How is it that parenting has become about making sure you child has all the doors opened to him or to her, protecting the child from responsibility or consequences of his or her actions, spending whatever is necessary to give the child all the technological tools available, and pursuing the illusive dream of happiness? What happened to the larger issues of truth and morality and of faith and goodness? We have all followed cars with bumper stickers lauding their children's achievements. I also recall once following a car with a bumper sticker that said My kid can beat up your honor roll kid. And then seeing one that said My kid is not on the honor roll but is a good kid.
Mark Hemingway wrote a piece about the college entrance scandal and some other things in The Federalist. You can read it here. I was struck by this paragraph:
... my wife and I have a very different view of what a proper education looks like than does American culture writ large. Our primary goal is that we raise children who continue to practice our Lutheran faith and have stable, child-rearing families.Now there is a once common idea that has become a noble but uncommon today. That is the idea that parenting is more about raising stable children, with honest values, with a strong Christian faith, and with the goal and desire to become honest and decent husbands, wives, and parents themselves. I happen to have met the Hemingways (you might know Mollie from her work at The Federalist or as a commentator on Fox). They are a high profile couple but they are faithful Lutherans, who are regulars at the Divine Service in their home parish, and who raise their children in this faith. That was once more common than it is today. I wonder if that is not a big part of the problem. When the focus shifts from the core of what it means to parent to the peripherals, the children are not the only losers. Our culture suffers when we fail to prepare our sons and daughters to be husbands and wives, when we fail to prepare them for their role as parents, and when we fail to instill in them the values that equip them to be good citizens and good neighbors. But most of all, our children suffer when we fail to teach them to know God as Father and their Lord Jesus Christ and when they live outside the realm of His mercy and love. So parents, bring your children to baptism, teach them the catechism, read to them the Scriptures, pray with them, and bring them to the services of God's House. An Ivy League school is no substitute for this.