Greetings! I pray everyone is well.
Friends, I have to let you know ...... it just irks me to no end when I see adults encouraging children and youth in disrespectful and misguided behavior. Urgh, how I so want to get in that adult's face to let them know that there is nothing cute in a disrespectful child and that truly, it reflects poorly on them as parents. Ok, I am not being judgmental here ...... just stay with me for a minute!
Last year my sister, who is an educator in Belize, had attended an educator's conference at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. She had brought back couple knickknacks for me from that conference. I was drawn to a book titled, "Character Under Attack & What YOU Can Do About It" by Carl Sommer. Mr. Sommer is a dedicated educator and a successful businessman, but the most important thing about him is that he is a Christian man. Mr. Sommer stated that he wrote this particular book because he believed that America is facing a crisis of character. In conducting research, he discovered that there is a philosophical battle raging in America concerning the erosion of values. This erosion of values has serious implications for our schools and society, argued Mr. Sommer. I will take it further and say that even in my own country of Belize, we are experiencing an erosion of values. It is disheartening to say the least. I remember when I was a girl in school, I had the utmost respect for my teachers. My parents taught me that manners is due even to a dog, and that education is the key to success and the way out of poverty. They did not tolerate any disrespect in their home nor were we encouraged to tell tales about our teachers. The teachers who educated me in Belize were respectful men and women. Not one day I can recall seeing them dressed in provoking or revealing clothes. In fact, I cannot recall ever seeing my teachers having inappropriate conversations/behaviors with students. There was this line .... an adult is an adult, a child is a child. Teachers gave respect and students gave it back to them. Children were trained and expected to be respectful and mannerly both in the home and in the community (church, school, Girl Guides/Scouts, etc.).
According to a research conducted by Education Week, more than six in 10 adults or 61 percent said youngsters' failure to learn such values as honesty, respect, and responsibility is a very serious problem. Only 37 percent of those polled believed today's children once they are grown will make the United States a better place. I had to ask, well, whose problem is that? I didn't have to go far but take one look in the mirror and see my own reflection staring back at me. As a parent, it is my responsibility to teach and uphold values in my household so my children can carry those with them in the world. It is not the responsibility of schools and churches and non-profit organizations. This start in our very own homes. What are we as parents teaching our children when we are wearing the same "tiny" clothes as they do? What are we as parents teaching our children when we drink in their presence or tell them to go get the beer? What are teaching our children when we exhale all that cigarette/marijuana smoke into their faces?
What about teaching our children to say "thank you", "please", "excuse me". What about letting our girls know that being sexy is not about revealing their butt cheeks and their breasts so men (and women) can lust after them? Yes, we live in a perverted world where it is now the norm to accept women lusting after women and men lusting after men. What about teaching our boys and young men to hold open the doors for their sisters and other women? Teach our boys that having sex and making babies do not make them a man. What values are we teaching our children? This responsibility lies with us as parents first and foremost.
Mr. Sommer indicated that parents need to have moral standards and teach them to their children. He said, "... wise are those parents who supervise their children, provide positive materials, and take time to teach them successful virtues."
James 1:22-25, " Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.)" (NIV)