Parents should act like parents
There are times, for parents, when the job of raising a child is a very difficult task.
In a sense, parents have to be willing to act like parents.
Those words were striking coming from Rutherford County resident Ann Goforth in a recent story in The Daily Courier.
Goforth and her husband are raising three of their grandchildren because the parents made the decision to not act like parents.
And Goforth has specific knowledge about acting like a parent.
When she was 17, having no job and facing a mountain of other issues, Goforth decided to give her second child to a cousin to raise. She was concerned about neglect and was afraid she couldn’t care for the child properly.
Some, including Goforth, may question whether this was the right decision but in the realm of acting like a parent, doing what is best for a child is paramount.
It is a tough decision to be sure and it was a decision that has stayed with Goforth even today.
To us, the decision was absolutely the right thing to do.
Unfortunately we live in a time where some parents are not meant to raise a child. Whether there are financial issues or personal there are those that enter parenting without the basic skills of taking care of themselves, let alone a small child.
Children are having children, immature adults are having children and people with problems with drugs and alcohol are becoming parents.
None of those situations are beneficial for bringing a small child into the world.
In the story, the Rutherford County Department of Social Services said that there were 1,608 reports to their agency regarding the welfare of children. While only 23 percent of those were substantiated reports, that is 23 percent too many. This is a very serious problem.
There is no question that raising children is a full-time job that doesn’t come with guidelines or instructions. The row can be tough to hoe but when you make a decision to bring a child into the world there is an understanding that it will be hard, tears will be shed and lives will forever be changed.
The key is to love your children and make them the top priority in your life. If you aren’t willing to make that sacrifice, then you need to pursue other options.
“Tell your children you love them ... over and over,” Goforth told Daily Courier reporter Jean Gordon in her story Tuesday.
That, perhaps, is the best advice for any parent, in any situation.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark.