411 Focus

Too many parents, hooked on technology, hook their wagons to "stars" ... and their children are like trophies on display

Contributed By:Dorothy Nevils maslivend@sbcglobal.net

YOU raise 'em

I remember a phrase that was slung around often when – and where – I was a kid, “You thank you grown!” I heard it often, not necessarily toward me, but if slung carelessly enough and often enough, anyone close by could feel the almost chill, even when directed at somebody else. I kinda think that was the intent, anyway – like tossing a net into the water to catch any fish nearby.

See, “grown” was a “bad word.” Any respectable kid hated to have that word tossed at him by an adult, and it was especially scorching for a girl!

Why was growing up such a horrid thing? It was mind-boggling, and if the accused stood there looking at the grownup, puzzled as all get-out, that was all misinterpreted, too! So, the head dropped, only to be summoned up again with a harsh, “Look at me when I’m talking to you!”

Growing up was hard when I was a child; but so was being a parent. Parents had no self-help books. In fact, many could not have read them if they had. Having barely made it past what we now refer to as primary grades, they did what their parents had done.

We’ve ventured past that period; yet we, many of us, still have no idea what our role as parents entails. Some reject everything our parents did, while some embrace it all, no matterwhat.

Then there’s another: Technology… and I think, perhaps, that is the biggest threat. Let me tell you why.

With parents, it is easier to recognize what and when something is off base, and have time to make adjustments. You experienced these as the child, and you can examine what worked – or not – for you.

On the other hand, people, theories, etc., change so quickly and so often that adjusting is next to impossible. “Experts” zoom from the screen, and you have not a clue who can be trusted; then just as rapidly, they’re gone again. Plus, there is no way that you can see the result in its entirety.

Too many parents, hooked on technology, hook their wagons to “stars,” celebrating outward beauty, rather than inner. Children are like trophies on display. In place of lopsided suns blazing from refrigerator doors, we’ve gone to “perfectly posed” pictures of “mini me” on Facebook, pictures that scream, “Look what I did!” The child is not a responsibility taken seriously.

Consider, just for a minute, the danger to which parents subject their children when they are reduced to emblems or trophies. All sorts of tracking devices are in the hands of “web crawlers” who wish your child harm, fiends waiting to grab your picture-perfect baby, and traffic it to some slime on the other side of town or the country.

I cannot say it strongly enough: Raise your child as a child. See your child as a child. Monitor it as a precious human being, a gift to you and society. Teach it responsibility, even as you practice responsibility before it. Set standards and model decency before it, beginning when it is young.

Raise up a child in the way it should go, and when it is grown… it will indeed be grown.

Story Posted:01/21/2018

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