Dining at a restaurant recently, I watched a couple with their two children sit down and -- without a word spoken -- immediately begin to play on their iPods, ignoring each other.
I recalled how important dinner time was when our children were growing up, sharing our experiences and exchanging ideas as a family.
Today's family unit is in trouble, facing more complex challenges and distractions, including single parents, drugs and peer pressure.
Psychologists have found that the foundation of a child's personality begins to take shape in the very early years and is directly affected by the environment and parental guidance given -- or not given. Many of today's parents are not able or not willing to accept their responsibility of guiding their children through emotional, moral and social development and setting values by serving as role models.
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We must help raise our educational and social standards, providing future moms and dads with the tools and desire to tackle the many challenges of parenting while recognizing their responsibility in raising their children to be successful.
It has been said that an educated mother (or father) will raise educated children. Unfortunately, the opposite is often true. Strengthening the family structure with a goal of unselfishly placing our children's future first is paramount to our country's future.
Hilton Head Island