After some praise from her aunt, my daughter recently described herself as “just a normal 15 year old kid who likes to help out”.
And I was reminded that she’s not just a kid. She’s a young adult. And people are surprised to see her kind of grown-up behavior in a 15 year old – male or female.
Some things, ideas, are occurring to me lately.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 1 Corinthians 13:11
A couple of years ago we started treating Kait more and more like an adult. I’m not sure what prompted us to do this, a leading from The Spirit or something. Over time we gave her more adult-like responsibility, started expecting more adult-like actions, and gave her more adult-like privileges. At 13 she was no longer a child. And though silliness and childlike antics are a fun part of our family, it was time for her to pack up any childish ways and toss ‘em.
It’s becoming quite clear to me that this is what is wrong with the majority of our youth these days. They hit a certain age, have all the physical and mental abilities of an adult, but none of the responsibility or expectations. They are no longer a child, but not yet an adult. They are just there.
Think about this.
In the typical public high school you can’t use the restroom without permission from a teacher, and sometimes an explanation of what you might need to do in there. Oh, and a pass so everybody in the hall knows you’re allowed to go potty by yourself.
These kids are old enough to be an adult, and we often rant and rave because they continue to act so childish; but if they dare expect to be treated with the dignity of an adult they’re likely to be faced with some form of punishment. In public schools that means detention, suspension, or in severe cases, expulsion.
A male of 17 should not only be expected to act like a man, he should also be given appropriate manly privileges. Like getting up to go to the restroom without begging permission.
I understand why changes like this could be difficult to implement in the public school system. It’s just not gonna happen. So, the system will continue to work to produce perpetual children; whiny, needy grown girls with no sense of true womanhood, who go through relationship after relationship after relationship in search of something they’ll never find in a grown boy; and lazy, dependant, demanding grown boys who expect nothing of themselves, have a warped view of pride and manhood, and desire no responsibility at all.
Even the most attentive parents have trouble combating these things in the few hours a day they have with their public schooled kids.
But we’re not completely without help. There are other options, though they aren’t always the easiest choices. But the narrow gate, the one that leads to life, isn’t supposed to be easy.
Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14
Whatever it is that you chose, remember this.
There is no middle child-age where our kids quite growing and learning. What is it you want your children being taught?