Stop Pretending All Kids Have Good Parents


America seems to be plagued with the “not in my backyard” syndrome. When things make us angry or fearful we tend to rally together until its time to work to eradicate the problem. When that time comes the numbers of willing workers seems to dwindle if it is “not in my backyard”.


YES, parents should monitor their child’s computer time, friends, clothing choices, television viewing, homework, sugar intake, music, and hang out places. What we must remember is that parents have different skill sets, resources, responsibilities, coping mechanisms, and personal histories. I am in no way taking parenting responsibility away from parents but there are 400,000 children and youth in the foster care system in the United States. Whether they are unable to or choose not to, clearly someone isn’t doing what they SHOULD do! This goes well beyond the parents of children in the foster care system I might add.  In an ideal world parents are a child’s first teachers and lay a strong foundation for success from birth. We don’t live in an ideal world. I may just scream if I hear one more person exclaim “that’s the parent’s job” as it relates to a young person who is hurt, vulnerable or in trouble! When are we going to stop pretending that all kids have good parents?


Texas’ highest criminal court has struck down a state law banning sexually explicit internet communications between an adult and minor, ruling the statute violated free speech protections. Who is protecting our children?


NEWS FLASH – everything that is happening in the lives of young people is “in your backyard”. Here are five examples of “in your backyard”:

  1. Your child is bullied by the kid thrown away by society
  2. Your car is vandalized by the kid with no adult supervision
  3. Your home is robbed by the kid who doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from
  4. Your city has a larger prison population than college population
  5. You’re unable to hire qualified staff for your business


None of us can do everything but all of us can do something to improve the lives of all children and teens. It really does take a village to raise a child!


Related Post: The Foster Care System Makes A Lousy Parent

it takes a village

Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox utilizes youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic empowerment strategies to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs. We are committed to supporting and raising awareness about the needs and potential of teenagers in the foster care system.

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