Thank you for your stories and editorals concerning prescription and illegal drugs. I'm writing to let you, and this community, know that I care and I will join with you and others in the fight against drug useage. We as a society have become too lax and casual to what is happening to those around us. We say, "It's none of our business. What I don't know won't hurt me. I'm too busy. I'm not worried because my child wouldn't do that." Well . . . hang onto your hats folks, it is our business, it will eventually hurt us, too busy is an excuse, and YES your child could be into that!
Since when is it none of our business? We are given, by God, the responsibility to raise up a child in the way they should go! Parents start talking to your children. Listen and most importantly watch. This starts as soon as they start school. Listen to their stories and if something sounds amiss, CHECK IT OUT. If your child's behavior starts veering in a different direction than you want them to go, redirect them.
Don't be offended when a teacher or friend tells you they caught your child doing something wrong. Confront your child. How you ask? COMMUNICATE with them and let them know what YOU expect. Let them know you stand behind the teachers, law enforcement and other adults if they are caught doing something wrong. Don't be embarrassed or feel assaulted. Be relieved that someone cares enough to let you know and try to head off a potential problem. Be ready to, "Nip it, nip it in the bud!"
It will eventually hurt us when these children become the age to take over our roles, solve problems, and most importantly, take care of us. Will they be able to do this if we don't make the right and hard choices now? Will they have the skills necessary or the mental capacity left to handle what life throws at them? We're doing our children a terrible injustice by doing everything for them. They have to be told. They have to learn from doing, and then if it is wrong, we have to redirect them.
"We're all busy," you say. I recall as a child everyone being busy, but I knew I had neighbors and friends watching out for me. We kept an eye on each other and not in a busy-body way. I could be assured that if I did something wrong, my neighbor would shortly report it to my parents. My parents didn't put me in time out, take away my T.V. privileges, or deny me something materialistic. After warming my behind, we've have what I called, "A come to Jesus meeting!" I was told, and it might have been for the 10th time, "Young lady this is what we expect, and you will follow these rules." I'm too busy is an excuse to ignore and basically say we don't care.
I've heard through 25 years of teaching many times, "My child wouldn't do that!" Parents, children will do it, if you don't set clear guidelines and goals and morals for them. Even then, they will make mistakes, because they are human and remember they are children. A child has to be told repeatedly, "No, no, no!" You can't assume that they should know better. Think of when you were young. Did you know better? When did you reach or attain that special place in time when you knew better? We are the role models. They are watching us. You have to be actively involved with what your child is doing, saying, where they are going, who they are going with, and who their friends are.
We have a problem with drugs in our community, that is a fact! This is not a fad, a right of passage, or "kids will be kids" statement. Children are sneaky, weren't you? They'll sneak into your purse, and your medicine cabinets, at home or in others' homes. "Keep out of reach of children." Start paying attention to your medications and be aware if some are missing. Don't make the mistake of thinking, "My child wouldn't do that." Children will and do lie. Be prepared to give them the third degree. We can no longer turn and look the other way. Thank God my parents never assumed I was always telling the truth! They questioned me and never quit because they loved me and wanted to make sure I was staying out of trouble. The fear of disappointing my parents was a tremendous piece of info always tucked away in the back of my mind.
I commend the Commu-nity 2000 Coalition for their fight against underage drinking. We also need a coalition against prescription and illegal drug usuage. Our Sheriff's Department, our City Police, our Drug Task Force needs your help and support. Don't fight them and deny the reality. Be aware, get educated, and let's work together to keep our children safe. These officers are not the bad guys, they are our protectors and you are your child's protector.
If we truly want change, then we have to be committed to bring about change. Change comes with commitment! Now is the time, now is the place, now is our future! Will YOU care or hope someone else will take up the cause?
Tracy K. Holle
Mayor, Teacher, Concerned Citizen, Neighbor and Friend