Thursday, September 4, 2014

An Open Letter to Adults About Teaching and Correcting Children

 Dear parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, and other adults in charge of children:

Just a few days ago I was verbally attacked by an eighteen year old and her little friends. It happened publicly, on Facebook, because this child has obviously been taught, one way or another, that this is the proper way of handling a situation. Throw out a liberal dose of profanity and beat one's chest in the manner of a gorilla, sprinkling in words like respect.  

Sad to say, at first I took the bait, although I did not read this child's entire rant. I responded from the heart. Then I deleted and apologized to anyone who could have read any of that on my page. I am by no means perfect, but I won't listen to that type of speech. I close my ears to it. Using that language at me on the phone earns a hang up. In print, the delete button comes in very handy.  I even stated that conversations are welcome; profanity and abusive language would be removed and those involved would be blocked from my page.  My husband took it upon himself to guard my page so I wouldn't have to see it all. Why? Because I'm related to the 18 year old and the ones who chose to follow her lead.

I did see that one adult came to the defense of the 18 year old, remarking that no one knows the truth about the 18 year old. The sad truth is, that in this world that can quote and twist to their needs in many cases the verse in the bible that says judge not, everyone does. Matthew 7:1, NIV, states "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."  Because I was judged, those who read the diatribe on my page judged the 18 year old by her words and by what they could see on the 18 year old's own page. 

Truth: People know you by your words and your actions. If you are proud of those words and actions, own it. If you aren't happy with the way people see (judge) you, then perhaps it's time to do some thinking.

Some will dismiss the actions and words of those involved in the verbal attack as those who don't know any better, or "they're going to do stuff like that, they're young".  Just kids. I see. That makes it okay then. Or does it? As i said, the main instigator was 18. One of her followers (whether he wrote himself or was "hacked") is in his late 20's. 

Truth: Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Teachers, and other adults in authority, we must remember that the words and actions of our children are a reflection on us. 

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.  KJV Proverbs 22:15

It is up to us adults to teach and to correct bad behavior while the children are young so that when the world sees our little darlings, the world doesn't hold up a mirror that makes us unhappy.  We all love our children and we want to be the cool parent whose home is the local hangout, right? That's what keeps our children loving us, right? Not so much. Being a parent means teaching right from wrong, and how to deal with a situation that makes them unhappy. In other words, if we do not correct our children's behavior now, someone else will do it later, and the way it is done may lead to heartbreak. Not everyone will simply hit delete and move on. Some will choose to involve the police or other court system, some will retaliate in kind and introduce violence. We only have to read or watch the news to know that deaths occur everyday in this country(!) over matters that could and should have been talked out.  Many scream about how far we've come as a society, and how certain groups are dragging us back in time to "the bad old days." Read your history. We haven't gone forward or backward. We're simply spinning our wheels because the lesson's aren't being learned.

I for one, have many lessons still to learn. I am by no means perfect. But when someone has a problem, I am willing to listen as long as it is brought to me in  a respectful manner. Respect is another word being thrown about in this world, like truth, but few know or care about its meaning. That, my friends, is another lesson for another day. For now I have spoken my peace. Thank you for listening.




  1. Wow, I had no idea this happened. How very heart wrenching. I totally agree. Something interesting about Peter - just before the rooster crowed, and when Peter denied the Lord for the third time, he "began to curse and to swear". No one asked him again after that. They were convinced he was not one who followed Jesus. Of course, he ran off then, too, to "weep bitterly". But still, it was as though he wanted to finally convince them.

    Teaching children before they can even remember they've been spanked for wrongdoing is the right time for stern discipline of wrongdoing. Of course, with love. My dad always hugged me after I had finished crying from being spanked and explained to me that he wanted me to grow up to be a good Christian woman, so he didn't want me to do whatever again. So, I knew it was because he loved me.

  2. It amazes me the kinds of things people are willing to post online. Sometimes it's cyber bullies who forget they are talking to real people, and sometimes it's people with poor judgement who don't think about consequences or the fact that once it's written online, it can show up anywhere.

    I battle with myself every time I see a bullying, judging, or profane post. Do I ignore it rather than make the situation worse? Or do I engage them and push my opinion that what they're doing is wrong? It just doesn't seem like a conversation that can make a difference when made online instead of face-to-face.

    You're right. Our words and actions speak loudly about what's in our hearts, and our children are reflections of us.