Who Are Our Heroes?
Sep 19th, 14
801 Corporate Drive – Suite 120
Lexington, KY 40503
(859)225-8879, FAX (859)225-8969
Who Are Our Heroes?
Two sports stars have been in the public eye within recent weeks in a manner that has sparked debate. Adrian Peterson, star running back for the Minnesota Vikings has been indicted on charges of negligent injury to his four-year old son; and Ray Rice, running back with the Baltimore Ravens has been captured on video inflicting acts of domestic violence on his then-fiancée. If these two situations result in our continuing the conversation about what it means to be a good parent, how we can be heroes to our kids, and more people stepping up to the plate to “Commit to Prevent” then we are headed in the right direction.
I have been in the field of child abuse prevention for 30 years, and the great debate between “spare the rod and spoil the child” vs “no hitting, time out works” is just as prevalent now as it was back in 1984. As stated in an editorial in Boston.com, written by Jordan Lebeau:
“Those who oppose all forms of corporal punishment are criticized for not understanding that bad deeds need to be punished in a way that scares the child out of repeating the action. And those who support corporal punishment are criticized for a seemingly brutal practice that is – if not actually child abuse – then a close enough relative that it should be avoided at all costs.
But these two sides have more in common than not. Both share in the desire to raise well-adjusted children, equipped with the tools to succeed in the world beyond the four walls of the home. Both express great fear over the prospect of getting it wrong, and the joy they might feel if they could ever tell they’d gotten it right.”
At the heart of this, is knowing that parenting is a hard job. It’s hard to “get it right” and harder still to know that maybe we “got it wrong.” How many of us have said “...when I am a parent, I am going to do things differently?” Easy words to say; hard words to reinforce with actions.
Raising kids is a difficult job, full of pit-falls and challenges. How many parents start their journey to parenthood saying “I want to be a bad parent”? None. How many parents will reach out for help in difficult times? Few. How many parents need all the help they can get? All.
How many of our kids look up to their parents and call them heroes? That is the million dollar question. If every parent can be a hero in the eyes of their child, think of what we can accomplish! When you “Commit to Prevent” you are saying you will do everything within your power, within your means, within your cultural mores, to help a child realize his potential and grow into a healthy, well-adjusted adult. “Commit to Prevent” is easy, it’s do-able and it is sustainable.
Jill Seyfred is Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, the Commonwealth’s only statewide child abuse prevention organization. Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky may be contacted at 1-800-CHILDREN, (859)225-8879 or log on to www.pcaky.org . The “Commit to Prevent” campaign needs you!