gadget or car every year or two. We trust total strangers with the most precious gift the world gives us and then rush off to work. We cram kids into after school events to make sure someone else is always responsible for our children so that we can keep working. Then parents rush home to collect said children, drive through and pick up dinner and then the television resumes babysitting the children. Children don’t play outside any more, they are incapable of having a face to face conversation with an adult, they play violent video games unsupervised, they skip school, and engage in sexual activity at far to early an age.
Children aren’t to blame and neither are guns, violent video games, or computer manufacturers. Parents and society are solely responsible for the school shootings in this country, sky rocketing costs to raise a family, and the selfish mannerisms of children. If your child asks for a video game, do you research it and play it for yourself to see what the game is like and if it is appropriate for your child? Or do you simply hand the child the game in the hopes he will leave you alone so you can go back to working and texting? Do we as a society accept foul language, poor grammar, and lacking basic social skills as acceptable because they come from someone else’s child and it isn’t our place to correct such behavior? Since when did social shaming lose its role as a tool for society and parents to raise a child? Do you really need a McMansion, or a new car every year? Do you need a new iphone just because Apple released one? Why are children running around with cell phones? Are they expecting business calls?
It’s time as a society to realize that the only person that is capable of raising a child is a parent. Yes that means sacrifices will have to be made but that is what it takes to be a parent. You as a parent are responsible for the actions of your child and that responsibility isn’t abolished because you were at work. Kids don’t need cell phones, packed schedules, or the best house on the block. What every child needs is to be shown love and respect, to know that there are repercussions and consequences to unacceptable behavior, to have parents that parent and then grow into friends when they reach adulthood, and to know that when they excel at tasks there are rewards. Just because you played on a team or participated in an event, doesn’t entitle your child to a trophy, participation is it’s own reward and it needs to be treated as such.
Society and parents are responsible for tragedies like Newton. We don’t need gun control laws or restraints on video games. We NEED parents who are parents that are involved in the lives of the children actively. We NEED a society that understands that social blame serves a very vital function in the raising of children. And most of all, we NEED the idiots in Washington, D.C., the NRA, corporations, and lobbyists everywhere to sit down, shut the hell up, and legislate family friendly laws like tax breaks for two parent families where one parent stays home to raise the children, a living minimum wage, and corporations which support families with decent insurance and vacation plans. Only parents can raise decent, morale, ethical children and only society can support parents with changes to the way we view, treat, and respect families.