Thursday, January 22, 2015
6Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
As much as the scripture above makes sense, some do not realize that the habits children are taught or "caught" will stay with them. Even if they are not beneficial and potentially dangerous they will have them. I work in an educational environment and meet many people from different walks of life. But last night, I was really disturbed by what I witnessed. A young man with his younger sister and mother were present. I was meeting the other family members for the first time. We were having casual conversation when suddenly, the young sister decided to say what she had done earlier that day. She yelled to her older brother that she wanted to go outside and play in the snow. He thinking nothing of it, didn't bother to check that she was properly dressed to play in the snow though it was cold outside. This young girl who could be no more than 11 said she had recorded herself, via phone outside in her under garments playing in the snow. Seriously! I stopped what I was doing with the older brother and proceeded to speak to the young girl to explain how much of an absolute unacceptable behavior that was. The mother chimed in. I let the young lady know about predators and that she is never to do so such a thing. I looked her directly in her eyes to reiterate this and even let her know that I unfortunately know from experience without going into detail. I kept asking if what I was saying was crystal clear. The mother then began to say never to take half-naked pictures of herself to display. I asked again, was it clear. She still had the look on her face like she didn't get what the big issue was. I hope that was a wake up call for the mother.
Now, why am I telling you this? The conversation that was had in front of me, a complete stranger, should've been had a long time ago. I reminded the brother to never let his sister out of the house without first checking to make sure she is properly dressed with hat, gloves, etc. I said she could've suffered frost bite, etc. And being the adult in the house at the time, it was still his responsibility. Now I also know a few other things that were expressed in a previous meeting by the young man and now I see what he meant. Parents, I will address you. Do not think it is someone else's responsibility to explain to children about predators, sex or anything else. You are the first teachers. The teenage years are often too late to discuss these topics. Children are under attack in their infant and toddler years. Have you not seen the news? And an alarming but true statistic, 85% of the time, children are abused by someone they know. It does not matter that the subject is uncomfortable to you. It's supposed to be uncomfortable. More importantly, IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU. It's about the young life God has given you charge of. And many of you are afraid to read my book, "Shh Don't Tell." This is exactly why you ought to read it. A fellow co-worker and psychologist said, "the young girl lacks attention and is a prime target for a predator." This statement goes along with what I learned in a previous meeting.
God continues to remind me why He gave me the project and the next steps. It's on behalf of children like the one I met last night. Talk to your children so they do not end up on the news or milk cartons please. Train up a child with knowledge and wisdom. That means you have to have knowledge and wisdom too. Hosea 4:6 says we perish from a lack of knowledge, children included.