It is a truism about parenting that has held from generation to generation, but perhaps Will Smith said it with the most humor from the kids perspective.
The main problem today though is not that parents just don’t understand, it seems more and more that parents just don’t want to bother. Barna calls it “PC parenting” and says that it is destroying our kids. What it amounts to is a generation or two of parents that thought that the culture would do as good a job instilling the core values of Judeo-Christian belief in their kids as it did in them, which is a debatable premise since their beliefs are apparently not as ingrained as one might have thought.
Now instead of parents telling a kid how it is and being the parent (Will was complaining that his mom wouldn’t let him pick his own clothes), parents are seemingly unwilling to pick anything for their kids. They want to offer choices to those who have no experience to make them with no guidance to help them.
“As a parent, if I look at my children and say, ‘The only fair and proper thing is for me to allow the child to make up his or her own mind based on what they feel or believe, based on what they experience,’ that’s an appropriate postmodern point of view,” he continued. “I’m not sure, though, how well that prepares a child for life.
“If you as a parent believe it’s critically important that you understand there is a God and who that God is and what His role is in your life, if that’s important enough for you to buy into, then why wouldn’t you say that’s important enough for your children?” he asked. “If you believe that’s what’s going to prepare you for life successfully, then why wouldn’t you want to instill those same values and perspectives in your child’s life?”
“I don’t see that postmodern, laissez-faire approach to children as a virtue,” he concluded, “I see it as crippling a child.”
Parents, you have a God-given mandate to instruct and raise your children. You cannot pawn that responsibility off to the kids or disaster will ensue. This is what we are seeing in our culture today more and more. Kids with no direction from their parents and no compass handed to them are drifting around and getting nowhere.
Let me give you a little instruction from the Father Himself:
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3“that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:1-4
These are just two instances in the Scripture of the instructions given for parents who would understand. Raising your children is your responsibility. It is a God-given one and I urge you to be strong and of great courage. It won’t be easy, especially in today’s world, but it is necessary and right.