Raising Responsible Children
A few weeks ago, a little boy came to my door representing his private school for a fundraiser. I try to
support as best I can and I donated $10.00 in exchange for a free pizza coupon. He took my $10.00
and then told me that he would deliver the coupon on "this Saturday". Saturday came and went and
after two weeks, I decided to call the school and inquire. I thought at first it might have been a
scam...with the way some kids are these days, you never know. I described the child to the teacher
and she knew exactly who it was.
She said that he has a problem with "following through" and "being responsible". She told me that his
parents tend to baby him too much. She assured me that she would talk to his dad that afternoon and
that all would be taken care of and she promised me that I would get my coupon. Another two weeks
went by and still no coupon and so I called again. She did not remember me until I went through the
WHOLE story again and then she said, "oh yes, I remember now." She said, "I think I did speak to
the father that day. I am not sure. I am so sorry that you still have not received your coupon. I will
mail one out to you and I will speak to his parents about this." I said very politely, "It's not even about
the $10.00 but it's just that this child represents your private school and children have to be taught
responsibility now, while they are young. If they take money from someone, they should deliver what
they promised." She agreed and told me, "Oh yes, I agree completely. And this is exactly what we
teach here at our school. They have to be accountable." Hmmmm....well, it has been over a month
and no coupon and no phone call.
I really don't blame the school for the child's lack of responsibility even if the school's motto is
"responsibility and integrity." The responsibility lies on the parents' shoulders. They, upon hearing,
about their son's not honoring his word [and taking someone's money on behalf of his school,] should
have been a bit embarrased. They should have come to my house and made an apology on their
son's behalf or prompted their son to deliver the coupon.
These are the kind of children, being raised today, who will eventually be introduced into society. The
kind that take your money and do not deliver what they promised. The kind that will live only for the
weekends...no cares...apathetic towards work and studying. I feel so sorry for this young boy. I pray
for him. I feel that he was placed in my pathway for a reason...so that I may pray for him and his
parents. According to his teacher, this boy's parents both work and he is not being taught the basics
of responsibility. It is very sad indeed.
Though times have changed, I remember going out and selling fundraising stuff for my school, when I
was a child and it was a huge responsibility for my small age. I remember that once, I forgot the house
number of where I was supposed to deliver the goods to and so I looked around until I remembered
and found the right house. There was a fear in my little heart that I better deliver what I promised.
This young boy has yet to come to my door. His teachers have yet to call me as they promised and/or
mail out the coupon and the parents have yet to call. These are the times in which we live.
We need to pray for these people and especially the young boy.
UPDATE: We finally received the coupon, after many weeks of waiting. No phone call from the
teacher but the boy's father stopped by our home on a Sunday afternoon to drop off the coupon.
The father quickly apologized for the long delay. Not much was said. (My husband did not mention
our thoughts on the matter. Sometimes it is just best to keep those things in our hearts and pray for
the people.) My husband just smiled and politely said, "Thank you very much."
We are praying for this father and his son.
What can be learned from this is that parents need to teach their children responsibility. Obviously in
this case, the school was not doing such a super job and ultimately it is the parents' responsibility to
raise their children to have integrity. Christians, must be honest and raise responsible children for
once they are grown, it is too late.
You may have heard the story of a boy and his friend who found a packet of matches and began to
light them one by one and watched them burn out. One match dropped to the ground and began to
burn the dried grass in the field where they were standing. Before they could put the fire out, the field
was set ablaze. They each ran home. The one boy went home and told his parents what had
happened, standing accountable. The other boy went home and quickly washed his face, changed
his clothes and pretended like nothing happened, trying to hide what he had done. The fire chief
called the parents of the boy who hid the fact and informed the parents of what their son had done.
Without yelling, the boy's father drove his son to the fire department. The fire chief and others talked
to the boy about the terrible act that he had done. The public embarrasement of being brought to the
fire department was much worse than any punishment the father could have rendered to the child.
The young boy had to stand accountable for his own actions. The father made his son accountable
for his own actions. The fire department made the boy accountable for his own actions. That is how
things were carried out years ago. Today, the boy might have undergone psychological evaluations
and told that; "It is not your fault that you lit the field on fire. It is ok." Parents need to
hold themselves and their children accountable.
Children need love but they also need guidance and instruction so that they will become honest,
Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Prov 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
Copyright © 2004 Cobblestone Road Ministries. All rights reserved.
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