By Jessica Golich
I am not a parent. My reproductive organs are in appropriate working order and I am explicitly stating that I decisively do not want to have children. Ever. I have deliberately pondered upon and comprehensively accepted that I will never experience the distinguished though personally uncharted rush of maternal delight.
I thoughtfully perceive that it is extensively different when a child is of your own unique genetic material, but children are not extraterrestrial to my “greenhorn” non-parent being. I behold the belief that having children is a mammoth responsibility 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The entanglement, varying emotions, financial obligations, health concerns and general responsibilities of children are far more than staple parental nuts and bolts and there is no such thing as an omnipotent guardian.
I regard parenting as a thundering public health issue facing our hotheaded society. It is a prominent concern implicated in teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, truancy, academic decline, juvenile misconduct, and mental illness.
Young brains are sensitively receptive to experience. Our brains are continually vigilantly modifying in response to our breathing subsistence. Yes, a child’s brain is far more impressionable in elementary years. However, the brain remains “impressionable” throughout life. Shaping, waxing, waning and reshaping; individuals continue to tailor to new experiences and learning. I am no fucking rocket scientist, but I do know that the human brain is abounding with elements and regions that all perform particular tasks. Adolescent experiences and environments have a heavy-duty influence, and parents vitally aid in shaping the biological structure of their child’s brains.
Subconsciously or consciously, it’s a critical component of your everyday life; the way you respond to your child’s never-ending questions, how you solve a dispute, how you speak amongst your family and spouse, how you influentially nudge his or her growing capacity to interpret, think and treat other human beings, etc. These realities are grounds and outstandingly important as precursors of potential behavioral misconduct in the hellish teenage years and early adulthood.
You are the active architect of your child’s cultivating brain. Period.
Your crash pad rules or consequential lack thereof set pivotal limits and roadblocks for your child that help him or her think in an orderly manner and mesh well with other children and adults. Firmly demonstrating that there are consequences to a child’s actions aid in the child developing the vital skill of self-control as the child matures and encounters situations in which wise decisions due to influence counter the child’s desire to rebel.
Another leading precursor to doom is the almighty and prized television set. The rash and negligent behaviors depicted on television influence children through showcasing verbal rubbish and physical violence as acceptable. As an innocent child, I strongly disliked when my parents wanted to have a conversation pertaining to the positive and negative consequences of exposing myself to raw violence, the disgraceful use of adult potions and excessive materialism that was on television and readily accessible to my naive brain. At the time, I perceived my parents had sticks up their asses, but in hindsight, I attest that my parents were indeed protecting my psychological, mental and emotional well-being.
As I was recently conservatively walking home from a local bookstore, a group of rambunctious teenagers shuffled past me spouting vulgarity amongst the group pertaining to my physical looks. In particular, one young man shouted a statement aiming to incline the ringleader to “Treat her how yo’ daddy treat yo’ mama”…………….
Jessica. Pause. Breathe. Be mindful. The ringleader is an ignorantly influenced victim of circumstance who is under the belief that this barbarous behavior is acceptable in modern-day society.
I swiftly turned around, looked the specific puerile teenager dead in the eyes and judiciously denounced the young mans behavior with a firm and considerably clear tone. Through a subjective lens, I informed him that he has a choice every single day to put forth his best self and the choice that he subliminally made today is both inappropriate and disrespectful. Needless to say, the group instantaneously went mute.
Accountability is the infrastructure for everything in life. You either own your behavior or you don’t. You either hold other individuals accountable for their behavior or you don’t. There are no loopholes in accountability. There are tenderfoot adults who continuously blame others, make excuses for their behavior and incessantly repeat the same actions over and over again. Children inquisitively watch your actions and how you handle your circumstances. As a parent, you set the unequivocal example and model the behaviors that you would like your children to adopt. Monkey see, monkey do…….
Parenting is the framework. Yes, there are millions of heavyweight circumstances that a parent may encounter in their own lives that may distort or damage the process, but parental traits and skills are manifold through personal adversity. Parents aid in creating a child’s mental shield against adversity or become the leading mediator of damage. Your actions and reactions lead your children into their action and reaction patterns. Teenagers speaking inappropriately to a young woman on the streets sets a prime example of a child’s weakened character due to the crummy example set by the child’s parents. Parents either protect or expose their children to intermediate and external stresses in a healthy or harmful manner.
Set the tone for your child’s behavior.