The Mind of MY Kids

POW flag

I read a story a few years back about some prisoners of war. It was a tragic recount where the POWs were being kept alive for one reason alone, and that was to get as much information as possible from their captives. The story was one prisoner’s recollection of this experience, where he described the tactics and the unbelievable effects.

He remembers, “Day after day, our captors played messages over speakers just outside of our cages. Also, the guards and virtually everyone we encountered reinforced the ideas and messages that came over the speakers. Not only did they constantly speak their ideas and perspectives, but they constantly gave examples to ‘prove their point.’ The words were intended to make us hate the policies of our own country and to help us see the wisdom of our captors. In the beginning, we hated the messages and vowed to never listen to what was being communicated. But after two or three years, most of my countrymen had folded to the constant ‘training.’ They began to dislike things about our country and began to hold viewpoints that were aligned with those of our captors. I could feel the transition actually happening within myself … and though I hated it, I could not seem to stop the momentum of the constant thoughts placed in my head by others.”

It was a very moving story, and I could not help but think about how this man explained the relatively simple, yet powerful process of what he called “training” as it relates to the human mind. The dictionary defines training as “the forming of habits, thoughts, or behavior by discipline, instruction, and practice.”

Of course, I often default to thinking about how mind “training” relates to what I attempt to do with my own kids. Obviously the pressure, stress, and pain of a POW is not an equal comparison to anything else; however, the concept of constantly being exposed to a message and seeing and hearing examples is a powerful training methodology. The challenge we as parents have is being and/or creating the filter system for our children. In the end, they will become what they think. Proverbs reminds us, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Train with diligence,


“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it…”


About Kris Hogan

With a 16-year educational tenure under his belt, Kris Hogan has spent the last nine years working at Grapevine Faith High School in Grapevine, Texas. In addition to sitting on its administrative team, Hogan also pulls double duty as Faith’s head football coach. Hogan also was the subject of Remember Why You Play, a 2008 book by sports columnist and author David Thomas that chronicled the lives, struggles and successes of Coach Hogan and his team. READ MORE→