Helping or Hurting?

By April Dye, Contributor to US Daily Review.

Children are precious.  I would die for my children and would go to the ends of the earth to protect them.

But I do think that children need guidelines and discipline.  Children are innocent in the ways of the world but they are born with sin, nature and therefore know how to be selfish and manipulative.

What happened to having expectations for children to be responsible, caring and giving?  I see so many children these days who are selfish, hateful and greedy.  What has happened?  I can tell you that treating children as if they are fragile has caused a great disservice to the younger generations.

I know I am about to sound like an “old lady talking about her youth” but there is something to be said about learning from the past.  When I went to school the expectation for each child was to go to school, listen to the teacher and do the work.  If we chose not to do those things we got put in the corner, wrote lines on the chalkboard in front of the class or got sent to the office and sometimes we were given licks. Parents knew this, in fact sometimes parents would come to school themselves and give the licks.

Now I won’t say my generation was perfect but I know that most children spoke with respect to their teachers and principals and other adults.  So many children these days are sarcastic and condescending to the adults around them – if they talk to other adults like that I can only imagine how they speak to their parents.

But don’t get me wrong, I love children.  The thing I love the best is to have students, ex-students, children friends and nieces, nephews, my daughter and son give me hugs – some run to hug me when they see me.  But children learn from their parents from birth how to behave in society.

Society today coddles children.  It lets them misbehave and blame others.  Our educators are being directed to “bribe” children into behaving.  They can’t use red pens to grade papers because it might hurt the children’s feelings, every child gets a trophy in sports even if the team was dead last, if a child misbehaves we need to find something we can give them to help them make the right choices, parents blame teachers or other children when they get into trouble.

We are not preparing them for the realities of growing  up and becoming adults.  For some reason all these adults have forgotten what it was like to be a child.  When I was a child I knew how to lie and at age 7 did it almost everyday.  Why?  I didn’t want to get in trouble for whatever it was, I wanted attention.  I knew that if I hit someone it would hurt.  I knew that if I shot someone they could die.

Professionals these days want us to believe that children are dumb.  That they can’t differentiate between reality and fiction.  I don’t know how most of you grew up but I had reality in my face everyday.  My parents were divorced, my mother worked all the time, I saw my father only a few times a year, we didn’t have a lot of money and my clothes were anything but in fashion.  I got made fun of, I felt ugly, I couldn’t hang out with my friends on weekends, I didn’t have the latest gadgets and I was lonely.

Guess what?  I never got sent to the office.  In fact I tried really hard not to get in trouble.  Did I ever think about being rebellious…you would be surprised.

But I was taught to be respectful and to follow the rules and if I chose not to do those things, my butt would feel the bite of  leather.  Believe me that was a big deterrent.

Even before I became pregnant, I prayed every day for the Lord to give my husband and myself wisdom on how to raise our children.  Children who would be caring, respectful and giving.  I wanted people to enjoy being around them not dread them coming.  I can say humbly that I get compliments on how well behaved my children are.  That blesses me and I thank God everyday for answering our prayers.  Now believe me my children are not perfect.  They can be ugly to each other and can get an attitude just like any other child.  But they are reminded of our expectations and receive the consequences of continued disobedience (and I am not talking about a beating – a swat to the bottom or leg, a thump on the lips or a favorite activity taken away and a visit to their room).

We are hurting our children when we expect little from them, when we take away the responsibility for their actions and behavior.  When we give children a pass on following the rules and instead try to persuade them with incentives, we aren’t helping them learn how to follow the rules by showing them the limits we are willing to go before the rules don’t matter.

Children are a blessing but nothing is uglier than a child who speaks and acts as if they are “all that and a bag of chips” and the rules don’t apply to them.  And it sure isn’t fair to those kids who do act accordingly and don’t get the incentives.

Take a minute and watch the children around you – even your own.  How do they treat and speak to each other, to strangers, to their teacher, to grandparents…to you.

April Dye is a Christian wife and mother of two. She loves to hang out with family, read, watch movies and television, and her job. You can follow her on face book at www.facebook.com/April Vestal Dye and www.clardye.blogspot.com.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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