I was reading an article from a prominent republican figure recently and I felt I had to start talking about a particular subject of importance to me: Parenting. I am going to start speaking as much as I can about the crisis of parenting in this culture. Primarily because I deal with children from a lower socio and economic background daily and have been for many years. What I do not see is a crisis of teaching, though there are teachers of various degrees of excellence and there certainly are failing schools that are failing children. I see a crisis of parenting: kids not knowing how to be, behaviorally, emotionally, physically... They have no idea because their surroundings are not devoted to their success.
Poverty does not mean that you can't be a great parent. I just recently watched the Ben Carson story on Lifetime with Cuba Gooding, Jr. What struck me the most was his mother who inspired her children to be successful, no matter how much knowledge or money she had. Good parenting is not republican or democrat, rich or poor, religious or atheist. Good parenting is creating an environment of the expectation of success for your children. You need not be perfect or do everything right. But my time in urban schools has taught me that parenting, or lack thereof, is the true issue. There is only so much damage a single teacher in a single year can do to a child if the parent is solid and supportive. If the parent wants the child to succeed, most likely, the child will succeed. Not be rich. Succeed.
Watch this to see what Ben Carson's mother did. This is a woman with little education, who worked 2-3 jobs and was a single parent. When her children were not doing well, she challenged them to do times tables or they couldn't go outside. She made them read. She did what she could do and her lack education or resources did not stop her. She created an environment of success around her boys to the best of her ability. Imagine what she could have done with the proper resources and knowledge...her children could have been...oh wait...her sons are an engineer and a world famous brain surgeon. Regardless of your politics or what you think of his ideas, Ben Carson is a success story. And the key to his success was good parenting.