Issue 30-3 – Apostolic Books – The Role of Structure and Discipline in Raising Children










The Name of Jehovah

By  David Reynolds



“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child; I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (I Corinthians 13.11).


There is a period of time when a child is not a child and yet is not a man—we call it adolescence. Neither fish nor fowl, our young people are in a no-man’s-land—many hurting themselves and their future.


Bill Graves in an article I once read called adolescence a time of turbulent transition. He highlighted one of the greatest problems I see with our adolescence in America today:


“Granted far too much freedom many middle school children master the prerequisites of failure.”


We have high expectations for adults; make allowances for children—but withdraw from our young teenagers allowing them to blunder their way toward adulthood.


What about adolescence? How does a child become an adult? It does not happen suddenly and it is not easy. One moment they may act mature and secure and the next very childish and insecure. Just because they may look mature does not mean they are!


As parents, we are walking away from our adolescence before they have the self-discipline to control their impulses. We are letting them come home to empty, unsupervised houses. They get together away from adult supervision and they are hurting themselves—for life. They are getting hooked on tobacco, alcohol, hard drugs and experimenting with sex.


Parents, we are taking off all restraints and control far too early. Parental involvement falls off sharply after the primary grades.


I noticed as principal of an elementary school that when a first grade class had a little program I would have to bring in dozens of chairs for all of the parents, grandparents, uncles and neighbors. When the sixth grade had a function, however, we might have ten or twelve parents come to it.


The Middle High schools, however, had so few showing up at their programs it was embarrassing and discouraging. Why?


When asked, many parents told me it was because their young person did not seem to want them around. This is more reason to stay involved!


When the adolescent disobeys and rebels it takes so much energy and stress to impose consequences that many parents are walking away. Parents are letting them have their way rather than confronting them.



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