Parent’s role is becoming even more challenging

I have taken on the duty of covering the Marion School Board meetings, which are held twice a month.

My first meeting went pretty much what I expected, similar to the Hiawatha council meetings that I attend regularly.

I found it extremely interesting, mostly because I’m a mother and grandmother, and anything eduction-related interests me.  I also attended college in the ’90s to become an elementary education teacher, and though I didn’t follow through, I have maintained a high respect for all teachers.

During the school board meeting, a mother of two Emerson Elementary students asked to address the board. She stated that she was concerned about the safety in Marion schools because of the shooting in Newtown, Conn. and suggested that a guard be posted in every school.

It made me think about how close to home the issue had become, and how it was affecting all of us, a community nearly 1,000 mile away.

As I listened to the news report, I was shocked to hear that the shooter’s mother knew he was mentally ill, but taught him how to shoot guns, anyway.

Maybe she didn’t want to admit that her son might be capable of such a horrendous act, but she should have had some idea. She was his mother, after all.

Our society is changing and so is role of a parent. Our children are exposed to many things that can have a negative affect on the way they think and behave.

The influence of violent video games, movies, television, the Internet, and social media could be changing our children’s judgement without us even being aware of it.

Some parent think it’s OK that their young children have total access to their computer and let them play violent video games that are much too sophisticated for them. They let them watch television shows and movies that could be impact the choices they make.

Some kids have their own cell phones by the time they’re 7, and many spend much of their time texting instead of talking to their parents.

Life is busy. There are more things to occupy our time and we can’t seem to find the time to spend with our children. But we have to.

Education begins at home. Teaching children what is right and what is wrong is a parent’s responsibility. Knowing who they are, what they think, who their friends are, is more important today than ever before.

So turn off the computer, iPads, television, and cell phones. Take your children to the park, to the lake, or on a bike ride. Spend time with your children, learn who they are, and start relating to them. Be the positive influence that our society desperately needs.

We can’t stop the changes that are occurring to our society, but we can adjust the way we raise our children to reflect those changes in a positive way.

This may not be the solution to the problem, but maybe it’s a start. And besides, it’s just good parenting.