Children's Souls Need Care

By Devine, Nancy | Anglican Journal, January 1998 | Go to article overview
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Children's Souls Need Care

Devine, Nancy, Anglican Journal

JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Conscience Canada, a Victoria-based peace lobby group, called on Canadian parents to declare their homes war toy free zones. "Be aware of what our kids watch on TV," the words on the flyer loudly proclaimed "Let toy manufacturers know how we feel. Spread the word in our communities. Be confident that change can happen."

This kind of call to action is laudable, but it's like putting an adhesive strip on a gaping wound that needs stitches. So what if the collective efforts of parents can damage the sales figures for Mercenary Mike's Mega Battle Bomber? I think parents should ban war toys. At the same time, they need to find a set of values and stick to them.

Banning war toys does little to teach children the way of peace. The truth is, children, especially little boys, will build guns from their peaceful Lego blocks. Many of them will also chew their toast into the shape of a gun or turn their hockey stick into a rifle. They do this because it is part of their playful fantasy. As they mature, and if their parents help them, they learn to separate fact from fiction. A war toy boycott is a good start, but children need something more from us.

As a Christian, I am committed to raising children who are both mentally balanced and spiritually well-equipped to take over the world when we are gone.

We need to teach children to pray. There is no harm in taking a few minutes from each day to thank God for the gift of life and its blessings. If life is revered daily in this way, perhaps children will grow into folks who think twice before endangering their lives and those of the people around them.

Parents need to be courageous enough to ask for help when the job of parenting is getting tough. There are courses to take. There are knowledgeable people to help. Churches must offer leadership and provide guidance in this area.

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