Written By Debi Pearl
When you allow children to be unduly indulged over a period of time, they come to think that it is their right. When it is taken away, they will respond with rage.
We live in a society where meltdowns are an acceptable part of life. In former generations, even the worst parents did not produce mass shooters. The most recent bombing spree was committed by a homeschooler from a Christian, church-going family. It is quite obvious that the majority of children today are being imprinted with something destructive rather than creative. People live in an agitated state, trying to force others to do things their way or be the object of their rage.
You can see this in its developmental stage every day in the supermarket. A few years ago, we were all shocked to see an out-of-control 2-year-old screaming for sugar-coated cereal, but things have changed so much that today we don’t even raise an eyebrow when we see a 7-year-old on the floor, thrashing and screaming. It is sickening to see a child that old without a shred of dignity or self-control—an inseparable pair. We are raising a generation without dignity, honor, or righteousness. They have no shame. Reclaiming the conscience is key for prison inmates to regain their integrity. That is a scary thought. Are we raising a generation of what will become a lawless people? A child who is trained to VALUE delayed gratification will be embarrassed when he witnesses another child acting with such a lack of propriety. Rage and acting-out to get one’s way are learned habits that develop early but groove a child’s brain deeply.
Rage is a word we once used only for the emotionally or mentally unstable, and rightly so. Rage is only possible when one believes that he has been deprived of his due. Today’s teens are living in a state of extreme rage and are playing out this rage in gaming, bullying, and worse. Among adults, road rage is now common.
Rage is crippling our children, our families, and our nation. Our children are gradually becoming less equipped to deal with even minor stressors, which eventually become huge obstacles to their success in life. Expect it to get much worse in society as a whole. It should be our goal to train up our children in the way they should go so that when others are raging, they are serving.
Take stock of yourself and the way you relate to your children. Today’s society, today’s “rules,” and today’s expectations all make you believe you must give your children what they demand. Don’t fall into this mindset.
Good Training Is Groovy
When we speak of training we are NOT talking about spanking. Training is just that, training. Our daughter trains her children in the art of fine dining. When they go out to eat at a restaurant, she helps them read and understand the menu, encourages them to ask the waitress questions about the meal they are considering, and allows them to be the one who pays for the family. Lastly, but most importantly, she makes sure they understand the value of the person who is serving them. She is training them in social behaviors. You get what you train for.
Training takes away the fear of ordinary situations; it builds confidence that comes with knowing how to perform any number of tasks. Everyday skills are becoming a lost art. Changing a tire was something all 10-year-old boys could do just a few years back, but now most boys would be in the car pitching a fit because they wanted a candy bar or they wanted to play games on mom’s phone. All this while mom called for someone to come fix the flat.
All children were once trained to cook, especially the girls. The boys did a lot of their culinary training over the campfire. Deep grooves in the brain on how food should be cooked, served, and how it tastes burnt to a crisp were all part of growing up. Mamas just took for granted that every meal would be prepared with a young child helping. That was not only training in the culinary arts, it was training to serve with a smile. Now, mamas are too busy to prepare a meal and too short on patience to take the time and trouble to allow the child to be part of the preparation. This lack of training will make the next generation weak and incompetent. When a child spends every day in the kitchen, the day comes when she can step in without a thought and do everything Mama can do and more. Her brain has been grooved deeply in what herbs taste best with what type of meats and how to make a delicious loaf of bread.
What do your children do most of the day? What grooves are being formed in their developing brains? Schoolbooks impart information but are not going to train children in practical living or social responsibilities. It takes personal experiences to leave a mark on the brain. Do you want your children to clean up after themselves? Then start early training them until it becomes a habit. Do you want your children to love to read? Then read with them until they can’t wait for you to finish the book and are launched into a life of literary investigation. To make deep grooves that are permanent, the eyes need to see, the hands need to do, and the soul needs to take pleasure in the knowledge. And most of all, the brain needs constant repetition. What grooved your child’s brain today? Yesterday?
For generations small children have spent their days digging the earth and building dams, bridges, waterways, and roads. Little girls have set up under trees and pretended to serve their brothers food. They have gained balance learning to stand on their heads or ride bikes. They have taken care of animals and learned to train them. They have had long, lazy, hot days when their minds relaxed and repaired themselves. It takes a mountain of time doing these things for it to become a part of their soul.
Today’s children are connected to technology where sights and sounds are dulling their brains and destroying their nervous systems by overstimulation. Scientists are proving this dulling of the brain and are appalled at what the future might be. The brain is being gouged rather than grooved. It is easy to hand the bored and demanding boy your phone to keep him entertained and out of your way, but there will come a day when you will pay for your easy way out. You can’t entertain your children into emotional stability. You alone are your child’s hope. It is the hours you spend every day showing them how to draw a picture, write a story, mix up cornbread batter, sew a dress, hike through the woods, fish, hunt, mend, garden, care for the weak, bless your neighbors, and all the other things in life that make us a balanced, healthy society. You are the ground in which your seed grows. How much time does your child have your undivided attention, showing them how to be the person you want them to be: kind, thoughtful, helpful, respectful, self-disciplined, and hard working?
Be decisive. Be the parent. Stick to your word.
Purge your home of junk food and teach your children to cook and eat healthy food.
Organize your home routine. Bedtimes, eating times, and work times should be clearly defined.
Give your children chores. Don’t patronize them with dumb chores or silly compliments. Treat them with respect and expect them to perform properly.
Spend time talking with your children and listening to them talk. Talking is done best when you are doing chores together.
Have fun. Jump out and scare each other. Grab one child and dance around the room. Happy, balanced children come from happy mamas and daddies. You can’t yell and gripe and expect them to be joyful.
Spend time as a family doing small jobs, playing board games, or being creative.
Have some quiet downtimes when everyone just hangs over the couch and thinks about what they might like to do or where they might like to go visit. Don’t allow technology to consume their minds by having it readily available to fill up any gaps of time. Do your own research and see what electronic emissions are doing to their brains. Read how the blaring sights and sounds are dulling their intellect.
Child training is the most consuming joy in the universe. They should be with you when you take a walk, drive into town, visit a client, plant a garden, cook, clean out the car, and all the chores and events of life—except taking a bath and making love. Children are learning every moment. Every second is forming the brain. Every experience is a potential habit and reservoir for future actions. Someone or something is teaching them all the time. Their brains are being grooved and YOU need to take charge of the process. You are your child’s hope in today’s failing culture.
Another word to Christian families who would love to see their children serving God…
Families who are successful in raising their children to do amazing things when they have a vision.
All children need to see that THEY are not the end goal. The goal needs to be much bigger than themselves. The family that wants children who will minister must be training their children to minister. Every child must see that their life matters to others outside their “pond.” The family needs to be handing out tracts, feeding a needy family, helping an old lady with her yard, going on mission trips as a family, mailing gospel books to prisoners, or any other service that a child would see as worthy. Give your child an eternal vision. It is an excellent investment and will cover a lot of other mistakes that most parents make.
Michael Pearl writes:
If I were the devil, I would be proud of six things that leave lethal grooves in the brains of children:
The presence of digital media in the homes of Christians—televisions, videos, Netflix, Amazon, iPads, computers, video games, and especially cell phones. For the first time in the history of the world, Satan has mainline, 24-hour-a-day, intravenous access to the hearts of children—direct from the Sodomites and atheists into the brains and hearts of children. It has never been so easy. The devil could retire for foolish parents are cooperating with the dark side, doing the devil’s work for him.
If I were the devil I would be proud of the educational system. His motto is Proverbs 666: “Train up a child in the way he should NOT go, and when he is old he will never depart from it.”
If I were the devil I would be proud of the church in the Western world. It attempts to be an alternative to pop entertainment and psychological therapy, with a combination of spiritual masturbation and self-love.
If I were the devil I would be proud of the many bibles that contradict each other and leave the impression that only a Greek scholar can know the original intent.
If I were the devil I would be proud of the modern family order where children are not required to share responsibility for the family prosperity. “By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through” (Ecclesiastes 10:18).
Lastly, if I were the devil I would be especially proud of pornography and depictions of violence in the media. There was a time when only sailors in faraway ports could see even a fraction of what is now available to children online. Souls are destroyed by the time parents discover their children can access hell right from the privacy of their Christian home.
Yes, if I were the devil the only thing that would concern me now would be those families that have broken away from public education, the modern church, and the culture that surrounds them. I would dedicate all my energies to that small group of holdouts. How long will it be before they leave a gap in their defenses and the devil slides in like a chilly draft through a crack in the weather stripping?
But I am not the devil; I want to be his worst nightmare, so I am here to sound the alarm and bolster the defenses in these last days. There is a remnant, and you who are reading this are probably among the overcomers.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10–11)