Breaking the Cycle: Raising children in south St. Pete

It appears that with each passing day we seem to fall deeper and deeper into the abyss, which are the snares and pitfalls of Satan.  I thank God for patience; although, I could have done without the tribulations that accompany it. (Rom 5:3)  It seems like the church and the surrounding communities have conspired to decide that “we are only gonna be concerned about ‘ours’ and not focus on the big picture.”

The whole south side community is fragmented with this mindset and it clearly shows.  Every time school grades come out, you hear the alumni of those that went to the schools that received A-B grades teasing the ones that received D-F grades.

Some do this jokingly but most are serious, and this shouldn’t be the case.  This city is plagued with so many internal issues that there should never be a time where jokes are the norm, but I digress.

I participated in two charity events over the weekend and had a super time. One was on a golf course, the other bowling.  Although I’m not the athlete I used to be due to surgeries and military life, I finished and didn’t embarrass myself.

Two totally different environments and groups of people but each had relatively the same goal: to help the youth of this city.  I learned some very interesting facts regarding the fight to save our kids.

Apparently the future logistics and development of prisons is being determined based on a very telling factor, the number of youth that fail the FCAT around the fourth grade!  The probability of them ending up in prison is speculated to be considerably higher for these kids.

Some don’t realize that if you trap or imprison the male and hinder their ability to remain in society, you have struck a major blow in minimizing the growth of the entire society because of the inability to procreate.

This is why parents and the church play such a vital role in the direction and path our kids must take.  The Bible is clear, Prov. 18: 6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Train, in this case, means to teach a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time.  What part of that definition allows for opinions or suggestions from the one being trained? None.  So if that is the case, when we train our kids, it must be done in a manner where they are not allowed to interject opinions, feelings or suggestions.

What could they possibly tell us as it relates to preparing them for the world that awaits them?

Yes I’m a Marine, but you can ask any of my kids if I raised them with an iron fist.  I’m comfortable what answer they will give you.  I was firm but fair.  The very interesting thing is that I didn’t whip any of my kids, four boys and two girls.  I can’t possibly tell you how this happened other than the fact that the system my wife and I put into place worked and worked to perfection, or at least as close to perfect as one could expect.

I’m not bragging or acting as though we are perfect parents, however, we have developed a system for success for our kids and the end results I feel support this.  Those that know us know the success our kids have had and are having so I won’t go into it here.  You can read my bio on my ministry’s website that will be published live next week. (

I talked to several men at the golf tournament and recently my mother-in-law and I can say that I think I’m on the right track.  So much has been said but little done to effectively invoke consistent, effective change that is saving our youth.  Looking at the local news substantiates this fact.

It’s not nor will it ever be my intention to provoke just to provoke, only to provoke into action.  I can debate with the best of them so be prepared to have your evidence based off facts not opinions because that won’t work with me.

I know writing articles like this most think that it’s just an opinion or feelings, but as I said I have facts, results, and evidence that what we have employed has worked.  We didn’t just have boys only or girls only, not one, not two, not three but six of our kids have the south side St. Pete experience.

They went to Sexton, Southside, Pinellas Middle, Bogie, Gibbs, St. Pete and Lakewood.  Only one of them stayed their entire high school experience at one school. The others did not because of the arrogance of some the faculty and administration. It was amazing to me how they thought that they knew what was in my kids’ best interest even when some of them didn’t even have kids!

Education is a vital part in the development and maintaining a civilized society; but, when it comes to raising kids in south St. Pete, there are limitations to the effectiveness of just education alone.  As a matter of fact, I have met some that are “educated beyond their own intelligence.”  What I mean by that is simple, it doesn’t matter how many books you’ve read, how many workshops or seminars you’ve attended, the fact is that a person with experience will never be at the mercy of a person with a theory.

Sorry I have to end in mid thought. Until next week.

God Bless,

Dr. Rob

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