Teach Your Children
It sure is scary being a parent these days. I just read an article that advised not letting your child do sleepovers after the age of 10 when pillow throwing can turn into experimenting with drugs such as cold medicines, glue or other toxins around the house. Sleepovers at any age may be dangerous when adults or siblings that you do not know could molest your child. Just letting your children go over to a friends for an afternoon visit may expose them to R or X rated movies, porn on the Internet, or an addiction to video games. How do we protect our children without hovering over them and restricting their growth to become independent and healthy adults?
I was bullied and teased unmercifully in 5th, 6th, and 7th grade. I remember being offered pot when I was 12, in 1972, after school on the playground in North St. Louis. If I had taken a drag I might have been accepted. I did not accept as I had been taught the dangers and knew that I did not want anything to do with it. At the age of 10 a stranger in a car stopped me and asked me if I wanted a ride and if I wanted to go and have fun. I said, “no” and scared to death I ran all the way home. I remember being taught how to make myself pass out and have a buzz at age 13. I did not realize at the time how dangerous this was. When I was 17 a boy drove me to the city lake and told me that if I did not put out he would kick me out of the car and make me walk home in the dark by myself. (I overcame my meekness and told him how dare he treat me that way and he took me home.)
The only thing I can really point to that helped me not to succumb to these dangers is that at a very young age I knew who I was. I knew that my Heavenly Father loved me and that I was special. I knew that I was a child of God. I knew that he would be with me and help me if I did what I knew what was right, if I was true to myself. That gave me self worth. I knew that I wanted to keep my body clean and undefiled. I knew that no matter what anyone else thought, I knew who I was and what I wanted when I grew up.
How do we keep our children safe in this very scary world? Some things just happen. But we can keep our children better prepared if we teach them. Teach them about drugs. Teach them about peer pressure. Teach them what to say so that when tempted they will know how to answer and where to go to for help. Teach them standards to live their lives by so that they will not follow other’s low standards. Stay close to them. Watch them. Be there for them when they come home. Let them know you will pick them up at any time if they call for a ride home. Don’t be shocked and come unglued when they tell you things. They may be afraid to confide in you again. Think about your answer, pray about it and let them know you are their advocate, that you will help them to overcome the trials and pressures that they may be going through. Love them and let them know that they are loved, and pray daily for their safety. Let your children know that you are confident that they will choose the right and I think for the most part, they will.