Jesus told us to let the children come to him. I think that invites us to ask how we might assist children to achieve their life’s aim of coming to the Lord. I think we all give thought to that, and with each new experience we can gain a further understanding of how to help children on their journey. I have had two enlightening experiences lately
The first thing to make me think is my reaction to the ban our courts have put to life sentences for juvenile criminals. The courts have come to see that the powers of making good judgments are not fully developed in the early teens. That has led the courts to seeing that teenagers should not be deemed to be held fully responsible..
That insight of the courts has me rethinking the matter of disciplining children. Disciplining can be overdone, stifling creativity, but still discipline must be seen as playing an essential part in healthy upbringing. While our attainment of self-discipline marks us as people with character, our accepting the discipline of elders is a necessary step for us in developing our self-discipline.
My own experience with maintaining self-discipline boils down to my keeping the time I give to entertainment to less than the time I give to work.
That thought leads me to the second recent experience that has made things clear for me. Public High Schools across our country have a number of students who just cannot put their minds on learning. To deal with them, some school systems have created unique high schools where they set aside classrooms to accommodate students who can’t make the effort to learn.
The other day a friend of mine, looking into one of those special classrooms saw the teacher at the board demonstrating the way of solving a math problem. At the same time my friend took a picture of the room’s students, and the photo shows some students eating, others holding phone conversations, while others had music plugged into their ears.
Their need to be constantly entertained might be pointing to a national misstep with our young people. Perhaps Americans are academically behind those in other nations because we have allowed our young people to be addicted to all forms of entertainment.