Hurried Children

By Wanda Parker

Do you know children like this?  They may live closer to you than you realize!

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A sixth grader at a winter camp told her small group, “I wish I was an adult!  I hate being a kid!  have no place to call my own.  One week I’m with my dad; the next week I’m with my mom.  never know where I’ve left something.  I don’t really have a home.  Sometimes I think it would be better to be dead.”

 Children lost in a sea of despair – nine, ten, eleven-year-olds wishing they were dead.

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 A 10-year-old took his father’s hand gun, went to school, and shot himself.

 Children devoid of hope.

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   Children, young children, nine and ten-years-old, are experimenting with sex.  There are more and more out-of-wedlock babies.  The number of abortions is skyrocketing.  Abortions are rarely performed because a girl is ashamed of being pregnant; they are performed as a matter of convenience. 

 Children are running away from home more frequently.  Runaway children fill every major city in the United States.  Children run from what they consider to be a life of misery only to encounter an even worse  torment.

 A fifteen-year-old ran away from her grandmother who was raising her along with two siblings and a cousin.  She ran away because her grandmother told her to get out.  The grandmother was tired.  She had raised her own children and now was raising four grandchildren.  The thought of maybe having a great-grandchild to raise was more than she could handle.  When the granddaughter would ask typical adolescent questions about the opposite sex, the grandmother would fly off the handle.

 

 

Drugs and alcohol are rampant.  Few kids can make it through adolescence without experimenting with something.  A Boy’s Club director said one of his lowest moments came on a Saturday morning when he had gotten to the club early.  Working in his office with his window open, he overheard a group of boys leaning up against the building just under his window.  With slurred speech, they bragged about “getting loaded” the night before.  They compared what they had used and how.  The director went to his window to see who the kids were and his stomach came up to his throat.  They were eight and nine-year-olds.

 Little boys who should be lying around watching Saturday morning cartoons were instead coming out of a drug stupor.  Did their parents even know where they were?  Did their parents care?

 

 You walk into the bowling alley, look into the packed video arcade, and think twice before entering.  Crammed together are eight, nine, and ten-year-olds captivated by the machines before them.  Gone are the carefree days of lying in the sun playing marbles.  It is not just an issue of what games are played or where, but games today require a monetary outlay.  To keep up with the other kids, today’s child has to worry about whether he has the money to play “everyday” games with the crowd.

“I wish my mom wouldn’t always ask me if I liked her date.  I’m only a kid.  What do I know?” ten-year-old Andy complained. 

When we expect children to interact with adults like adults, we place a great deal of stress on the child.

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“Will you pray for me today?” the first grader asked her Sunday school teacher.

  “Of course we will pray for you,” he responded.  “Is there something you want us to pray about?”

 “Tomorrow I have to tell my psychologist who I want to live with, my mommy, daddy, or grandma!  I don’t know what to tell him.  No matter who I choose, I will hurt the others.  I don’t want to hurt anyone.”

 When we expect children to make adult decisions, what does this do to them?  “What dress should I put on my doll today?”  That is enough for a child to deal with.  With whom she is going to live is too much.

 

 

Reading a story to the children, the reader would stop after every few paragraphs and ask the children what they had seen in their minds as she read.  The children had difficulty responding.

 “I saw a boy and a woman,” one child answered.

 “What did they look like?” the reader prompted.

 It was as though their imaginations were lying dormant.  They had trouble describing a creative picture with words.  However, as they continued, they not only found it easier to create the pictures in their mind, but they also became engrossed listening to the story.

 

A mom was aghast at the book her ten-year-old daughter brought home from the school library.  It was a story of two children experimenting with sex.  Not teenagers, mind you, but ten-year-old children.  The book was written for children.

Childhood is supposed to be a time to slowly grow and mature, a time to build memories and learn from those memories.  By giving our children too much information, we are robbing them of their childhood.

 

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