Parents, listen up! I read the following article that should be of interest to parents:
Children whose parents talk to them about religion and where the parents regularly attend religious services were rated by both parents and teachers as having better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than children with non-religious parents, according to a study reported at LiveScience.com. However, if parents regularly argue about their faith, it has the opposite effect.
Researcher John Bartkowski, a sociologist who led the study at Mississippi State University, sees three reasons for the result:
(1) Religious networks provide social support to parents which can help improve parenting skills. Children who are brought into such networks and hear parental messages reinforced by other adults may also “take more to heart the messages that they get in the home.”
(2) The types of values and norms that circulate in religious congregations tend to be self-sacrificing and pro-family. These “could be very, very important in shaping how parents relate to their kids, and then how children develop in response.”
(3) Religious organizations imbue parenting with sacred meaning and significance.
One limitation of the study, Bartkowski points out, is that it did not compare how denominations differed with regards to their effect on the children.
(From the “Pastor’s Weekly Briefing,” 4/26/07, Copyright © 2007, Focus on the Family
All rights reserved)
So help your kids by taking them to church and enrolling them in Sunday school or CCD. For one thing, religious education will reinforce the values that you are teaching them. With all of the negative influences on them from the media and violent games, these kids need to be exposed to positive values.
I read the following example of biblical illiteracy recently:
“Sadly today, many people know nothing about the Bible. I was amazed when I heard about a conversation that took place at a bus stop during a torrential downpour. One man commented to someone who was waiting for the bus, ‘If this doesn’t stop, soon we’ll need an ark.’ ‘What do you mean?’ asked the bystander. ‘Haven’t you heard of Noah and the ark?’ replied the man. ‘I’m afraid not,’ said the other person, ‘I’ve only been in town a few days.’”
(From “Every Day with Jesus,” by Selwyn Hughes, copyright 2006, CWR)
Amusing, but sad. Although they will probably resist it, do your kids a favor and make them go to church and attend some kind of religious instruction. You and they won't regret it.