NEXT SUNDAY WE WILL BE MARCHING IN THE GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE. SO PLEASE JOIN US AFTER THE LITURGY TO SHOW OUR SUPPORT.
IF YOU HAVE NOT AS OF YET SENT IN YOUR 2017 STEWARDSHIP PLEASE DO THAT TODAY!
I HAVE BEEN ASKED BY HIS EMINENCE ARCHBISHOP DEMETRIOS TO REACH OUT TO OUR PARISHIONERS IN HOPES OF RAISING AN OFFERING FOR THE REBUILDING OF ST. NICHOLAS. PLEASE BE AS GENEROUS AS YOU CAN IN YOUR OFFERING FOR THIS VERY IMPORTANT REBUILDING EFFORT OF OUR GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE AND OUR FAITH. WE HAVE COLLECTED AND SENT IN ALMOST $8,000. THIS IS A WONDERFUL DEMONSTRATION OF YOUR DEDICATION TO OUR ARCHDIOCESE AND TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE IN NEED.
WE HAVE SENT OUT THE 2017 CALENDARS, AND HOPE THAT YOU CAN BE AS GENEROUS AS ALWAYS DURING THIS CHRISTMAS AN DNEW YEAR'S SEASON IN ORDER TO HELP OUR EFFORTS TO KEEP ST. JOHN'S A THRIVING COMMUNITY. I THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.
WHOSE WATCHING OUR CHILDREN?
When I was a youngster, my father would ask me many questions about what I was thinking and what I was seeing. His questioning helped him to understand my way of thinking and how I was seeing the world around me. The insight he gained about my life helped him to direct me on the right path. However, he knew that the final say was mine and only mine. On the other hand, who is directing our youth today, and do they have our children’s best interest in mind as my father did?
Believe it or not, I was a very independent person as a child. Even with my father’s direction, I did things my way which eventually lead me to found out that his way was best. When it came to other topics like war and the military, I had my own ideas. My generation grew up under the constant threat of nuclear war, and in school we had weekly drills where we would duck and cover under our desks in case of an attack. In the movie theater we watched some of the best movies on the big screen, and most of us grew up so-called “normal.” War, Cowboys and Indians, Gangsters, and a variety of other movies were our Saturday morning fair.
Today however, children are facing many other kinds of threats. Their entertainment is filled with blood and guts that they inflict on one another through cyber-space. For instance, some of the video games are so violent that they have become training modules for the military. Real simulations of combat enable the player to experience what was once gained only in actual battle, and it achieves something called desensitization. I never thought about going into a movie theater and killing everyone in there, or at a school, no matter how upset I was about Johnny picking on me. Things are different today and we live in a culture that mass violence has become part of our existence.
Moreover, after school we would go out to play stickball, stoop ball, baseball, or football in the street or school yard. We met with our buddies to enjoy the innocent games that kids play. Kids today are given so many options that we never had, but so many of them isolate themselves in a world that does not exist? Antisocial behavior has grown all over the U.S., and many times parents who want the best for their children have fueled it.
There was a phenomenon that occurred some years ago called “Tiger Mom.” According to one dictionary it is defined as “A mother who is overly strict with her child in order to foster an academically competitive spirit. This form of upbringing is intended to direct a child towards financially successful careers at the potential risk of feeling emotionally unfulfilled and/or socially inept.”
The last part of the definition is very telling, and breeds children who cannot function, or does not want to function in a world that does not continually support their every action and interaction. They become potentially dysfunctional and start to isolate themselves further from the inner action with others.
Furthermore, what has evolved is something called “Helicopter parent or cosseting parent.” “A helicopter parent (also called a cosseting parent or simply a cosseter) is a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child's or children's experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions.” Not only does this kind of parenting become overly protective of a child, but it also does not allow the child to grow and make decisions on his/her own. Parents begin to control every aspect of the child’s life, while protecting and shielding them from anything that might get in the way of the parents goal for their child/children.
The childhood that I faced has no resemblance to what the children of today are encountering. Pressures exerted upon them from every direction gives them no relief to be just kids. Success driven parents have taken away more than they realize, and have cheated their children of the joys of being a free loving child. Sure a parent has to guide and nurture their child/children in order that they may grow with morals, good values, and compassion. Over protection does not allow them to make mistakes, and fail at something. Failure is part of life, and removing that from a child’s life is detrimental to their growth. It is through the hard knocks in life that we become better persons and can deal with the disappointments that are part of our existence. Growth does not happen in a vacuum, but in failures and successes.
Finally, according to Dr. Michael Broder, “The best parenting is about giving guidance that’s age appropriate and that speaks to your child’s unique needs and stage of development.” It does not mean to control and push your child/children to do things that are not age appropriate in order to speed them up so to speak. God permits His children to make mistakes, but they always serve as life lessons in order to realize what is productive and profitable for the soul. May we emulate His example, Amen!