From the beginning of time, children were the balance in the family home. Everything about the family was centralized around the children for the most part. ‘What will they wear to school? Did they do their chores? How are their grades? Are they behaving in school?’ All of the daily schedule involves planning for the family (children). Those are just a few minute things that came to mind quickly. There are numerous of details that come along with raising children. I am more than sure all of the parents, that are physically raising their children at home as a family unit can relate to the mental, emotional, and physical tasks that come with the territory. So we know that the children are a huge portion of the family unit.
As a mother with an 8-year-old son myself, I have started to have a more close eye on the surroundings he can become a part of. Not that I can protect him from everything, but I am more alert to child behavior verses before motherhood in my “single gal days.” As my husband and I continue on this journey of raising our son, to our surprise we are comparing our childhood more and more. The more we live in this world and exist as human beings, the more our younger generation changes. What sticks with me the most is how the role of the children in the family has changed.
1. Children are not ‘children’ anymore. The innocence is leaving at a much earlier age and the responsibility level has raised to an all-time high. Children used to carry this innocence in their eyes that would just melt the toughest man. They used to have a sense of strong belief and faith in their parents. Everything the parents tell them, they hold on to as the absolute truth. This is one of the main factors in creating a stronger family. Keeping that innocence and purity in your child while at the same time giving them consistent love, attention, and guidance (I believe) can create the strongest bond and trust amongst the family for the future. So why is the innocence leaving so soon you ask? The children are being put in too many roles where they have to be responsible in the home and for themselves. Now I know that some families have two-parent working homes, but let’s not lose focus on the responsibility as parents. Just because you have to work to provide for your family does not mean the “children” should have to be responsible for what parents do. I believe the parents should facilitate the needs of the family. Does that mean a mother has to get up and wait on her child hand and foot, not at all, but they shouldn’t have to get up and make sure they get to school on time and with the necessary supplies they need. A parent should at least supervise at ALL times since they are they responsible adults of the family. Children should not also have to do ALL of the household duties, they should have chores. There is a difference people. If the parents are just getting up going to work and coming home doing things that only pertain to them, the children are too responsible in that family. Now this can lead to other things for the future.
2. So, what happens when a child is too responsible… they take on adult characteristics. This can cause a discipline issue in the family. By the time a child becomes a teenager, if this child has been treated like they are responsible for more than they should be, eventually they will get more confident in their opinion. Now THIS is where disrespectful behavior can come from. Now if I am 9 years old and I have been ironing, cooking, cleaning, time managing, and delegating until I am a teen, I probably do not have that much respect for my mother and father at this point because their isn’t much they contributed to my teaching and upbringing.
3. They are too confident in what they “think” they know. I have to reference my mother-in-law on this one because she and I were talking one day about teenagers today and how they have changed and she told me, “Teenagers know all the answers, but they just don’t know the questions yet.” This alone spoke volumes to me when she said it because it was right on the money. The way teenagers are so confident in who they think they are or what they are capable of is amazing to me. Now they have the confidence part down, but the effort it takes in the thought process is what they are lacking. This has caused a culture of pure laziness! I mean teenagers don’t go outside and hang with their friends anymore, they stay in the house and play game systems, get on the internet, etc. They don’t have to be physically active anymore. They don’t even desire to be. Why? Because it requires too much effort. Effort requires thought. Thought requires creativity. Now what has also happened because of this confidence is the ability to determine their sexual status in teenage years, but in a confident way. I heard stories about people who are older now and are homosexual, but they might have felt that way at a younger age, but could not speak on it to their parents. The reason why is because a teenager should not be that confident in who they are in a sexual sense yet. Why you ask…. because they should not be having sex yet anyway. Most importantly, a teenager does not have the mental experience in life to distinguish what real love is and what it takes to have a successful relationship.
Now what is a child’s role in a family? To be a child and everything that entails. They should be enjoying life as a child that is still learning how to be responsible. They are there to remind the parents everyday what a blessing from God it is to have a human being in your life, love you unconditionally. My hope is that the younger generation learn that living your life for the age you are now is very important. They shouldn’t live their life trying to be older, wiser, and more responsible than what should be expected because it cuts out of them learning to become those things when they are adults. Its fun being a child and not having to worry about things that are ahead of your time. Trust me, I know from my own childhood. My childhood was great because I remained a child and that is the root of my family.
Parents let’s create environments for our families that will put the right people in the correct role. Contribute to your child having a healthy childhood. Not only will it be a blessing for them, it will for the entire family as well, and that helps create a strong family.
Love, Life, and Family Legacy