In Part 1, we looked at two of the moral issues that apparently helped lead to some of the recent tragedies related to young teens. There are also some basic beneficial concepts that parents of these teens reject.
They Dismiss Basic Disciplines and Accountability
When lack of responsibility and accountability meets evil, the results can be devastating. Sure, we need to prepare our kids for the “real world” and independent living, but perhaps we’re letting go too soon, at least when we consider our kids’ maturity levels. (After all, many Depression-era young people were married and working full-time jobs to support a family before they turned 20.)
Shaaliver Douse was shot by police officers after police saw him firing shots at a fleeting person and then turning his gun on the cops. Did you realize that 14-year-old Shaaliver was out on the streets of New York without supervision at 3 a.m.? He should have been at home, in bed. Yet his mother wasn’t even out looking for him, and it didn’t seem as if she was even worried, until the police came knocking. There’s so much wrong with that picture; you have to wonder if Shaaliver’s mother even really cared about her “angel.” Until it was too late.
Somehow, we think we’ve evolved as a culture to where teens no longer need bed times or curfews, when science tells us that all humans require regular sleep to function well.
They Degrade the Concept of Responsibilities
22-year-old Christopher Lane was gunned down by two teenagers as he jogged in Oklahoma. Did you hear that Christopher’s killers were basically motivated by boredom? If you’re the parent of a young, able-bodied man who can find nothing profitable to do with his time, then you have failed. If all he can think to do is to kill another human being, then you’ve failed miserably.
Whenever I hear parents of teens saying they don’t want their kids to have to work, because they want them to be able to have fun, I cringe. Why? We’re teaching them that work is something to be avoided, not a basic part of life. Then we wonder why they don’t want to grow up, move out, and have families of their own — that is, if they at least make better use of their boredom than these teen murderers.
Sometimes teens who pursue paid work are simply learning to love money, and that’s an issue because plenty of evil can come from that (1 Tim. 6:10). They should learn to work hard, though — at home, at school, and in their community. There’s plenty that able-bodied young people can do that others cannot physically do for themselves. Our teens need to be taught to see a need and meet it, when they’re able to do so (Prov. 3:27). Just as their great-grandparents were capable of managing and providing for households at their ages, today’s teens are capable of far more than we put on their plates. Perhaps if we raised the bar, they’d rise to the challenge.