Raising Children in a changing world!

I want to challenge you to really get serious about raising your children in the nuture and admonition of the Lord.  That means you must discipline and disciple your children in the right way to get them through what are known as the “tween years” 10-12 and also the “teen” years.  God has given us very special people to work with our young people.  We will soon be starting a different class for the tweens also.  This thought crossed my mind as I read an article from Fox News that I want you to consider.  It will follow this commentary with a link to get the whole article on its own web site.

As parents you will need help.  Someone said that it takes a community, a village to raise our children.  I believe that more than that it takes a church but not just any church.  A church is needed that will deal with the issues these young people are dealing.  We need a church that will prepare you to guide and direct the lives of your children.  Your children are your greatest assest and your greatest blessings.  I was no where near a perfect parent but I do know this that God in His grace and mercy can help you to raise godly, wholesome, healthy children that will honor God and you.  I hope that you will realize the great responsibility that you have as a parent.  Know this.  We are here for you.  We love you and your child and nothing is of more concern than our desire to see your children turn out blessed.

The article that you are about to read tells you that things are actually getting more difficult as we raise our children.  I praise God that our 4 children are all grown and married.  I thank God for the soon to be 10 grandchildren that He has given Betty and me.  I know how hard it was for me as we tried to raise our children.  I know how much wrong or bad advice I got and I know how many mistakes I made.  I hope you will allow us to help you as you navigate this special time in your children’s lives.

Read the following article.  Click on the link to get the rest of it.  Realize that even secular sources are quoted as being concerned about the differences in today’s children.  God has the answer and He will help you raise children that will honor and glorify Him.  We love you and are praying for you

10 is the New 15 As Kids Grow Up

 Faster

Zach Plante is close with his parents — he plays baseball with them and, on weekends, helps with work in the small vineyard they keep at their northern California home. Lately, though, his parents have begun to notice subtle changes in their son. Among other things, he’s announced that he wants to grow his hair longer — and sometimes greets his father with “Yo, Dad!”

“Little comments will come out of his mouth that have a bit of that teen swagger,” says Tom Plante, Zach’s dad.

Thing is, Zach isn’t a teen. He’s 10 years old — one part, a fun-loving fifth-grader who likes to watch the Animal Planet network and play with his dog and pet gecko, the other a soon-to-be middle schooler who wants an iPod.

In some ways, it’s simply part of a kid’s natural journey toward independence. But child development experts say that physical and behavioral changes that would have been typical of teenagers decades ago are now common among “tweens” — kids ages 8 to 12.

Some of them are going on “dates” and talking on their own cell phones. They listen to sexually charged pop music, play mature-rated video games and spend time gossiping on MySpace. And more girls are wearing makeup and clothing that some consider beyond their years.

Zach is starting to notice it in his friends, too, especially the way they treat their parents.

“A lot of kids can sometimes be annoyed by their parents,” he says. “If I’m playing with them at one of their houses, then they kind of ignore their parents. If their parents do them a favor, they might just say, ‘OK,’ but not notice that much.”

The shift that’s turning tweens into the new teens is complex — and worrisome to parents and some professionals who deal with children. They wonder if kids are equipped to handle the thorny issues that come with the adolescent world.

“I’m sure this isn’t the first time in history people have been talking about it. But I definitely feel like these kids are growing up faster — and I’m not sure it’s always a good thing,” says Dr. Liz Alderman, an adolescent medicine specialist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. She’s been in practice for 16 years and has noticed a gradual but undeniable change in attitude in that time.

She and others who study and treat children say the reasons it’s happening are both physical and social.

Several published studies have found, for instance, that some tweens’ bodies are developing faster, with more girls starting menstruation in elementary school — a result doctors often attribute to improved nutrition and, in some cases, obesity. While boys are still being studied, the findings about girls have caused some endocrinologists to lower the limits of early breast development to first or second grade.

Along with that, even young children are having to deal with peer pressure and other societal influences.

Beyond the drugs, sex and rock’n’roll their boomer and Gen X parents navigated, technology and consumerism have accelerated the pace of life, giving kids easy access to influences that may or may not be parent-approved. Sex, violence and foul language that used to be relegated to late-night viewing and R-rated movies are expected fixtures in everyday TV.

And many tweens model what they see, including common plot lines “where the kids are really running the house, not the dysfunctional parents,” says Plante, who in addition to being Zach’s dad is a psychology professor at Santa Clara University in California’s Silicon Valley.

He sees the results of all these factors in his private practice frequently.

Kids look and dress older. They struggle to process the images of sex, violence and adult humor, even when their parents try to shield them. And sometimes, he says, parents end up encouraging the behavior by failing to set limits — in essence, handing over power to their kids.

“You get this kind of perfect storm of variables that would suggest that, yes, kids are becoming teens at an earlier age,” Plante says.

 Click here to go to Fox News and read the rest of the story.

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