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. 

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.

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