Parental involvement in the tween years
They ALMOST get it. But not quite. An article appearing on the Indianapolis Star website discusses those difficult middle school years, when students are facing more and more social problems that used to be reserved for the high school years.
Chances are, if you're a stay-at-home mother, your kids are younger than 6.

That's according to a recent study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reveals that 65 percent of stay-at-home mothers have children in that age group.
But there's growing sentiment that older kids--preteens and young teens--need just as much parental supervision as younger kids, if not more.
It is a good start to recognize the vital role that parents play in the development of their own children, even into the teen years. It isn't a sentiment I've heard much recently. Unfortunately, the article then uses the recognition of these difficult, formative years to advocate for a whole slew of social programs aimed at filling the child's time. In Indianapolis, sixth grade has been moved back to the elementary school in order to hopefully shelter them one year longer. The availability of after school programs has multiplied. Churches have more focused ministries to shepherd these youngsters.

But where are the parents?

Many are working long hours, happy that their children are in such a safe and well-supervised environment at school or at the Y or at their local church. While perhaps better than wiling away those afternoon hours home alone, when juvenile crime peaks, this still is not an adequate substitute for parenting.

Unfortunately, many of these after-school programs are increasingly viewed as "opportunities" for children, rather than the glorified babysitting service that they really are. The involved parent near the end of the article, Ms. Haskell, does stay home, yet spends her afternoons shuttling her son to "positive" activities, such as his dodgeball league. Don't get me wrong. I'm not against any of these activities on their own. My daughter is enrolled in some. But I am sometimes amazed when I listen to the schedules of public schooled kids and wonder when they have time to spend with family or even just "hang out" with a little unstructured free time.

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