I am really concerned for the examples our young children are being given today. They;re exposed to so much of the ugly side of society before they even begin school and most of it appears on the nightly news.
What are the messages these young, precious minds are picking up?
- It’s OK to talk back to your parents – you have rights too.
- It’s OK to be disrespectful to your teachers – they’re just overpaid babysitters.
- It’s OK to get angry when you don’t get your way. Everyone should have a voice.
- It’s OK to blame someone else for your bad behavior. If they hadn’t made the suggestion, you never would’ve done it.
- It’s OK to leave your room in a constant state of chaos. Mom will take care of it eventually.
- It’s OK to riot, graffiti, loot and steal. You see it all the time during a protest.
- It’s OK to settle your disputes with violent behavior.
- It’s OK to blow up at authority. Everyone is out to get you, right?
- It’s OK to bully someone on the internet. Who will ever know it’s you?
- It’s OK to stand up for your beliefs – even if it means demeaning others.
- It’s OK to voice your opinion on any platform – whether an awards event, sporting event, the classroom or in church.
- It’s OK to think you’re better than anyone else. You deserve it.
- It’s OK to get a participation award – you took your precious time to be involved, why shouldn’t you be rewarded?
- It’s OK to lie, steal, bear false witness, commit adultery, have sex before marriage, have sex with anyone, murder, desire what others have and put yourself on a pedestal. Who needs God? He just gets in the way of the things we want to do.
What’s missing from this scenario and how do you control it? We can’t keep our children from seeing or hearting these things, but we can use them as examples and show them why they’re going to be harmed by them eventually. We certainly wouldn’t put a small child out in the middle of a busy highway and leave them there, but every day our kids are being bombarded by messages like this.
Many teachers have had it up to their ears, dealing with undisciplined children – kids who have been enabled from day one. Why do you think there’s a shortage of those who even want to teach anymore? Their hands have been tied, their lives are in danger at times, and they don’t get paid enough.
Each day, across this country, teachers start out with high hopes – dreams of changing and inspiring young lives – building another Einstein or Thoreau – instilling a desire to learn, grow and achieve. Sometimes they get lucky and find kids that still want to be inspired.
I know there are good kids, with responsible parents who are genuinely concerned about their children, but the world has changed so much in the past 20-40 years, that nothing short of protecting them in isolation is going to help and of course that’s not an option.
The first things children learn are from their parents. Those few short years they have them at home are critical to what they will become. Teaching them to respect others as themselves – how to share – how to listen to each other, solve problems without anger and live by Christ’s example – are the seeds for building good character. They learn by example. Be a good one!