It seems that in every song, sung by an adolescent singer, I hear lyrics about sex, love, hustling, and a host of other things that are not appropriate for their age group. However, what officially sent me “over the edge” was when I happened to come across a pint size (13 year old) rapper whose lyrics can’t be repeated in this article. But to give you a glimpse in the breakdown in parenting let me give you one line:
“I’m rollin’, all my n***** rollin’
.30 clip and them hollow tips have his a** sitting in Roseland
Rollin’ off a pill , p****** better chill
My n***** in the field; you might get killed”
As I listened to this clip, I thought: this is the new America, where barely pubescent teens can get on You Tube a be rewarded as ”Up and Coming Rappers”?
You see, as an educator whose worked in urban school districts for the past ten years, “Lil Mouse” is not anything new. The only difference is that he’s on You Tube getting thousands of comments that “egg on” his thuggish behavior. However, there are middle schoolers that are pregnant, in gangs, failing school, and straight out disrespectful all over America.
Parents have stopped parenting and instead have waved the “white flag” of defeat. They are tired and have given up.
Now immediately parents who visit BMWK regularly will denounce this statement and reply with an indignant, “I’m not like that! I parent my child!” If that’s the case, then I’m not talking to you guys.
I’m talking to your neighbors, cousins and good friends who YOU know have given up parenting- for a variety of reasons. Those are the parents whose kids are left to navigate this harsh world alone and many times end up in jail, dead, or living a life where they’ll never be able to “get ahead”. So what do you say when you see bad parenting in front of you? Do you “mind your business” or do you speak up for the sake of that child not ending up like the ones I mentioned above?
Honestly, I used to be quiet and mind my business. But, one point in particular made me realize that sometimes people don’t know they’re not parenting. For example, a couple of years ago I was in a parent teacher conference with a 15 year old student who was constantly disruptive in my classroom. She’d curse at the other children, fight and do all other types of ruckus-without “batting an eyebrow”. When I got her mother in the room, it became apparent where she picked up this type of behavior. Her mother cursed, threatened to beat her up and disrespected her. I was floored. When I couldn’t take it any longer, I asked the child to step out of the room and I let the mother have it.
Calmly, I explained to her that cursing, threatening to “beat up” and disrespecting your child wasn’t parenting. And, it was setting a bad example for her daughter. After going “several rounds” with her, the mother finally agreed that she was wrong. Luckily, I was able to set up parenting classes for her family. But, something triggered in me that day. Sometimes parents need help””parenting.
It takes a village to raise a child and sometimes that village has to support one another. So if you’re the friend of someone who is a “bad parent” the time has come for you to speak up without fear of repercussions. Speak up now or the next “Lil Mouse” might be someone you once knew.
BMWK – Have you ever spoken up when you saw a instance of “bad parenting” or “no parenting?” How do you draw the line between being helpful and being opinionated?