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Parents, not billboards, should teach our children

by Paul Filipowicz
| June 23, 2010 9:00 PM

Kirsten Brandt got it backward. I'll bet she belongs to the same crowd that teaches our kids to have sex before they ever know what it is or when it's appropriate and before they understand the psychological ramifications of inappropriate sexual activity? Now you want us to accept that they must be taught about prostitution when their little minds are trying to figure out a way to ask for a bigger allowance or a newer bike? What we need is better parenting, not shock billboards.

I don't disagree in the least that meth is one of the worst choices an individual can make. However, I believe those choices and many other detrimental choices are made while our children are too young to consider the ramifications of those choices until it's too late. Good parenting, which seems to be lacking in many who make poor choices in life, instills self-esteem and self-respect building a foundation of wisdom to make good decisions or to provide the discernment to consider the consequences of a poor choice before it's too late.

Why must children be needlessly exposed to the ugly and dark aspects of life on billboards in the name of protecting them when this exposure only serves to take away their happy, innocent immaturity which allow them to learn life's lessons naturally and gradually under the protection of a parent's love and wisdom? Why expose them to the darker realities of humanity before they can fully understand and mentally manage the evil around them? Thanks to TV, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, movies, graphic and degrading music, et al, our poor innocents grow up too fast now. Don't you remember a happy childhood giving you a safe family to mature from? I wish all children had this although I know not all do.

These exposures only hasten these innocents to premature knowledge which without the constraints of good parenting, I believe, leads our children down the path of improperly processed decisions many of which create a disastrous and sometimes irreversible event. Good parenting protects and allows children to mature into responsible, respectful adults. These virtues seem to be diminishing in our culture rapidly as evidenced by the pierced, tattooed subculture which is an obvious sign of self-loathing or a lack of self-respect.

I also feel that along with better and more responsible parenting, we as a culture should have harsher legal consequences for those engaged in the manufacture, sale and use of illicit drugs like meth. Right now there seems to be a mere slap on the wrist when compared to the destruction of lives this drug leaves in its wake.

So, Kirsten, we both want the same outcome; no more drug abuse, right? The question then becomes what can we do about it? My conscience (and delicate sensibilities as you put it) says the solution lies with parents, not graphic billboards.

Paul Filipowicz is a Coeur d'Alene resident.

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