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Sue Bower

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

Parents, I want to speak to you. The song plainly speaks, "I wanna be like you, Dad." Well, Dad and Mom, what are you teaching your children? I have heard from a former social worker that some families learn how to scam the system, with multiple identities. They teach their children to do the same, and so it goes. I have heard of parents telling their children, "You are no good. You will never amount to anything." Those children grow up thinking exactly that, and they live up to their parents' expectations.

When children see violence, evil, mistreatment of women, robbing and killing in R-rated and X-rated movies it makes a lasting impression on them — sometimes making them crave to do the same thing to others. When they see criminals' names and their crime descriptions in the newspapers, they want that same notoriety. When children play video games with violence and see television shows with plots to rob, kill, and terrorize, they learn (as do real criminals and terrorists). There are age limits on the movies/games for a reason, but none on TV shows. Is there any point in raising the age limits? No, but there are reasons for making parents aware of their complicity in creating and/or acerbating their children's penchant for doing bad things.

Parents, you are responsible for who your children become. Do you teach them right from wrong? Do you teach them not to yell at or hit other children? Do you teach them to work hard to succeed? What do schools teach them? When I encouraged a student to study harder, he said he didn't have to because he was the best athlete, and the school would ensure that he always made a C grade, and sure enough, I was told to give him the grade. I hope things have changed since I taught school.

Do you help (not do for) your children? Do you encourage? Are you realistic as to your child's potential? Do you correct your child appropriately? Do you monitor your child's activities, friends and potential drug use? Do you get help for your child if he/she needs it? Do you encourage your daughter to do, act, and dress age-appropriately. A 12-year old in lipstick and bare midriff — I think not! Your children reflect you, your standards, your priorities, your faith, your ethics. So, what do they look like?

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