Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs about defiant children, just further evidence of a problem I’ve observed in my years at a high school teacher. It stuns me how many parents are completely perplexed by the behavior, and how little confidence they have in their own ability to assume authority of their household.
What scares me is that we’re turning our kids into mental patients. We’re telling all of them there’s something wrong that needs to be fixed when a lot of times, we’re that something wrong that needs to be fixed.
I’ve seen an alarming number of parents in recent years go “Nurse Ratched” on their children, taking the attack and shame route. Then, by the time they reach my class at age 16 or 17, they start to rebel in full force. Nurse Ratched starts seeing them as a McMurphy and they almost get to a point where they hate their own children. They’re willing to do anything to get the behaviors to stop, no matter the cost to the kid. Cut them off at the pass. Emotionally lobotomize them.
I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with parents of students who are not coming to school and failing classes that they are “out of ideas” or they “have no clue where to start.” And then, at SIXTEEN or SEVENTEEN, they head to a doctor and beg them for meds to control what they should have handled years prior.
The conversation goes something like this. “They were A students in Middle School, almost like the perfect kid. I don’t know what’s wrong with them.”
I want to just lean across the table and scream at them. You went wrong. You quit on your kid. You stopped paying attention and started playing Farmville 24/7. You started leaving them at home by themselves so you could run out to bars and latch onto strange men or women. You didn’t stand up and demand respect when they were younger.
But instead, I offer tutoring and go home that night to pray for them.
In no way do I believe I’m a perfect parent. In fact, I need to do a ton of growth myself. But I do believe that my efforts to be a godly parent are making a difference in my children, and they could make a difference in yours.
I came across this great post today: 20 Important Bible Verses for Parents
A few key summary points:
- Children are a blessing and we’re to love them (Psalm 127:3-5)
- Children should be taught to memorize verses and know God’s word (Deuteronomy 4:10)
- Parents are commanded to train their children (Proverbs 22:16, Ephesians 6:4)
- Parents are commanded to discipline their children (Proverbs 29:15)
Bottom line, it’s our responsibility as parents, and it’s our fault if we fail at it. God has given us all the tools. We have to stop making excuses, pleasing/satisfying ourselves at their expense, and do the job we were put on this Earth to do–raise up families to honor, love, and glorify God, and to spread his gospel to every creature.