No really! It's crazy out here. So I am a from an "underprivileged" background, for all intents and purposes of this post. I didn't grow up poor. However, I did not have a lot of social capital that most middle class people grow up with such as mentors, college educated parents or family members, good schools etc. I had to learn how to use my social networks to my advantage and THAT took some work. I am still working on letting my social network work for me but that is not the point. Being from an underprivileged background, I remember often times having people during non-profit and charity work within my community and my schools. I rarely took part in these because sometimes the trust was not there to with people we weren't acquainted with. For good reason. That doubt is a valuable survival tactic for a young child. Parents are sometimes too quick to put their trust in people in the community who SEEM to have their child(ren)'s best interest at heart. Sometimes the charities and non-profit work is a preying ground for people who would love nothing more than to take a child's innocence away.
In the latest news, we have Coach Jerry Sandusky who is a renowned and honored member of the Penn State community who has taken it upon himself to molest little boys for the past 30 years. This man helped children who were identified as "under-privileged" develop football skill but used this as an opportunity to prey on boys from ages 8-13. He was caught several times having intercourse with his eight victims but did not suffer the consequences until now. It is truly a tragedy when a man who has everything the world at his fingertips would take the youth of several young boys. It frightens me to think that people put their trust in this man and he would go as far as to rape these boys during a time in their life where they should be enjoying grade school and middle school. Sexual abuse is one of the most unnoticed forms of abuse because children are often scared into silence.
This brings up another issue. It is of the utmost importance that families do not shut down the communication walls to their kids. Coming from a family where the walls were burnt down before puberty even came upon me. As the oldest girl, I never had the opportunity to talk about the things that were plaguing my developing mind and therefore had to resort to those blind peers of mind. The blind leading the blind results in a whole lot of bad decisions. This I know from first hand experience. Parents, from a child's perspective, talking to your child is much more influential than waiting on their life experiences to teach them. It is also better to let them know that you are there to be a mentor/comforter/PARENT to them rather than having them feel as if they are facing the world alone. As a teenager, I always felt like I had to hold everything in because I did not feel comfortable talking to my mom about ANYTHING! I even got on the radio station and did an interview about "kids and technology" and put out a plea for parents to be in their children't business. There is no way to know everything that goes through a child's mind and what goes on in their life unless you actually TALK TO THEM. To this day, I wish that I could just call home and talk to my mom about anything on my mind. Now that I know it will never happen, I am learning to take the lessons of life and use them as I move forward.
So to further discuss this, parents be careful of people in your life and your children's lives, teachers, preachers, coaches, friends' parents etc., in order to assure your child's safety in whatever situation they are presented in without you being around. Since you can't