Tag Archive | Children

Let them play!

via Daily Prompt: Caper   

My grandson strikes a goofy pose in the middle of Time Square. I see this picture several times during the day as I move about in my kitchen. It’s sitting at the front of my refrigerator, and I smile every time I see it as if I’m noticing it for the first time. There are other photos of my grandson on the fridge, but this one captures my heart more than the others.

Perhaps it does because my grandson has this silly grin and a mischievous glint in his eye. Moreover, he has managed to contort his body in a funny position, and it seems that he has enjoyed it immensely. Elijah’s intention was to entertain his spectators, and he has achieved his goal with me. I’m drawn to the energy and exuberance in that photo. Children ought to be that way: carefree, energetic, happy, playful, and a little mischievous.

Something pulls far down in the pit of my stomach every time I hear of another child being kidnapped, raped, or killed. I can’t bear seeing a hungry child on TV or even worse, for unscrupulous adults to parade the faces of disadvantaged kids for soliciting money and cheap publicity. Call me old fashioned, but there is nothing more refreshing than little girls dressed in pretty frocks and hats and boys in suits, especially on Easter Sunday.  Jeans, shorts, skirts, T-shirts and other forms of clothing are fine too.

However, my pet peeve is when parents try to dress their children as miniature adults. Why should little girls wear sexually revealing clothes and be subjected to the negative attention of some who are morally bankrupt? Although there is no correlation between dress and the sexual exploitation of young children, we cannot ignore the fact that clothing affects the perception of the beholder. For example, the worst criminal will appear before a judge in his best attire to create a good impression. Therefore, parents must take into consideration what story their child is unintentionally telling when they dress him or her each day.

Parents have an obligation to take care of their children. They cannot choose which responsibilities they will or will not assume regarding their offspring. Attending a parent teacher conference at least once during the school year is no less important than taking one’s child to Disney World. Sometimes telling your child no also shows that you care. Children need parents to guide and set boundaries for them as they continue to nurture their sense of inquiry.

God had a reason for delaying the full development of the frontal lobe in humans until the earlier part of our adults. Decision making, planning, problem-solving and emotional control are functions that occur in this area of the brain. Considering that children need to explore and learn about their environment, risk taking would be stymied with a full blown frontal lobe. Gradual development correlates with physical maturation.

Since the frontal lobe gives our children more “room to mess up,” they are more inclined to take risks, and less inhibited in expressing their emotions. Immediate gratification matters more to them than what the future holds. That is why they caper, frolic, and play. They feel invincible, so they do things that make you cringe. Let them cavort and laugh and grab life with both hands, but don’t leave them to their own devices. They need you to be their scaffold. Teach them to love God, respect themselves, treat their neighbors kindly, and protect the earth.

Childhood is what shapes our adulthood. Let’s help our children to enjoy this wonderful stage of their lives. Therefore, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

 

 

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No Charge

via Daily Prompt: Knackered

Warmth, love, caring, sharing, safety, protection and support are some of the words that come to mind when one thinks about family. Somewhere, tucked among those words are aromas of slow-cooked meals, bedtime stories, birthdays, dogs, presents under the Christmas tree, blankets, and the old family Bible.

Funny how we keep the warm fuzzy memories of childhood and family. The two are inextricably tied together; we don’t remember one without the other. The reason is that a child’s world is centered around his family and the experiences he has there will shape his worldview for life. His mother is the first person with whom he develops a relationship, and in many ways, he sees the world through her eyes. On the other hand, a mother will always seek to protect and love her child even when he becomes an adult.

Rarely, she will remember the long sleepless nights trying to rock a colicky baby to sleep and hoping that morning would be delayed so that she could catch a snooze before the daily demands would come crashing down.  Breakfast would have to be ready for a hungry family, school lunches packed, clothes laid out, and getting the children out of the house to school. With all she had to do, the baby would have to be fed, burped and changed. The more she did, the more she had to do. And she’d better look perfect.

No one would hear the silent screams – not even the man who swore to love, cherish, and honor her. She bore it all with a stoic face. The challenges to her were just a natural part of the circle of life because of the joy of nurturing her offspring. No charge would she lay to her children for the sacrifices she made for them. She could with Shirley Caesar “No Charge.”

Only God knew at the end of the arduous journey that she was knackered, and she needed rest.