Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it. Prov. 22:6KJV
Children obey your parents in the lord: for this is right. Eph. 6:4KJV
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. Prov.13:24KJV
Have you ever sat down with your elders and listened to them talk about how times have changed? My grandmother would always say “in my day if I even thought about trying the things that today’s generation is getting away with, not only would momma and papa beat me until I roke like okra, but the whole community would be on me like white on rice.” I would laugh so hard until my stomach hurt when she would tell me that. Me being an adult now and observing how children carry themselves compared to when I was a child, I see that things are getting worse and what she said makes more sense now.
The media, low self-esteem, family issues, poverty and government intervention all play a significant role in the lives our children. Youth are being confronted with all sorts of distorted messages and ideations about life. The lack of stability in some children’s lives causes many to become what some consider unruly. In cases where there is an absence of a male figure in the home or even financial instability, it creates an atmosphere where children feel the need to fend for themselves. Maybe they even feel unwanted or unloved and acting out is the only way of getting the attention they crave for.
Chasten thy son while there is hope and let not thy soul spare for his crying. Prov.19:18KJV
Discipline seems like a thing of the past, when it was once enforced without a second thought. There is that saying “it takes a village to raise a child” and once upon a time that saying was put into action. Now with all of the legalities associated with disciplining children, a parent cannot correct their child’s behavior without fear of certain authorities intervening. Some parents rather deal with the issues in fear of losing their child, while others choose to wash their hands of the child and the problem.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man I put away childish things. 1Corin. 13:11KJV
Children like to belong to something and when there is something that they are intrigued by they tend to follow. It could be a music artist on television; to an adult they may be clearly exhibiting ignorant behavior, but a child may want to be just like them regardless of what their parents think. Some teens start to abuse drugs and alcohol based on the same factors; maybe a song they have heard whose lyrics imply the fun of being negligent with drugs, has them wanting to try it out. It is important that we stay firm with children in our community. The need for more positive activities and role models for our children is needed now than ever before. Our children are creating a pit for themselves and we as parents, community leaders and even the law enforcement need to find ways to deter them from the negative behaviors they are mimicking.
Jail or prison is no place for a child and is not the new teen daycare. When we stop taking action, the law picks up where we leave off. It is not morally wrong to discipline your child, but sometimes being a good role model is not enough. Let’s find solutions to turn today’s youth into aspiring leaders of tomorrow. Give the youth in your community something worth following after. Show them the right way in the beginning, so they will follow those principles throughout life.