By lost, we might imagine a child wandering around in a forest, not knowing which direction to go toward safety and freedom. In essence, that is exactly an analogy of what is happening to myriads of our youth.
Through irratic behavior, these children have made themselves known to day cares, school personel, bus drivers, police officers, DCF workers, churches, Boys & Girls Clubs, After-school Cares, and their clueless parents. What sets these children apart from the norm? What are the causes of the irirrational behaviors? In analyzing reasons, there seems to be as many of these as there are the children themselves.
Anger is most certainly one of the largest culprits that plague these children. If each individual anger cause can be identified and understood through various channels of assistance, then the child may arrive in a safer place of functioning.
Another huge dilemma for our lost ones is their concept of their self-worth. So many of these children do not trust themselves. Causes range from being told that they are no good, stupid, retarded, to the blatant omission of positive reinforcement from their caretakers. When they never hear that they do anything correctly or good, then they internalize the same.
Jealously, sometimes mixed with sibling rivalry can also play a part in extreme bad behavior. This shows a poor regard for love and empathy in the home. Caretakers must be the first teachers for their children, not expecting the school system to carry all the responsibility.
Perhaps, the worst evil of our society and contributor of placing our children in danger is drugs (prescription and street) and alcohol. Stats show us that even elementary children know how and where to obtain these drugs if they desire. Many children have open cabinets of alcohol beverages at their disposal within their home. The bottom line for this misguided adult behavior comes from John F. Kennedy. He said, “A child miseducated is a child lost.”
A bus driver related a personal situation that shows how some of our youngest children behave badly in public, and may have already begun a struggle in acceptable social behavior. The driver requested the five year to sit down in his seat, explaining that she could not move the bus without his compliance. He walked up to her, and getting right in her face, said, “You sit down and stay in your seat, B…..! This is just one minute example of our lost children. Someone, somewhere in his life is giving him the wrong message for acceptable social behavior. Unless someone or something is able to reconnect a rational mindset, this child will continue to be lost and eventually pass the behavior on to his children.
Where have the values gone, America? Until we once again believe in honesty, truth, reliability, and other necessary values, and impart these treasures to our children and gather the effective results, will the words of Heber J. Grant, who so wisely said, “Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.”
As stated before, there is myriads of reasons, as well as, myriads of those irrational behaviors that have placed many of our children in that chasim of struggling darkness. Unless parents and caretakers educate themselves to rational thinking and behavior that will change their lives and that of their children, America wll never attain the words of Vinola Bhave, who stated, “A country should be defended not by arms, but by ethical behavior.” Only then, will the lost chidren of America be truly saved!