This last Sunday I heard an interesting metaphor regarding how parents are raising their children through the turbulent adolescent waters of life.
Draw a simple mind picture with two islands and a huge body of water separating them. The islands are known as Kid Island and Adult Island. The body of water represents the season of life known as “adolescence”.
The vehicle parents use to help kids get from Kid Island to Adult Island differs. There are 3 primary vehicles for transportation: the Hover Craft, the Submarine, and the Battleship.
How many of you know someone who was raised in a family where the parents did everything they could to protect the kids and isolate them from the potential dangers of life? Kids raised in an over-protective bubble. In an attempt to shield their children, these parents don’t teach discernment but instead just say no to every teachable moment…their kids aren’t allowed to watch TV, listen to music, play with older friends, surf the internet, have a sleepover or, in general, do anything ever for fear of the wrong influence.
I believe there is a certain amount of discernment needed in what we expose our children. The isolation mode has its dangers – namely rebellion and fear in the children.
On the other side of the equation are the kids that operate totally submerged in the culture. They are steeped in the popular lifestyles of the day, going with the flow of the current. These children grow up lacking discernment and principle-based living. If everyone is doing it, so am I.
3) The Battleship: any of a class of warships that are the most heavily armored and are equipped with the most powerful armament.
I believe we should raise our children to operate in the adolescent water like a battleship. Armed with the truth, understanding the principles of right living, and making waves. If a threat arises, they can withstand an attack and fight back.
MTV is one of the most powerful influencers of our youth ages 25 and under. In January 2010, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that kids ages 8-18 years old were absorbing an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day of “entertainment media” (not including cell phone talking and texting which adds an additional 1 hour and 35 minutes a day). WOW! We haven’t watched cable TV in our home for years, not because we are a hover craft family, but because we are building battleships! We are teaching our kids to make waves with the truth!
How were you raised? How are you raising your kids? What are you doing to build a battleship in you and your children? I encourage you to leave a comment and maybe some great discussion will follow. Godspeed to the life you have always wanted!