Monday, May 28, 2007

Parents, It Is Ten O'Clock!

“Parents, it is ten o’clock. Do you know where your kids are?”

With those words the 10:00 p.m. broadcast of the news on KMAC-28 began each evening. When I was a kid, those words sounded peculiar—what concern did a television station have about my whereabouts? But, as I have grown older and experienced the joys and concerns of fatherhood, I am appreciative of the reminder: “Parents, it is ten o’clock. Do you know where your kids are?”

Parents, we have a responsibility. Our obligation, actually one among many, is to be aware of our children’s whereabouts. We need to know where our kids are, which whom they are with, and what they are doing. To investigate and know these things is not intrusive, it is wise parenting.

The wise man of Proverbs offers an admonition to children, given in the words of a parent. “My child, if sinners entice you, do not consent. . . . My child, do not walk in the their way, keep your foot from their paths” (Prov. 1.10,15). This warning exhorts children to listen to the advice of their parents, but provides an imperative for the parents, as well: offer good advice to your kids about their associations and activities. Warn them about the dangerous traps that are out there. And, by implication, be proactive in monitoring those with whom your children associate.

So many children and young people are corrupted by friends and acquaintances that seek to mislead and confuse and manipulate. So, parents, set boundaries for your kids, and provide positive environments where healthy relationships can begin and flourish. This effort begins with awareness.

I am grateful to my parents for providing me with positive environments: a good school, commitment to a church family, weeks spent at summer camp, and other special places and times. My friendships are, in part, a product of the loving labor and concern of my father and mother.

So, I ask, “Parents, it’s ten o’clock, do you know where your kids are?” I hope you know the answer. Remember, it is not intrusive to know the answer. You are not stifling your child when you are inquisitive. Erecting boundaries for your child is being overbearing. You are simply doing your job.

Parents, may God continue to bless you in your wonderful task.