Today's modern parent may be well-educated but sometimes lacks wisdom, what Grandma called horse sense. Media and consumerism seem to drive research and reporting into the fast Fear Lane. Many buy into it and then BUY! Translation: I just want my child to be safe. I want my family to eat healthy. I want my house to be hazard free. Life is lived out of fear! And fear sells. . .headlines and products.
According to today's philosophy it's a sheer miracle we baby boomers reared our kids successfully without seat belts, car seats, bike helmets, vitamins, water-purifiers, in the sunshine, without hand sanitizer, in shopping carts and drinking tap water! Remember spit baths? Horrors! I'm not proposing ignorance, just balance.
What happened to faith in God to equip us without reacting to every report and rearing children in a fear-based atmosphere?
Those parental fears are reflected in little faces and grow right into their adulthood.
Be careful, Honey, that could hurt you! Don't put that in your mouth--germs! Wash your hands! Don't drink that, eat that, breathe that!
As kids, we had ghost stories. As adults, we have health stories. I'm not buying it! I think we might be raising a generation of ill-equipped, frightened, nervous children who drown in meltdowns and tantrums because of adult emotional whirls. The more fearful the parent, the more it's mislabeled love. Is it really doing "what's best" for a child? Or is it a futile grasp for control where release to God in faith might be the better choice.
1. There is a God.
2. It's not me.
We wrestled with it on a much smaller scale. I remember mothers who were afraid of thunderstorms. Try as they may, kids perceived and imitated that fear. Today adults' fears are amplified and multiplied (the "well-educated") and fill children's minds like steroids. If the world is so full of horrible things that appear innocent but kill us, why are we living longer and in better health than ever? Shouldn't all that bad stuff that's killing us have killed us by now?
With all safety precautions in place, bad things happen and grace can still prevail, as this 30 second video startlingly proves:
There's evidence that germaphobes are actually sicker because they miss out on the good bacteria (yes, there is such a thing) by staying too clean! The book Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick researches this counterpoint. One lady even eats a little dirt by not washing vegetables in order to stay well! Another extreme perhaps. But stats can be made to prove most anything!
The old Chinese proverb says,
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Today that may have evolved into a new version,
"Give a man a symptom and he'll worry for a day.
Give him access to Google and he'll torture himself for a lifetime."
From my grandmotherly soapbox I challenge young parents to trust God and themselves more. Trust the latest shocking studies less. Pass along your faith, not fear.
Faith and fear cannot abide in the same tabernacle.
I offer you two more resources on the subject in links below. The first is a one-minute humorous skit; the second is an article.
Readers' Digest carried an article on this subject (Nov. 2010) Is It Just Me? The Petrified Woman! While not necessarily a Christian soapbox, like mine, it still smacks of good old-fashioned horse sense. For further reading find the article on page 57 at this link. http://www.scribd.com/doc/39502562/Reader-s-Digest-November-2010
In the grip of grace,
KathyI just read today's blog by a mother of 7, almost 8! Alyssa has it in perspective and probably was forced not to freak out. Read Resolved to Worship: http://resolved2worship.xanga.com/