Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Advanced Parenting Tip: Don't Leave Every Decision to Your Kids - And Don't Send Them to Their Deaths

A few days ago I wrote about a the Columbine-like disaster that was almost unleashed in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Were it not for a young man who contacted the police at his school to warn of the possible plot, dozens may have been killed. A few days later, another disturbing aspect of the story came out. The young man who contacted the authorities first went to his mother to share what he knew - how two troubled boys were collecting weapons and making plans for vengeance. He wanted to know if he should go to the police. His mother, incredibly, told him that the decision would have to be his, and that she would trust him to come up with the right answer. The boy then spent a long time mulling over the decision - the newspaper story didn't report how long, but it may have been several days. He finally chose to go to the police, and the school was saved. The story quoted the young man praising his mother for her "good parenting" skills.

The media seemed so bubbly about the heroic young man that they missed a key point here: Why didn't the mother immediately call the police herself? Why leave a life-and-death decision to her son, who may have been going to his death at school the next day? Maybe she didn't understand how serious the situation was, but I know many who grew up influenced by pop culture in the 60s and 70s think it's cool and wise to just be a "life coach" or "facilitator" for a child's self-directed journey rather than actually telling kids what to do. Did that happen here?

Whatever was going on in Green Bay, here's my little tip as a life coach for you parents: When people are making bombs, gathering weapons, and preparing for a massacre, don't sit back calmly and wait for your kids to decide what to do. Call the police ASAP. Your duty is to protect your children and keep them out of harm's way.

This principle can be extended beyond the scope of school massacres or even violence itself. Are you protecting them from danger on the Internet or other media outlets? Are you protecting them from drugs and other harmful substances? Are you protecting them from dangerous friends or other harmful influences? There are times when parents need to be actual guardians and take vigorous though sometimes unpopular steps to actually protect their children. Teaching correct principles is the best course - but sometimes, you simply have to say "no" or even call the police.

2 comments:

Mark N said...

Why leave a life-and-death decision to her son, who may have been going to his death at school the next day?

Isn't this what God does? If not, then I guess President Bush really is off the hook.

Anonymous said...

Mark N. I don't fully understand what happened but in the period from 1980 we lost childen. a one year old who was not given adeuate fluids a the small town hospital. We had a 12 year take his life after suffering brain damage at birth that left him in a depressed state with no hope. We took him to many many doctors and got no help. A litle girl born in 1980 with Syndrom and Serious heart problems died in her sleep in 1994 at age l2. We divorced 4 years later. If I didn't have my wonderful five living children and soon to be 12 grandchildren I would not have survived. I am not biter or angry at anyone, but my former wife is angry and bitter and has a hot and cold relationship with our living children. My relationship with them is wonderful. My testimony has never been stronger and yes, after a thirty marriage and single, I am lonely at times but don't let me get me down. Life goes on. I was much protective to my living childen and finally and to just trust that they would fine without be in the back seat or wathing every move they made. It was hard and I woked through it.
I have so much be thankful for.