Friday, September 24th, 2010
“One of the biggest problems I see as a parent is getting your kids away from the computers and video games, and to go outside and play. I will be in my living room and watch my kids text each other when they are sitting next to each other on the couch. I just can’t understand it. Why can’t they just look up off the phone and say something?
“I grew up in this city and spent my time outdoors. The kids in my neighborhood were always out running around and playing sports. I am a big guy, so I would play football and stuff like that. All of the kids knew each other, and we would stay out until the lights went down. I learned so many lessons about the good and bad in life from being outside. Now, I am lucky if I can get my kids to even get out of the house after they come home from school.
“People always talk about how the neighborhoods changed because of drugs and violence. I did see that growing up, but we still found ways to get out and play. Sometimes we would get into a little bit of trouble. When a group of boys is out walking around, someone is always going to do something stupid. That’s the same no matter where you live. Now, I worked hard as an electrician to get my kids a nice place to live in a nice neighborhood, and they still want to stay inside.
“I tell my kids stories about growing up here and how lucky they are to have it so easy. I teach them about life and the different scenarios they will face. Some of the scenarios are about growing up as a kid in this city based on the things that happened to me in life. Other scenarios are just about how to make it in life.
“My kids know that I hustle all day at work to support the family. I want them to know the importance of working and learning a trade. I tell them that people like electricians are needed all around the world. Even if I move to Saudi Arabia, they are going to need some lights. I teach my kids that if you ain’t ready, get ready. Once you get ready, stay ready. That is how you make it in life. They are not going to learn that through playing video games.”