From the birth of your child to 18 years of age, you need to be in charge of your child in your home. A child shouldn’t make any decisions under your roof for themselves. The decision that your child goes to school from kindergarten through 12th grade is absolutely your decision, not that of the child.
The expectations for your child in school must come from you. Without expectations and standards, your child will fall short and will behave any which-away. He or she also may become one of the many children suspended in the Minneapolis Public Schools system or one of the many expelled.
Your child without you may be that child who is standing on corners selling dope in broad daylight, or may be one of these many kids out here killing for nothing. If you expect your child to have God in his life, you must first plant that seed. The spiritual foundation may help save his or her life one day.
If you don’t want your child to spend the majority of his or her teenage life in a juvenile court, then you must take a position against crime and violence, set your expectations and standards, and if your expectations should fail, don’t reward their bad behavior. To reward means to run and bail them out of jail for bad behavior, obtaining an attorney for bad behavior, running them televisions and care packages for bad behavior, putting money on one’s jail account (Books) for bad behavior, and accepting every collect call.
However, for children doing well and staying out of trouble, on the right path and getting reasonably good grades, those children should be looking at colleges and visiting campuses. But when children ask for your help, parents, don’t tell them that you don’t have money for all that — these are the children you should get behind and push forward. These children should be rewarded.
Almost anything our children do wrong can land them in jail. So you need to tell them everything you can to keep them from creating an extensive juvenile criminal record. Whatever you have to do to save them from a felony record, do that.
I’m not denying that it will be difficult, but I’m asking you to stand up and fight for your child’s life. I know for a fact that the juvenile court system in Minneapolis is filled with our children. Some of our children might catch a break and be sentenced to reform school. But if you know anything about this society, they can’t wait to certify our children as adults.
Unless you have a lot of money to obtain a good attorney, the possibility of that child being certified as an adult is almost guaranteed. This has led to so many of our children being certified into adult incarceration.
So I’m asking you, fathers and mothers, get in the fight before it comes to our children being subjected to incarceration of any kind. I’m not asking you to reinvent the wheel. I’m simply asking that you step up and be in charge.
In closing, let me just say that I love my people when we’re up, and I love my people when we’re down. I may not love all that we do, but I love my people.
I look forward to having another real talk with you real soon….
Spike Moss welcomes reader responses to Uhuru_So firstname.lastname@example.org.