OPINION: We ask why; what happened?

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By Dr. Jannie B. Johnson

Jackson Advocate Guest Writer

Some time ago, I was in the presence of my little 3-year-old nephew Ron. He was playing on the floor near the coffee table. There was a glass of water on the table. In his playing, he knocked the glass of water over. He saw the spilt water and he asked, in a surprised and high tone, “What happened?”

He did not see the connection between his playing and the spilt water. He did not realize that he was responsible for the spilt water, but… he… was…. We adults realize that because Little Ron was an innocent 3-year-old with limited knowledge and understanding he could not make the connection between the spilt water and his behavior.

We adults are not innocent children. We have some knowledge, some understanding, and some experience. But, in a surprised and high tone we are asking, “What’s happening to our children? They are angry, disrespectful to peers and to persons of authority. They do less than their best at school, home, and elsewhere. They feel that nothing is wrong with their choice of language, dress style, or lifestyle. They are not embarrassed about getting arrested or going to jail. They are not ashamed of making F’s, repeating grades, getting suspended, or making illegitimate babies. If we say that to steal, shoot, or kill is wrong, they say that’s a matter of opinion. 

It’s difficult to motivate youngsters or get them excited about the noble things of life, long term. They are so easily bored. And, we ask, “What happened? What is happening with this generation of children?”

 We see NOT the connection or we have NOT the courage to admit that we see the connection between our behavior and that of our children. We have not to face the truth about the errors of our ways. We are afraid to speak out against the modern day attitude toward parenting. (Questions: Is what we are doing OR not doing working for us at our house, schoolhouse; how so?) Well….

We say that the children of today are so different than the children in our day. Yes, that’s one side of the parenting coin. The other side of that parenting coin is … are we the parents of today different from the parents of yesteryears? We might choose to deny this but our children reflect us. But, if we would take an honest look and tell the truth, we can see that we have made some bad changes/choices in our language, dress style, and lifestyle and now our children are suffering. They don’t know what to do, when, where, how, or with whom. They are confused; they are angry. And, we shake our heads and ask in a surprised, high tone, “What is happening to our children?”

Parents/adults, we need to repent for leaving the old true and tried path of parenting and return to that which brought us up and brought us through and ask the Lord to help us to see the connection between our behavior and that of our children’s. We need to realize and accept our responsibility to show and tell them how to live principled-centered lives, not as an event but as their chosen lifestyle.

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OPINION: We ask why; what happened?

By Jackson Advocate News Service
March 25, 2024