“Unattended children will be given a latte and a puppy.”

Snickering at the boutique’s sign, I wondered how many customers had unleashed their toddlers to ravage its delicate baubles. Perhaps threats of caffeine and pet fur would motivate parents to squeeze onto their young children’s hands.

When the tots outgrow puppy threats, many parents release kids to pursue their desires. The population of unsupervised minors continues to multiply. Preteens skateboard alongside rush hour traffic to a grocery parking lot. “Mall rats” goad one another to shoplift, or play adult games in lingerie stores. A circular drive makes it easy for parents to drop their children off to loiter in front of the movie theater among gangsters. Party buses advertise specials for homecoming and prom, providing dark corners for inebriated minors to enjoy unchecked. Society condones parental nods and credit charges for hotel suite rentals after these events.

No one posts signs encouraging parents to supervise older kids. Devoid of the boutique placard’s humor, such warnings might evoke more than a snicker.

Unaccompanied children will risk premature death or kidnapping on the shoulder of this road or in that parking lot.

Unsupervised kids will be offered alcohol and drugs, for which they’ll become forty percent more likely to develop an addiction than if they’d avoided it until adulthood.

Unattended teens will be sexualized earlier than normal, exposing them to identity and esteem distortions, STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, abortion trauma, and intimacy barriers for relationships in adulthood.

Left unsupervised by responsible adults, under-aged individuals cannot fend for their physical or moral safety. Unattended minds, bodies, and souls will be fed to the wolves.

The human brain requires over twenty years for full development, leaving teens and young adults ill equipped for the independence to which our society abandons them. Let’s take a counter-cultural stance and embrace our children as supervising parents. Revise the hands-off trend and instead opt to hold those young ones close. Offer guided, reasonable freedoms, but never more exposure to physical or moral danger than an undeveloped mind can withstand. Even kids who balk at our presence continue to need the shelter of a parent’s care.

Deuteronomy 4:9 , Proverbs 22:6, Ezekiel 16:20-21, Malachi4:6, Ephesians 6:1-4, 1Timothy 3:4-12, and 1Timothy 5:10 testify to God’s love for children and His desire for parents to supervise them with utmost care.  In my favorite example, Christ illustrates God’s heart for children.

 “He put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, “Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me.” — Mark 9:36-37