Why Our Children Are Messed Up

Oftentimes, parents want to know what is wrong with their children. Why do they act the way they do? Why do they say the things they say?

Every parent has lifted (or thrown) their child upwards towards the skies. While this movement is meant for the child’s delight, it is a symbol of what most parents what for their children – to go higher than the parent was able to go. What is interesting for the child that goes up, their eyes don’t gravitate towards the skies, but they stay fixated on the parent. The very motion almost guarantees that the child squeals in delight still focused on the parent.

Children are watching us more than we might realize. It is easy to blame culture, friends, media, or conditions upon their behavior, but what if those are only part of the problem?

What if some of our children’s issues are the parents who are raising them?

Some kids are behaving too much like their parents. The family might be a major issue. The behaviors repeated are often the ideals promoted. The terrors we might be raising might be learning much of their material from their parents. Like it or not, many children imitate much of their parents’ positive habits as well as their negative traits.

Before becoming President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson served as president of Princeton University. When installed in 1902, he stated that his vision was to “transform thoughtless boys performing tasks into thinking men.” After he had served there awhile, he was asked by parents to get more out of their children. The parents were seeing the results they had hoped for. He penned a letter to them and made a shocking assertion.

Woodrow Wilson when he was Princeton President:

I get many letters from you parents about your children. You want to know why we people up here in Princeton can’t make more out of them and do more for them. Let me tell you the reason we can’t. It may shock you just a little, but I am not trying to be rude. The reason is that they are your sons, reared in your homes, blood of your blood, bone of your bone. They have absorbed the ideals of your homes. You have formed and fashioned them. They are your sons. In those malleable, moldable years of their lives you have forever left your imprint upon them.

While I am sure that our children have numerous influences on their lives, what type of influence are you leaving on them? Are your children so messed up because we are not showing them another path? Instead of blaming everyone else on your child’s condition, consider how to improve your role as their parent.

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

Proverbs 23:24