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What’s Wrong With Grownups?

A number of years ago, Mrs. Imogene Frost of Brookside, New Jersey, asked her Sunday School class of 10-year-olds, "What's wrong with grownups?" They compiled the following list of complaints:

    -Grownups make promises, then forget all about them, or else they say it wasn't really a promise.
    -Grownups don't do the things they are always telling the children to do — like pick up their things, or be neat, or always tell the truth.
    -Grownups never really listen to what children have to say. They always decide ahead of time what they're going to answer.
    -Grownups make mistakes, but they won't admit them. They always pretend they weren't mistakes at all — or that somebody else made them.
    -Grownups interrupt children all the time and think nothing of it. If a child interrupts a grownup, he gets a scolding or something worse.
    -Grownups never understand how much children want a certain thing a certain color or shape or size. If it's something they don't admire — even if the children have spent their own money for it — they always say, "I can't imagine what you want with that old thing."
    -Sometimes grownups punish children unfairly. It isn't right if you've done just some little thing wrong and grownups take away something that means an awful lot to you. Other times you can do something really bad and they say they are going to punish you, but they don't. You never know, and you ought to know.
    -Grownups are always talking about what they did and what they knew when they were 10 years old — but they never try to think what it's like to be 10 years old right now. (For Families Only, J. A. Petersen, ed., Tyndale, 1977, p 253)

My guess is today's kids are saying basically the same things about grownups. The question is are grownups listening? A paraphrase of Jesus' golden rule in Matthew 7:12 provides a great parenting principle, "So in everything, do to your children what you would have them do to you." Parenting this way would go a long way toward fixing what's wrong with grownups in our children's eyes.

Dan Gulley
church of Christ
Smithville, Tennessee