Parents Behaving Badly

April 13, 2017
Volume 21, Number 13

What could be more adorable than a community Easter Egg Hunt, especially when it is hosted by the local volunteer fire department?  Residents of Pottstown, Pennsylvania will have to imagine that scenario this year.  Officials with the fire department have announced that this year’s egg hunt has been canceled because of unruly parents.

For reasons of safety, parents were requested in the past to not enter the area where eggs were hidden during the hunt.  That didn’t stop several, however, from pushing through the lines and brushing children aside as they made sure their child(ren) scooped up the colorful treats.  The fun has, therefore, been spoiled for everyone.

It’s not hard to find examples of parents behaving badly.  A quick search of the Internet will reveal several reports of parents becoming boisterous during their children’s ball games.  Full disclosure: I remember yelling out a snide remark at the opposing coach when one of my sons was playing in a basketball game.  The coach, a man who was considerably bigger than me, heard my comments.  Did my son also hear?

In an article entitled “Modeling Behavior For Children Has Long-Lasting Effects”, Rick Nauert, PhD, writes this opening statement: “Developmental psychologists have always known children learn by imitating adults.”  Yes, we send them to school to learn intellectually, but some of the most important lessons children learn may not be intentionally taught.

Moses gave vital instructions to Israel about raising children: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. … You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7,9).

What strikes you when you read that passage?  Doesn’t it seem the Israelites were to put a great emphasis on God’s word as they raised their children?  They were to speak about it in all situations, and there were to be visual reminders of it in conspicuous places.  How could a child in that setting fail to see that God is important to that family?

Do our children see that God is important from observing our lifestyles?  Or do they see parents who put more emphasis on activities and pursuits of the world, pursuits that may actually work against the influence God wants to have on our children?

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).  Parents must diligently teach their children God’s principles.  Let us also remember to model those principles daily.

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2017, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

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