Somali parents must engage persistently with their kids

  • Article by: Yassin Omar
  • Updated: November 4, 2013 - 5:42 PM

We must not give in to doubts over how much of a difference we can make in their lives.

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yabobNov. 4, 1310:43 PM

Good message Mr. Omar. For ALL families and communities good Parenting is the #1 success factor for successful kids, schools, and communities. As a state & country we need to put the responsibility and accountability back on the parents. #Lovingparent #upforthechallenge

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sjhuotNov. 4, 1311:08 PM

Wise words that apply to all families. We can't expect schools and social service agencies to fix families. Families must fix families.

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lalahemNov. 5, 13 6:20 AM

These questions can be directed at all the families, not just the Somali families. Too many times we see ourselves as alone in this endeavor, but we are not. The problems are the same whether you live in Minnetonka or Cedar Riverside, or over Northeast. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Our world is changing and it scares us, our children scare us. But we must face our fear, band together as parents, grandparents and reclaim our children.

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owatonnabillNov. 5, 13 6:57 AM

This is a thought-provoking issue with implications far beyond what can be discussed satisfactorily in such a short article--though Mr. Omar should be given credit for at least trying. Owatonnabill admittedly knows very little about how Somali parents relate to their children, but from the many Somali families in Owatonna it is evident that the family groups themselves, at least as appears in public, are strong, cohesive entities. Young Somali children are never unattended by at least one adult (and usually several), and you never see an unruly Somali child in public. One can conclude from this that parenting presence in Somali families is strong with children learning values at an early age. What follows, then, is the question of just what those values might be. If older children are getting involved in terrorist activities with religious overtones then it is fair to question not the strength of the parenting, but the values being transmitted BY that parenting. Are children (of any ethnicity, not just Somali) being raised in America, being raised by the values that American society sees as important? That is the real question here. If they are not, then issues such as are being raised in the Somali community are inevitable.

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pitythetoolsNov. 5, 13 7:41 AM

Spot on commentary. The challenge is taking a family out of a third world nation and getting the parents to adapt and simulate. The children will do so and do it quickly and the parents are stuck in their third world mentality. The children recognize that the parents have no clue and some take advantage of it. Maybe the answer is to require these parents to learn English before allowing them any welfare.

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davehougNov. 5, 13 9:31 AM

How is it that a child of ours can be so vulnerable to the streets that his peers know more about his weekend whereabouts than we do? = = = spot on for all groups.

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redqidNov. 5, 1310:33 AM

A good opinion piece. I want to add to it from my experience. What I have seen is that when somali children get in trouble in schools, the parents often blame the teacher or administration for letting their kids get in trouble. I have been told that in somalia, the schools would use harsh physical punishment to enforce discipline. But that is not our way in the US. We just need the somali parents to reinforce and support the discipline their kids get in school.

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tmnelson2Nov. 7, 1311:16 AM

Excellent points; works for all famlies--especially in the cities. I especially like what he says about reactivity versus pro-actvie parenting.

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