All summer long we, as parents, are our children's biggest influence. They spend time with us more than anyone else during summer break. So, unless they attend sleep-away camp, we, as parents, have a captive audience. What a perfect opportunity to pour some more good values into our kids brains and souls.
When school begins, our children are back with their friends and peers for the majority of the day. The ratio of time with you versus their time with friends flip-flops. But setting a strong value system is our parental duty so we can be confident they won't be influenced by the temptations the world makes so readily available to our kids. You're probably thinking I'm talking about drugs and alcohol, but, our son is a bit too young for that kind of influence right now. No, I'm talking about the typical 10-year-old temptations like joining in a mockery of another student because you want to be part of the cool crowd. Or, not taking the fruit each day at school because no body else does, yet you promised mom you would. Or, even begging to read a book way too mature for 10-year-olds because "everybody" is reading it. Don't get me started on the latest gadgets. Oh, please!
I repeat this phrase many-a-time during the school year: "In the world, not of the world." Simply what I mean is, we all live in this world together. There is no where else to go during our life here on Earth. We are all a part of it. Yet, the world in which we live is not the world from where we come. Our true home is with God, Spirit, any Higher Place you believe you come from and to where you will once again go home to.
The world is here for us to enjoy and there is so much beauty to absorb from it. But, there is right and there is wrong and the definity of the two rule differently depending on which world you are in. Pirating music, speeding, not giving back incorrect change, saying we're sick when we're not; it's all wrong but many of us still do it because the majority of the world does it so it must be OK. But, the majority doesn't make it right. We need to instill in our children that values do not come from what the world accepts to be OK, but rather what is known to be truly good and right, not in the eyes of the world, but in the eyes of God.
Still not clear? Try this: I think about Hollywood. Many people go to Hollywood and immerse themselves into that world. It can change them completely, and not for the better. Yet, the smart ones are able to live in that world, but not have that world become part of them. They think of Hollywood simply as their office, the place where they conduct business, but they don't make Hollywood, or their office, their home. Many know where their true home is and they base their actions and decisions on that value system.
It's simple really: either live your life contorting to fit into a temporary world, or avoid the influence of the masses and, instead, hold your ground to one day return to a permanent home of true glory. It's not always easy to go the opposite way of popularity, but the choice is yours.
Be sure to share this phrase with your kids and discuss what they think it means to them. What does it mean to you?