Bad things have a way of seeping into young people’s lives. It might be an overly sexualized way of dressing for a ten-year-old girl or a first exposure to a highly addictive video game for a young boy. That’s tough for us to see, especially if the girl is your granddaughter or the boy is your grandson.
“How do I address that?” We ask. “I probably don’t know or even want to know all the bad things my grandchildren are exposed to. Is there a way to keep those things out? Can we build the perfect defense?”
Unfortunately, the answer is no. There is no perfect defense. But, as the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense.
I grew up in Minnesota and attended baseball games at the old Metrodome in Minneapolis. You entered the stadium through revolving doors and didn’t notice the high air pressure that was holding up a cloth roof.
When the game ended, the exit doors opened. As soon as you walked in front of the doors, you were swept outside. The positive pressure blew you right out of the stadium. It blew everything out—and nothing seeped in. Positive internal air pressure kept the bugs out of the stadium.
The Metrodome serves as a good model for how to keep “bad stuff” out of young people’s lives. Fill their hearts, their minds, and their time with good things. Make it hard for evil to seep in.
All grandparents know what the good things are. They know how to do them. Most grandchildren will happily play upbuilding games or listen to grandma read a great bible story. These build in the positive air pressure. Children learn virtue if we teach it. These are things grandparents can pass on. Fill a child’s time with good things, and goodness results.
Aristotle said, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” This is also true for children. They will absorb whatever is around them. A grandparent’s job is to make sure that what is around them, when the grandchildren are around them, is good and positive.
Are you Positive? Never pass up a chance to fill a child’s life with good things!
Mike Shaughnessy is the Executive Director of Grandly and the Editor of the Kairos Youth Culture Newsletter.
Copyright © 2016 Grandly – The Strategic Grandparents Club.