Saturday, August 5, 2017

Let Them Be Children

What was your childhood like? I remember mine being filled with days of running around the yard, using my imagination and toys to create adventures with my siblings and our friend who lived around the corner from us. I probably spent 8 hours a day outside, playing and enjoying the sunshine during the summer. During winter, I spent my days playing dolls, making crafts or reading after school hours were over. It was a great childhood.

My mom did a great job raising my siblings and me. Our childhood was filled with encouragement in the right places, and careful discouragement in areas that would harm us if we went down those paths. Our TV shows were monitored, and if you got caught trying to watch something that was trash, you had better be prepared for a week of no TV privileges. Music was carefully selected, and there were even Veggie Tales songs we didn't listen to! Certain toys weren't allowed to cross the threshold of our home, because they were (and still are, in my opinion) trash. We had a bedtime and chores. The girls weren't allowed to pierce their ears until we were 12, and no makeup until 15- we were taught we were beautiful as God created us and didn't need artificial beauty. Didn't need a curfew because my mom had enough common sense to know that children shouldn't be allowed to go out on their own!

Things you would never find in our home were:
Bratz dolls and fashion dolls that dressed indecently (Which I'm still trying to understand why any parent would allow their daughter to have these, I mean, what kind of impression do they make on young girls about their appearance?!)
Anything that had to do with Halloween.
Harry Potter, or any kind of magic (And yes, we watched Disney movies but had to fast forward the magic parts when watching our video cassettes. And this is something that still goes for my young siblings)
90% of TV shows and movies that were for 'kids' (especially when we had satellite TV for a brief time). Most of them would be considered clean compared to the shows now days, but they were no good back then and still aren't.
Games and movies that encouraged excessive violence and destruction. The worst you could have found as far as violence was my brother had a cap gun, a GI Joe (which he threw away because we girls made him marry our Barbie dolls, and, as you know, girl toys have cooties) and he watched the old Ninja Turtles.
Pop music. Still a no and for good reason.
Anything that encouraged the need for boyfriends/girlfriends at young ages. I remember there was this one board game with a phone and had something to do with crushes or whatever? Yeah, that was a no.

You might be thinking, well, your family was probably Amish or something, that's so strict. Eh, no. We are Independent Baptist, and conservative, but we're not so strict we couldn't have or do anything.

See, my family believes childhood should be just that: childhood. Not 'getting ready to be a teenager'-hood. We were encouraged to play and use our imagination and have toys for as long as we wanted to, because we were children. It's bad enough that you only have about 15-16 years of being a child. Why would we make that time any shorter?

Nothing makes me more upset or sick than to see parents allowing their children be bombarded by the world during their childhood. Not just allowed, but it is encouraged.

Young girls are put in bikini's and skimpy clothes as soon as they are born now days (Babies in bikinis?!?!?! No one should be in one, but certainly not anyone under the age of 18)
They're encouraged to dress in styles that would be indecent on adults, and is perverted for children when they're only 8 years old.
By the time they hit 10, they are taught they need makeup and allowed to go out with faces painted.
By 13 they think they need to look like every model out there to be considered pretty, with as much skin showing as possible, and the tighter the clothes the better.
They're given fashion dolls that dress, in a word, trashy and encouraged to try to look like them.
They're taught to look up to singers like Arianna Grande and Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber who are some of the most ungodly role models a child could find, and walk around singing lyrics to songs that an adult should be ashamed to sing- all when they're under 15 years old!
Boys are taught that they need to dress like a gang member, and walk around eying every girl they come across in a vulgar way.
They're given violent video games and encouraged to spend all their time playing them (and then parents wonder why they are violent!)
Children are allowed to watch movies of kids and teens 'falling in love' and worrying so much about their crushes/boyfriend/girlfriend instead of their education, and the idea that if you don't have a relationship by the time you're 16, you are an outcast is pushed on children.

Parents think it's funny and cute that their 10 year old has a crush or a boyfriend/girlfriend. It's NOT! This is a child we are talking about! The farthest thing from their minds should be crushes and relationships, people! Teach them to focus on their education and relationship with God!

It's time to stop taking baby dolls out of little girls' hands and cramming a cellphone in them.
It's time to stop taking toy cars from little boys' and putting a video game in them.
It's time to stop pumping music that You should be ashamed to listen to into young ears and minds.
It's time to stop dressing children like adults, in clothes that even adults shouldn't be wearing.
It's time to stop encouraging children to have crushes and have boyfriends/girlfriends.
It's time to stop letting our kids look to the world for their guidance in how they look, act and think.
It's time to stop cramming the influences of the world into children's minds.

Why can't children be children anymore? Why can't they have toys that don't require a charger or batteries? Why can't they play outside and use their imagination instead of sitting in front of a computer playing on Facebook? Why can't they spend time playing games with friends instead of watching shows that will do thing but encourage them to act in a worldly manner? Why can't we teach them that while they are growing up, there's no need for boyfriends and girlfriends and crushes? Why can't we teach our kids to be proud of their appearance enough to keep themselves well kept, and teach them to rejoice in how God created them to look without artificial beauty? Why can't we teach them to respect the Bible and the commands God has given us regarding our separation from the way the world lives?

They only get to be children once, and then they have the difficult task of being an adult for the rest of their lives. Don't take that time of childhood away from their prematurely, and don't let the world steal it either.

I know all this isn't something that can be fixed in a day. But godly men and women who are raising children should see what is going on and stop their children from having their childhood ruined by what the world says children should be.
God gave parents the responsibility of raising their children according to His Word, and it's something they need to take seriously because what they teach and allow is what the next generation will believe and teach. Childhood seems to be growing shorter and shorter with each generation, and that breaks my heart.

I wish every child could have the simple, uncomplicated childhood I had. I was allowed to be a child until I grew up at the proper time.

Yes, I am a bit passionate about this topic. I love working with children and so it breaks my heart when I see the world stealing away what should be the happiest time of their lives. I don't care to see parents let their children's lives be molded by the world and then hear the complaints when the kids fall into sin that they were encouraged to go towards while they were growing up.

So, I beg you...

Let them be children.