When one comes to realize the power of the impact of negative influences such as hard drugs, alcohol, liberal sex values perpetuated through music, movies, television, internet, and magazines readily available in our society today, one is almost tempted to disappear into seclusion. But that is neither possible, practical not frankly the answer to the problem. Even if you took your family to a remote mountain or desert hide way, you probably would not totally escape the influence of this world.
The natural question all parents ask is: How can we prevent or counteract all the temptations and influences upon our children? There has not been a period in history when young people especially in the modern world today have had so many struggles and temptations as in our time today. Lyrics of countless popular songs extol drugs and illicit sex and most parents don’t watch the TV programmes or for that matter see the movies that young people do. They are totally unaware of the messages to approve of or accept out of all the themes of several currently popular movies. But, again how can parents prevent influences from creeping into the lives of children? You might forbid magazines, internet, television or even radio. But what kind of child would be produced in a reclusive environment? Would children be better off if they never watched television? If they never saw a movie; they never heard a popular music track? Some people think so. However in that environment it seems children would become introverted, reclusive and probably unable to function in the society as adult. This is definitely is not the answer. On the other hand, if parents simply let their children go, they may be influenced by the immoral and godless messages overtly and subliminally being broadcast. The chances are, through movies and television, or internet; your children have already seen enough blood, gore, violence, sex, perversion and drug usage to last a lifetime. A child innocently seeking information on a website to conclude an assignment given at school could easily come across dangerous pop-ups luring them to inappropriate websites; so again, what do parents do? Forbid all movies? Throw out the TV set, forbid computers or access to the internet?
If parents are going to succeed in rearing successful and moral children in today’s society, it is absolutely essential that parents SELL true values to their children. Not just teach them SELL them! Children have to be convinced there is a better way than that which is depicted in the song, displayed in the computer or television screen. They must be shown there is a better way than the examples of so-called successes that surround the movie and TV stars, the sports personalities and business magnates some who openly live in and advocate an immoral life-style. They have to have the ability to think things through to a reasonable conclusion. What is the result of using hard drugs? What is the result of excessive alcohol? Of promiscuous sexual activity? The words of songs and the life shown in the movie may extol such life-styles. If parents simply answer bugging questions with ridicule and forbid, they are not convincing the children. There has to be much greater depth than that. First TEACH and then repeat over and over again the values you hold. If parents fail to positively teach values and laws, children will grow up following the whims of a society that more and more has turned from the basic values.
However teaching alone is not enough. What you teach your children will be only one of the many things they will be taught in their developing years. They will be taught by their teachers at school, by the movies they see, by the television programmes they watch, by the books and magazines they read, by the music they hear. They will be literarily surrounded by pulls and influences that will tempt them from the way you hope they will walk.
Living by examples
But how then can you sell them true values? Live by your examples. If your children observe abusive language, yelling, hitting, sulking, complaining from you parents, there is little value in you telling them to be respectful, polite and patient. If they see alcohol abuse and live with the smoke of hundreds of packs of cigarettes, it is to follow that they will not respond to parental teaching not to drink, smoke or use drugs. If parents brag about cheating on their taxes to the government, they should not be shocked when teachers catch the child cheating on a test at school. If a child sees a working parent pretend to be sick and stay at home from work, it should come as no surprise when school officials call about excessive absence and truancy from school. If apparent drives down the high- way with disregard for speeding regulations, he or she should not be surprised when the police call that the 17-year old in the family has been arrested for reckless driving and speeding. In order words the first person to sell on a true value system is you. If you believe in and live by the best possible standards, your children will see the result.
If there is warmth, happiness, forgiveness, love and encouragement in your day-to-day family life your children will not forget it the hours they are away at school. That only means that they won’t be tempted to or that they won’t make a few mistakes. But the basic way of life they have been taught and have absorbed will not be wasted.
In this world, your children are going to be exposed to many evils and wrongs in spite of all your efforts to keep them from them. In the long run your success as a parent and teacher will be manifested by how you have sold those right and true values to your children. Part of your teaching will include what you permit your children to view and read, with how they spend their time; or whom they choose as friends. As parents we may not always agree on just which books, television programs, movies or websites should be avoided or forbidden. That is the responsibility of each family. But maybe we can all agree that teaching, living by and selling your values to your children is your best assurance they will fight the good fight and walk the straight and narrow way that will lead them to happy and successful adult lives.