Should we be surprised?

Published 3:25 pm Friday, January 2, 2009

We find many times and too often our children are left alone, we as parents can show many examples.

The No. 1 thing children want today is video games. Let’s look at the fastest selling video in history. It made in excess of $310 million in the first 24 hours it was put on the market “Grand Theft Auto IV.” It is a crime life simulator with continual violence, virtual sexual encounters and crime-oriented missions.

It is not supposed to be sold to anyone under 17 years old.

There was a survey taken by the National Institute on Media, and it found that half the time teens under age 17 had no trouble purchasing this video. Other surveys revealed the series to be the most popular game played among boys 12 to 14 years of age.

No doubt there are parents that do not disapprove and are willing to buy the game for their children. But many other parents are too busy with their own agendas and have no idea their children are playing such shocking, graphic games—and there is no doubt if they do, they haven’t the time to look at the content of what these children are exposed to and how there young minds are being warped. All because the parents are too busy!

This is not just a recent problem, more than 3,000 years ago, the wisest man in the world wrote (Proverbs 29:15-18), “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall. Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

In other words, when we neglect our children they will bring shame upon themselves and their family. That neglect stunts their ability to learn the things that they should learn with a close relationship, with their parents.

We continually see the results in our environment where it is lacking structure and discipline.

A few years ago a study was done, and Leonard Irvine wrote for the Salisbury Review about rising crime rates. His aim was to address the cause of the problem. He wrote that this society is producing more criminally inclined boys and youths than law enforcement can deal with.

“The paradox is that in the time up to the 1950s discipline at home and at school was more strict and harsh.”

Then there was little crime and little delinquency.

Today with the “child centered” style of education and the abolition of any forms of corporal punishment at school or at home, children today are more violent then they ever were. Behavior problems caused by poor attention spans label the behavior problem a disorder. So they prescribe a mind-altering drug like Ritalin. This helps regulate a child’s disruptive behavior at home and at school. But this drug and others like it have side effects, such as lethargy, depression, poor appetite, insomnia—not to mention the long term effects. The change in behavior is noticeable only while the student is medicated.

There is a much less popular alternative to improving attention spans that is to return to a more disciplined form of teaching and educating children. This petting, coddling and pampering has brought us to warping children’s minds with mind altering drugs, we won’t take the time to spend with them to help them develop good learning habits. There is no substitute for proper training and teaching children from infancy on up, to concentrate, pay attention and follow instructions. This increases the child’s storehouse of knowledge because of his attention span improves year by year, he learns along the way, which adds to previously acquired knowledge.

It is proven that the early years in a child’s development from infancy to about age 6 are his most formative. This is when the child’s personality, character and intelligence are in many ways set for life. Child development experts say about half an individual’s intelligence (his ability to learn and grasp new concepts) develops in his first three or four years. About 80 percent of that ability is developed by age 8.

Parents are responsible for preparing their children for education—teaching them how to learn. Not public or private schools. Certainly not television or video games, sugary snacks, lots of toys or anything parents can think of to keep them occupied or to prevent tantrums. Then we wonder why they can’t pay attention in a structured environment.

Should we be surprised?