by Jim R. Rogers, M.Ed., CFLE Emeritus 


   We are indeed living in some shaky days. Parents and families are being  challenged by worrisome possibilities that could affect their well-being and communities. 

A dreaded virus is looming and we cannot predict its course. Please pay attention to health officials and follow instructions from Stay calm and cautious. Role model for your children.

We also face major financial woes and unrest about our national election as we make important decisions that will change lives. We have to freely exercise our duty and right and make educated, informed choices.

These are just three of the many factors stressing our lives and we often feel that as one person there’s little we can do about the big pictures.  There is, however a challenge from the Horry County Council that we might be able to do something about. 

Around three years ago, the Horry County Council was properly and passionately outraged at the rise of youth crime and violence. Officials had many meetings and recommendations were made. Much was offered, little was officially accomplished. In time the crisis diminished. Memories faded. 

What if a new violence crisis develops and the core of the crime wave is easier access to guns? Deaths, break-ins and gang wars could run rampant and the county might need help solving the problem. A proven program from the CDC could be the solution, but the passing of the Second Amendment Sanctuary County ruling in 2020 could prevent officials from accepting the solution. So, the violence may continue. More people die. 

A possibility that must never happen! 

One very major fear we all have is that our schools might suffer a shooting. We worry about sending our children off for the day and pray for their safe return.  
 The Sandy Hook parents offer these facts with the Sandy Hook Promise. 

1. EACH DAY 8 children die from gun violence in America. Another 32 are shot and injured. 
2. Firearms are the second leading cause of death among American children and adolescents, after car crashes.
3. Firearm deaths occur at a rate more than 3 times higher than drownings.
4. The U.S. has had 1,316 school shootings since 1970 and these numbers are increasing. 18% of school shootings took place since the tragedy at Sandy Hook in 2012.
5. Guns used in about 68% of gun-related incidents at schools were taken from the home, a friend or a relative.
6. 2018 had the most school shootings on record, but if we “know the signs” of gun violence, we can prevent it and reverse the trend.
7. The majority of individuals with diagnosed mental illness do not engage in violence against others.
8. 39% of parents wrongly believe children don’t know where a gun is stored.
9. An estimated 4.6 million American children live in a home where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked.
10. 17 states have enacted Extreme Risk Laws, the majority being implemented following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. 

Owning guns appears to be a sacred privilege to some. No one here suggests taking away properly interpreted constitutional rights, but just as there are laws for many potentially dangerous pieces of life, there has to be sane management of weapons that tragically take so many lives each day. As citizens you can let your district council member know that no gun management is too dangerous to even consider.  

St. Jude hospital has a motto, “No child dies from cancer.” Maybe we could have a Safe Child Sanctuary and claim that “no child dies from guns.”

Don’t Lose heart. 

.ParentsCare: Finding our bounce back

Jim R. Rogers Guest columnist
Aug18, 2020

Effective parenting is often difficult in the best of times, but now effectively parenting and managing a family are considerably more difficult, and many of us are getting worn out. We never thought that we would be called on to juggle so many balls of serious decision making. I am 85 years of age, and have witnessed years when hard decisions had to be made and we thought we would never get through the damages of the time. I remember World War II well and all that’s touched our lives in many sad ways since. And, I want to tell you, that we the citizens of the US of A are the champions of Bounce Back.
We will make it through this, certainly saddened by the loss of lives and disastrous effects on our way of living. But we have to hold on a bit longer. I see progress. Citizens are seeing proof that the CDC and local protocols work and can decrease COVID-19 cases. There is good cause for hope. Our public schools appear to have decided upon a sensible, safe process of education for our children, teachers and parents, even though difficult informed decisions still have to be made. Risks have to be considered and assessed based on local conditions. If we do the job of prevention even better, we can get back to our new story sooner with full schools, and open workplaces relieving some of the stress and worry in our daily lives.

A New Orleans psychologist told me that after Katrina, many children did not go to school in-person or on-line for over a year, and many more attended mixed facilities neither well organized nor effective. Yet, the majority of those students got through it all with little damage to their academic standing and their social development. They had resilience. They Bounced Back. There is so often a side of tragedy where a sliver of light can shine through. It’s just not easy to find. Hard times are unfortunately a part of life. Many have them and we most often face them, give them their due, take action and move forward.

While that process is unfolding, however, we are not always the same people we were before. Acceptable behaviors can get lost in the mix of frustration, confusion, anger, anxiety, depression and sadness, and decisions are not always the best for family relationships. We might forget patience, love, understanding, and make quick and poor judgements. Our tempers may pop out, disagreements may increase. Taking time out for planning, meditation, reflection and prayer may get shortened or forgotten…playing havoc with the strained relationships that may already exist with our children, young and older, and yes, partners, too.

There are things parents can do to reduce the effects of stress and to help their family develop resilience, Bounce Back. Resilience actually means to bounce back, and is the ability to recover from or adjust to adversity or change.

Warm and nurturing relationships are the most important factors in developing resilience. When, where and how parents protect their families from environmental stressors is the power that only the parents can provide. The home is our children’s first environment, the most important one for developing resilience. But the parents have to have Bounce Back, too.

Next time, I will offer parents information about building resilience in self and family. We will look at Ten Tips for Bounce Back and more. Situations will have changed by then and we will address them. If you would like to see a preview of Bounce Back Tips you can at Family Resources tab. Stand strong and
Don’t lose heart.

Jim R. Rogers, M.Ed., CFLE,
 Parenting and Family Life Educator

JUNE 2020, ParentsCare for Waccamaw Publishers, Fathers

By Jim R. Rogers, M.Ed., CFLE Emeritus 

Fathers Are Parents, Too!

Perhaps I should say, Fathers CAN be parents, too. I have had many discussions with fathers who want to be the best father they can be, but feel they don’t know how…have not been prepped well, not invited in to be a partner, or just didn’t feel they could do the job especially with the girl child of the family. But…

It’s time to officially Celebrate FATHERS!!! Last Month we celebrated Mothers and their essential role on the front lines of family health. Most Fathers are right there with her, with roles that are somewhat different but so much the same.

Fathers are strengthening their role as the Champions of Their Children, claiming bragging rights about being good dads! Time was, when men wanted to feel good about themselves it was achievement, money and how many toys they had. They never got too much recognition from others and society for BEING A GOOD FATHER! Things change!

But, change does not come easy. Even good changes are difficult to accept in the re-programming. History has presented fathers and mothers in rigid roles defined and protected by society. Parenting was the mother’s job. Fathers were the Breadwinners. Generally speaking, mother has always been the nurturer, father the bill-payer and disciplinarian. Mothers were always seen as the “senior partner” of the parenting team. And, all too often, “parent involvement” really meant “mother involvement”.  

In the last few years, those defined roles have been turned upside down by needs, and the rearranging of how the world works today. The rigidity has loosened in major ways.

Better fathering can mean better marriages or relationships. New dads feel freer, more sensitive to the feelings of self and others; and are able to demonstrate values to children by their own behavior.

Paternal praise, support and encouragement for children are associated with better behavior and achievement in school, while father absence increases vulnerability and aggressiveness. When I say “absence” I’m not talking about just not being in their lives physically. I call it “absent in place”...not being there emotionally, psychologically, spiritually. Rejection can affect the child’s sense of self-worth, and there is a definite connection between father absence and crime, drugs and suicide. Some fathers even force relationships, in ways more damaging than helpful. The “fix everything” father, the “read my lips” father, the “you’ll do it because I say so” father…none very effective in raising children, and today’s fathers are embracing that truth.

They are now reflecting on their childhood with their fathers. They feel that they can make needed change without dishonoring, or blaming them for whatever! They look at what was, hopefully improve their lives by re-parenting and self-help programs making their roles of father better for all.

Any man who is truly engaged with the lives of his children will tell you that there is nothing like the fire of commitment to being a “liked” and “loved” dad. They are not here to just sit around watch TV, play golf, or go fishing…and bring home bacon. They are meant to be a mutual partner in the vital role of parenting, a team player in all the many ways a successful family operates.

Parenting is not just for mothers. So, let’s CELEBRATE FATHERS DAY knowing that while children desperately need their mothers, they also no less desperately need their fathers. Thank goodness, we are all getting to know it. For fatherhood information, check out A Father’s Place in Conway.  

Mothers, I hope you are able to affirm and encourage the efforts fathers are offering to be a responsible effective parent and a dedicated partner…your children need you both…and to you both…

Don’t lose heart!

Jim R. Rogers, M.Ed., CFLE
Parenting and Family Life Educator
still learning, inc.