Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Let's raise children with a backbone

Yesterday I heard a story on the radio that still amazes me. A children's psychiatrist was explaining that he has recently seen several children who are afraid of Donald Trump. He told of one six year old boy who was brought to him because his intense fear of Trump.

I understand Trump makes some people nervous, and some are quite concerned of what might happen if he becomes president, but most of these people are not running to psychiatrists due to a crippling fear of the man. What is going on with today's children?

I read an article this week that urged parents to raise children with a backbone. The article was well written and certainly speaks to the issue of children needing professional help because of their fear of a presidential candidate.

Too many children today are being raised by helicopter parents who constantly hover over them every waking moment. These parents want to make every decision for them, protect them from skinning their knees, and demand that every child receives an award for showing up. When they sneeze they are rushed to the ER, and if they receive a poor grade the parents run to the school to find out what's wrong with the teacher.

My parents had a simple rule: If you get a spanking at school you'll get another one at home. If I got a bad grade I was grounded until the next grading period so I had plenty of time to study and bring that grade up. More times than I wanted to hear it my parents reminded me that society doesn't owe you anything. If you want something you work to earn it. Parents used to teach children responsibility and accountability; now many only teach them that the world revolves around them. Our granny government takes it even further as it assures people that they don't have to work or do anything except receive their government handout. No responsibility, no accountability, and no self-esteem.

Many young people on college campuses demand "safe spaces" where they won't hear anything that upsets them. Invited speakers, usually conservative speakers, are uninvited when students demand these speakers not be allowed to speak on campus. Their poor little ears couldn't take hearing a viewpoint different than one they've already formed which kind of makes attending a university a waste of time and money. We can only wonder what some of today's children will be like when they reach college age.

As parents and grandparents we need to raise children with a spine. They need to be allowed to make mistakes, allowing for age-appropriateness, and learn from those mistakes. They need to be allowed to play in the mud, work to earn money, and disciplined when they make poor choices. They also need to be taught that no means no and that temper tantrums are not allowed. They also need to be taught unconditional love so they know that no matter what, we will always love them.

Churches have a role to play in this as well. We need to teach them biblical truths so they will know how to make better choices. We need to prepare them for the challenges to their faith they will encounter in school and life. We need to teach them how to stand for what is right, and that Jesus is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

We need to raise our children to be prepared to be the leaders our nation, our communities, and our churches will need. We need to help them develop a strong moral and ethical foundation for their lives, and we need to help them develop a spine.

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