The Rise & Fall Of Parenting

As a boomer, I was fortunate enough to have two loving parents who stayed together through thick and thin. Our nuclear family was strong and values-driven. Thanks to Mom and Dad I was quickly indoctrinated into proper grammar and use of the English language. More importantly, they emphasized being polite and having manners.

Respect, consideration, and courtesy ruled our household. Our family was values driven and per our generations on the rise.

Today, when I gaze out at planet Earth I see a landscape that is far different than the one I grew up with. Simply put, we are witnessing the fall of parenting. With no further adieu, I believe the fall of parenting is directly related to a non-existing nuclear family and or one that is separated.

While divorce rates are slowly decreasing, the following statistics are still disturbing and numbing:

1) Almost fifty percent of marriages end in divorce or separation.

2) Researchers estimate that forty-one percent of all first marriages end in divorce.

3) Sixty percent of second marriages end in divorce.

I’m not saying that marriage is the end-all solution where children are involved; I am saying that a nuclear family has a better chance of teaching kids values. Specifically, it is imperative that biological or adopted children are taught respect, consideration, and courtesy. They need a loving home with parents as role models.

Human relations have never been more polarized. What can we attribute this to? While no acclaimed sociologist or psychologist, the fall of parenting must be a significant and contributing factor.

As some of you know, I officiate various youth sports including boys and girls basketball. Two weeks ago at a major tournament, I was a referee involved with seventh-grade boys. One of the boys had been complaining most of the game and I warned him and his coach to stop it. Shortly after, he received his third foul of the game and cursed at my partner. It was ugly and hateful language and could be heard around the gym. My partner walked this player over to the bench ejecting him from the game; only to then be confronted by the boy’s father who was an assistant coach.

I first hand witnessed the fall of parenting. The parent and the boy were screaming at my partner and they were asked to leave the gym.

As a father of two boys, I couldn’t help but be distracted for the remaining minutes of this game totally disgusted with the horrible conduct I witnessed. Sadly, the other parents stood still doing and saying nothing.

Ladies & gentlemen, we can no longer turn a blind eye to the fall of parenting or the behavior resulting from it. We can do a lot better, our time is now, and our kids deserve better.

My friends, please remember this: respect, consideration, and courtesy matter a lot. Treat others fairly, decently, and equally.

Build your moral compasses carefully and always monitor them daily.

You know the battle cry: do your best each day. No one can ask more or less from any of us.

All the best/blessings, Mark


Mark Faris
Mark Faris
MARK was born in New York City and currently lives in Minneapolis. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he graduated with a B.A. in sociology and speech communications. His entire career spanning 36 years has been in executive sales, marketing, business development, and organizational strategy. He has started and owned three businesses, including a $23 million computer networking company, started up two new sales divisions for publicly telecommunication/data companies including Sprint/Nextel, and was a Board Member for a $225 million U.K. technology manufacturer and distributor. He currently is President of MPV Ethics, LLC., an ethics training and consulting company working with organizations to build better ethical cultures. Mark also has the unique distinction of being convicted for two felonies: mail/wire fraud and money laundering and spent eleven months in a federal prison and halfway house returning to his family in June 2010. He has given over 150 presentations to high school students, universities, B-schools, law schools, and professional audiences regarding the importance of personal and business ethics in our lives. At the core of his renewed philosophy is identification of purpose, building a strong moral compass that helps us effectively deal with dilemmas of all types and sizes. His passion to teach, enrich, and develop others be successful , accountable, and improving the lives of others.

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  1. Being divorced twice, Mark, I know how hard it can be on families who go through that. My first divorce involved our pre-teen kids, so it was complicated. But I have to say, we both agreed on manners, and on right and wrong (even if our ideas on those weren’t quite in sync). If anything, my ex was a tad too strong about little girls being seen and not heard … yeah. Big girls, too.

    Yes, surely some parents do a miserable job, but how about those who do it right? Can we find other examples of those whom we could celebrate? Point out the right way to help kids learn valuable lessons they will carry with them all their lives?

    I’ve love to see an article on that, Mark — of course, you may have already written one and I just haven’t seen it yet.

    • Susan, thank you for your comment and I value your input. There are many ways to be a parent; the ones that are miserable are easy to spot. We need to identify those who are good role models for their children, who are present and supportive, and love them through thick and thin.

      Thanks to you I will further contemplate celebrating the parents who provide the correct paths and enrich their children’s lives!! Best, Mark