Posted on: April 23, 2014
In Colorado, a 4th grader was recently caught selling pot to other 4th graders at school for a profit (full article here). Pot is now legal if you are of a certain age in Colorado, but clearly legalization leads to problems. There are many arguments both for and legalization, but that’s not the point of this particular blog. The issue here is the continued demonstration of irresponsibility by caregivers of kids. In this example, its pot getting into the hands of a 4th grader; locally its more like a junior high or high school student taking prescription drugs from their parents medicine cabinet to either consume themselves or sell. Further, its the parents who are aware of these behaviors and collude with them and giving passive approval by doing absolutely nothing.
At some point, parents are going to have to truly take ownership of their children and families. Parents and families lead busy lives, but that’s simply an excuse. Being busy does not absolve anyone of responsibility. Everyone has struggles, and everyone is responsible to manage them. The only difference typically is the means available to families to manage the struggles that they face. But having values, integrity, expectations, and character are free – they don’t cost anything. To instill values and character in a child by being present, caring, interactive, invested, involved, empathic, and aware is easy. Even the busiest and most occupied of parents can give a clear and consistent message to their children that they are paying attention; watching every move they make, and steps out of line won’t be tolerated. If parents lose sight of this across the country, the values of our children decline, as does many of the social norms that we have come to expect and enjoy.