Thursday, October 11, 2012

Having "Great Expectations"!

It amazes me that we expect so little of our young people as it relates to them respecting themselves and others, having good manners and doing well in school. I make this assertion because it appears to me that young people believe they can speak to “Elders” in whatever tone they desire. It seems as if they have no clue about what it means to be courteous and respectful. 
Now, we as adults bear much of the responsibility; we cannot totally place the blame at the feet of young people. Through our responses, we give young people permission to treat “elders” and their peers with little regard. It seems to me that adults believe it is more important to give our young people what we did not have (material things), and that is okay. But, in so doing, we must not fail to give them what we did have (good manners, respect for ourselves and others, good values and a desire to achieve as a means of getting “the things” we desired).

Day after day I see young people who, for whatever reason, believe it is acceptable to be rude and disrespectful, and when they are called out for their behavior they want to throw a tantrum. It is my conviction that God charges adults to be the accountable party in the adult/child relationship.  Proverb 22:6 says (The Message Bible) “Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost.” What I learned in my many years of being an aunt, godmother, and a member of the village is that our young people are smart and desirous of directions. It is the adult – in my humble opinion- who is afraid to do as we are charged to do.

We have many smart, respectful young people eager to learn. I believe that more of them would project these qualities if they understood that this is what adults expect from them.

So, let us step up to the plate and start talking to and directing our young people early and often about what life is really about. Let’s work to help them become healthy, happy, well informed, and productive citizens (so that they can have a job and pay into Social Security). I admit my motives are selfish as all of ours should be.

by Carol Singletary, Senior Advisor for Outreach, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy


  1. Children will rise to meet the expectations you set for them. If you dream big for them, they will know to dream big also!

  2. Great perspective!