By David Miller
The deviance at Penn State should be another glaring example that we no longer live in a child-friendly society. Anytime there are people more concerned about a football coach than the hearts and minds of children, it sends a clear message about the state of our society.
Now more than ever, we need fathers to make their children a priority! Children with disengaged parents are far more likely to become victims of abuse.
The issue at Penn State should be a wake-up call to all parents. It is time that we realize that we are 100% responsible for education and salvation of our children. All too often, we want to send our sons to programs when as parents we must do more. For the last few days, my emotions have ranged from angry to empty. These kinds of things are happening to our sons on our watch.
Formula for building your own “Village” to protect your son:
1. Be flexible but firm.
2. Realize that raising a healthy child is possible regardless of your situation.
3. Create rituals in your house that promote success.
4. Make sure your home is your child’s first classroom (Turn the damn television off!).
5. Make sure your children have access to plenty of books as literacy is critically important! Be sure to have your son read books written by black and brown people to help your son understand his history and culture.
6. Carefully surround your children around sober, responsible father figures (if their father is not engaged in ther life).
7. Special Note to Single Moms: Don’t be so desperate to find men to connect with your son that you miss obvious warning signs!
8. Connect with other responsible adults and parents to help you with the journey of parenting and raising successful and productive boys.
9. Always be careful who you leave your children with.– This includes family!
10. Wake up! No one is coming to save us. You have to secure and protect your own family!
David Miller is Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Urban Leadership Institute, a social enterprise based in Baltimore.
Miller is also the Co-Founder of the Raising Him Alone Campaign, an effort to support single mothers who are raising male children.