Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Child, This Is Your Mom and Dad: We Need To Talk

Got a kid going off to college? Got a kid in college? If so, I know the last thing on your mind are all the “little” things that could go wrong while they are there. After all, you send you kids to these places thinking they are safe and sound. And for the most part they are. But take it from me; you can’t afford to be complacent. Sitting at work a week ago, I was suddenly interrupted (again) by a phone call from my daughter. It was the same sort of interruption I had experienced on four separate occasions this year—thus the subject of today’s post.

I don’t think it’s any secret that as parents, we need to talk to out kids. As a new step-father of a 19-year-old, I thought I was doing a pretty good job of communicating the things she needed to know. Then she went off to college...

Several situations latter and a few dollars shorter, I’m going to pass on this word of advice. Mom, Dad; talk to your college student; teach them “life skills.” What are Life Skills? Occurrences, events, or situations pop up in the lives of our children from time to time that could, if handled improperly, adversely affect them for the rest of their life—especially true for college students who often are away from home for the first time. College students need to know how to deal with these events to minimize harm to themselves and others—these are life skills.

The next time you sit down with your child, play the “what if” game. Then, explain to them what to do if…

You’re in a car accident. (1) Never get out of the car if the car is still safe. My daughter did and got into a fight: now we have to go to court to settle it—could have been prevented if she had stayed in the car. (2) Call the police. (3) Take pictures of the accident vehicles. Virtually every cell phone today has a camera. Better yet, buy a cheap disposable and put it in the glove compartment. (4) Get the other persons insurance information. (5) Stay calm and talk to people politely.

An altercation develops. (1) Back away, give them room. If a fight does ensue, you will be able to say you were not the aggressor. (2) Avoid arguing if at all possible and watch the sister-girl hand gestures! (3) Guardedly walk away to a safe place. (4) If the person is persistent, find a cop and/or dial 911. Once the police dispatcher answers, do not hang up until police arrive. (5) If the person attempts to hit you, protect yourself, and then get away—fast. Don’t stand there and swing it out with them. (6) Take pictures of your injuries and get to a doctor as soon as possible.

You are arrested. (1) Don’t panic—stay calm. (2) Don’t try to conceal your identity—in many states this is a crime in itself. (3) Ask why you are being detained. (4) Ask to speak with a lawyer or your parents. (5) Don’t sign any written statements or say anything until you can talk with a lawyer or your parents. (6) Be courteous to the officers and their staff. Walk through Michael Bluejays’ excellent checklist on the subject.

Someone offers you drugs. (1) Politely and confidently refuse them and get away form them, right then. (2) If you’re out with someone else, call a cab.

Your roommate is on drugs and/or you find drugs in your room. (1) Ask them to refrain from using them around you or in your room. (2) Ask them to remove them from the room. (3) Ask for a room reassignment. (4) As a last resort, alert the Resident Advisor and the Police.

You are attacked. (1) Make noise and draw attention to yourself, (2) Try to reason with your attacker, (3) If this is unsuccessful, fight back, and run to safety, (4) A wise sage once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ALWAYS be mindful of your surrounds. Stay in well lighted areas and always know where the nearest police station or substation is. (5) Prepare for this event—take a self defense class such as Krav Maga.

Also, teach them how to: (1) Balance a checkbook, (2) Make a simple budget*, (3) Change a flat tire, (4) Avoid date rape, (5) Be safe at a nightclub, bar, or house party. Don’t smirk, chances are good your child will come to like these sorts of establishments—so prepare them! One good tip on this note: never leave your drink unattended and never accept a drink from someone you didn't see poured.

While this is not an all-inclusive list, it covers things many parents never think about. I know, because as a black parent, I thought sending my child to a “place of higher learning” raised them above such things. Take it from me, it doesn’t.

* And no child, you don’t need those credit cards they’re offering you.

2 comments: said...

Hi there!

Congratulations on your blog appearing in Electronic Village's Black Blog List!

I am always excited to find new blogs and to meet bloggers who are writing about the key issues that impact the advancement of our people!

Please feel welcome to drop by my place any time you'd like and add to the dialogue!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Merry Christmas!

Iam Robert said...

Thank you so very much Lisa. It is indeed an honor to be listed in Electronic Village's Black Blog List. I really enjoy their flow and passion for our people. I took a quick tour of your blog and it is fantastic! I'm doing "honey do's" this AM but will do a more detailed read and ‘halla’ at 'ya on your blog before year's end.

God bless,

And keep on bloggin'