Let’s be honest for a second, we are not blind to the fact that in the recent years things have shifted drastically in our communities, households, schools and even for those who are religious, in churches as well! Things have gone from family, community based structure to being structured by social media and television, causing our youth to focus more on Celebrities/popularity than on the real core values and foundation that is so imperative in growth on any level. And somewhere along the way, we as adults and those who are parents have lost a HUGE amount of influence in the eyes of the youth, causing many of “Us” adults to battle the reality of becoming who the kids seem to be influenced by , such as television, radio, internet and magazines, instead of creating an environment on the home front level and community levels that continue to influence the youth to be positive additions to our society. Now please don’t get me wrong, it is some amazing lessons in life that can be learned by watching television, reading the internet and watching celebrities. However it should NOT be the source of where their inspiration comes from. I remember when i was a young girl in elementary and the teachers would ask, Who do you want to be like when you grow up? Of course i have always been such a spunky little girl, however i always came back to the answer that resignated so close to my heart. I want to be Just like my mom and dad! My hero was my grandmother and still is to this day! Then the teacher would ask, what do you want to be when you grow up? I would say a teacher, a doctor or both 🙂 lol. Of course at that age i had no idea the amount of school, it would take for me to accomplish those things, however i knew that i wanted to be Great, and those where not things i learned from watching the t.v. Now adays if you ask children who they want to be like , they say, Oprah, Jay z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Lil wayne, or even Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber( yes dont act like your surprised, all the above people broadcast bravery in some way, strength, power and popularity! All of which most kids all desire to have, so in a sense it is not bad to look up to these people, as a matter of fact its pretty awesome. Yes while they all possible are not your ideal rolemodel, they all show that no matter where your from, what walk of life your parents may have had, or what people may think about you, you still have the ability to be who you are and do what you love freely and unapologetically, which is actually a beautiful thing. You see the difference in you and those artist, is they didn’t choose to be your child’s role-model, your child chose them, and whether are not you agree with their choice, its not fair to condemn those artist for not being “Picture Perfect” in your eyes, when in all honestly it’s yourself who should have the most influence in the first place. You see it’s very easy to point the finger at who is doing wrong and what they should be doing better when your not focused on yourself. The truth is your child should be so secure in it’s upbringing and desires in life that no matter what artist they like, they know what they should or should not become involved in. The problem is so many of our youth have no direction, they have no direct influence in their lives so they are easily enticed by what’s on television, radio and on social media. So The blame is actually not what influences them, its what should be but is NOT influencing them. Somewhere along the way, we forgot that when bringing children into this world you are the first line of wisdom and , influence they receive as well as the foundation building should start at home. Before you have kids you should have something to share with them. So many children never learn about financial freedom because they are in an household and an environment where all they see is struggling. So they never feel the feeling of actually being able to enjoy family vacations, learning about balancing a check book, how to pay bills and still be able to enjoy life after etc. They cant put together how some people are so happy and undefined by money, Because they dont realize the power is not in the money itself but in what you do with your money, they know nothing about investments. Their focus is purchasing artificial things to create this artificial lifestyle that in the end creates an unhappy life. I can not tell you how surprised i am that so many individuals have no clue how to fill out a money order, know nothing about 401k, I.R.A’s , C.D”s Trust Funds Etc. They grow up feeling inadequate because they are not very knowledgeable about different books, or cultures, foods, and lack diversity in articulating with different type of people. They are not taught how to converse effectively without getting so angry at the other person it results in violence, why because they see momma, daddy, and everybody else, always yelling, screaming arguing fighting , they turn on t.v everybody is yelling, ratchet, disrespecting each other etc. The little girls lack positive imaging because they see majority of the women dress as if the less clothes you have on the more attention you get, so they want to dress in little shorts, tube tops etc. I mean notice little 4 year olds in shorts so short they look like underwear and the parents thinks its cute. They have these attitudes on them and parents condone it, little boys play fighting, bad mouths, and growing to be little bullies, why because the parents/families/communities have set that tone. What i have grown to realize is, its only so much you can blame the child for, because when you look at where the child comes from, you see it all starts at home. Broken cycles are where it begins. But if you dont know better you cant do better, and the sad part is, so many people are afraid of doing better because its so different than what its use to and in return the cycle continues. We have to educate ourselves more, become more aware and diverse so that we can be more of an influential part of our youths upbringing. If they see more of a positive surrounding, they will want to become more positive and the less they will be tempted to become an image so often plastered in their faces as what “Success” is. Let’s get them back to where, teachers, doctors, firefighters, counselors, Olympians, entrepreneurs, computer geniuses, & lawyers were who they looked up to in addition to becoming a Singer, rapper, choreographer, sports agent etc. Teach them the importance of being influential behind the scenes as well as in front of. Give them the attention they are striving to obtain from being in the spotlight. Teach little girls their value is not in what they wear , or how much makeup they wear or how many guys want their number. Teach them their worth so they know that their worth is not determined by a man or how much money he spends on her. Fathers teach your son’s how to be a gentleman, that its more to life than selling drugs, being a gangsta and how many girls they can walk over and use up and go on to the next! We are in control of our Youth’s future, and if we are the first line of defense they see as “Success”. Many of us have dropped the ball. Let’s Get it together.