The Generation Gap
Raising children can be difficult, especially in the age that we are living now. We have all sorts of outside forces, seen and unseen, vying for the attention of parents and children alike. It is no wonder that the generation before us looks at us and openly declares that they would not want to be parents with the responsibility of raising children in today’s world. I know that I have personally come across this sentiment from Grandparents on the playgrounds and at birthday parties of my children’s friends.
Granted, each generation causes the one before it to gasp in disbelief at what we allow our kids to do, or to get away with. I remember my mother and father saying things to my brothers and me like, “If I’d said that to my parents when I was your age, I’d be getting up off of the floor right now.” Implying that we’d overstepped a boundary that they were expected to live within, but over the course of a generation, those very confines that set the limitations of their behavior had since been lifted for us.
However, this blog series is about more than just the natural expansion of the interior walls that define how a child should behave from generation to generation. I hope you will find helpful information shared by “real-time” moms on what they do to instill sound principles in their children when all else around them pulls against the standard that God has lovingly laid out for families to abide by. This series is about the daily tug-of-war that we parents are feeling in how we choose to train our children today.
The Effects of Society on Parenting
I believe we are living in a society that is driven by the desire to obtain the latest version of this gadget or that. I feel that a strong sense of competition and jealousy is spawned by the mere advertising of the smartest smart phone, the flattest T.V. screen, and ironically the most economical car—among a plethora of other things streaming unannounced and perhaps uninvited minute by minute into our daily lives. I believe that large corporations along with our media are doing one bang-up job on our psyches by creating the largest “keeping up with the Joneses” attitude that we’ve ever seen.
Marketers and advertisers are smart. They know that if they get to our children, our children will get to us. That’s why some parents have taken to protesting, writing letters, and signing petitions to stop some of the marketing to children that has sprouted in the last 10-15 years. It, among other things, has indeed made parenting harder.
For instance, I saw a television commercial once that simply said “Say ‘yes’ more.” And there was an interaction between a mom and her daughter above the statement. I instantly felt the tiniest pang in my belly because I entertained the idea that I don’t say ‘yes’ often enough to my children. It was an ever so slight but effective measure taken that got me to begin doubting my parenting choices with no real evidence for even considering this idea.
Being Settled and Strong in Your Parenting
We have to be strong and settled in how we choose to bring up our children, so as the winds of distraction and deception blow God’s word will anchor our souls, and our convictions as parents will navigate the rough waves of doubt and unsurety without faltering; especially if the Bible is your guide as it is mine and some of my very close friends and associates who will write posts in this series. Contrary to societal beliefs the Bible is not an antiquated, outdated book, no more than the attributes of patience, compassion, and discipline are, that are found within its pages. It is the light for our feet, and the lamp for our paths (Psalm 119:105) in this life, and those virtues are traits that I venture to believe we all endeavor to exhibit as adults, and desire to see in our children as they grow and become adults.
Why Did God Choose Abraham
In Genesis 18:19, we find the criteria by which God chose Abraham to be the man through whom all families of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3).
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
God chose Abraham because He knew that Abraham would teach his children.
What an indictment to today’s parent if we are instead allowing the media, the schools, or the family down the street to dictate to us what, when, and how we teach our children. I have been guilty of it. I have made parenting decisions based on what I thought other parents might think of my family or based on what other parents were allowing their children to do, to wear, or to have; although those choices didn’t quite line up with my family’s goals or standards.
Let us parent with the courage of our convictions, fully persuaded that He who called us to this, the loftiest of duties, is well able to perform His good pleasure through us and our children.
This series topic is near and dear to my heart. It is a passion of mine. Some of the topics this 15-post series will cover (not in order of occurrence):
The Power of a Parent’s Blessing
Instilling Affection Toward GodDiscipline…Exactly What is it and How Do I Do It?
Linking up at Mama's Notes and here.