Americans were shocked when a mob of 400 Brooklyn teenagers looted and ransacked a shopping mall. We shake our heads in disbelief when young men kill their classmates and knock down strangers on the street. The fact is… destructive behavior will continue, if we don’t understand what’s happening to children.
Neglecting children or controlling them with put downs, hitting, insults or threats can create fear, anger and resentment. When parents don’t pay attention to a child’s emotional needs, they are making life difficult for their child.
Parents involved in constant conflict, domestic violence and child abuse make life “a living hell.” Children are thrown off their emotional center and can become bullies or easy victims. They may seek relief through drugs, inflicting pain on others or themselves.
The single greatest threat to children’s future is the failure to teach them how to discover inner strength. If parents don’t listen and stop abusive behavior at home, youth can become socially isolated and have difficulty at school. (30% of teens drop out of high school.) Disconnected teens can shut down their conscience and engage in destructive behavior with little remorse or empathy for others.
Education is important. However, equally important is a child’s emotional development so he or she doesn’t bully or become a victim and isolated. When children grow self-aware, they develop healthy friendships and experience success in school. A loved child becomes a caring adult.
Lack of self-awareness is the biggest social problem Americans face today. Children need love, discipline and support from spiritually centered adults to prevent addictions, mental problems and/or violent behavior.
We can’t legislate values, character or morality. It is up to parents, teachers and the adult community to create safe homes, schools and neighborhoods so children become balanced and spiritually centered.
What is a spiritually centered child?
All humans are spiritual beings with powerful instincts, intuition and a conscience for self-protection. However, children need to see healthy role models to grow strong and resilient.
Every child is born with undiscovered gifts and talents. With support from family, extended family, friends, neighbors and teachers, youth can develop the 3 C’s: courage, character and conscience. “Courage” gives children the confidence to stand up for self, walk away from trouble and learn from mistakes. “Character” is the process of developing self-discipline, resiliency, honesty, patience and empathy. “Conscience” is the ability to control self, feel remorse, know right from wrong, handle anger calmly and forgive others.
These attributes help children reach their potential no matter what is happening around them. Trusting their instincts and intuition (inner spirit and wisdom) gives children the emotional tools to develop self-awareness in order to reject negative influences.
Eighty-four percent of Americans believe in a higher power. Children do not have to attend church or synagogue to be spiritually centered. However, religious groups that strengthen families provide healthy role models and mentors for children as they learn the power of self-discipline, reflection and how to modify their behavior. Religious organizations provide a supportive “family” of people who care about emotional (spiritual) development.
We can no longer remain silent as children struggle alone! We must speak up, support families and come together as concerned community members to protect children!
When Americans work together, we will see positive change. Spiritually centered children can handle bullies and other challenges if they have the love and support needed to keep them safe and healthy.