Monday, April 28, 2014

Hard Things

My son had a hard day at church today. Before we even got started with the opening song he was crabby, whiny, and ready to take a nap...   

This experience makes me wonder about the importance of having our children do hard things

I fully believe that children (and adults for that matter) need to do hard things now so that they will "be prepared" to do hard things in the future. These things may start with picking up after themselves and doing their own dishes as a young child, cleaning the house and vacuuming as they get a little older, to growing up and being able to hold down a newspaper route or other job. As a youth, I was expected to mow lawns and sell fireworks at a local fireworks stand. 

I want to make sure that my kids know how to do these types of hard things now, because someday in the future they will be called upon to do even hard things.

Think of the hard things that previous generations were asked to do: Crossing the plains as pioneers to serving in and enduring World Wars I and II. Each of our previous generations had huge tasks they needed to do, but they could do them because they had been prepared as youth by their parents and other adults (even Scout leaders). Back then it seemed like an entire town would pull together to make sure that the youth of the next generation were prepared to take over where the current generation had left off.

So my question today as I see this little worn out boy of mine is:  
"Are we doing enough for our youth, or are we doing too much?"

I truly believe we can help them to be more prepared by letting them experience some hard things early on in their life.

The other day I was talking with a tenured leader of youth who was just about to begin work at a training center for missionaries. He told me that every youth preparing to leave home needs to do a couple very important things: 
  1. They need to have a significant away from home experience (like Scout camp) 
  2. They need to be able to detach themselves from the gadgets of the world (the iPhones, the droids, the iPad, the computers, the headphones with music blaring in their ears). Is that a hard thing for your children? It sure is for mine! 

We can not give up and let this generation go to the dogs. We must help our youth become the next greatest generation. We must rise up to help them learn to do hard things. I believe that The Boy Scouts of America as one of those anchors that will teach this next generation how to become great! 

As I look at my sleeping little boy I think about how someday he will be racing a pinewood derby down the track (after building it with me). He will learn from the great leaders in his Scouting unit, go on 50 mile backpacking trips and week-long camp-outs. He will gain the character developmentcitizenship, and fitness that he needs to become a man of great understanding in both worldly and spiritual things. A man who will be prepared to be a leader of the next-generation, to take over where I and others will leave off. As I look to the future, I hope and pray that he will have great Scout leaders like I had growing up!

What things will you do to help your children have experience with doing hard things? 
Will you send them to summer camp or the national jamboree?  
Will you have them go on a mini church mission?

No comments:

Post a Comment