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A Friend, a Father and an Enemy

I just visited with a friend, who made a simple, yet powerful statement about the Teen Pregnancy issue we face in the Hispanic community.

He said, “I don’t blame the kids. I blame their parents…or the lack of parenting.”
He went on to say, “Look, there are three roles a parent needs to play. First, they must be a friend to their children.” When you play with your kids, you build trust and love. Then, he said, “You must also be their father, and guide them through their life.” He mentioned the many times a father has to provide clarity and support for his children.

Then, he ended with the third, “…and when they do something wrong, you correct them. You show them the right way and tell them the consequences of their actions. And if they repeat their bad actions, you become their enemy.”

He continued, “When my four children graduated from college, one with a Masters in Accounting, another with a Phd, another as a Doctor, and still another with a Masters Degree who is serving as a Deputy Sheriff, they all pointed at me in the crowd and said if it were not for their mother and father, they would not be crossing that stage.”

As he said that, the hair on his arms stood up…he was very emotional.

In the end, our community is a culmination of the parenting we provide. Looking at the statistics, we’ve got a long way to go before we reach the top. I hope you’re in for the journey!

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