I sat here this morning, watching the news. To my shock there is a news story about 6th graders planning to "shoot up the school and then commit suicide by either hanging or shooting themselves". 6th graders!!
Many people's initial reaction is "where are the parents?" Maybe that is true. Where are they? Are they at work - maybe 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet? Are they "super" moms and dads, doing all those volunteer things, with a perfect house and outer appearance? Or are they simple folks, maybe one or both parents work, but they keep up with their kids' homework, asking how their kids' day went, constantly reaching out, perhaps only to be denied?
How quick we are to jump and place blame! I will admit to you that my oldest daughter was bullied all last year, and inspite of my "taking an active interest" in her life, she never said anything to me until this year. How awful I felt!! My child was being hurt, and I was nowhere to be found. What kind of parent am I?
Then I thought about it...I was there, but maybe I didn't see the signs or say the right things. I was there, but maybe she really didn't want me to know. There are so many different possibilities that it is pointless to go over them. I know all I can do is my best. I can be there when she wants to talk, to not deny her access to me. I can take action when she asks for help. I can let her know that I really do love her and would do just about anything for her.
I cannot make her talk. I cannot make her ask for help. I cannot make her accept my love, or trust me, or accept my advice.
Neither can the parents of those 6th graders. Kids are not hardwired to love, trust or accept their parents. They are individuals, who will make up their minds based off of their experiences.
There is a scripture that says "Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, when you have a plank in your own?" (probably not exact, but you get the point.) I think we really need to look at our own lives, our own children. I think we need to re-evaluate our lives. Are we "picture perfect" on the outside? Are we so focused on making money that is excludes everything else? I'm not laying blame on parents who have to work 2 jobs just to make ends meet, but this is focused on those who make money simply so they can have that ever elusive "more". Are we the type of parent who believes in "a child should be seen and not heard"?
Parents tend to say "I know how you feel, I went through that as a kid too". Yes, we have all experienced bullying...but we did not have it on facebook, google, youtube, ect. We did not have the temptation of sexting. Material goods are more important than ever in our society. Dressing just right might not be a new thing, but the style sure has changed.
Times have changed. The world can seem to be a scary place. Kids have sooo much they have to acomplish at an even younger age if they want to have a "chance for success". The stress they endure is certainly more than the stress we endured.
Scripture says "worry about nothing, but pray about everything". I certainly believe we need to pray for our children, our communities and our nation. Something is wrong. We must be aware. We must be focused on our CHILDREN first and foremost. They are our future...but only if they live to see it.