Dear Heritage Parents:
I’m writing today with a humble passion to encourage you to prioritize time with your children. I know parenting can be tough, but it is worth the effort! Spend time eating together, working together, recreating together, praying together, and reading God’s word together. Look for opportunities to connect with your child and speak God’s word into their life.
Parenting is one of the first responsibilities and great privileges which God gave to His people. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 reads,
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Heritage Academy was founded in large part because parents wanted more time to fulfill God’s command to disciple their children. While the Heritage academic schedule allows time for parent/student interaction, it is no guarantee that Parents will spend more time with their children. In other words, just because students are enrolled in a Christian school, does not mean that parents are spending more time together. Parents must be intentional with their parenting!
Parenting has always been tough and modern culture is not making it any easier. We are a busy people increasingly distracted by work, technology and social media, and our own needs as individuals.
The dangers of social media are real. I’m including a link to a recent report from Bark.us. Bark is a company which sells an app that can track your child’s activity online. Even though, Bark has a vested interest in their reporting, I do believe the report accurately demonstrates the danger. The 2022 report highlights a variety of dangers for our pre-teens and teenagers on their cell phones or computers. The report shows, for example, “(1) 35.7% of tweens and 64.3% of teens were involved in a self-harm/suicidal situation, (2) 62.4% of tweens and 82.2% of teens encountered nudity or content of a sexual nature, and (3) 9.4% of tweens and 14.2% of teens encountered predatory behaviors from someone online.”
2022 Bark Annual Report (https://www.bark.us/annual-report-2022/)
Cell phones and other forms of technology can be quite distracting for our children. Once they have a cell phone in their hand, the cell phone interactions can seem more important than the people around them. Cell phones have become an epidemic of distraction in public schools. So much so that one local school district—Moberly School District started the fall 2022 school year with a “no cell phone” policy.
Moberly School District Starts School Year with a “No Cell Phone Policy”
Moberly Superintendent Dustin Fanning was quoted as saying, "Within this first two weeks, our students and staff have done amazing," he continued. "I was in the cafeteria last week and you can just tell that this school year is different. Students are actually sitting and talking to one another as opposed to everyone looking at their phones."
All of this points out the great need for parents to stay engaged with their children. I applaud Heritage parents for your valiant and diligent efforts in raising your children to love the Lord and become cultural influencers for Christ. I encourage you to check in with your student(s) regarding their cell phone usage. Set limits for them (they will thank you later) and shepherd them in the right direction.
I am thankful for the terrific parents we have at Heritage Academy!
For Christ and Family, Mr. Ragsdell