Pushing Children Into Danger
A while back my son was supposed to participate in something that my husband and I thought was really great. Imagine my surprise when he said he didn’t want to go.
I pushed back a bit to try to convince him to go. Thankfully we have a close enough relationship that after a bit of prodding he finally said, “I don’t want to because most of those guys are perverts.”
I hesitated, considering just what that meant and then asked, “What do you mean by ‘pervert’?” He proceeded to share with me that the guys talked about girls in ways he didn’t like to hear and that they discussed things they shouldn’t and he just really didn’t want to be placed in that situation.
Needless to say, there was no more pushing. He learned to trust his gut.
As I have pondered this, I have wondered how often we, as parents, push our children to do something that they don’t really want to do, not realizing there may be a very good reason for their hesitation. One they may not even have the capacity to understand fully … yet.
We all remember that there is a kid code out there, the “don’t rat out your friend code” that may make your kids hesitate to explain why they really are not interested. Or possibly they are not even equipped to see the danger or clearly express it, but they just know instinctively they should avoid certain situations.
I remember when I was in high school being invited to a party that all “the” crowd was going to attend and I really didn’t want to go, but it seemed crazy not to go. I had heard some of what went on at such parties, I had an uneasy feeling, and I was hesitant. But because everyone was going I went. It didn’t take long for me to call my dad and ask him to come and get me. I remember walking a ways down the street so I was spared the embarrassment of being picked up by “Daddy.” He affirmed me and my decision, and I learned to trust my gut. I wonder what that decision saved me from that night?
My daughter, while at work a few years ago, called and asked me to come and pick her up because there was someone there who she had a very bad feeling about. She couldn’t explain it, she just knew she had to leave. She told her boss she had to leave; she was a valued employee, so no questions were asked. We did find out months later that this young man was bad news. She learned to trust her gut.
I guess I feel compelled to share this with you to caution you not to push too much if your child is uneasy about participating in something or being somewhere and you don’t understand why. Even if your child cannot articulate the reason, listen. We want to teach our children to always have their radar up and to trust their gut.
Moms, train your kids to listen, trust their gut, and hear those Holy Spirit whispers … affirm their ability to have wise discernment.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.John 16:28a