Are We Doing Right By Our Kids So They Can Do Right By Us? (Part 1 of 2)

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These kids appear to be happy, healthy and together. Although this may describe many kids there are just as many or perhaps more that are not. My goal here is not to create anxiety and fear among parents but rather to inform parents of the many crises our children are touched by as we speak. As parents we need to know or try to understand what their reality is like-what is it like being them in the world they live in.

First the issues to consider.

A few years ago I became interested in the social and human issues connected with fathers who walk away from their families and the ‘why’s.’ Why are fathers walking away? I wrote a book about it called “A Man’s Work Is Never Done: A Novel About Mentoring Our Sons”. The book did OK but more importantly it shook up a few parents along the way and I even managed to upset some of the staunch womens’ supporters.

My intent was not to denigrate women especially single moms. I have the utmost respect for single moms but I realized that single moms can only do part of the job that is needed no matter how hard they work. The problem of fatherlessness and fatherless homes is a serious social concern to this day and getting worse not better. Do some investigating for yourself (click on the highlighted texts) and you will find that legal and emotional problems are indeed a problem in our society. There is violence in the streets that is unprecedented. Shootings, stabbings and beatings are becoming commonplace. Our communities are at risk of becoming war zones.  Much of this can be attributed to fatherlessness and the lack of a strong and healthy male role model in the lives of many young men. Fathers need to step up and assume their responsibility as a parent. We need to create a way for those fathers who want to remain in contact with their sons/daughters after a separation or divorce but are prevented by legalities.

The other concern is about our educational system and the lack of finding creative ways to combat fluctuating drop out rates. We need to provide better learning opportunities for the so called ‘hard to serve’ students. Many of these hard to serve learners are simply kids who don’t learn at the same speed as others. It seems there isn’t enough time to spend on these ‘slower learners’. ADHD diagnoses have increased dramatically as well. Some professionals believe that the stress associated with standardized testing is partially responsible for this sudden increase and are advocating for the end of such testing practices.

The education system needs to be working in conjunction with business interests, entrepreneurs and manufacturers so that graduates are better prepared to make their career choices and prepare for the expectations that business and the market place will be looking for. Business needs to have a greater role regarding input into what the curriculum offers its learners. They know exactly what new graduates will need to show in order to be successful when transitioning from school to employment.

This is not a criticism of the teachers that work dutifully in a system that, in many cases, does not encourage creativity by the teachers in their classrooms. Many teachers are and have been quietly screaming for a change in the philosophy of the school system for years. They have been met with little attention paid to their ideas. Enter taxpayers! Demand change. It’s your money and your childrens’ future. Don’t settle for “we are doing the best we can.” There is much that can be done.

Change costs money. Many universities are not willing to spend the money to make the changes that are important to the futures of our children. In some cases universities are actually cutting classes from their schedules to cost save instead of adding ‘after hours’ classes for those who have conflicting work/class schedules. Education needs to move out of the boardrooms of universities and government and do it quickly.

Next week I will go over what parents can do to help prepare their sons and daughters for the challenges to come. If we are looking for them to help us when we get a bit older then we have to help them now to become all they can be. It’s not all that difficult to do but it will take work and WE have to do it.

Anyways, that’s how I see things. Thanks for stopping by.

All the best, Jim

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Author Jim Cloughley's 
Brand New Blueprint For Learning