We teach our children values by loving themThanks to Susan...

the Forum

May 17, 1994

We teach our children values by loving them

Thanks to Susan Reimer for her invaluable series on adolescent pregnancy (April 7-21).

Our daughter Wendy and I agreed that she has a gift for identifying precisely the issues involved. I especially appreciated the column in which the kindergarten teacher described in detail the learning problems among children who are being raised by children or in unstable families.

I was with Ms. Reimer right to the last paragraph of the last column -- the one about how we should go about teaching our children a system of values.

I expected the answer in her same succinct style and was caught off guard when she said she hadn't found it. She knows the answer and acts on it; I can tell from the tone of all her columns.

It's the whole process of raising children that gives them a system of values. The most powerful tool we have to help us make them responsible members of the human race is that our children admire us and want to be like us. They are watching and learning every minute.

So it is in everything we do. It is how we treat them from the moment they are born. It's the books we read to them and the balance of book reading versus TV watching in our own lives.

It's how we act on our own system of values. It's how open and honest we are in talking to them, especially about our values and why our actions don't always measure up to them.

It's how we listen to them, help them develop tools for doing their own problem solving and then give them the space to

develop on their own.

What continues to amaze me is that we don't have to be perfect at this job. All we need do is generally get across the idea that we admire, respect, have faith in and love our children and they will do just fine. Anyone who gets to meet Wendy will know what I mean.

Kathryn J. Henderson


Baltimore's Best

I am writing to publicly thank several persons who are living examples of "Baltimore's Best."

Last April 26, I was driving on Northern Parkway. Somewhere near Gist Street (a few blocks west of Reisterstown Road), the right rear wheel came off my car, rolled along Northern and into Jonquil Street before stopping.

Thomas Burks, Roger Burks, Cliff Farmer and William Green had just finished a lawn-mowing job and were walking to their next job, mowers in hand.

When they saw what happened, they came to my rescue. They spent the next two hours with me, two always at my side while two others went to one, then another, and finally a third auto parts store, in hot weather.

Also lending a hand were other good citizens, whose names I didn't have a chance to get -- the couple who let me use their telephone, and the four other men who drove two of my "rescuers" to and from Pep Boys where they found the part they needed to secure the wheel so that I could move my car out of the rush-hour traffic.

These people were indeed "angels," "Good Samaritans" and "Knights in shining armor."

A heartfelt thank you to Cliff, Roger, Thomas and William, and all the others like them, who day by day make our city a better place by quietly committing acts of kindness.

Gail M. Fennessey


SSA workers

Your article "Social Security paid itself bonus while shy of funds" (April 30) refers to a statement made by Rep. Rick Santorum, R-Penn., to the effect that "an agency that admits to serious problems in its disability programs should not be rewarding the people in the system."

Bashing government employees always seems to be politically correct. There are many reasons for the problems in the disability systems, but the majority of Social Security Administration employees are not one of them.

Most SSA employees care about the service they provide and are doing excellent jobs. They are doing the best they can with what's available. What is wrong with rewarding an individual for his or her performance?

The problem is not necessarily the individual gears in the systems but rather getting them in sync.

The general public often fails to consider some of the outside factors that grossly affect the overall disability program. Many delays are caused from medical sources, schools and even the claimants themselves.

If you are going to place blame, don't look only at the obvious. Perhaps the blame for problems in the disability systems may be closer to home than you want to admit.

Fran Michael


The writer is an employee of the Social Security Administration.

Respect needed

On April 28, Joe Perry of Metro Crime Stoppers praised the Baltimore County police department. He cited several negative circumstances that they are forced to work in.

I agree with Mr. Perry 100 percent. But why is it that praise is never heard for the Corrections Bureau? Corrections is one of the most, if not the most, vital parts of law enforcement.

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