I can’t get over the fact that children are allowed to swear at the Police… and get away with it. I am stunned when I find an 8 year old and a dozen mates, skateboarding at 3 am on a Tuesday night, scraping up the edges of some marble lined retaining wall outside a city railway station. It sickens me to see the foul mouthed language that spews from a small child’s mouth when it doesn’t get it’s way in a shopping centre. I am mortified to hear about drugs sold and distributed in our schools by dealers whose birthdays don’t even reach double digits.

We watch and see brawling inside a pub and on the sidewalks. We see drunken miscreants staggering from one throw-up to the next. We see or hear of so called role-models or movie stars behaviour acted out in depraved and sickening ways.

These are all demonstrations of brat behaviour and of children, young and old, acting out their frustrations and inability to express themselves in a sociably and responsible manner. And as a society we grow more desensitised and disappointed, and accept it as an inevitability.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Training a child in the way he should go falls primarily on the shoulders of the parents. This is the job of a parent. It is the responsibility and the charge placed upon the parent.

Training maybe complimented at church and hopefully at school, but it must be soundly established within the home.

Parents, school teachers, coaches, or any leader of influence must ’cause’ a child to learn… it can not be passive, but active. A child needs boundaries and clear instruction. A child will not learn if left to its own devices.

As parents we must give it our best shot! While never easy, at least you will have given them a head start in life. Our children will grow up and learn to make their own decisions and must eventually be responsible for their actions, good or bad.

And even if we don’t fall into the categories above, we can do our bit too. We can learn to speak out or deal with inappropriate behaviour when it is in our power to do so. Be gracious but firm… remember to always address the behaviour, not the child.

In the midst of all the chaos and downward spiraling of inappropriate behaviour, there are still glimmers of hope. Every so often we see shining examples of children who are truthful, diligent, polite, use their manners and are respectful. Everyone of them have at least one parent who cared enough to ’cause’ their child to learn. Complement them and encourage them, both child and parent.

We can all do our bit. Will you ’cause’ a child to learn today?