The alarm is sounding
They are our kids and we must answer the
By Mac Bledsoe
Please be warned that, in this article, we
may seem to be alarmed or worried. Well, we are alarmed and worried and it
is because we are scared! We are scared for the children of America, some
of whom belong to you.
About 23 years ago we had a very shocking
experience… we were awakened from our sleep by our neighbor banging on the
wall of our trailer house. He was screaming, "Our house is on fire! Our
house is on fire! Call for help!" This was before 911 had become
universal, so we dialed the number of the volunteer fire department and
then ran across the road to see if we could help. Luckily, our landlord
was on the fire crew so he was immediately on the scene and able to take
The fire hall was only a mile down the road
so the rest of the crew was there almost immediately. Our neighbor had
gotten his wife and two older children out of the house but was yelling
frantically that their baby was still in the house. The trained firemen
told him there was nothing they could do because entering that burning
building now was suicide. At that moment the father grabbed a blanket from
the ground, dunked it in the kids wading pool in the back yard, pulled it
over his head and crawled into the roaring house.
Moments later he crawled out with the
two-year-old wrapped in the wet blanket. He had found her huddled in the
corner of the closet, unharmed except for the effects of smoke inhalation.
The father himself was now badly burned with little hair remaining on his
head and blisters forming on his face, arms, and torso. The firemen were
tending to him when one of them asked how he could take that courageous
action when they, the firemen with all their training, had been able to do
nothing. The father's answer was very enlightening. He looked calmly at
the firemen and replied, "She's not your baby!"
Parental love can allow us to do some
amazing things on behalf of our children and the time has come for some
courageous parental action. The alarm is sounding. It is not the fire
alarm at the volunteer fire department but it is sounding with equal
Just listen. Teen suicide is at an all time
high; gang violence is out of control; teen pregnancy is more common every
day; childhood drug abuse is stealing children's ability to make decisions
and clouding their thinking everywhere you look; and this alarm is getting
louder each day. The tragedy is that any one of the above situations could
claim the life of one of our children just as surely as a burning house!
We as parents must act and act now because they are our kids.
It is no longer acceptable to wait until
our children are in crisis to teach them how to make the tough decisions
about drugs, sex, friends, violence, and treatment of others, honesty,
compassion, and the rest. Would you run into a burning building to save
your child? Yes! Just like our neighbor; but wouldn't he have been better
off teaching that two-year-old how to get out of the house before the
place was on fire? Wouldn't kids be better served if parents gave more
guidance before they were in crisis rather than waiting until things get
Just last week we received a frantic letter
from the distraught mother of a 13-year-old girl who is making some poor
decisions. To quote the mother's letter, "We're having Big Troubles with
our daughter's decision making! We have sent her to her Dad's for the time
being to get her away from a no good, loser boyfriend!" The mother is in a
second marriage and the daughter is the product of her first failed
marriage. At the time when her daughter most needs her mother's guidance
she is shipping her off to her Dad's with the thought that a change of
location will bring about better choices.
What the daughter really needs right now is
guidance in picking mates of the opposite sex, not a new environment. A
new environment may be necessary if things have become illegal or life
threatening, but the mother's role should be that of giving guidance and
leadership, hopefully before the daughter has became involved. Now that
she is involved the mother must become a source of information and
guidance at this tough and challenging time. It is not right to "leave her
in a burning building." This scenario is being repeated all across
America. Parents are deserting their children at the very time when the
kids need them most.
Have you begun in the process of teaching
your children how to pick friends?
Have your children received usable
guidance, from you, about appropriate behavior with the opposite sex?
Have you given your children instruction
in how to act at their first exposure to a drug pusher?
Have you instructed your children in how
to make the decision about entering a fight or walking away?
If your answer to any of these is, "No!"
then you may be in the situation of the mother in the letter and you may
be there sooner than you think. Our apologies for seeming to spend this
entire article speaking of alarming and shocking thoughts but our current
position simply has proven to us that increasing numbers of parents are
leaving kids in burning houses or are waiting until the house is on fire
before giving needed instruction to their kids. Please don't be one of
those who wait until it is too late. The alarm is sounding and they are