OUR VIEWS: Parents must stay alert

Sep 12, 2012


What has made one of life’s most fulfilling tasks such a challenge? Did a “parenting handbook” really once exist and has since been lost?

Maybe it has been — lost, perhaps, in the hectic lifestyle that so many families now possess in an attempt to not deprive their child of precious experiences.

Can this be overdone? We think it can.

Life is full of distractions these days; many of which are very worthwhile, but many that could very well be done without. How many extra-curricular activities does one have to participate in before it’s considered excessive?

The answer is simple. When the fabric of the family begins to weaken, it’s too much.

Family dinners were once considered a time for families to talk about their day, both the good and the bad, and it would give parents considerable insight as to what kind of day their children had.

Family dinner these days far too often resembles a fast-food drive-through window on the way to the next event. For parents to now know how their kids’ day was, they have to check their Facebook status, look at the history on their computer, or check the phone log on their phone.

A young life recently ended suddenly, and way too soon, right here in our own quaint community. According to his father, the young man led a very normal life until he started doing drugs at the age of 14. The drugs led to other troubles that ultimately cost him his life.

It’s extremely tragic what this family must now deal with in the wake of the death of its son and brother.

What could have been done differently to prevent this from happening? We will never know the answer to that question, but parents must be aware of everything their children are up to — who they hang with, when and where.

Most importantly, we must pay attention to any warning signs.

Parenting is a tough job, but we must be up to the task. Too much is at stake.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.


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