Preparing Them For the Real World

One of the sweetest privileges of being a mother is the duty/opportunity to fill the minds and hearts of my children with things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, praise-worthy and virtuous. (Philippians 4:8)

 

After all, if the Bible admonishes us to do something, how much more are we responsible to direct our children to that command!

 

Look around…I was thinking how lost this concept is among people, even Christians. Most children’s minds are being filled with everything opposite the above virtues…either by neglect of parents to protect them, or by a horrific misunderstanding that “they need to learn about the real world”. Parents really believe that exposure to sin and immorality is “good” for their children!

 

The real world…yes, it’s full of sin, violence and misery. It can’t be avoided. But where in the Bible does it say we are to saturate our young children with those things in order to better prepare them? In fact, where does it say that even we adults are better prepared for life when we ruminate on its ills?

 

It doesn’t. Every admonition is given to renew our minds with what is good, not what is evil.

 

I would suggest that there has never been a time in history when we have to work so hard with feeding the minds of our children with what is good. The tabloids in the check out line, the billboards along the interstate, the posters at the convenience store, television, conversations overheard–we are bombarded with lies, injustice, impurity and the likes.

 

I denounce the lie that children only learn about the real world by being saturated with its filth. That is a deception from the pit of hell that is raping our children of their God-intended potential. Filth exists; we don’t have to “learn about it.” We have to fortify our minds against it. 

 

And a caution to parents…I learned about s*x when I was 9 from the dirty jokes our pastor’s son told me (he was 11). The holy and sacred gift of marriage was forever desecrated in my mind, laying a false foundation which would pave the way for a destructive lifestyle of promiscuity, forever tarnishing my life.

 

I would even suggest this is one the strongest arguments against peer-dependent children. The garbage that is fed to them through other children that we never even know about is STILL our responsibility. Yikes.

 

Scripture tells us how to raise our children. We can’t make up our own wisdom and expect blessing. It’s already written for us what to do. We just have to “trust in the Lord with all our hearts and do NOT lean on our own understanding.”

David gives us a clear picture of how we are to learn about the real world:

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me.

 

I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts.

 

I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word.

 

I have not departed from Your judgments, for You Yourself have taught me.

 

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

 

Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

(I wanted to add a clarification from my comment…)

“Let me clarify…there is a difference in discussing age-appropriate realities with our children and allowing them to be saturated with the garbage around. Furthermore, it is SO important to understand the difference in merely being *exposed* to sin, and being taught about sin through the proper lens of a biblical world view.”

 

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32 Responses to “Preparing Them For the Real World”

  1. Bethany Hudson says:

    Kelly, I completely agree with you that there is no cause to saturate our young children with these things. One of the greatest gifts that we can give to our children is the protection of their innocence, that they might grow and learn in safety and peace.

    I think it IS important for parents to speak openly with their children when those children do pick up things from the world and have QUESTIONS, though. I think it is very damaging to our kids to say, “Oh, you’ll understand when you’re older” or just burst out with a “Where did you hear THAT?!” I think it’s extremely important that our children know that they can bring their questions to us–because they WILL be exposed to this sort of thing, if from nowhere else, then from the Bible! There’s a lot of attrocious sin going on in those holy pages.

    I also think it is important to prepare our sons and daughters for what they may find as they get older and are on the verge of leaving home. A young girl who doesn’t know about the dangers of rape and how to protect herself is going to be at a dangerous disadvantage in the “real world.” A young man who doesn’t know enough about the effects of drugs and alcohol could find himself in sticky situation with peers even if he never drinks or uses drugs himself (like ending up in a car with someone who is high driving). I’m not saying give them the whole dirty low-down, but give them the tools and the knowledge they need to protect themselves. And, again, keep answering those questions.

    ~Bethany

  2. Nicole says:

    Thank you for this post! This is a dear topic to me that my husband and I talk about often. Our little daughter is 1 year old, and there is so much out there in the world that we must protect her from!

    BUT, this thought keeps surfacing in my mind, and I don’t know how to address it:

    ‘If I don’t teach my daughter a tiny bit about some of these things, and how to handle the nasty situations she inevitably will experience, who will?’

    Your parents could have assumed you would be safe in the company of the pastor’s son, but that was not the case. Even if we limit our children to short playdates with approved friends, there is still the risk that the nasty evil of this world will reach them.

    I know she is too young now to even learn some things from her parents, but I don’t want my daughter to learn from the cute neighbor boy she has a crush on that boys don’t want to stop with just a kiss (even a large number of “christian-raised” boys can ignore their upbringing in the heat of the moment)

    How do we balance wisely keeping evil from our children vs. avoiding teaching them ways to handle the evils that they will inevitably face as children of God living in this world?

  3. Word Warrior says:

    Bethany and Nicole,

    Both of you made great points and raise important questions.

    Let me clarify…there is a difference in disucssing age-appropriate realities with our children and allowing them to be saturated with the garbage around.

    Furthermore, it is SO important to understand the difference in merely being *exposed* to sin, and being taught about sin through the proper lens of a biblical world view. (The way I learned about sex versus a right explanation–worlds apart.)

    The world will tell them lies about the things around them; we can still discuss them, but in the proper light of truth.

    I have been guilty of discussing matters far too serious, perhaps too early with my children. This post made me consider being more sensitive to what and when I share. Obviously onversations that may be appropriate with your 14 year old may not be with your 5 year old.

    Just being sensitive as a parent about how and when to discuss things, I think is key.

    And regardless of the serious discussions, being vigilant to fill their minds with the Phil. 4:6 list is so important! That will help them discern the difference in lie and truth, good and evil.

  4. Laura Lou says:

    Beautiful. My heart exactly.

  5. Sbyllek says:

    Thank you. That is exactly how I feel about our 3 girls. We lay the foundations of truth from the Scripture, and then build on that through the Scriptures.

    I remember hearing a speaker equate it to the training of a bank teller.
    Bank tellers do not study counterfeits. They spend hours (or used to when this example was used) thumbing through REAL bills so that when a counterfeit passes through their fingers they know immediately that is isn’t real!

    We immerse our kids in the truth…the pure, just and holy…so that when Satan slips in a lie, they recognize it immediately and will reject it.

  6. mrshester says:

    Allow children to be “immersed” to learn and they quickly come to resemble what they’ve been rolling around in. And it only gets worse as they get older. It’s been over a year since I gave my life back to Him, and I’m still scrubbing to get the stink out.

  7. Sweet Blessings says:

    It’s been refreshing and thought-provoking to see what’s on your mind as I have begun to follow your blog. I appreciate your passions and am thankful for your heart of sharing. I thought you spoke eloquently on this matter. I also appreciated the comments left. Amanda:)

  8. Kim M. says:

    Good post and comments. My husband and I were just discussing this yesterday.

  9. mrs. imperfect says:

    Kelly,

    The idea that children must become “used to the real world” is endemic in today’s society – it is even considered to be a disservice to your children if you don’t send them into situations where they will be bombarded not only with wrong influences by peers, but into situations where they will be mistreated by adults.

    For instance, when I decided to keep my children at home for their education after several instances where they were insulted, and belittled by teachers (and not just them, but their entire class), I was told that I was depriving them of the opportunity to toughen up.

    This would make sense, I suppose, if they were older than 10 at the time!

    In fact, I recall being told that “teachers are just people”, and because this is the way people are, you can’t expect them to be any better.

    I was told that my children should grow thick skins, and get used to it, because that’s how people are. (I was also told that they wouldn’t “fit in”, to which I say – great! I don’t actually want them to be that kind of person!)

    So should we protect our kids? Yes, absolutely! That’s kind of why kids have parents, don’t you think?

    Teach them the ways of the world? Yes, of course. And teach them what God has to say about these things too.

  10. Word Warrior says:

    Mrs imperfect,

    Well said…it boggles the mind that parents have believed they need to thrust young children out into the abyss of the unknown to figure it all out. Like you said, what are parents for?

  11. Mrs. Lady Sofia says:

    Although I don’t have children of my own, your comment makes perfect sense. Children learn what they are taught, rather it is for good or for evil. I work with elementary school students five days a week for three hours a day, and some of the things they say are sad. Also, their behavior towards their peers (e.g., friends) is mean and rough spirited.

    By the grace of God, I hope that I am learning all that I can now about the importance of raising children so if God finds it His will to bless me with some in my “old age,” I will know what to do and not fall into some of the same “pitfalls” that others have.

  12. Bethany Hudson says:

    Kelly, I see what you mean, now…and that’s what I thought you meant, anyway 🙂 You’re quite right: Exposure is NOT the same thing as education. We can teach our children about the world without getting them “used to it.” We can teach them what’s going on without teaching them to tolerate.

  13. Angela says:

    And this is a good answer to the socialization question us homeschoolers are always getting, that is if you feel the need to answer.

  14. Kristi says:

    I agree with you 100%. I’m so sick and tired of people telling me I need to get my children “used to the real world.”

  15. Miranda says:

    Awesome post! 100% agree.

  16. teamstone says:

    (sweet sigh) Thank you.

    We have 4 children 5 and under and both mine and my husband’s families are constantly bombarding us with this argument…among others.

    Thank you for refreshing me in fighting the good fight. I’m praying for you today.

  17. sheena says:

    Kelly, I am so sorry about the way you were introduced to the concept of sex.

    We recently found out that our precious little son had been sexually abused by our next door neighbor’s daughter in our own home while we were there! (the girl was SOOO incredibly sneaky)

    While our closest friends are fellow believers, we never shut out relationships with neighbors or their children because we wanted to be able to reach out to them with the gospel. Our kids didn’t play at their house and if their kids wanted to play with our kids they had to come to our house. Most of the time they were supervised.

    Like you shared, even the pastor’s kid can be a perpetrator of sexual sin. One in three little girls in America is molested or sexually abused by the time they are three!

    How would you recommend protecting our children from this type of thing happening? Should we never allow them to be alone with another person (child or adult, male or female) ever? Trust NOBODY? (we certainly can’t trust the girl next door or the pastor’s kid)

    We’re military and live far from family. We move on average once a year. Since we found out about our son being abused we quite leaving our kids with anyone. So, now we never go on dates. For our 10 year anniversary we flew my husband’s mom out from NY to CA to watch the kids so we could go out. We never let our kids play with friends unless we can see them at all times. We home school. We don’t have TV. We don’t trust anyone with our kids.

    Most pastors say that if we don’t leave our children to go on a date we’re neglecting our marriage. Others (like the Pearls) say if we do leave our children (or even take our eyes off of them for a split second) something horrible will likely happen and that it’s our fault. We have experienced the latter.

    Where is the line between making wise choices to protect our children’s innocence and living in fear of the devastating effects of sin?

    How can we reach out to the world around us if we isolate ourselves from it? (I’m not talking about public school here) And if we don’t completely isolate ourselves, then our own children are put in grave danger.

    Does God in His sovereign plan allow sexual sin to happen to his own children, or is it the fault of the parents for not watching all of their children literally every single second?

    What does God’s word say about this? I am looking for some wisdom. My heart is broken for what happened to our son.

    Any thoughts?

  18. Word Warrior says:

    Sheena,

    My heart breaks for you too…it really does. And we will pray that your son is restored and not harmed long-term by this incident.

    And let me mention that while I said parents are “responsible” for what their children experience from other children, there are times when even parents, like you, are very aware and catious and still miss something. I was drawing attention to parents who flippantly let their children go wherever with whomever, giving little thought to the consequences.

    I was also abused by a friend’s son when I was 10. For that reason, I have a particular sensitivity to exactly your situation. I have always leaned toward the idea that we simply can’t leave our children alone with others. In the case when we have had no alternative, we have given strict instructions that our children are to stay together. We would especially talk to the older ones about watching the younger ones “at all times”, not explaining why, but expressing how important it is.

    And I hate to even mention this, but most children are abused with family members. I don’t think we should be distrusting of our family, but discerning…

    I have no doubt about those stats–1 in 3. My theory is that few parents even know when this happens to their children. My parents didn’t have a clue until I was grown.

    It may seem silly to others to be so protective, but let them say what they will; when it comes to that kind of protection, knowing what we know about the statistics, it only makes sense to err on the safer side.

    This doesn’t mean we can’t visit the neighbors or bring them in our home; just that when we do, we are cautious and use each other as a safe guard. Does that makes sense?

    Again, I am deeply hurt for you about your son…may peace and healing be yours.

  19. mrshester says:

    Sheena, if I may, I would like to share with you about myself. I hope I am not intruding into your “space”, I don’t want to make you any more uncomfortable than you already are with this whole thing. When I was about 5 or so, I was also “introduced” to sexuality by another young family member. I knew it wasn’t quite right, but I don’t know that I really really knew what was going on. All I knew was that we couldn’t let anyone know, it was something that had to be kept a secret. Unfortunately, though most of my family are proud to call themselves Christians, there wasn’t alot of follow-through with the children. We went to church on Sunday and that’s usually where God stayed, unless we were doing something bad and then it was used as almost a bribe. My parents weren’t particularly religious at all. So, your son already has one-up on most children, because of your faith. That WILL carry itself, and your son, a long, long way in all of this.

    I don’t have any real sage advice, and you will probably receive greater help from more educated (not necessarily psychologically speaking) Christians, but if you will teach your son about God’s love for him and his abuser, about forgiveness, about what is really right and wrong, he will be okay. You don’t have to be suspicious of everyone, I know that’s easier said than done. Just make yourself as open and available as possible. Let your child know he doesn’t have to be afraid of everyone, or afraid to tell you everything. I never told my family about this, because I knew the damage it would do (there are anger issues in my family) and there’s no sense in telling them now (the girl has passed away since then) just to cause hurt feelings.

    Surround your son with love, with arms to hug, with prayers to our Father, and he will be okay.

    I sincerely hope I don’t sound like I am taking it lightly, my situation led to many years of being confused about sex, unfortunately my first encounter would not be my last. But, even as little influence as one person can have (my grandmother in this case, who is a Christian woman and gave me a great sense of right and wrong as I grew older), if your whole household can be that influence to your son, I truly believe he will be that much greater for it. I am so sorry for the things done to your son, having experienced it myself I can only imagine how it must feel to know a child has gone through that.

  20. Civilla says:

    Staying together is very good advice. I remember an “incident” being prevented, when I was about 13, because my little brother was with me.

    Another thing you can do is: keep your child dressed. A lot of people, even some Christians, think it is “cute” to let their little ones run around naked in front of visitors. This may stir up temptation in some people. Be wise.

    When I was about 10 or 11,(forty-five years ago!) my family used to visit these elderly people. The old man (in his ’80’s) used to make me sit on his lap, and he would feel up under my dress (I wore only dresses as a little girl — I don’t know why; my parents bought me pants, but I refused to wear them).

    Well, after this happened a couple of times, “11-year-old me” knew I had to do something. I wouldn’t tell my family, because I didn’t want to start World War III. I thought and thought, and then I remembered the black courderoy pants in my dresser drawer, and every time my folks would announce that we were going to visit these old people, I would put the pants on. The problem stopped immediately.

    If your daughters wear only dresses, think about having them wear shorts or pettipants underneath, at least when you are around people.

    Sad to say, this is the world we live in.

  21. Kristi says:

    I do not think parents should leave their children with other families, or with other children, or unsupervised (by anyone but themselves) at all, ever. We had a close call ourselves when we were out to dinner with a missionary family. Their kids brought our daughter into their room for a split second!!, and started things. Thank God we walked in just in time.

    I thought we were cautious before that, but we are VERY cautious now. Very, very, very. And don’t plan on stopping. It’s a very perverted world we live in and by God, we’re the ones who are supposed to protect our children, God help us all.

  22. Word Warrior says:

    Even though it seems “alarmist” to some people to echo these thoughts (don’t leave your children with anyone), I will add that in addition to some abuse when I was 11, we had a babysitter that did weird things I still remember…he would want me to sit with him in the dark and watch TV, and even tried to kiss me–I can remember feeling very strange but not knowing what to do…you won’t believe this, but I was 6 years old. I still can’t fathom why some men are given to this kind of perversion. He was a “really nice guy” until the parents were gone.

    Again, my parents had no idea until I was grown. I don’t blame them, but it has made me a lot more cautious.

  23. Michelle (She Looketh Well) says:

    Sheena,
    I am so sorry for what happened to your little boy. My husband and I know first hand the full range of devastating emotions you have and will experience.

    Our situation was particularly heartbreaking, because of details I cannot share, but know that IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! and yes, even our loving Father allows things we do not understand and that are horrible to us. We had so much to “get through” with God. It took a long, long time to get to that place of just being able to trust Him and love Him just because He is my God, and not let what happened throw us. Does that make sense?

    We have to trust that He has plans we can never know and that He uses ALL things for our good and His glory. It has been some years now, but the emotions are still raw. I cringe about the Pearl comment, I read their stuff and am mostly blessed, but that comment in her book about sent me off the deep end, it took lots of time with God and His word to get back on my feet again. So, let me repeat, to maybe undo what comments like that do, IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT! You can trust your God even in those difficult times. Absolutely nothing slips through His hands! Nothing is a surprise to Him and He doesn’t let things like this happen because you were not doing it good enough!

    He will restore your son and your family and something beautiful WILL come out of this, I don’t know when, but I know it will! I am praying for you, crying for you.

    The advice to be careful, to watch as much as you can, keep the children together!!! But you cannot live in total fear and be hyper-vigilant. We cannot control everything no matter how hard us mamas try:-)(we lived and acted out of fear for quite some time, it is easy to see now looking back, but back then we just were surviving) Trust your Father, do your best, be led by Him and that is all you can do friend.

    Hugs and prayers,

    Michelle
    http://www.shelookethwell.com

  24. Civilla says:

    And, speaking of the elderly man who did that to me, I do not think he was evil. He was just senile. That happens. I’m just thankful I was not traumatized by it.

  25. bbmommy2 says:

    Civilla, I went through something very similar as a little girl at the hands of my “not so great grandfather”. When we would visit he would always pull us little girls onto his lap. When no one was looking, he would put his hand up the back of our shirts and reach around. I was maybe 5 or 6, maybe younger but I always remember how creepy he seemed to me. I refused to sit on his lap after that even when my mother or grandmother would sit me there. I would kick and scream usually,and this was not my character as a child. When, I was about twelve, we went for a visit. I leaned into hug him (at my mother’s insistance) and he reached up and grabbed my developing chest. I ran and refused to go near him again. I do think he had some senile moments but he also had his wit about him until the end. I consider myself fortunate to have escaped what he could have done to me. Only in the last few years have I told this to my mother and aunt because this man is highly adored amongst family, even his memory. My Great Grandmother is still living at 92 years young and I would not want this spreading amongst the family and get back to her. The thing is my Grandmother (not so greatgrandfather’s daughter) has eluded through the year’s that she was mollested as a little girl but she would never speak of who did this to her. She has endured much heart break in her life and I suspect it began at the hands of her own father.

  26. bbmommy2 says:

    For the mother’s that question who to trust with our most precious gifts, it is very difficult to trust. My children stay with there grandmother’s and NO one else. My husband and I believe God blessed us with these children we will protect them from this volatile world. He encountered abuse in a church youth group as a child. You never know!

    For the mother that have endured this nightmare, my heart breaks for you. Like everyone here, I will pray Our Lord’s peace to be with you and your most precious little one.

  27. Civilla says:

    Oh, that’s sad, BBMommy2. And yes, years and years ago, I don’t think people talked about such stuff at all. What a horrible experience for you and your sisters.

  28. authenticallyme says:

    My heart completely BREAKS for you ladies! This is wrenching to hear!

    Have you all come to a place of wholeness? I am reading a great book currently ab out sexual abuse, written by christians, but apparently tearing down some improper ways of handling the abuse, for the victims, their families, and the perpetrators.

    I am wondering for all of you-did you feel or have low self esteem, or not know how to speak for yourself as a yougn child? I wonder, only because I know my parents, with their verbal abuse and casual neglect (they were not awful parents, just didnt have the tools to parent my sisters and I)I didnt have a strng sense of who i was or my rights as a human being…therefore I was teased, bullied, peep pressured, and abused by others. I know this may not be the case with all children, especially those real young. I in no wy mean this to minimize anything that happened, so I hope it comes out right….but if you had been more secure as a child, might you have known to take measures on your own to try something in the moment to make it stop?

    Sometimes I wonder if one aspect is that children dont know their rights and boundaries, so perpetrators zone in on those types of children, knowing they will ‘get away with it’.

    I am going to pray for you all. I do believe in order for our children to be more secure, we must be healed of the abuse. My mother never healed form it, and as a consequence, passed her sexual and emotional dysfunction down to her daughters. I believe a huge way we can help our kids, is to thoroughly get healed ourselves. Be Blessed, and may God touch the innermost place in your being, and heal you with his grace, love, and mercy.

  29. authenticallyme says:

    Oh, I also wanted to add that I agree with these posts….my only difference would be that in situations that come along, I do not always remove my kids from them…but try rather to ‘naviagate’ them through. I have seen some parents disallow all learning experiences and their children have no discernment or wisdom-not knowing when to move or not move, talk or no speak, for themselves. I am speaking of trouble with friends….things they hear people say that they tell me……ways they witness people act, etc. Like, I allow my oldest (just 14 now) to tell me about her friend and her ‘boyfriends’ to use the discussions to point out, afterward, how having a boyfriend is not profitable for her friend. Or, when she says a girl told a lie about her in school, and she is mad at her-i help her with her emotions, and help teach her the tools to address the girl, if she desires. As a result, I think she is somewhat of a good self-thinker-yes, not TOTALLY developed in any fashion, but on a path in that direction. I am amazed by her ability to think for herself…I NEVER had that ability as a girl her age; i was filled with wrong thinking and managing of emotions, and didnt see my worth to have rights-so i let people abuse me.

    Oh-and I think we need to be extra careful with our little ones. When my kids were approaching like 10 years, i begin to let them here and there a bit, because I feel they are knowledgeable enough-we have talked-if i sense a spirit of fear or people pelasing in a child, i am more discerning about how long or where id let them go. Pretty much, only my oldest goes here or there a bit; the others are with me. I only have two friends my kids hang out with….I also have allowed my children to watch some movies (that maybe some of you would not allow) like on the lifetime channel or something-that depict young girls and what happens to them when they get sucked up into popularity, boys, staying out late, etc. My kids ask a lot of questions and seem alarmed and saddened that this occurs in some girls lives. It is a fine line between living in this world but not being of it….but I do not want my kids to be totally vpid of any discernment in their lives….I try to use daily things that arise-as examples and opoportunities to interject WHO GOD IS into their lives.

    I am wondering what the rest of you think about discernment…I know it comes from knowing the word of god, but do you give your children opportunities to try and apply it, or see how it ‘fits’ into the world?

  30. bbmommy2 says:

    AM, Thankyou for the prayer and kind words.
    You asked if I(not just me) didn’t tell due to low self esteem? I suppose, yes, even though I was very young and we did not visit very often. When the occurence happened at the age of twelve, I was embarrassed that he had done this to me. My parents also, did not have proper parenting tools. So, I felt ashamed to discuss this with them at twelve. I don’t consider myself victimized because I escaped his perversion, but I am very aware that wolves hide in sheeps clothing, waiting to pounce given the chance.

    As far as how I choose to parent and protect, I will always be very cautious and protective. My children are seven and two now, so we have not encountered many of these issues, that older children encounter. But even as they grow older, I will protect and guide them, because sometimes it could be the one instant I’m not looking, that could wound them.

    We homeschool, so alot of the worldly issues (hopefully) are avoided at too early of an age. But my seven year old does play with the neighbor boys and he comes home with plenty of new topics we discuss. You can imagine the things some seven year old boys say. Nothing too pg-13, but somethings I was not prepared to explain just yet. My son in many ways, is wiser than his years. If we talk about why something is not appropriate, he understands and I even over heard him explaining something we discussed to the neighbor boy.

    I think we are all just trying to do the best we can.
    ~Brandi

  31. Civilla says:

    I don’t think it was low self-esteem that prevented me from saying something as it was happening. I just knew that no matter what, whether I was believed or not, if I said anything, it would start WWIII. I think that most children just shy away from anything that would bring yelling or conflict.

  32. April says:

    Kelly,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I learned about s*x by reading about it in the library when I was 7 or 8. I didn’t want to be in the dark and someone lie to me. What I didn’t learn from the book was that people do it for reasons other then child making. That came later from my peers at school.

    We too guard our children from the world and people. We preview every movie before our children are allowed to watch, even the cartoons because there is so much contained in them that as children they don’t pick up on the inuendos even though they are storing them up. We have told our children that we are helping them guard their hearts. Last week in a bookstore the 6 yr old told the 2yo not to look at a magazine. She said,”No Silas, don’t look at that book. It isn’t good and you have to guard your heart.” That was an encouragement to me to keep going.

    A couple of years ago I heard a lady say that when her children were younger she would tell them that she was putting important things into a secret suitcase (invisible) to keep for them until they are old enough to understand. I have adopted this and when I get asked a question that needs time to ferment (children age), then I just tell them that it’s a good question and we need to wait awhile before we talk about it in detail. My children like knowing that they will get the answers they want and are satisfied with waiting when I explain to them why.

    My family has also told my husband and I that we should leave our children with others and not be so afriad and so forth, but they are our children and our responsibility. We have left them a couple of times with the grandmothers and once with a neighbor when our last baby was born early (my mom wasn’t near by). But we have a policy that we don’t go where our children can’t go. I know some people need time as a couple and I don’t begrudge them that, but currently we don’t need that. We make our date nights happen after bed time. We pop the corn watch a movie or play a game. Maybe in a few years when big brother is older he can sit for the little ones, it’ll be good practice. But we do enjoy our childrens company and don’t want them to feel that they aren’t important enough to be with us. We’ll get our alone time when they leave home.
    April

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