Children need to be higher priority for parents |

Children need to be higher priority for parents

I was attracted by the letter “No united families; no United States.” While I agree that America’s sickness is tied to the breakdown of the family, I think that divorce is a symptom, not the disease. As a 20-plus-year veteran of the classroom, I’ve answered to “Mom” and “Dad” frequently. I long ago concluded that the family is not what it once was.

Speaking as a teacher, I see children learning how to grow up less from their parents and too much from television and their peers. Parents, both working, have little time for their children. They fill their children’s lives with things but ignore essentials, unwittingly training another generation of poor parenting. Children aren’t often read to or taught their math facts, once parental responsibilities. Children don’t do chores with their parents.

It seems to me that the cause may be more economic. The “two-income family” has decimated traditional family structure. Children are packed off to school, day care and “activities” but seldom played with, educated and nurtured. Some will argue that two incomes are a necessity. I don’t agree. I’ve seen families make their children a priority and succeed. They don’t let advertisers set their priorities.

Rich Howell

Nevada City

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