The most important lessons about citizenship kids learn first at home. If we are critical and not supportive of one another as parents then how can we expect our own children to be considerate of one another on or off line? At the end of the day, forgiveness and individual accountability are the formula for a peaceful society. (Thank you for demonstrating this Jesus). And we do not have peace in our society when we are judging others and excusing ourselves. If we are seeking control of others, but not leading with self-control, we are disturbing the peace.
In this “it is all about me” world of texting and social media, children can know way too much for their own good. More importantly, they are easily conditioned to keep the parent out of the equation when they are searching for answers and they risk becoming lost in the faulty-thinking of peer communities that frankly do not respect the individual.
By my definition, an “ancient cyber mom” was able to control Internet and media access via a computer and/or television stationed somewhere in the home. When the mobile phone hit the home front circa 2004 – that is when things really changed.
Mary Lisa Patton, BA, CADCI, works with children and families at Therapeutic Solutions 360 in Roseville. “I have noticed that children are getting mobile phones at a younger age so parents can stay in contact with them,” Patton said. “Unfortunately some parents are using the mobile phone as a way to control their children instead of giving them some freedom and room to develop independently.”
No doubt this will be a year to strike a balance between what we must expect of ourselves as individuals and a society. There will be passionate cries for action whether it be more gun control and parental control with regard to the unthinkable things our children can do. And yet it remains that the one thing every parent and child can do is hold ourselves accountable for our individual thoughts and actions. The bully culture encourages us to believe that the power is not within – it is with other people. So it tells us we need to be more controlling of others’ actions, or that we are powerless to resist the angry urges to “get even” when we feel wronged. It is quite simply, giving power to insecurity. There can be no peace when we act out of anxiety or fear.
More than ever, girls need to know they are valued, have a sense of validation from a main man (father figure), and that know that their worth cannot be found by seeking attention from strange men. If the father is not available, then an uncle or a big brother can provide the fatherly spirit of love and acceptance.
How can girls experience genuine fatherly love?
Making your home a sanctuary is a matter of what you believe about personal security. Our faith tells us that security starts from within every heart and mind. It is the thoughts we choose. (Philippians 4:8). Fear-based thinking disturbs the peace and keeps us separated from God’s love. It is a hopeless and powerless state of heart and mind.
And fear-based thinking is the consequence of evil deeds if we allow it.
Romans 12:21 “ Do not be overcome with evil, rather overcome evil with good.”
So how do we translate this truth with our children so that they can find the peace of Jesus in their hearts and minds?
Indeed the cyber technology powering individuals, homes, campuses and offices has raised the bar for the standard for parenting. Distracted on so many levels away from what really matters, the parent-child relationship is strained.
One of the most important things we can do as parents is not be fearful when dealing with our children’s circumstances. If your child gets into trouble, the most important thing to do is not freak out, so they can have an opportunity to relate to you about it and seek your wise counsel. We first must be able to help our children know they are forgiven, and their poor or risky choices will have consequences which they can endure, and they can stand corrected.
So in order to be secure, our children must first be resilient.
Resiliency involves accepting the things they cannot change about themselves and circumstances, and then having the confidence, courage and the wisdom to change the things they can.
In this regard, parents who love children who are different demonstrate how to build resiliency in our children.