"How can your child live with you for years and you not know when they're depressed. Parents today are allowing social networks and online communities to be the babysitter, counselor, friend and guardian of their children. When that becomes your child's world they gain complete control over your child's life".
"I remember one of my younger brother's was teased and picked on a lot when he was in school, when he would get home the first thing he would do is talk to my parents about it, our father would be at the school the next day, my other brothers and I would be at the school later on the next day to make certain that he wouldn't be picked on again". The latter statement she gave a smile, but didn't give any further details. "The point is we as a family would talk about anything and everything". "My parents would allow us to really say what's on our minds". "They weren't trying to be our friend, we always knew that they were our parents, but today's parents want to be their children's buddy, their pal, chum or the B.F.F."...what the hell just be their parent".
She goes on to say "I understand that people are struggling and having difficult times, you must work to put a roof over your head, to pay your car loans, student loans, medical bills, credit cards, or whatever, but all those hours that you're putting in at work, or stressing out at the kitchen table is it really worth your child's life".
"Children that commit suicide show some sign of change or depression. If you as that parent was around and in tune with your child you would see that change, you would see the sign. Your child is sitting there starring into space, your child that was full of life and playful is now just quiet, sitting there and the glow of life that they brought to you is now dull and lifeless". "When you ask your child what's wrong and they say nothing's wrong you breathe a sigh of relief because now you can get back to what you're doing".
I asked Ms Brown if she had any children, she looked at me, and I could see pain in her eyes she stated that "at 16 years old I was forced to have an abortion, and I never was able to get pregnant again". "There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about it. I still cry at night, I can imagine what he would be like today if he was born".
Author Reiko Brown started an organization called "Aunt Reiko's Camp" where she takes children from her community to Disney World to "give them an adventure that they won't get in the neighborhoods they live in now". She actually uses her own money to make this happen.
There is a short film Product Of My Environment made about her life having it's premiere in New York on March 16, 2013 at the Black Spectrum Theatre. For further information on Product Of My Environment or to contact Author Reiko Brown visit her website at http://www.productofmyenvironment.net.