By Miranda Devine Daily Telegraph 1 April 2017
IF you don’t think that multiculturalism and the politics of identity have become instruments of division in Australia, then you need to hear Tara Coverdale’s story.
Like most mothers with young children, Coverdale enjoys opportunities to socialise with other mothers of children the same age while on maternity leave, especially in her neighbourhood in inner-city Sydney.
So when a Russian-born friend mentioned a playgroup on Thursdays, at the Alexandria Park Community Centre, she was enthusiastic.
Two weeks ago, on a humid Thursday morning, she bundled her eight-month-old baby in the pram and walked with her four-year-old son the short distance to the community centre.
When she arrived, her red-haired son raced off to play while she looked around for her friend.
That was when a staff member approached and asked if it was her first day. Coverdale thought how nice that she was so attentive.
“I’m sorry you can’t come here. It’s a multicultural playgroup.”
But then the woman said: “Can I ask what your cultural background is?”
Taken aback, Coverdale, who has blonde hair and freckles, said: “I’m Australian”.
Immediately, the woman said: “I’m sorry, you can’t come here. It’s for multicultural families and people who speak languages other than English at home.”
Coverdale stood her ground: “I said ‘I’m not leaving’. My kids were playing. My older son was having such a good time with his buddy, and I thought, ‘Why should I leave?’”
But then the centre “facilitator”, aka manager, Jo Fletcher, confronted her: “Can I just ask what your cultural background is.”
When Coverdale said she was fourth-generation Australian, Fletcher said: “I’m sorry you can’t come here. It’s a multicultural playgroup.”
“We’re in a pretty progressive area,” says Coverdale. “It’s very accepting of all people. But I feel like I’m excluded.”
This conversation is an account from Coverdale’s recollection. Fletcher did not respond to phone calls and a text message last week, but she confirmed to the NSW Department of Education, which funds the centre, that such a conversation had taken place.
Coverdale said she tried charm in a bid to be allowed to attend the playgroup, but Fletcher insisted it was exclusively for “multicultural” mothers who “might be lonely and might want to build a network of people who speak the same language”.
Coverdale asked wouldn’t it be better for those mothers to meet someone like her, who knows a lot of people in the community.
“What if I was really lonely and I get sent away from a play group?”
Then she asked what playgroup would she be allowed to join.
“We don’t have one here for you,” said Fletcher. “You’ll have to go up to Erskineville or Newtown.”
Erskineville’s playgroup is for “Rainbow babies and kids”, and Newtown is a 30-minute walk.
The only other playgroup offered at Alexandria Park is on Wednesdays but it is reserved for “Swedish-speaking families”, according to a timetable Fletcher provided.
“We’re in a pretty progressive area,” says Coverdale. “It’s very accepting of all people. But I feel like I’m excluded.”
And she asks: “How does that help Australia help people to integrate speak English and build a life…
“I pay a lot of tax. I pay my rates. To think I’m actually not welcome is unfair.”
The other mums thought her treatment was “terrible… They think it’s a great facility and appreciate it but they don’t want to exclude people”.
While she was at the centre she saw other mothers walk in and, “they were made to feel very welcome. Because they didn’t look ‘Australian’ they didn’t even get asked about their background.”
So Coverdale and her red-haired sons were ejected from the playgroup.
Ironically enough, it was just a few days before Harmony Day, a big event at Alexandria Park, “to celebrate our country’s cultural diversity”, with a free halal beef and chicken sausage sizzle. To twist the knife a little deeper, this year’s theme was “We all belong”.
Just not if you are of “Anglo-Celtic” heritage.
Anti-Discrimination Board Acting President Elizabeth Wing confirmed on Friday that “on the face of it”, exclusion from a playgroup “on the basis of race or ethnic background… would appear to be a breach of the [anti-discrimination] act”.
After being alerted to the problem on Friday, Education Minister Rob Stokes and his department, to their credit, instructed Fletcher to allow all families to attend the playgroup.
“I was disappointed to hear that a mum and her young child felt they were not welcome… This is not acceptable. Everyone, regardless of their background, should feel included in these wonderful community activities.”
The Education Department also has “counselled the program facilitator [Fletcher] regarding the requirement of the program to be inclusive”, said a spokesman late Friday.
A good result, but Fletcher is a creature of her milieu. It is politically incorrect to say so, but anti-white racism is now acceptable in Australia, in the name of diversity and “celebrating difference”.
In the ADF, for instance, there are attempts to erase the “Anglo-Saxon” warrior culture, and a recent lamb advertisement stated there are “too many white people” on TV, and lined up caucasians sneeringly labelled “white-whites, translucent whites, beige whites, red whites, and dark whites”.
Bigotry is condoned as a corrective to so-called “white privilege”.
But reinforcing separate cultural identities inevitably leads to the balkanization of Australia and the disowning of our national identity.
Thankfully, Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, last month reset national policy, with an approach which emphasises unity and shared values. It’s about time.
Original article here
Wes Tullis speaks at Family Foundations International’s Annual Conference in 2005. He explains the importance and practicalities of blessing your children on a regular basis. – 2 Sept. 2011
News Weekly, August 1, 2015
King John’s grant of Magna Carta in 1215 is a wonderful example of the central role religion played in the development of the common law. The following article is an edited version of a paper presented by Dr Augusto Zimmermann at the Parliament of Tasmania on the occasion of its commemoration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta on June 16, 2015.
The Great Charter represents a revolutionary advancement in the law in that the provisions found in the charter and its many subsequent revisions, were predominantly concerned with recognising and endowing political and juridical rights. More importantly, the effect of the charter was a concession from the king that he, too, could be bound by the law, thus establishing a clear formal recognition of the rule of law.
Until Magna Carta, customary law had defined the legal rights of English subjects. In the absence of statute law, disregarding custom, the king was vested with the authority to administer the law as he saw fit. Accordingly King John ruled arbitrarily after inheriting the throne from King Richard in 1199, endeavouring to liberate himself from restraints of the law and powerful ministers so as to govern the realm at his sole pleasure.
Still, the monarch’s ability to rule arbitrarily was soon called into question, especially when a number of failed military conflicts abroad (namely, losses to the French), combined with constant increases in taxes to fuel such conflicts, provoked a great deal of discontent among his subjects (most notably, the nobles and barons).
The 12th century was marked by an outburst of literature, art and culture in England, which the development of Christian ideals of law and government accompanied. The influential Archbishop of Canterbury, Hubert Walter (1160–1205), espoused the view that the royal power was inseparable from the law.
Legal historian Theodore Plucknett wrote: “[His] prestige was so great that a word from him on the interpretation of the law could set aside the opinion of the king and his advisers. King John, in fact, felt with much truth that he was not his own master so long as his great minister was alive.”
A 19th-century etching of the Seal of King John affixed to the Magna Carta, from the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Growing discontent with King John heightened after a dispute with Pope Innocent III over the appointment to the See of Canterbury. In 1205 two candidates disputed the election of the See. Pope Innocent III rejected both contenders and appointed his own candidate, Stephen Langton. John regarded his bishops as no more than higher civil servants and desired the English Church to be subservient to the Crown. Langton, however, assumed the separate spheres of Church and state, thus attacking the king’s conduct and declaring that his subjects were not bound to him if he had broken faith with the “King of kings”.
The Great Interdict followed, to which the King replied by confiscating Church property. This led Rome to submit King John to severe punishments, especially excommunication in 1209. The king eventually succumbed to the Pope’s demands and was forced to resign the Crowns of England and Ireland, receiving them again as the Pope’s feudatory. In 1213, under the threat of French invasion by Phillip Augustus, King John finally accepted Langton’s appointment and swore to subject his kingdom to the lordship of Innocent III. These sources of discontent eventually led the English barons to march into London in 1215. They forced King John to sign the articles of demand encompassed in Magna Carta. By that time Langton had become the main figure in the struggle of the barons against King John.
Stephen Langton’s original intent
Historians generally agree that Stephen Langton was the principal drafter of the original document. When Pope Innocent III appointed him in 1206, he had made an unusual choice since Langton had spent over 30 years outside England in the schools of Paris. This fact alone, indeed, was a good reason for King John’s complaint that the chosen candidate had lived too long among his arch enemies in France. Before becoming pontiff, Pope Innocent III – who deeply admired the learned Langton – had been a student of his at Paris.
When Langton arrived in England in July 1213 and met King John on July 20 at Winchester, he immediately absolved the king from excommunication on the condition that the laws of his ancestors were fully restored, particularly the laws of Edward the Confessor (c.1003–66) that required the monarch to rule justly.
This included an utterance made in 1140, which, based on the laws of Edward the Confessor, stated: “The king ought to do everything in the realm and by judgement of the great men of the realm. For right and judge ought to rule in the realm, rather than perverse will. Law is always what does right; will and violence and force are indeed not right. The king, indeed, ought to fear and love God above everything and preserve his commands throughout his realm.”
Archbishop Langton shared the view of his predecessor, Hubert Walter, that “loyalty was devotion, not to a man, but to a system of law and order which he believed to be a reflection of the law and order of the universe”. From Romans 13 Langton concluded that royal power derived from God and that such power was always limited by the rule of law. He stated: “If someone abuses the power that is given to him by God and if I know that this bad use would constitute a mortal sin for me, I ought not to obey him, lest I resist the ordinance of God.”
Elsewhere Langton stated that “when a king errs, the people should resist him as far as they can; if they do not, they sin”.
Additionally, he commented that “if someone has been condemned without a judicial sentence, the people are allowed to free the victim”.
It was Langton, therefore, who drafted the Great Charter as a way of resolving the baronial grievances. His biblical studies at Paris anticipated the direct challenges of Magna Carta to the royal power, which manifestly asserted the superiority of the written law over political arbitrariness. In Chapter 18 of Deuteronomy the Holy Bible seemed for him to convey the principle that the law of the land should be reduced to writing for the instruction of the civil ruler.
Since the idea of written law had played a fundamental role in the formation of the Hebrew nation, Langton concluded that a similar function should be applied to the grievances levied against King John. These grievances should be expressed in writing and the king compelled to affix his royal seal to the written law.
Magna Carta was therefore primarily the work of Archbishop Langton, who sincerely hoped through this written document to realise an Old Testament covenantal kingship in England. His concerns for freedom and due process were made explicit in several provisions of Magna Carta, especially Clause 39 (“No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised [dispossessed] or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined … except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land”), Clause 40 (“To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay right or justice”), and Clause 52 (“If anyone has been disseised or deprived by us without lawful judgement or his peers of lands, castles, liberties, or his rights, we will restore them to him at once”).
Langton’s biblical studies at Paris deeply shaped those important provisions. Because of this, Magna Carta can be read not just as a historical, constitutional or legal document but also as a religious document. Langton had in his Parisian exile been among the most famous lecturers on teachings of the Old Testament. He strongly believed that the law written down in Deuteronomy prevented the monarch from going beyond the power explicitly authorised to him.
He had studied Saul’s acclamation as king over Israel by the prophet Samuel, who “declared to the people the law of the kingdom and wrote it in a book and deposited it in the presence of the Lord” (1 Samuel 10:25). As such, Langton expected that a written law should become an “English Deuteronomy” that would work in the form of a covenant between God, king and people, thus ensuring that common-law polities had at their heart a covenantal foundation in which the king would be constitutionally accountable to a higher authority.
Archbishop Langton was a learned theologian and his massive commentaries on the Bible contain thousands of pages of explanation about the meaning of scriptural words and phrases. He applied his knowledge of biblical hermeneutics to draw modern parallels between England and the Old Testament stories of good kings and bad kings who abused their powers by violating God’s laws.
The good kings of Scripture, Langton argued, had been wise to acquaint themselves with the legal rules of Deuteronomy, a book of laws that Moses wrote in the form of a treaty (or social contract) between the king and his subjects, calling the nation of Israel to faithfully uphold God’s laws. By contrast, the bad rulers were those who sought to evade both the advice of their priests and the obligation to rule according to the law. Thus Langton concluded, among other things, that “necessity”, or absolute need, was the primary reason for taxation, although he complained that contemporary “rulers taxed for trivial reasons, from mere vanity or pride”.
As Nicolas Vincent points out: “Those who attended Langton’s lectures would have heard him contrast the priesthood recruited by Moses with modern bishops ‘recruited from the Exchequer in London’. Those who read his commentary on the book of Chronicles would have found him railing ‘against princes who flee from lengthy sermons’, surely a reference to King John’s attempts to escape the sermonising of St Hugh of Lincoln.
“Kingship itself, Langton argued, had been decreed by God not as a reward but as a punishment to mankind. As the Old Testament of Hosea (13:11) proclaims: ‘I have given you a king in my wrath.’ ”
Archbishop Langton wholeheartedly embraced the scriptural thesis that civil government is not God’s original plan for humankind but rather a result of original sin. The first reference to civil government in Scripture is located in Genesis, chapter 9, where God is reported to command capital punishment for anyone who takes innocent life since humans are created in the image of God.
Kingship a ‘necessary evil’
Yet the state is regarded as not being envisaged in God’s original plan for humankind. Rather, the state is deemed a “necessary evil” since it is conceived only after sin has entered in the world, when it becomes therefore necessary to establish a civil authority to curb the violence ushered in by the Fall (Genesis 6:11-13). At the beginning of God’s creation, however, the biblical account reports that man and woman lived in close fellowship with their Creator, under his direct law and sole authority.
According to Baldwin, this biblical worldview led Archbishop Langton to conclude: “There was no government in the Garden of Eden before the Fall, and there will be none at the end of the world. Just as God allowed divorce because of human frailty, so he has permitted the existence of rulers only to curb the original sin that resulted from the Fall. When Yahweh in the Old Testament narrative (1 Samuel 8 and 9) agreed to the children of Israel choosing Saul as their king, therefore, he allowed it only with severe reservations and misgivings. …
“Langton argued that the law not only stated the peoples’ obligations to the king, but also what the king could exact from the people; for that reason the law was written down to prevent the king from demanding more.
“Most specifically, the law was the book of Deuteronomy, truly the sent written law of the children of Israel. Chapter 17 prescribed the duties of the king.”
Religious significance of Magna Carta
Magna Carta signaled a remarkable advancement in English law. King John, acting on the advice of two archbishops and nine bishops, sealed Magna Carta “from reverence for God and for salvation of our soul and of all our ancestors and heirs, for the honour of God and the exaltation of Holy Church and the reform of our realm”. Furthermore, the barons justified their actions as legally permissible under God and the Church. In so doing, Archbishop Langton and Robert Fitzwalter led them, with Fitzwalter declaring himself the “Marshal of the army of God and Holy Church”.
From 1225, subsequent versions of the Charter “were reinforced by sentences of excommunication against infringers”. Although this seems a strange form of punishment to our modern minds, it was for the breaking of their oaths that King Stephen after 1135 was stigmatised as a tyrant and usurper. Oath-taking was taken seriously and, in an age without effective judicial sanctions, “the consequences of oath-breaking could prove disastrous for individuals as for nations”.
J.C. Holt commented on the efficacy of ecclesiastical penalties for breaches of the charter: “Reinforce the charters by the threat of excommunication; promulgate the penalty in the most solemn assemblies of king, bishops, and nobles, as in 1237 and 1253; reinforce the threat by papal confirmation, as in 1245 and 1256, have both charters and sentence published in Latin, French, and English as in 1253, or read twice a year in cathedral churches as in 1297; display the Charter of Liberties in church, renewing it annually at Easter, as Archbishop Pecham laid down in 1279; embrace the king himself within the sentence of excommunication, as Archbishop Boniface did by implication in 1234.
“To modern eyes it is all repetitive and futile. In reality it was a prolonged attempt to bring the enforcement of the charter within the range of canon law, to attach the ecclesiastical penalties for breach of faith to infringements of promises made ‘for reverence for God’, as the charter put it, promises repeatedly reinforced by the most solemn oaths to observe and execute the charter’s terms. This was perhaps the best the 13th century could do to introduce some countervailing force to royal authority.”
Magna Carta can be historically described as a medieval treaty between the English king and his barons, concerning such matters as the custody of London and, in the Letters of Testimonial signed by the Archbishop and the bishops, a “charter of liberty of Holy Church and of the liberal and free customs” that the monarch had conceded. The primary intent of the original draft was to bring about an end to a state of civil war through signing a document that declared the liberties that it itself conveyed.
So customs were not predominant, but rather keeping the peace and liberties of the realm. Indeed, throughout Magna Carta customs are subsidiary to liberties since they are conveyed as liberties in relation to practices that were commonly described as “consuetudines”. Above all, the Great Charter was granted not only “for the honour of God and the exaltation of Holy Church”, and out of “reverence of God and for the salvation of the [king’s] soul and those of all [his] ancestors and heirs”, but also, and particularly significant, for “the reform of our realm”.
Dr Augusto Zimmermann is Law Reform Commissioner, Law Reform Commission of Western Australia, Senior Lecturer in Legal Theory and Constitutional Law, Murdoch Law School, former Associate Dean (Research) and Director of Postgraduate Studies at Murdoch, President of the Western Australian Legal Theory Association, and Professor of Law (Adjunct) at Notre Dame University, Sydney.
original article here
PARKERVILLE – STONEVILLE FIRE
Updated 9.30am, Tuesday 14 January
WA TODAY – LIVE UPDATE LINK
Support Perth Hills Facebook – LINK
Darlington & Surrounds Fire Awareness Facebook Group – LINK
The Rapid Relief team will be providing food and water and fuel from the Stoneville Fire Brigade building from later Tuesday morning. This will be available to those in the exclusion zone, and to those who are returning to nothing. IF you are in the exclusion zone and are needing basics,, this will be available to you. http://www.rapidreliefteam.org/
Connections Counselling is offering free local crisis counselling to those impacted by this fire.
Contact 9295 0727 for more assistance – convenient office at Mundaring Connections Centre,
Emergency Services Support
Under Western Australian emergency management arrangements, the Department for Child Protection is responsible for coordinating the provision of welfare support services to people affected by an emergency or disaster. For more information about the Department’s role in coordinating emergency support services contact:
Emergency Services Coordinator – Emergency Services Unit
Tel: (08) 9489 3141
Mobile: 0418 943 835
The WA State Government provides a range of relief measures to assists communities recover from an eligible natural event including bushfire
Disaster Assist links
Christian Porter MP
Federal Member for Pearce
490 Great Eastern Highway
Greenmount, WA, 6056
Ph (08) 9294 3222
Frank Alban MLA
State Member for Swan Hills
U3, 28-32 Main St
ELLENBROOK WA 6069
Ph 9296 7688
Fax 9296 7599
Helen Morton MLC
Minister for Mental Health; Disability Services; Child Protection
Member for East Metropolitan Region
Unit 2, 201-205 Burslem Drive
MADDINGTON WA 6109
Ph 9452 8311
Donna Faragher MLC
Member for East Metropolitan Region
Ground Floor, 108 Swan St
GUILDFORD WA 6055
Ph 9379 0840
Alyssa Hayden MLC
Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Training and Workforce Development;
and Minister for Police; Tourism; Road Safety; Women’s Interests
Member for East Metropolitan Region
U34, 6 Keane St
MIDLAND WA 6056
Ph 9274 8484
Volunteering – Local Support & Assistance
DONATIONS, ACCOMMODATION AND OFFERS FOR HELP
These are being collated by Volunteering WA.
· Register down at Brown Park Recreation Centre
· via website www.volunteeringwa.org.au
· phone Volunteering WA on 9482 4333.
Links will also be provided on www.mundaring.wa.gov.au
Please do not take donations to the evacuation centre.
Volunteering WA will pass any offers of accommodation on to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). ADRA is the agency who takes the lead in finding accommodation for those affected by emergencies such as this in Western Australia.
from Acting/CEO Shire of Mundaring [14 Jan 2014]
Concerns for family and friends – The Red Cross State Inquiry Centre – 1800 015 337
Donations to – Salvation Army Swan View (371 Morrison road) – 9 – 3pm each day
Brooking Road Childcare, Mundaring Childcare Centre – [currently at capacity]
CLAN Midland – 9250 6335, 0434 085 465.
Furniture items – CLAN Midland are taking a database of names and numbers [call first]
Injured wildlife – shelters (chidlow marsupial, kanyana, darling range) local vets
(swan, mt helena, gidgi, paws and claws etc.) Wild care helpline – 9474 9055
Volunteers WA or Department of Child Protection Coffee and meals – DOME in Mundaring
Financial Support – Mundaring Community Bank
The Perth Hills Bushfire Appeal – a joint campaign by The Sunday Times and PerthNow,
Channel Nine and The Salvation Army – Facebook Page
Register now to help with the fires in Parkerville, WA
Please register today; http://form.jotform.co/form/33501057228851
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. – Joshua 24:15
Steve Blizard 8 April 2012
As for Me and My House – John Waller
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Roughhousing With Dad Crucial for Development, say Researchers
ABC World News
By MICHAEL MURRAY
17 June, 2011
Dads play roughhousing with their young children is crucially important in the early development of kids, according to a study by Australian researchers. As Father’s Day approaches, [in the USA] maybe the best gift is simply for kids to play with their dads.
“We know quite a lot about how important fathers are in general for a child’s development. Over the last decade, for example, that it’s mainly mother that interacts with children and that’s how they develop, and that’s the important bit, that’s changed. We know fathers are important,” Richard Fletcher, the leader of the Fathers and Families Research Program at the University of Newcastle in Australia, told ABC News.
“Father’s Day reminds us parents that we have no more solemn obligation than to care for our children,” President Barack Obama said Wednesday in calling for fathers to be more involved with their children. “But far too many young people in America grow up without their dads, and our families and communities are challenged as a result.” Sunday is Father’s Day.
The percentage of fathers who live seperately from their children has doubled in the past 50 years, but dads also tend to spend more than twice the amount of time with their children than they did in the 1960’s, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.
Australian researchers watched film of 30 dads while they roughhoused with their children, usually through a game where the child would try to remove a sock from their father’s foot, to see what effect it might have on children.
“Rough and tumble play between fathers and their young children is part of their development, shaping their children’s brain so that their children develop the ability to manage emotions and thinking and physical action altogether,” said Fletcher. “This is a key developmental stage for children in that preschool area between the ages of about two and a half and five. That’s when children learn to put all those things together.”
Although boys were more likely to encourage the start of roughhousing with their dads, researchers did not see a significant difference between boys and girls once the play started. But for the kids, it’s not just play.
“When you look at fathers and their young children playing, you can see that for the child, it’s not just a game. They obviously enjoy it and they’re giggling, we know that’s true, but when you watch the video, you can see that child is concentrating really hard … I think the excitement is related to the achievement that’s involved,” Fletcher told ABC News. “It’s not about a spoiled child not wanting to lose, I think that child is really striving for the achievement of succeeding.”
The researchers believe that the most important aspect of this play is that it gives children a sense of achievement when they ‘defeat’ a more powerful adult, building their self-confidence and concentration. However, fathers who resist their children, can also teach them the life lesson that, in life, you don’t always win. The act of a stronger adult holding back that strength also helps to build trust between father and child.
These kinds of lessons can be crucial in child developmental stages as they begin to build their outlook on the world. “We think it has implications for children’s resilience. So, if parents want their children to grow up and not get into drugs and not get into trouble, if they want them to do well academically, than this is probably a good thing to do,” said Fletcher. “We did find a correlation so that the dad’s whose play was much better coordinated according to our measures, those children had less problems.”
Fletcher admits that more research needs to be done, but he is hopeful that his team will eventually be able to help fathers know how to best interact with their child in their formative periods to ensure them a successful future. “It’s a new area, but we’re excited about the possibilities,” said Fletcher.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Original story here
What your children don’t need
By Greg Laurie
May 22, 2010 WND
I am glad the so-called self-esteem movement seems to have finally seen its day. A friend of mine, Phil Cooke, recently blogged about this:
“It appears the self-esteem movement is finally dead. It all began back in 1969, when psychologist Nathaniel Brandon published a highly acclaimed paper called “The Psychology of Self-Esteem.” He argued that “feelings of self-esteem were the key to success in life,” and his idea soon became the hot new thing in education. At the apex of the craze, the California Legislature even established a “Self-Esteem Task Force” for the state’s schools.”
We were told the reason kids got into drinking and drugs and sex and crime and had low grades was because they had low self-esteem. So millions and millions of tax dollars were used to build up the self-esteem of our children. But did it work? Is crime lower? Are families more intact? Is drug use down?
Commenting on the movement, Wall Street Journal book reviewer Kay Hymowitz concluded, “High self-esteem doesn’t improve grades, reduce anti-social behavior, deter alcohol drinking or do much of anything.”
The self-esteem movement didn’t work. And if you want to see how it plays out, then watch “American Idol” sometime. My favorite part is not seeing who wins it, but watching the auditions. I find it amazing to watch people who have no musical ability audition under the assumption they are really good. They strut into the room and sing away, only to have the judges break the harsh truth to them: They don’t have what it takes. Sometimes the contestants scream and yell. Occasionally, they throw things. Then they storm off, only moments later to be greeted by family members who throw their arms around them and say something along the lines of, “They are so mean! You are so talented. You are so good. You are the best. They just don’t understand.” Meanwhile, I am thinking, News flash! They are not good.
There are times when a parent needs to say to his or her child, “You know what? I don’t think this is your greatest strength here. Maybe that is not where your abilities are. Let’s work on this other area instead.” We can overpraise our children.
Every child is different. If we don’t realize that, then we are making a big mistake. Some children excel in some areas. Others excel in others. But often we make the mistake of thinking that all of our children should be the same, or we compare kids to one another: “Why you can’t you be more like your brother? Look at what a good football player he is.” Or, “Why can’t you be more like your sister? She gets such good grades and you don’t.”
Parents need to take time to really look at the character of their children and see the abilities and talents that have naturally been built into them by God.
But some parents attempt to live their lives through their children. Because they weren’t able to do a certain thing, they are determined their son or daughter will do it.
But maybe their son or daughter shouldn’t do it. Maybe that is not who he is or how she is gifted.
More than bolstering their self-esteem or pushing them to be something they are not, our children need our time and genuine attention. And when you invest time and energy in your family, it can have immeasurable benefit in the life of your child in the years to come.
Some statistics were compiled not long ago that found adolescents in a close family unit are those most likely to say no to drug use, no to premarital sexual activity and no to other anti-social behaviors. They are the ones most likely to adopt high moral standards and develop the ability to make and keep friends. They are the ones who will embrace religious faith and involve themselves in helping activities. And what develops this? A close family unit.
Tom Peters, author of “In Search of Excellence,” wrote, “We are frequently asked if it is possible to have it all. … Our answer is no. The price of excellence is time, energy, attention and focus. At the same time that energy, attention and focus could have gone toward enjoying your daughter’s hockey game. Excellence is a high-cost item.” Peters wasn’t making a value judgment; he was making an honest assessment of what excellence requires. If your goal in life is success at any cost, then your family will pay for it.
We all have to work for a living. And it is a good thing to take care of your family – it is even commanded in Scripture. But some parents can become so consumed with their careers, they lose their family in the process. They alienate their children. They rationalize that if they make more money, they can give their children nicer things. That may be true. It is even commendable in one sense. But we need to realize that the best thing we can spend on our children is time – and lots of it. This concept that we call quality time is a myth. Children don’t need quality time, they need quantity time. They need their moms and dads around them – a lot.
When you stop and think back on your childhood and the meaningful moments you had with your parents, you probably won’t have your heart warmed when you think about that wonderful toy you got that one Christmas or the great vacation you took as much as you will think of those simple times when you just did ordinary things. Somehow they stick in your memory because your mom or your dad took time to be with you. That is what your kids need from you right now. They need your time.
As it has been said, the cure for crime is not in the electric chair, but in the high chair. May God help us to lay a godly foundation for our children early in their lives so we can equip them to live in the real world.
Full article here