Bill Cosby was on a tv show today talking about this book. He co-wrote it and is following up his ‘calling out’ from 2006 to clean up “our” neighborhoods, which caused him a lot of grief. A lot of people whom he was speaking to directly were angry because he was ‘airing out their dirty laundry’. I say “word up” people — WE KNOW IT’S DIRTY, BECAUSE OURS IS DIRTY TOO.
I can remember though, learning about gangs and stuff when I was in grade school. How long has this gone on? Do the math. Okay, then subtract that number from when I WAS in grade school, and that’s about when segregation ended. Look how far we’ve haven’t come since the 60’s. We’re allowing the ‘n’ word in music. It’s supposed to be positive, but as he said… aren’t you sure that it’s probably used in a negative way on the streets at night? (Hey if they show it on Law and Order, it must be true.)
He’s basically calling out parents to know about their kids, their homework, what subjects they are taking, what’s in their room– just because you live there, doesnt mean it belongs to you–I think that’s a lesson that ALL of us could use for our children. He says, look under the mattress. If your kid has a gun – you should already know about it. Check out their myspace page, see where they are going on the internet. Stop saying that you didnt know or couldnt know — the signs are all there if you look. Stop letting your kids listen to foul music. You know it’s saying curse words.
I’m sure a lot of my readers will find this RADICAL. Tell your child what to do? Goodness! That’s just being mean, and they’ll be mad at me! Yes! They will! But, as the title of the book says “Come On People” — we can ALL be a part of the solution. What can you do? Well, start in your own backyard! Teach your own kids about what’s good and what’s bad, ask them about their days, and expect MORE of them than you do of yourself. Yup, hold them accountable. Expect them to behave and do as you say. If you only have an infant or toddler NOW? Hello! This kind of stuff is just around the corner. Sit down with your spouse and MAKE A PLAN. What will you do if she comes home drunk at age 14. Do you know? What will you do if she won’t make friends with someone of a different race because “they are different”? Do you know? Someone posted recently about a situation with their child, but I was equally surprised that there was no PLAN as to what to do about it. MAKE A PLAN. STICK TO THE PLAN. Oh, and if the plan doesnt work, find something that will. Consistency is good, but consistency with something that doesnt work? Well then where are you getting? My parents always had an answer for everything.
If you do wrong, you get consequences. It doesnt matter if you’re in a grocery store or in your living room. Ensure that your kids know that. Talk to your kids early and often about what the proper thing to say is in public, at the dinner table, something as simple as “we don’t say that, it’s wrong” in a firm tone will go a million miles further than ignoring it until they really ARE old enough to know better. You are the parent, you make the rules. It’s your house and your 5 year old is not going to hate you FOREVER if you make him clean his room or do what you say. In fact, he’ll learn respect and good manners, and he’ll thank you.. one day.. in the far far future when he’s looking for a wife and gets a nice one because you raised him right. But your life now will be a lot lot easier too, which isn’t that what all of us want?
Have you noticed my tagline? It says “Because I said so” — Probably one of the simplest ways to end an argument I’ve ever heard. Just saying 😉