Stong man down, continued part 2

We are losing ground in…

The Community

What happens in a community where adult men, fathers, are absent?  In poor or “high-risk” communities elevated rates of drug abuse and incarceration among the male population lead to a downward spiral of community disintegration.  As adult men disappear from the community there is an increase in “street activity” where traditional community structures are replaced with informal ones such as street gangs and other criminal organizations.  These groups further promote the drug culture leading to even more incarceration and violence, and the further fragmentation of families and community structures.  This leads to a mostly misplaced distrust of police among children who watch their fathers and neighbors arrested. This in turn grows in to a general distrust of community authorities. Convicts are less “employable” upon release, further stimulating the economic sub-culture of drugs and prostitution.  Rather than counting on the community to assist in rearing and disciplining children, parents that remain are forced into a protective stance. In her paper entitled, “Bearing the Burden: How Incarceration Weakens Inner-City Communities”, Joan Moore, Ph.D. of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee writes about these special challenges.

“There is a voluminous body of literature on the perils of child-rearing in communities with high levels of street activity. Parents in high-risk neighborhoods expend an enormous amount of effort sheltering and protecting their children (Williams & Kornblum, 1994). Constructive neighborhood networks become very important for effective parenting. In their absence, parents “must be super motivated, that is, exceptionally adept at working the system and unusually diligent in monitoring their offspring . . . avoiding the omnipresent dangers [rather] than cultivating scarce opportunities” (Furstenberg, 1993, p. 255). Effective parenting is quite different in such communities compared with low-risk neighborhoods.”

In communities where fatherlessness is rampant, or in other words, where the command and control structure, the defensive systems, have been compromised, those left behind have to fend for themselves in an “every man for his self” struggle for survival.  This is a cycle that, if not broken by some outside intervention, will continue and grow unchecked.  A playground for Satan’s plans to kill, steal and destroy.

Posted on September 21, 2013, in At-risk Children, Children's Ministry, Christian Missions, Parenting, The Church and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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