Why Kids Need Their Parents' Beliefs & Standards.
by Susie E. Caron © 8/23/15
I usually do not write like this. However today I share why you’ll want to teach your kids your personal beliefs and standards.
Today’s kids are showing signs of despair
and they are wandering.
Headlines are full of stories of kids who are bullied and doing terrible things to one another. One of the saddest things I have heard on the news lately is that young people are leaving their countries of origin, or where they had become naturalized citizens, to train with religious organizations who want to harm people in the country of their citizenship. No one seems to understand why.
Teens and young people have little or no fear. Developmentally they are wired to believe that nothing bad can happen to them, (but maybe to the other guy). That’s why they drive fast, take chances, and live hard. That’s what makes it possible for them sign up for the military, police, fire, rescue and other dangerous work. That is also what makes them look for a cause and a purpose to live for, or fight for. They need these. Without strong standards, ethics, religious training, an appreciation and understanding of right and wrong, plus a strong sense of purpose, our teenagers may indeed go out to find their own purpose, even a dangerous one. We may not like their choice.
Why are these things happening?
One reason is that we have left the traditions, standards and purposes set up by our founding fathers, which were based on Judeo-Christian beliefs. We no longer insist kids learn allegiance to our flag, our nation or to our God. We have few guiding standards for the behavior of adults, parents, teachers, government leaders, or for ourselves. What was once wrong is now not only okay, it is considered ‘a right.’ We do not respect ourselves so we do not respect others. Parents live in fear of ‘teaching the wrong things.’
But what about tolerance and inclusion?
I agree that we have to be more compassionate and accept others as we ourselves wish to be accepted. However, I am clearly calling for you parents and all adults who work with children, to decide what you believe and to give children these standards, to grow on. This gives kids a firm foundation, from which to launch into adulthood.
What about religion?
I’ve heard parents say “I’m not directing my kids into a particular religion. I’ll let them decide on their own beliefs when they grow up.” I frequently ask them, “If you let kids do as they please, what will they grow up to believe in, rebel against or build upon?” Kids need something to start with. At least tell them what you believe..
Likewise, what about standards?
Kids who grow up in families where they are taught standards of conduct, like honesty, spend their lives either agreeing, rebelling, or building upon the foundation they were given. This is expected and they make these choices as they venture into adulthood. However, without these teachings they flounder and wander all over looking for meaning. How do they know what they are rebelling over? How can they ‘improve’ on something if there is ‘nothing’ to build upon?
How kids are a lot like wild vines.
This may help you understand. Before today’s gardeners began growing a variety of green beans called ‘bush beans’, gardeners used to arrange tall tepee like poles for their ‘string bean' vines to wind around and grow up on. If you didn’t provide the pole, the vines, which could grow over 6 feet tall, would wander all over the ground. This resulted in unmanageable plants and dirty beans. It’s like that with kids. If you don’t provide the guidance and set the standards, then children like vines will wander all over looking for something to take hold of, to give their lives meaning and purpose. This wandering sadly results in kids who are unmanageable, with painful outcomes.
What do kids need from their parents?
Kids need to grow up hearing and learning what their parents believe and standards to live by. If you provide those things for your children, your teens will have clear understanding of what you live for, and what others have died for. They may choose your way or the ‘highway’ but at least you gave them a firm foundation. At least you won’t be left wondering, ‘What more could I have done.’ You will know that you did your best. Remember, your teenagers will carry the standards you live by, into their future.
What can you do now?
Talk with and teach your children well. Believe in something. Practice the religion of choice. Set standards. Hang the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance and other great documents in your home. Teach them to your children. Tell them what is right and wrong. Ask them to stand with you and believe in our country’s original purposes: the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Teach them that these things are worth living out and defending. If you do, you will have provided a firm foundation for a healthier childhood and for better choices into their adult lives.
I look forward to your comments and thoughts about this topic.
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Susie E. Caron
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!