After the storm

Published 1:06 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2018

For the last several weeks, the news media has been focused on a 36-year-old “he said, she said” situation. Little good can be said about the process or the emotion of this back and forth battle that was driven by politics. However, there are things that come from this. Looking past the individuals and the evidence or lack of evidence in this situation, there is much we can learn as parents, communities and all of society.

First, we must fully understand that we cannot change the reality that attraction to the opposite sex is are how we are designed. Additionally, there are going to be those who prey on others in all societies. Therefore, it makes sense that we look at what and how we, as a society, deal with our young people at a very risky time in their lives.

Societies in earlier generations in both Christian and Muslim often focused on women’s attire being such that a women’s shape was hidden from public view. As well, young people were usually chaperoned by adults to avoid activities that could lead to situations. In the last 50 years, often this caution has fallen by the wayside.

Since the sixties, societal changes have disrupted many of the customs of generations past. Often this closely correlates with more single parent households and households that have two breadwinners, both making parenting a challenge. Having two parents focused on nurturing children is a major factor in young people’s understanding of what is responsible and what is not.

When parents are too focused on other responsibilities, they sometimes miss the needed time to teach correct boundaries for their children by actions and examples. Young people need that assistance to properly adjust their actions. Growing up, we all needed that. One need only look at the number of teen abortions to understand that boundaries are either not being set or the wisdom of maturity is not being passed on to them.

Young men need to understand that there is a limit to what is proper and acceptable. They need to be taught they are responsible for their actions and that you are not to cross certain lines. Young ladies need to be taught they have limits that they should follow also. They need to be taught how to not allow themselves to be manipulated into situations they cannot control or protect themselves.

Parents need to require children to let them know where they are going and what they are going to be doing. They need to ask what adults are going to be supervising activities. They need to know that those adults are going to be alert to drugs, alcohol, and situations that arise where teens might pair off alone. Likewise, parents should be alert enough to sense when their children are bothered by something. The fact is that occasionally things do happen, but usually, if it is truly traumatic or bothersome, they will show it. They often want to tell a parent or someone, but they are not sure how to raise the subject or possibly are afraid they will be blamed.

Unless we are willing to return to earlier periods of our history, parents must accept that they have the responsibility of guiding children or face the facts that underage teens are going to be put into compromising or dangerous situations. Young people also must be taught that use of alcohol is illegal because inhibitions are reduced when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We love to hear from you.

You can reach us at Sen.Ruff, (434) 374-5129 or P. O. Box 332, Clarksville, VA 23927. Frank Ruff represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is Sen. Ruff