Are you concerned about youth crime rates rising in our community? I am concerned, too.
I have lived in the Tracy community for the past 16 years, and during this time, I have seen crime rise. But most of all, I see a lot of crimes committed by minors in our community. I see the police department, schools, city officials, teachers, educators, mental health providers and community members trying to find solutions to the growing problem of youth violence, crime and self-destruction.
My humble opinion is that the key to resolve the problem are the parents. I am not implying that it is the parents’ fault. I am saying that, as parents, we are the most influential people in our children’s life. It is in our hands to we take our children down the right path or let others to choose the paths for them.
As parents, not only do we provide our children with love, shelter and care, but we have in our hands all the tools to educate and guide them. It is a matter of knowing how to use those tools and to use them properly and effectively.
I often read in this newspaper comments by concerned citizens that go like this: “My parents taught me early on to respect people’s property or pay the consequences.”
It is a very basic concept. But sometimes, busy lives, economic constraints or lack of education get in our way as parents to enforce in home our values and rules.
If we don’t do the right thing at home, we shouldn’t expect it to be enforced out of the home. My message to other parents is, open your eyes, do not relinquish your rights and responsibility to others members in our community to raise and educate your child to be a good person. That will affect negatively your child’s life and the entire family. Take action, get involved and make a difference in your child’s life.
• Carolina Solveson is a 16-year Tracy resident, mother of two teens and member of the school site council at West High School. She’s a certified instructor for the Parent Project, affiliated with the Vinewood Center for Children & Families in Tracy. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.