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The Dilemma of the Isolated Christian Parent

 

The Dilemma of the Isolated Christian Parent

Most young parents (including Christians) have expectations of childrearing that are often shaped by TV commercials of smiling children carrying a basket of puppies or programs that show grateful loving children hugging their parents. When real life falls short of expectations, it can be difficult for parents. It is at this point that the relational poverty of modern life becomes all too apparent.

Modern family life is devoid of depth (multi-generational components such as parents and grandparents in residence), breadth (siblings and cousins in close proximity), and even in time, as the pace of modern life often precludes the development of any deeper relationship with someone who could be a source of help. Even if a family member or friend can be found who cares about you and your child, they are often just as much at a loss to understand what to do. Sadly for Christians, even churches seem to be run as mechanical systems running parallel to the systems in the world. They can seem mechanical contrivances oriented towards enforcing doctrinal conformity but coming up short in being able to help parents address modern problems.

The industrial revolution took the father out of the home. State mandated education took the children out of the home, and finally economic pressures and possibilities took women out of the home. Now the home is often an empty box to which people periodically return to sleep. As Satan has applied his systems to collectivize the world, some do not fit well into the channels he has established. School is a good example of this. Children are often seen as components on a conveyor belt. Non-conforming components are often medicated, pressured, ridiculed, or otherwise processed to achieve compliance.

God created each person with unique abilities and interests. Some excel at steadfastness and patience, some with flares of brilliance and insight, some with sensitivity and artistry, some with compassion and love (1 Cor. 12). The Christian parent who sees difficulty with school work as the measure of their child may at first be swayed to consider the need to correct a rebellious heart, medicate a defect, or otherwise bring their child into compliance as their responsibility to God and the child. Without access to other information or a broader understanding, the parent can feel lost and frustrated as to what to do.

To understand the limitations of worldly systems, consider that psychology is a collection of theories of human behavior none of which include the concept of sin. Therapeutic remedies drawn from such flawed understanding at best approach randomness in their effectiveness.

Medical practice often prescribes ADHD “medication” at the request of teachers or SSRI medication without first being able to determine if there is any problem with serotonin levels. This practice is supported by the result that few people complain about it, such widespread practice is less likely to incur litigation, and it is fairly easy to move on to the next patient.

Given the limitations of “experts”, one would expect that the Christian parent that relies too heavily on their advice, might find it disappointing. All of this frequently combines to leave the Christian parent at a loss as to how to help their child.

The first thing is to consider that education is a rather fraudulent enterprise. Bright children learn more than dim ones. No amount of teaching, funding for education, or resources can change this fact. In fact an average child who only reads and watched television rather than go to school will be able to pass the minimum test standards by the time they are 18. This is because the standards are incredibly low so as to insure passing by dimmer children. Learning is more important than education which frequently hinders actual learning or replaces it with social and secular indoctrination.

Most in the educational industrial complex subscribe to the “medical” theories advanced since the 1960s that poor performance in school is a result of brain damage or malformation. Even people that homeschool using various curriculum find themselves first considering poor performance reflective of a defect in their child.

If one considers what is called ADHA, one might rightly ask if there is not some variation in neurology such that those whose sensing and processing neurons operate a little faster might have a little more difficulty responding to a slower presentation of information. The use of drugs like speed that result in a closer match of physiological to neurological speeds through chemical augmentation may be asking the student’s body to pay a price for an educational system that is unable to accommodate actual student diversity. The fact that boys are more often identified as having ADHA might also point to the influence of physiological differences rather than biological pathology.

If one consider Aspergers (which has now been rebranded as a type of autism), the possibility of variation in neurology also should be given some consideration. If whatever causes an above average neurological processing (often manifest as above average intellect) also extends to sensory processing (such as sensitivity to touch, hearing, lights or smells), the result might be an apparent aloofness in an attempt to mange the anxiety that such intensity of sensation might produce.

The Christian parent might be pressured by the school push their child, by their doctor to drug the child, or by their church to chastise their child into compliance. The parent who resists these directions, may be left feeling like there is no other recourse to “solve the problem”.

It can be heartbreaking to see another Christian suffering and withdrawing into isolated despair. The New Testament describes believers who share one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2) and can be a source of wisdom (1 Cor 6:5). Given the impoverished state of personal relations of any kind in modern society and the rather anemic state of many churches compared to what is described in the New Testament, it becomes incumbent on Christians to reach out to each other even at the risk of being considered intrusive.

 

 

  

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