Right from wrong. Truth. All parents want their kids to recognize these things. How will our children choose what is right? How will they define what is right? How will they become critical thinkers?
Ultimately, will they develop good decision-making skills?
It won’t happen by accident. Blessed with young children in your home? Embrace opportunities early on to not only teach right from wrong, but also to demonstrate truths, values, and worldviews that will form the foundation of their ability to make good decisions as they mature.
When my kids were small I made a habit of pushing their buttons of critical thinking by giving them small doses of impossibilities. Tell them you think a puzzle piece goes somewhere it can’t possibly go. Tell them to try the square peg in the round hole. Watch their reactions, guide them toward finding the truth for themselves and toward correct solutions to problems without blindly accepting everything they are told. They don’t have to “question everything” but they do need to assess the value and truth of things as they grow. Crap or not crap?
The bad news is that the world is full of lies. But…..the good news is that the world is full of lies. Teaching moments come in large doses these days. Failure is a great teacher. TV and social media flood our lives with perfect examples of “how not to do things”.
Be ready to engage in conversations with your kids about the aftermath of bad decisions and the complete crisis of truth. If you are a believer in the truths of the Holy Bible, then you must help your kids figure out daily how to apply these truths in a broken world……….to recognize crap when they see it, to realize when things have no value.
Parents who are silent in these areas risk seeing their kids’ system of values shaped instead by a culture that spews this garbage and more:
-Life is supposed to be fair.
-Other people owe me something. Personal responsibility amounts to talking about what other people should be providing for me.
-There is great value in physical appearance, along with the attention and approval of others.
-If you don’t like the rules, re-shape them to meet your own desires.
-Instant gratification always outweighs patience, obedience, and hard work. You can start at the top.
-If you fail, it must be somebody else’s fault. Nothing wrong with blaming and excuse making.
-Lying is ok as long as you compare yourself to “worse acts”. Results are more important than honesty and integrity.
-If you fail to embrace a decaying system of truth and morality, you must be a hater, bigot, sexist, racist.
-The president controls jobs and the economy and my prospect of work.
-It’s of utmost importance, not only to be right, but to convince others that you are right and they are wrong.
-Bruce Jenner……nah, not even opening that one up.
-It’s ok for Christians to spew venom toward and gossip about their brothers behind their backs……as long as they don’t use 4-letter words while they’re doing it.
There is an abundance of crap out there and it changes every day. As parents, arm yourself with prayer and truth each day. Eyes and ears open. Be intentional when your kids are young. Set out to not only arm them with truth but instill in them a desire to choose it and live it.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Recognize the pile of poo. Steer away from it. Steer others away.