Saturday, July 18, 2015

Raising Children in America

This year on Father's Day, my younger son, who lives with his family in California, called me in Reno, where my wife and I live to wish me a Happy Father's Day.  In doing so, our son thanked me for being a great provider and role model.  My response was to thank him for acknowledging my job as "role model", which was much more important to me than being able to give our family a comfortable life.   I went on to say that now it was his job to be a "great role model" for his children.  Though my Mom was a great role model, my Father came from a dysfunctional family that made it impossible for him to be a great role model.  Though my Dad was always around throughout my life and his, so in that sense I did grow up in an intact two parent family, my Dad just either didn't understand what it took to be a great Father, or was incapable of giving more than he ever got from his Father.  As such, I always felt my job was to break this chain of dysfunction with our children. 

Socialist Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton claims it take a village to raise a child, when the reality is that without a loving, two parent, intact family, the village would not matter very much.   However, it is not enough to just have two parents taking care of children, if those parents are incapable of being role models.   This is where teaching comes into play.  I can recall saying to our sons over and over again, "what part of NO don't you understand", when they wanted things that were unimportant and or they wanted to do something that could only lead to trouble.   In addition, moral values and the notion of right and wrong had to be taught and learned.  These things are not instinctual. 

Finally, we put our sons in Christian private schools, where they not only learned to read and write; but also the tenets and values of Christianity.  Since we don't support big government, my wife and I have practiced those values and tenets through our charitable work, which our sons have always witnessed first hand.  God knows, we were not always perfect parents; no one is, but even though I traveled 50% of the time while our sons were young, we were always there for them.  In addition, because of all my business travel, we were able to use airline and hotel points all over the United States and the world for free, which meant lots of family memories and quality time on vacations that continue to happen to this day. 

Raising children in America is not easy, since many children today are born out of wedlock into poverty.  Government Programs make all of this worse, not better, as very often government support encourages even more babies born out of wedlock.  The only problem is that government can never be a substitute for an intact two parent, loving family with the Father in the home.  And, it really does not matter if that family is rich or poor as long as the values of right and wrong and morality are taught in the home.  After all, this discussion is not about money at all; but rather the ability to be a "great role model" when kids are growing up. 

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