Parental Guidance

Posted: January 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

I teach remedial English to college students and last semester my students wrote an essay about the reasons why urban adolescents sometimes do not succeed in school. I want to share one of the body paragraphs from a student’s essay (I know there are grammatical errors, but try to focus on the content):

“The last reason why adolescents have a difficult time becoming successful is because they donโ€™t have parental guidance. Children growing up on the streets without parents or, they have parents who are too busy to care about their childโ€™s wellbeing. Usually end up strung-out on drugs or in jail. I have 3 cousins who have grown up in a terrible neighborhood, with no father figure and a mother who had to work two jobs to keep a house and food on the table. Because of the lack of parental guidance mixed with the bad living environment. All 3 of them ended up selling drugs and joining gangs. But that was a few years ago now all of them are in jail, two are in jail on drug charges and the other for murder. Parental guidance is essential for adolescents to become successful.”

For those who did not grow up around a chaotic environment or around parents who were not there for whatever reason, I suggest reading Random Family by Adrian Nicole Leblanc.

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Publisher Weekly says about the book,
“Politicians rail about welfare queens, crack babies and deadbeat dads, but what do they know about the real struggle it takes to survive being poor? Journalist LeBlanc spent some 10 years researching and interviewing one extended family-mother Lourdes, daughter Jessica, daughter-in-law Coco and all their boyfriends, children and in-laws-from the Bronx to Troy, N.Y., in and out of public housing, emergency rooms, prisons and courtrooms.”

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