Do you know where your children are?” is a question used as a public service announcement (PSA) for parents on American television especially during the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Two stations laid claim to that question during those years: WKBW-TV news anchor Irving Weinstein (1964) and Mel Epstein, Director of On-Air Promotions at New York’s WNEW-TV. This campaign was started in 1967 when crime began to increase.
Usually, the announcement was made right before the nightly news and then after the late night newscast. Depending on the market and local curfew times for various areas. As of November 2017, this question is still asked before the commencement of the 10:00 p.m. news, but not on as many stations as before.
The question is one that all parents should ask themselves whenever their kids are out of the house. Up until the age of 16 when teenagers start to drive, parents normally have a good sense of where their kids are. But once these kids start driving all bets are off. Yes, there are new technologies that parents can use to track down their kids, but the question is one that needs to be addressed in many homes across America.
Nowadays, kids don’t really have to leave the house. Technology affords them the ability to be out of the house even though they are home. With many single-family homes or both parents working full-time jobs. Kids today have way too much time on their own at home, or “hanging with friends” after school.
Parents today are highly challenged in the area of keeping a close watch on their kids. In the 70s when I was growing up, we stayed out until sundown. Once the street lights came on, we were just arriving at home. No excuses or just one more hour requests were allowed. These days kids are out and about til late at night.
As a parent, I felt a responsibility to make sure I knew where my kids were, who they were with and what they were doing. I waited up for them to get home and made sure I spoke to them when they walked in. They knew I was up and waiting and that they were going to have to communicate with me on their arrival. Its the only way to know if your kids are drinking or doing drugs or both.
Far too often parents are either working late or sleeping when their kids stumble in drunk or stoned from being out. Even now my youngest is 19 years old, and he is expected home by a certain time and he needs to check in with me when he arrives.
I am blessed, I know. But really, I have been an active participant in my children’s lives from the beginning. Throughout school my kids knew there would be consequences at home for infractions at school, any calls from the faculty or staff regarding disciplinary issues or disrespect for any adult at the school. I asked questions and expected answers.
My kids never had a computer in their room, unless they purchased it themselves. There would be no passwords or locked doors and secret lives. Not in my house, not while I was providing room and board.
We need to take ownership of our children while they live under our roofs. Many parents today neglect their parental duties, or throw their hands up in the air and just give up. While some kids may be challenges, parents must seek help if they notice changes in their kid’s behavior and patterns. We are way too accommodating and work way too hard to keep the peace with our kids. This is not what our kids need. They need to be taught respect, boundaries, and accountability for behavior. Stop siding with your kids against their teachers.
We give in way too easily to whims and demands from our kids. We buy them video games they are not prepared to play. We medicate them with chemical straight jackets and then turn them over to technology. It’s no wonder some kids go off on shooting sprees. Our kids do not value life. How can they when they play games that promote and reward mass murder by allowing them to reach the next level and the next and so on, such as Call to Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and the like.
Dinner time is rarely an evening event, where we sit with our kids and have actual conversations, no phones allowed. You are paying for those phones parents, regulate their use. Talk to your kids. Ask questions, so that when the question is asked of you, Do You Know Where Your Kids Are Tonight, you can proudly answer, yes, at home with me.