Featured in the October, 2002 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
This stealing is really wretched considering that these are folk who steal from their own kids. What is stolen? The children are robbed of their childhood!
It was the famed (or notorious!) psychologist, Bruno Bettelheim, who said, “Most people don’t really want children, they want little adults.” As soon as they are out of infancy, we plunge them into adulthood.
True childhood should last at least until the teens. Real childhood should be characterized by carefreeness; that is, not being burdened with the woes of the world. Childhood should be marked with innocence; that is, the youngster should not be exposed to crude, vile, gross, obscene language and actions.
The youngster should have time for day dreaming. There should be opportunity to exercise wholesome curiosity and expand his imagination. He should not have to worry about war, divorce, murder, the destruction of our environment, world hunger, global economic collapse, and racial strife.
Let him enjoy the natural world of parks and forest preserves instead of the garish, mechanical entertainment of the theme parks.
Let him live life at his own pace. The rat race will come soon enough. Allow him to enjoy simple toys, even homemade ones. He will see plenty of computers for the rest of his life. Let him be a child! Why force adulthood on a pre-teen when we can hardly handle it ourselves?
Don’t crush a child with adult concerns. Why does a pre-teen have to know more about sex than his grandparents knew at the time of marriage? Why does he have to hear talk about taxes, house payments, insurance, and some pending world financial collapse? Why does he have to be exposed to sadistic violence, the cruelty of war, and other adult worries? Why should a little child be responsible for sitting little brothers and sisters when he still needs a babysitter himself? Your youngster gets only one opportunity to be a child. Don’t steal his childhood from him. Jesus warned saying, “Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” and “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones” (Matthew 18:6, 10).
Let the child hear the great stories of Scripture heroes and learn how to put his trust in the Lord. Let his role models be not the stars of stage and screen but good, godly people whose lives make worthy contributions to the world. Before the weight of adult responsibilities, let his heart become strong in the Lord.