Who’s raising the kids in the hood?

The [kids]in the hood are always hard. You come talking that trash they’ll pull your card. – Easy E.

The children within the urban neighborhoods are always shown on television shows and crime TV. They are depicted as some of the most disrespectful and entitled groups of individuals. At times they hang out during all hours of the night while pretending to be grown and disrespect their elders. So, who are raising these kids? Who allows these children to do what they want to do when they want to do it.

Is it their parents?

The latest statistics regarding American households, state that more than half of homes in the nation are ran by single parents. According to the U.S. census bureau, 84% of those homes are led by women. Are the women raising these kids in the hood?

Children spend about 30% of their day at school, therefore without a doubt, one can understand that a child’s daily awakening occurs outside of the household. But what happens when the child is out of school? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 78% of single parent women are employed and 45% have more than one job. So, if most of these women are working and a good number are working more than one job…

Who is watching these children while their parent (parents) is (are) at work?

It seems easy to conclude that the children are watching themselves, but this cannot be the case. In order for someone to be raised, experience and guidance must be included. Since a child has little experience and is therefore unable to guide themselves, where do they receive their ideas about right and wrong? From where do they decide what is moral and ethical? Who explains to them specific issues and concerns so that they may express sensitivity to issues? The answer is clearly – the idiot box.

The idiot boxes that teach the children

Daily, children are exposed to “their” favorite television shows, listen to “their” favorite radio stations and visit “their” chosen websites. A.C. Nielson Co. has determined that children watch about 28 hours of television per week and watches 20,000 commercials each year. It is also reported that the average school age child plays 13 hours of video games per week. Video games and television has become a full time job for most American children. Once you add in computer time and radio time, they are putting in overtime. With these numbers, it is clear to see where the influence of most children come from.

Images

As before we have stated that urban children are depicted more negatively than positively in the media images that the children are exposed to on a daily basis. People in general tend to pay more attention to things that they can relate to. When you see an image across the television screen or hear a voice that sounds familiar to you, you begin to pay attention. Let’s say that these children see themselves in the media that is introduced to them. Who is going to tell them that the image is not correct or explain what is going on? The parents (parent) are (is) at work.

The rich telling the poor what they should do

The full time job and overtime that the children put in media is alarming, but what is more alarming is who is telling them what to do, think and feel. Have you once paid attention to who owns the radio stations, television shows, games and websites that the children are exposed to daily? Who decides who will be depicted and how they will be shown? Most media is owned by the rich who have no idea what happens in an urban household. They have done their research and understand how exposing certain images can affect a child. They show the urban children how they should act and what their morals should be and in turn the child tries to emulate that.

Solutions

The easiest solution of course is to turn off all idiot boxes, but that can be a daunting task. Regardless if you are around the children in the hood or not, you can make a difference. Encourage the children in the hood to engage in extra curricular activities, like sports, chess, or book clubs. Encourage them to create a game night or go to local games with their friends. Correct the children when they are disrespectful. If they hear it enough, eventually they will get the point. Even if you do not comment bad behavior ALWAYS comment on good behavior. Overly express how you are proud or amazed at their great accomplishments. Children and adults alike love praise and will likely emulate that behavior again to receive more praise. If you can do more, volunteer to be around the kids in the hood more often. If you cannot volunteer donate money, goods and/or services to organizations that you KNOW are helping them. Show your face to these children and always show them what a good role model is.

It is everyone’s responsibility to help the kids in the hood and the best way to do that is to…

-Know Thyself

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