Parents we have a responsibility to protect our children from the moral destitution demonstrated by so many knuckleheads in our society today. Kids are sponges. They absorb whatever they are exposed to. It is obvious just look around. There is violence in our schools and half-dressed teenage girls at the mall. Some would blame this on the kids, but I do not. I point the finger squarely at the parents. We are the adults. It is our responsibility to be the moral leaders in our homes.
Many of our children go through the emotional roller coaster of family break-ups caused by divorces. Depending on who you believe, it is estimated that 40-50% of all first marriages, 60-67% of all second marriages, and about 74% of all third marriages end in divorce. Third marriages! This is exactly my point. This kind of turmoil wrecks our kids sense of security and self-confidence. How can they feel secure when their family, that serves as their emotional foundation, dissolves beneath them multiple times during their youth? It leaves them believing that all their relationships are doomed to fail. It creates a sense that everything is temporary. You shouldn’t get too involved or committed because this too shall pass. In a throw-away society, kids get the message that nothing is permanent.
In addition, adults going through a divorce are very distracted. They are usually totally absorbed with the break-up and then they often become equally absorbed in finding someone new. Dating takes time and children it seems get in the way. They get shuffled off to grandparents or babysitters. Is it any wonder that some of our children are angry? That they feel lonely and unappreciated? When the adults in their lives that are supposed to be guiding, molding, and disciplining their children are so distracted, what happens? The kids are left to make their own moral judgements based on the predominant influences in our culture.
The media is a powerful influence in all our lives, but for highly impressionable young minds, it is like brainwashing. Youth lack the experience and discernment to make good choices about the messages they are being so powerfully sold. Television, movies, radio, and the Internet are used together to sell our children sex, promiscuousness, alternative lifestyles (put nicely), violence, credit cards, debt, and a mega-consumer attitude. Without the proper parental input, kids take this crap to heart. They believe this is normal behavior. They start to think that it is the way they are supposed to act. The result is teen pregnancy, divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosures, sexually transmitted diseases, and suicide. All of these are issues in the United States today.
You can also see the influence of the media in more subtle ways. Our children today are under tremendous pressure to fit in and look the look especially when they hit high school. If you aren’t wearing the latest designer clothes, then you are shunned and ridiculed. There is powerful peer pressure to conform to false standards that come from the images teenagers are sold by the media. Girls feel they have to look perfect, get a tattoo, weigh less than what is healthy, and be sexually adventurous. Boys have to be muscular, sexually predatory, great at sports, and driving the right car to fit in. These pressures are enough to drive some crazy, quite literally.
It isn’t really that hard to raise responsible, happy, productive children. We just have to ask ourselves what legacy we want to leave. Are you going to pass your dysfunctions on to your children or are you going to get your act together and lead them by example? It is never too late. Kids and people in general have an amazing capability to turn things around. It is not hopeless, but it is a fight. Get mad. Get mad at yourself so you will change. Get mad at some of the things in our culture so you will defend your children against these influences. Get madly in love with your kids and want a better life for them, no so much financially, but where it really counts!
Craig is the founder of LifeGuider, he is dedicated to improving not only himself but also others in being more physically fit and mentally capable of handling life’s challenges. He is not your regular life coach, no fancy clothes or fast cars, just a regular “Ole Joe” who has experienced the ups and downs of life like everyone else.
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