Parenting is the Foundation Policy for all other Policies

"Fuck you," Naemond yells at the teacher.  "You bitch."
His teacher remains calm and tells him to take a walk and then come back to the classroom.

Later that day, Naemond's mother drives him to a corner where drugs are sold.
"This is where you gonna earn us an income," she tells him.  "You the man of the family."
Naemond, 14 years old, is silent.  A stark contrast to the boy in the classroom.

This horrific scene from Season 4, Episode 7 of The Wire, set in Baltimore, is wisely analysed by Bodie, the drug dealer Naemond will work for.

"After I seen your mother, I know why you is like you is."

The Wire uses no poetic license.

The Daily Telegraph (25/1/10) reports on the age of children committing crime getting younger.

"NSW Police youth command Superintendent Allan Harding said although most youths first broke the law about 14 years of age, police were coming across more and more seven year olds who were finding themselves on the wrong side of the law."

Though poverty, lack of education, bad housing, lack of access to medicare and a system that discriminates against children, minorities and women, make its mark on an individual, by far the greatest cause for Naemond's 'conduct disorder', or seven year olds 'on the wrong side of the law' rests on the type of parenting a child receives.

Good parenting policies are the foundation to better outcomes for other policies.  Parenting comes first, not the other way round.

A Nude Swim to toast the New Year in.

I sat crosslegged on the sand in front of the lagoon, watching seagulls craw at each other madly, black swans glide with grace and reserve, and a large black bighting fly buzz round me mercilessly. I had set my timer for five minutes and I was trying to meditate. For me five minutes was a step up from nothing but it was proving difficult.

What was it today that irked me? I posed the question and almost as quickly the response came back. I was bored. Boredom is one of the worst emotions humans can experience. Over the other side of the lagoon was a two-kilometre beach. I couldn’t hear the waves and that was a good sign. Perhaps this morning it would be calm. I could go skinny-dipping.

The idea thrilled me. For just a minute. Then I watched as the protestations marched in: Never swim alone! The warning resounded in my mind. I knew that it could be dangerous and yet it was this element that excited me. Other protests nagged me too: It was immodest. No-one knew where I was. It was a childish thing to do. Despite the warnings, or because of them, I picked up my bag and trudged along the dusty path to the beach.