Go against the flow

To my fellow parents

Since I’ve entered the world of parenting, I’ve been thrilled and inspired by the love and time parents are putting into their children – instilling positive values, healthy living, and participating in their children’s lives.

This is why I am confused and taken aback by hearing of parents who are providing the alcohol at teen parties. How could this bring about anything positive? What are we believing – to turn a blind eye or, worse, enable teen drinking?

In conversations with parents you will often hear the concern of whether their child is fitting in, and if he or she is socially adapted. Are parents believing that the best judge of success is being socially accepted, well liked, and well known? How often have you heard it said, “We can’t do that, or he or she will be teased.”

Some parents disagree with their child being pulled out of class for one-on-one help because the child may feel ostracized. Their child’s education benefits are overlooked when the focus is on social acceptance. I have been confronted with parents that feel they need to be silent and avoid possible embarrassment to their child instead of asking needed safety questions when dropping off their child at various activities.

Are we being driven by the idea that social acceptance trumps everything? I believe this is the fuel behind many decisions we as parents are making.

But look at history and you will see the opposite to be true. Many that have scripted positive history have had to stand alone and go against the flow. What if we taught our kids how to truly thrive, and embrace uniqueness? Learning how to fit in is a detriment to our children  and society!

I’ve also heard this comment, “teens are going to drink so they may as well do it under my supervision.”  Can all that alcohol introduces be supervised?  Alcohol addiction may follow that child long after the party ends. What about relationship breakdowns, violence, alcohol poisoning, death, rape etc.

If you expect them to drink, guess what, they will! It’s been said that kids will rise to the expectations set for them.  Why are we setting the expectation so low?

My heart breaks when I see teens holding each other up on our streets, and passed out on the sidewalks of our Fernie! Why are we letting this happen? We can do better than this! We’re raising history makers aren’t we? Let’s do it right!

 

Kathi Temple

Fernie