FAILING OUR KIDS

We wonder, sometimes, why our kids don’t respect us like we think they should. We supply their needs, give them decent homes to live in and pay their way through expensive schools to help them with their futures. At least many of us do. Others do what they can along those lines, even though they may be disadvantaged in some way. Our kids, compared to most in the world, are truly “blessed” by their parents. Yet, there’s something missing in our relationship with our kids.

This subject came to mind as I looked at the calendar and realized another Halloween is about to arrive – next week in fact. I hate Halloween. I refuse to participate in it. It celebrates evil. Yet I am definitely in the minority when it comes to hating this holiday (more properly called “Helloween” if you ask me). Have you ever had your house egged, your mail box torn up, your door mat stolen, your yard trashed on Halloween? I have. This is a good holiday?

So how does all this connect with the lack of respect our kids often show us? It connects because kids hate hypocrisy. Even though as they age they can be hypocrites too, they still hate it in others. And that is what they see their parents practicing when they foist off holidays on them that they know are filled with evil ideas and cult or false religious practices that include demonism and witchcraft. Parents go along to get along when it comes to child rearing all too often, and claiming doing stupid things because everyone else does it, is fun for the kids, is just plain ignorant. Yet, because society approves hypocrisy, that is what parents do when they have their kids going door to door threatening their neighbors with “tricks” if they don’t get something from them for free. Is this what we tell our kids to do the rest of the year? No Way! Do we want them to behave like demons, witches, or even ghosts? Are you kidding? But on Halloween, it’s ok. Even churches approve it. This is crazy.

So why do our kids show us little respect? Because we show disrespect to our kids. We tell them creepiness is ok on Halloween, then punish them if they act creepy at other times. We tell them lying is wrong, but dressing up to appear evil is ok. We tell them not to steal, but encourage them to hold up their neighbors on Halloween. We teach them moral values, but show them that dumping all that to have fun one night each year is acceptable behavior. Yes, we parents do that and a whole lot more when we send our kids out the door every October 31 with a bag in their hand and a costume on their backs to threaten their neighbors with harm if they don’t hand over the goodies.

Maybe it’s time we took a good hard look at our adult behavior. Maybe we are selling our kids far too short when we think they don’t notice the inconsistencies in what we teach them. Maybe we don’t honor their intelligence when we foist off our foolish childishness on their developing, sensitive minds. You want respect from your kids? Perhaps we need to first try to truly respect them.

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