Blog 9 What Happens When Parents Opt Out
Over the last 60 odd years Parents in this nation and indeed all over the western world have opted out of their responsibility to guide and discipline their children. Please understand that this may be apparent to me because of the View I have had growing up and my 30 years of policing
Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s in a poor section of the city the oldest of10 brothers and sisters I was pressed into service early in life. I was helping with washing clothes, doing dishes, cutting the grass, gardening, as well as changing diapers of my siblings by the time I was old enough to follow my mother’s instructions. It was like I was born Old. I was about 6 when I ran my left arm into one of those ringers on our ringer washer. If you don’t know what that was it was a motorized tub with a agitator and a set of rollers that you fed the wet closes into to squeeze the water out before they were hung out on a line to dry.
Our mother didn’t like house work and would put it off as long as she could, preferring to work outside or read books. I was always ashamed to have kids over to the house because of the mess. It never seemed to bother mother. By the time I was in my early teens I wanted out. So I acted out, ran away, refused to go home and was generally a pain in the butt to my parents. If it was not for my great grandfather caring when I was young I would never have made it.
I joined the army as soon as I was old enough 17, 1/2 I was a good solider because I wanted to be. This is where I developed the “YOU GOTTA WANNA” philosophy. “You gotta wanna means”; if you want something you have to work for it. You must do things with a passion. No half measures will do.
This made me a good solider. I made rank fast. When I got out I carried this philosophy into police work. There I was forced to choose whether I wanted to make rank or be the best cop I could. I first tried to do both but soon learned that I was better suited to being a working cop rather than a political stooge. I was active in the police guild and became the guild secretary and Vice President, and then president.
As a patrolman I tried to work one district as much as possible. I chose the R 9 district. I did this because it was the poorest section of town and was the busiest and therefore I thought the best place to learn the most. Brother was I right on that one. I did more real police work in a year than most of the guys that were avoiding that district did in ten years. I recruited a couple other go getters on another shift and together we cleaned it up going from 30 burglaries or more a month to less than ten. Car prowls and other crimes went down also.
I learned not just who was doing the crime but why they were doing them. It came down to the same reason I joined the army as a youth. I wanted out and they wanted out too. Most of them had parents that just didn’t care. The parents were living their lives and the kids, for the lack of a better description,were in the way. They all said they cared, but when it came right down to it, what they cared about was not being bothered. The kids ran the streets, skipped school, got bad grades, and smoked mom and daddy’s dope, cigarettes, and drank their booze, several even sniffed gasoline.
Effective parenting starts at 6 months and continues the rest of your life. Get that fact threw your head and be happy. Spare the rod and spoil the child the bible says. That doesn’t mean beat them. It means to train up your children in the way they should go. A rod is a walking stick, a tool of correction. It has a hook on it to grab and pull a child from that which is dangerous. If the rod is present the child will see the parent cares and be fix on the path. Otherwise it is a crapshoot. I was lucky. I had a great grandfather that cared. He put me on the path. but died when I was nine. Still, I knew he cared and I am not going to disappoint him ever!
S. Henry Knocker
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With every blog my eyes are opened to what an amazing man you are. I’m so proud to call you Uncle..