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Positive parenting really pays off

By Treslyn Y. Tolbert | Joint Base Charleston Family Advocacy Treatment Manager | Oct. 12, 2018

Positive parenting really pays off. This was evident by seeing the product of the hard work of Mrs. Aretha Adams, mother of JB Charleston’s newest commander, Colonel Terrence Adams.  I had a pleasant conversation with her on Sept. 5, 2018, after the Change of Command Ceremony at the Charleston Club.  I chuckled and laughed with her about her son sharing with the audience that his mother exposed him to “drugs” when he was growing up. 

She laughed and said, “I smile every time he gets ready to tell that story.  You’re talking about a mom who is never even had a beer in her entire life.”

As he started sharing the story with the audience at the ceremony, I told his mother I was really intrigued about what type of “drugs” he was referring to in his home. I questioned if his mother had struggled with cocaine, marijuana or prescription pill abuse. As I work at the Family Advocacy Program (FAP) on base, I know about the challenges that some children face with parents who abuse drugs.  We then both giggled as Col. Adams revealed he was talking about a different type of “drug.”  He said his mother “drug” him to school, church and other community activities. 

I shared with Mrs. Adams that I could definitely relate to her as a mother, especially because I “drug” my son to the Change of Command Ceremony by inviting his school, the Military Magnet Academy.  I wanted to expose him to some positive role models, who are plentiful at JB Charleston. Mrs. Adams said if you expose kids to the good things, they do good things. You expose them to negative things and we can expect negative outcomes.  

I related to Mrs. Adams as a parent, but understood the importance of her observation because of my work as a treatment manager at FAP.   My job is to assess and then provide treatment to parents and children who are military beneficiaries.  There are many issues that prompt referrals to FAP – for example: neglect due to alcohol and drug abuse, unsafe living environments, exposure to domestic violence, as well as physical child abuse.  Unfortunately, many parents in the military struggle with parenting issues and inadvertently expose children to negativity.  Sometimes it is because they have had negative experiences as children, they are uneducated about parenting strategies, or sometimes because they are struggling with stress.  However, people can overcome parenting challenges with the right help and resources.

If you or someone you know is in need of parenting classes or counseling, you can contact your base Family Advocacy Program for assistance.

It was so good to see and meet such positive role models – not only our Joint Base commander, but his mother, Mrs. Adams.  I am inspired by her to expose my son to many more positive “drugs” in the future.