Our devotional this week was written by Carolyn Perkins. She is an expert professional educator. She is currently a School Board Member with the Bremerton School District. She and her husband Bob are long-time members, and she has been an ALFC as a staff member. Bob is part of the Church Council. Her devotional is relevant to our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. Thank you, Carolyn!
PRAY FOR OUR CHILDREN
The grief, anxiety, and depression children experienced during the pandemic welled over into classrooms and hallways, resulting in crying and disruptive behavior in many younger kids and increased violence and bullying among adolescents. For many other children, who keep their sadness and fear inside, the pressures of school became too great.
Suspected suicide attempts among adolescents jumped 31% in 2020, compared with 2019. In February and March 2021, emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher among girls aged 12–17 than during the same period in 2019.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association declared that the pandemic-related decline in child and adolescent mental health had become a national emergency. The pandemic may subside, but its mental health effects will be around much
Many students have struggled academically. After assessing students in Language Arts and Math the Fall, they returned to school. The average scores in Language Arts were similar to the previous assessment; however, the mathematics scores were about 5-10 percentile points below the prior year. Some students thrived with in-home learning with great internet access and a quiet place to participate in class. Others were not as fortunate. They had limited internet access compounded with parents working from home also online.
Although each student who did not have a device received one and a hot spot as needed, there were disparities, especially in the low-income and homeless populations where access to shelter and caring for siblings while parents worked became a priority.
The pandemic has been extremely stressful for families with significant worries about the health of family members, financial instability, food uncertainty, social isolation, and increased caregiving burdens associated with having children at home.
During the pandemic, the incidence of domestic violence surged, with estimates of 21 to 35 percent increase. These statistics are distressing in the context of already high levels of harsh parenting.
Our families need God in their lives! Many have turned inward and not sought God. Parents are the primary caregivers and educators of their children. We must pray for our families every day. Encourage them to return to their church family where support for families and children can be found. Parents need to return to being an educator of their children. Remember, the word “discipline” comes from the root word of disciple and means to teach.
The truths in the Bible are even more needed for parents to follow as they educate their children.
Proverbs 22:6 – “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave.”
Psalm 78:7 – “So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting His glorious miracles and obeying His commands.”
Proverbs 29:17 – “Discipline (teach) your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad.”
With the world in confusion and looking for other gods to follow and distractions from God, many families forget their responsibility to educate their children and lay a firm Godly foundation. Many parents are in need and hungry for the Word and need guidance. When the children are discouraged, frustrated, feeling hopeless, or being led astray by false doctrine, the parents should be encouraging them and guiding them in the way they should go.
We are praying together for our children!