Treating Children as Idols
From an Anonymous comment on my Peaceful Parenting post
Sadly “peaceful parenting” is very quickly becoming the new norm for “good parenting”. Children are being treated as idols and parents are constantly yielding to every emotion and request like their child’s life depends on it. I am not judging these parents because they are genuinely trying to do the right thing. I know many peaceful/gentle/attachment parents and they are beautiful people who are just misguided and heavily influenced by the world.
It is becoming more dangerous and forceful as time goes by just like any other sin. We are now told that time out or removing privileges is disrespectful and border line child abuse. That children have “bodily autonomy” which means they can refuse to have their hair or teeth brushed. We should all unschool our children and let them explore and teach themselves whatever they have an interest in. If we teach or facilitate anything we are undermining them.
Children should not be prompted to say “please” or “thank you” because that is rude, they will say it if they want to and if you force them the words will hold no meaning. Bedtimes and enforcing naps is stripping children of their independence, we must let them choose when they want to rest so they learn to listen to their own bodies. Children must co-sleep for as long as they want (forever if they choose) and husbands can sleep in another room if they have a problem with it.
All of these examples are things I have actually witnessed in real life or have seen in various blogs and Facebook posts.
I honestly feel like this new trend is another tactic of the enemy to destroy marriage. What man can feel happy and fulfilled after years of being cast the leftover energy and attention his wife has to offer after a busy day of worshiping her children and letting them run the household.
I have two boys who I love with all my heart but they absolutely do not run this house. If they need a hair cut, they get one even if they don’t like it because it’s boring. If it is bedtime, they go to bed even if they would rather stay up with my husband and me.
Lori speaking here: Parents, raise your children in “the nurture and the admonition of the Lord.” Nurture means to educate, to bring or train up. Teach and train them the ways of godliness. When you are raising your children you must always be training and guiding them to do what is right and hate that which is evil. It’s your job to teach them the Word and the ways of the Lord. Teach them to love the Lord’s ways and hate the world’s ways by telling them about the goodness and greatness of the Lord. One way to do this is to live a life of cheerfulness and joy; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Sing songs and make melody in your heart to Him. Let your children see the joy of the Lord in YOU!
Then we are taught to raise them in the admonition of the Lord. Admonition means to give a reproof; counseling against a fault; instruction in duties; caution; direction. This means they must be disciplined to learn what “no” means from an early age and learn to obey you. This is the most important thing to teach a young child. It will make raising them so much easier. Let them know the horrible consequences of sin and that they will reap what we sow. You can use many stories in the Old Testament to show them the pain of sin. Pain is a great teacher. A couple of good, hard swats on the behind are a great teacher against disobedience. The pain of the swat must hurt more than the pleasure of the sinful behavior.
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
6 thoughts on “Treating Children as Idols”
Peaceful parenting sounds like a recipe for disaster in raising children. It may be a method used in some areas but not in the rural small town where I live. I work with kids at church school and they get a snack when they come in. Please and thank you are always said and it they forget I remind them. There are 20 of them and they are generally well behaved and polite. My son has a 2 year old boy. Very gently but firmly the little guy is being taught to follow directions, to say please and do what his parents ask. He is already happy and well behaved and a joy to be around. My son does not spank this little guy. Parenting should not be “peaceful” or the house will be chaos and a war zone. Fair, firm direction gently applied can go along way in properly teaching children.
This is something I have noticed as well. There is a “wild and free” mentality in the ways of homeschooling and raising children IN the Christian communities. I see how destructive it is, too. It may look peaceful, and many other dreamy things, but it is opposite of what the Lord instructs us to do. Anyone who really is in the Word of God is able to identify the lies of the devil, even if not immediately, eventually. God is orderly, and He wants us to live an orderly life. That wild and free mentality would be the opposite of it.
The other thing I have noticed going on a lot is a very nature minded group of Christians. I enjoy nature, don’t read me wrong. We live in the middle of it and learn to care for it but we do not adore it nor do we make it more important than it is and we don’t go around saying and inventing things about it that aren’t true.
Even as peaceful and healing as being in the nature may be, and it surely can be and has been for me in many ways, the Lord is the One working in our hearts so it isn’t nature itself doing the work. We all know that, but do we all believe that and put things into perspective?
My husband was homeschooled and he is one of nine children, the second oldest. Their life at home was very orderly, homeschool wasn’t great fun, they had joy in serving, working hard, having time outdoors and all, and it was very orderly. He continues to be orderly now and I strive to be as orderly as possible and to teach my children the same. They don’t like it most of the time mostly because they are still very young and I haven’t always been consistent, but usually after they’ve done what they need to do they have great satisfaction that I’m sure they appreciate as does my husband.
Children really can’t decide what they want or when they want it. They’d destroy themselves and then why would they need us after all? And who can/would want to live with demanding people anyway?
I agree with this so much. All you have to do is get on Facebook and you’ll see child worship everywhere. Making children the absolute center of your universe is considered the only acceptable way to parent, and I can’t get on board with it. Because my parents didn’t worship me, they did me a favor. I learned to be quiet during adult conversations and not interrupt, not to expect over the top birthday parties and gifts, and that my parents valued their time with each other more than they valued their time with me. They had their life together, and my sister and I were a huge part of it, but we weren’t ALL of it. I’m thankful for that now that I have my own children, so my husband and I don’t get sucked into the trap of worshipping our kids.
Our younger daughter Danielle recently hosted a baby shower for our older daughter Dana whose first child is due before Christmas. One of the many gifts I gave her was a paddle. I had saved it for years with her baby spoon and other more sentimental items from her babyhood. The paddle was made by pulling off the sandpaper pieces from each side of a foot/heel sander, and I made an identical one for my other daughter when she becomes a mother.
When Dana smiled and remarked about the paddle, my aunt, my mother, my sister-in-law, both of my daughters and I were all chuckling about the “rod of correction.” Momentarily, however, I noticed a hush had fallen over the event. Much later we realized that there was some shock over the paddle. As my gifts were the last to be opened, we all heard the new mother-to-be remark with glee, “Mom, the paddle is the best gift ever!” and she was dead serious. “Justin’s going to love it, too!” and he did!
Apparently our expectant parents are pretty sick and tired of how their friends allow their little ones to behave. We didn’t allow our tots to decide what to eat or not, what to wear or not, etc. They were trained and expected to obey immediately and willlingly, and when or if they did not, there were consequences for disobedience. Ironically, we only had to apply the rod of correction up to about 2 years old. Diligence and consistency are key when coupled with love and determination to raise in the fear of God.
I rejoice that my children will walk in Truth as they raise their own offspring. They face more treacherous challenges than when we were raising them three decades ago. Biblically obedient parents need our prayers and support, our words of encouragement.
It is a gift we gave our children, Kelley, to have self-discipline and self-control which, unfortunately, way too many children are not given and suffer all of their lives. We seeing it being played out all over our world today. The Lord’s ways are always best!
This is nothing new. My wife is the last year of Baby Boomers and she and all of her friends have treated their/our children as idols. Why do you think the now “antifa/snowflake” mellinial age group bleed from the ears when someone disagrees or criticizes them?
It is/was part of the feminist movement to “play” around in late HS and college, start a career, then find a man to provide, ignore him, have kids to fulfill herself, then divorce her provider husband and go back to “play”.
In the christian circle it goes similar to this: homeschool, “play” in college (without anyone knowing or deny it) or do the same in the “mission” field. Stay in a youth/group, young/single adult group. Don’t marry because mom and dad said she is a unicorn and can’t find anyone “good” enough for her, and those young men she likes are “intimidated” by her and all she can find is bad boys, ie. “play”. Finally when she finds someone he needs to be “worked” on by her parents to comply with her wishes and submit to her or he is “abusive” and with everyone’s support gets to finally divorce him after having kids with him.
OR. The poor christian woman has to start a blog about how there are no “good” men out there.