1, Single parent mothers rock
2. Engaged divorced fathers makes a difference
3. Alcoholism wreaks havoc on families
4. College Faculty and student affairs happen
5. Segregation is alive and well in Texas
6. Drugs, alcohol and sex dominate the boy world
7. The search for purpose and identity collide and it isn't necessarily bad
8. Caring public school teachers matter
9. Big sisters torture little brothers but the love is still there
10. Returning veterans struggle to cope
11. Married partners from different classes have challenges
12. Do overs for divorced parents can be successful
13, Boys can grow into responsible men, eventually
14, Education matters and Is gateway to financial independence
15, Jobs are critical to teens and their learning responsibility
16, Talk frankly about sex with your kids
17. Peer pressure and bullying is prevalent
18. Finding the one thing that excites you matters
19. Time in nature helps development
20 You don't have to be plugged in 24-7 to electronic gadgets
Someone watched the episode of Focus on Teens, a new media project I developed on Public Access that airs on Saturdays at 3pm and said, "these teens today don't want any help from adults, they are a lost cause.".
Someone who read my column entry, Our Pride & Joy in the Jersey Journal, wrote as a comment on a corresponding blog, "yeah, kids in the hood doing the right thing, no such thing!".
My fundamental belief is that children are mirrors of all the good or all the bad they have been exposed to in our society, in our community, and in our families. If a teen hates and behaves badly born out of that hate, then that teen learned hate as a child from some adult.
If a teen drops out of school, that is a reflection of adults not motivating, inspiriing, supervising or being involved in the the life of their student/child, not as a teen, but somewhere much earlier on. The failing student also may indicate a serious problem in the schools that have been charded with educating that child. The failing student could have some legitimagte learning disorder or mental health impairment that prevents him/her from performing intellectual tasks.
There is such a huge disconnect by parentsand society when children become teenagers. The paradox is clear, teens want the space and to withdrawal from parents and adults and we grant it to them, even though what they need more than ever is our constant vigiliance, attention, love, guidance and connection.
When we fail to to that we set them up to fail.
Let's keep believing in teens. Let's get educated about the best ways to help them. Pulling away and seeing them as men and women before their time is a diservice to them and sets them up to fail.
They are under construction while in their adolescence and their ability to succeed rests in large measure to the quality of attachment they continue to have with caring, loving, patient, compassionate and tolerant adults.
We lost power for 22 hours, that is nothing compared to the folks who are still without it and we are on Day 6 post storm in Jersey City. Others along the Jersey Shore, the Raritan Bay, Coastal and lowlying communities in NY and CT suffered far worse. Something is terribly wrong with the planet, this is pretty clear AND some new way of designing cities, and communities needs to be envisioned or we will have this same sad scenario repeat over and over and over again. I hope we take heed and pay attention to the lessons of the SuperStorm.
When you have to live in a modern, industrialized, digitized, hiTech culture and you lose electricity, well, it changes you, your perspective and all of your human and object relationships and interactions.
How many people had to talk directly to their neighbors and their friends to get information rather than relying on tweets or texts? to get comfort? How many people had to go outside, off the couch, away from the big flat tv screens, to connect with what was happening in the world around them? How many had to learn to entertain themselves without gameboys, wii's, the internet? How many played cards? Scrabble?
How many people actually talked to each other? Or laid in silence? Or cuddled up close to one another, in the dark, for warmth, for safety, for soothing?
How many prayers, in how many languages, were lifted up in the darkness? How many hallelujahs were shouted when the lights and power began to systematically roll out across the power grid, one home, one street, one neightborhood, one town at a time?
When our power came on, I lept for joy. For real. I was in the kitchen, eating by candleligth and there it was, light. My partner and I cried. I felt immediate gratitude for all the workers who trucked in from places near and far. Wow, thank you! And I know we had a bit of luck too.
My next instinct was to reach out to the neighbor, a friend, a stranger who was still in the dark.
All aspects of the JC community was activated after the SuperStorm- the elected officials, the essential government workers, the profit and nonprofit employees, the charities and disaster specialist, all were needed to help us get back to life before the storm. I have nothing but gratitude for them all.
For those days after the storm and hours without power, mending fences, picking up strewn tree limbs and fretting about work, getting paid, filling up gas tanks, I relied on a reconnection to faith, family and my community
Perhaps this was the gift of the superstorm. It is a lesson that we have to remember as we continue to survive all manner of storms in life.
We need Faith, Family and Community to thrive and be well.
I have dedicated my life to the uplift of the black community. I am very concerned about the problems facing black youth today. I love black children, black teens, black parents, black grandparents and my black neighbors. Love and work are sorely needed to help LIFT UP BLACK YOUTH. It makes me sad
that black youth today kill one another, tease one another, bully one another. I am saddened too by the number of parents who abuse, neglect, abandon and exploit their black children. I am angry at the discrimination and racism that blacks continue to face daily in this country and for the uneven playing field from which black attempt to launch their dreams and aspirations. There is much work to do in America to LIFT UP BLACK YOUTH to their fullest potential.
What are you doing to LIFT UP BLACK YOUTH?