At the dinner table, my ten-year-old Kyle was telling us about the story of a classmate (born midget), who has always been bullied in school. I did not know what to say. But I was really glad that none of my other kids found the story funny. They automatically showed empathy towards Kyle’s classmate and I uttered a whispered prayer of thanks for blessing me with such compassionate kids. But what does today teach our kids? If left alone to themselves, what will they pick up from TV, from the internet, from school, from today’s music, from whatever’s cool with Generation Z? You may think that as a working mom, you will never be able to affect the world. But you actually can, by starting with your own kids. Please note that the list below include items that are random but relevant to my kids’ age (all under eleven years old).
News Snooze – As parents, we may tend to always tune to the news telecasts in the morning, or right before dinner or late night. But with the young minds watching with you, what do they pick up when protests are happening left and right, when they understand that there had been several Presidents ousted, high-ranking government officials caught in lies.
Life-Teach # 1 – Respect people in authority. God knows what He is doing and is in control of the steering wheel of your journey called life. He must have a very good reason for allowing things to happen. When we go against the people in authority over our lives, it’s similar to telling God that He may possibly have been wrong about assigning who your parents are. Instead of instilling hate, teach the kids to trust God with peace in their hearts. There is no injustice that will ever take you away from what God has in store for you. For all you know, God will use you to change the hearts of the same people you are complaining about.
Plug and Play – with countless gadgets that allow us to take music anywhere, songs just inevitably ring in our heads and they do the same with your kids. Not all catchy tunes sing positive notes. Just as not everything that feels good is right for you.
Life-Teach # 2 – Develop and instill kids’ habit to listen and understand lyrics of each song they hear. Turn singing moments with kids as teaching moments and create an avenue to break wrong mindsets that sound and seem okay when sang. Whatever happened to the classic Bingo tune and Old McDonald songs? Yep, replaced by the jingles and soundtrack from the show they repeatedly watch on TV.
Net Filter – The internet has been the most brilliant educational tool ever invented but it can also be the most negative influence that our kids can possibly have. With violent games, absurd games (e.g. Dumb Ways to Die), and non-thinking videos on YouTube, the net can be a lair for a buffet of wrong mindsets.
Life-Teach # 3 – Set the values that you would like to have as a family. You can never go wrong with kids easily able to say ‘No’ to war games, or to creating social media accounts, or to watching inappropriate videos online. Because they know what their values are and their family values dictate and build a strong filter system for whatever is not part of them. Remember that if you do not teach them the right thing, the internet will have a say on it, the video game character will have an opinion about it and social media will set another standard of truth for it. Depend heavily on the Bible and have your kids know who God is and what He can do over anything and everything under the sun.
Big waves are actually formed by thousands of ripples. And this list may seem like a small ripple but when done consistently and accurately, can create big waves, impact and shape the way our kids and how the next generation will look like. Allow one generation to do the wrong thing and you start seeing it on hundred more generations after them. I do not have to work at affecting the world, I only need to be faithful with what God has given me and I create never-ending ripples to my next generation.