“Taking responsibility” is a familiar theme in today’s world. The familiarity of the phrase comes from the many public figures and politicians who “take responsibility for their actions” and then continue to live life normally the next day. “Responsibility” is an often used term that many voice and few practice, except parents.
Parents who are affected by their children’s actions do not have the luxury of living life normally the next day. After a child has created a negative event every parent laments and questions what they could have done differently. Along with the pain and suffering from a child’s actions, the parent must face the doubt, looks and comments from the public on their parenting and skills in judgment.
Whether a child comes from a traditional two parent family, single parent, foster parent, same sex parents, grandparents, or extended parent family, the child and teen are hearing: “don’t do drugs”, “don’t smoke”, “don’t do alcohol” and “don’t do marijuana”.
How more direct and clear can the parents message be?
As emphasized by Miley Cyrus and her business handlers last week, the message from the parents to help keep their child directed is being drowned out by the purveyors of greed at any cost to our society. If in the media, Miley is the symbol of social acceptability for the adolescent of today, the “responsibility of the parent” to counteract pop culture’s message has become beyond challenging.
Beyond Miley, why are young people familiar with specific brands of alcohol and tobacco. Did the child learn about the brands from the parent? http://www.camy.org/research/Youth_Exposure_to_Alcohol_Ads_on_TV_Growing_Faster_Than_Adults/index.html http://monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/occpapers/occ45.pdf
The child is told by the parent that a drug is dangerous and our government is pronouncing “safe as prescribed” as the use of amphetamines (Adderall, etc) and opioids (OxyContin, Vicodin, etc) among the youth continue to increase.
Today’s youth is convinced that marijuana is safer than alcohol when the statistics for possible addiction is about equal.
The deaths that include marijuana in the blood stream and crime statistics that include marijuana in the police reports are glossed over by today’s media. The parent’s proclamation of “dangerous” is discounted by the media moguls and advertisers.
In addition to drugs, alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, the parent needs to counteract the counter culture message from TV, movies, music videos, songs, video games and whatever garbage the business suits can produce.
The major symbol for this blog is Pepsi for sponsoring a Miley Cyrus replay on the internet last week. If businesses wanted to stop the garbage being presented to youth they could in a heartbeat.
My congratulations to those parents who have young adults who are staying on course.
However, those same parents are delusional if they think they are smarter than those wearing the business suits for drugs, alcohol, tobacco, video games, music, TV and marijuana.