Many folks are raising their children absence a parent, strong community, connected church, and even a stable school environment. But, none justifies not filling the gap. Let me clarify why… Raising kids is similar to cooking… you GOT to have the right “ingredients” if you want it to TASTE and or COME OUT right.
I was raised in a family with some of the best cooks from Detroit to down south. Any of them will tell you… you must have the right ingredients if you want it to turn out right. When following a recipe you can sometimes “substitute” – but you never see “omit”.
You want the cake to be “sweet” you can add more sugar but, you can’t omit the salt. It is the same with kids. You just can’t love them and give them everything they want – you have to also correct them, establish boundaries and set limits. Kids should be at home in “their” beds at night. If you don’t read to kids, promote it during play time and in school – they will struggle with literacy and comprehension the rest of their lives. These things take time and often just like when making a cake and realize your missing something but don’t feel like going “back” to the grocery store. So you decide to omit it. Now when you go to serve it, you share “It’s not my best, I ran out of eggs”.
You can’t run out of patience and time with kids, because they won’t turn out to be “their” best.
You can’t omit the main ingredients just because you don’t have them! There is no “substitute” for the RIGHT PEOPLE in your kids lives. Because, just like with a cake we can tell when you took short cuts. So, we MUST to fill the gap of missing ingredients.
When there is an absence of a parent – find and maintain healthy relationships for you and your children. “Keepers” folks that’s in it for the long haul. Unfortunately, for some this may not include family. This is important. One bad ingredient can cause you to toss the entire cake out and start over – so can the wrong people. However, you can’t start over with kids. NO do overs. They’ll just be jacked up for life… despite the right ingredients.
If you are dealing with an unstable school environment… you be the constant. Volunteer, connect and show up NO MATTER what school they are going to.
If the church seems as though they just don’t get it… start assisting them in connecting. “You” organize for everyone to go out to eat one Sunday after church (so YOUR children can make friends beyond the school and community).
Lastly, be the example in your neighborhood you want others to be. Don’t judge and condemn but, model and support.
I have come to realize some people have NEVER baked a cake… they are looking for a recipe to get it right. This is the same for raising children.
Nobody wants to spend the whole day in the kitchen only to fail… Share your recipes.