If you’re like me, you encounter children in various public places that very loudly express their restlessness, boredom, hunger, or anger. My running joke is that I’m going to offer a presentation on how to properly pack a diaper bag before you take your child to the doctor’s office, church, mall, auto repair shop and generally out in public. Then it all hilariously came back to me – I DID do a presentation on how to pack a diaper bag over 15 years ago!
If you are what you eat does that mean that your teen is what they hear on their iPod and watch on TV? For the most part I believe they are.
The media is a powerful influence in our lives and I believe in censorship for that exact reason. Not extreme censorship but censorship nonetheless. I also believe that censorship starts at home. I believe parents have the first and final say about what their teen can freely indulge in or engage in. Parents need not wait for permissions from a school system or movie rating agency to allow their teens to read a certain book or buy a ticket to the theatre.
I don’t believe that parents should shelter their children so much that they are unable to cope in society but parents should protect the minds and spirits of their children from abusive and negative influences.
Every parent I know has helped their preschool or Kindergarten child get ready for “Show and Tell”. Remember how it was such a big deal for the child who wanted to bring their favorite or special “thing” to share with their classmates? Not any old thing would do. Thought and care went into the selection process. On the day of “Show and Tell” the children all bring their items to the front of the room and they show them off then tell you what makes it great. I think we as parents need to adopt this same concept when it comes to parenting. Let me say it another way. Children and teenagers need to see big things happening in order to dream big dreams.
I believe that parenting should be purposeful…even strategic (Worth mentioning here that being strategic is very different from being forceful). Every child is born with unique talents, skills, and interests. The job of a parent is to recognize, protect, and nurture these special gifts. The job of a parent also includes building self-confidence, providing opportunities for children to thrive, and allowing children to learn the value of hard work.