A new sermon has been posted on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPI1p9rI1mo
Consider these words: ‘Children now live in luxury, they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love to chatter in place of exercise. Children are now t rants of the household. They no longer rise when an elder enters the room, and they contradict their parents. They chatter before company and gobble up the food at the table; they cross their legs and tyrannize their teachers.” Who said it? Socrates said over 2,000+ years ago.
Our own times are no different. But it is still true that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Many of us as parents have found ourselves in the middle of a conversation in the living room when our toddler comes into the room and literally ends all conversation.
What can we do to make certain it won’t happen again? We can begin by acknowledging that parenting is the most difficult and important job in the world…yet is usually performed by amateurs. And it also requires from parents a willingness to be taught. The sole purpose of this publication is to help us be better parents, have a peaceful home, and rear happy, responsible, and productive children.
It begins with parents being just that…parents. Parents are those responsible for deciding on acceptable behavior in our homes and it is also their responsibility to see that it occurs on a frequent basis.
One feature of our society which must be taught and expected is respect. This involves a respect for each family member as well as those in the community and our ‘church family.’ It must be taught in respect to those older and also with consideration to possessions.
Consider the following three tips as they relate to this important process:
DECIDE — Parents must first decide what behavior they expect in a given situation. You must determine this at the outset and realize that you have the option to make changes…but it must be communicated clearly and often to the child.
Do you want your child to come when you call their name? Do you expect them to sit at the supper table until they have asked to be excused? Are they allowed to run in a crowded, public place? At the church building, are they allowed to walk on eating tables or to rearrange furniture? Your decisions affect their behavior.
ACT—The second step is to act upon the decisions you have made. You must explain to the child involved what you expect of them. It needs to be clear and the consequences which will also be in effect must be taught. Make certain they hear what you say…have them repeat your words…and even take a moment with younger children to ‘practice’ the action you expect.
BE CONSISTENT – This is the crucial area that determines if this works…..you must be consistent in your follow-up. Don’t allow yourself to be ‘dragged’ into begging, yelling, or simply ignoring your child when something is expected and they have not responded according to your decisions. Remember, you are the parent: quickly and lovingly, you must make certain that their actions are not allowed and especially not encouraged.
And be quick to praise them when their actions are appropriate. A phrase used often by those trained in parenting: When that child is aware of your directions and willfully does not comply, you must make certain this is one ‘struggle’ that has only one winner —- you!
One thing is certain: items that are ‘cute’ when done by a two-year old are not cute when done by a five-year old.
THREE PHILOSOPHIES OF CHILD REARING. There are three philosophies of child rearing that should be considered:
1. Autocratic. In this method, the parents are the authority. The children may have ideas and suggestion; but when decision time comes, the parents’ word is final. Hassling and arguing is simply not permitted. The word of the parents is athe law.
2. Democratic. Here we have a situation in which everyone is on equal ground. Neither the parents nor the children are the final authority — all attempts to settle conflict are done so that everyone is happy. The problem: the children are essentially placed in an environment without direction.
3. Laissez-Faire. With this philosophy you leave the child to himself. He may do as he/she pleases. He will be what he will be – so why be bothered? The only thing the parents feel they can do is hope that through chance he will turn out all right.
The autocratic system is the Biblical approach: Eph. 6:1: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right.” Col. 3:20: “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”
THE PRESENT GENERATION…ARE THEY MISSING OUT? The young people across the nation born in 1980…they have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan era and did not know he had ever been shot. They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged. They can only really remember one pres dent. They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart and do not remember the Cold War. They have never feared a nuclear war.
Their lifetime has always included AIDS. They never had a Polio shot and likely do not know what it is. Bottle caps have not only always been screw off, but have always been plastic. The expression “you sound like a broken record” means nothing to them. They have never owned a re cord Player. They have likely never played Pac Man and have never heard of Pong.
The Compact Disc was introduced when they were 1 year old. They have always had an answering machine. Most have never seen a TV set with only13 channels, nor have they seen a black and white TV. They have always had cable. There have always been VCR’s, but they have no idea what Beta is. They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
Popcorn has always been cooked in a microwave. They have never seen and remember a game that included the St. Louis Football Cardinals, the Baltimore Colts, the Atlanta Flames, or the Denver Rockies (NHL hockey, that is). They do not consider the Colorado Rockies, the Florida Marlins, the Florida Panthers, the Ottawa Senators, the San Jose Sharks, or the Tampa Bay Lightning “expansion teams.” They have never seen Larry Bird play, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a basketball player. The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI, WWII or even the Civil War.
They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran. They cannot remember the Cardinals ever winning a World Series, or even being in one. Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America and Alabama are places, not groups. As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 32 cents. Zip codes have always had a dash in them.
Do you feel old now? Remember, the people who don’t know these things are in college this year. It certainly should remind us that every generation needs to hear those items which relate to their family and spiritual heritage.