Kids are always watching. Every move we make. Every word we say. Kids see and hear it all. I’ve often said, if you want to know the phrases you say too much…have kids.
As parents, we have been entrusted by God to raise these precious blessings He has given us. We are to protect them, feed them, nurture them and as Christians, we are to help them grow in Christ.
It is also our job to inspire them.
To be better.
To be stronger.
To be godly Christian men and women.
Our Personal Media Choices Matter
But how can we inspire them? How can we teach them to be more Christ-like in a world full of evil desires—in a world with constant evil being thrown in their faces and so easily at their fingertips?
I believe it starts with the choices we, as parents, make regarding media: social media, movies, song choices, television shows, etc. Our own personal choices in these areas play a significant roll in our parenting and the inspiration of our children.
What message are we, as parents, sending our children?
While my husband and I are very strict about the movies, television shows and music our children are exposed to, we realized that our own choices weren’t reflecting the same standards.
When our oldest child, now ten, was about 4 years old, he awoke one night as we were watching a movie. While there was no nudity (which is never allowed in our home), there was profanity. We scrambled to pause it before his little ears heard too much. He looked at us confused. Why were we so panicked? Why were we “hiding” our choice?
We were ashamed.
That one moment changed our choices forever. We stopped the movie and didn’t finish it. We talked about what happened and why we were ashamed and what needed to change.
The very next day we removed every rated “R” movie from our collection. We wouldn’t let our children watch that language and filth, and we don’t need to either. We didn’t need to fill our minds with profanity, the violence, or the ever-so-brief nudity that often came with those movies.
But, the rating isn’t the only restriction we have. Even though a movie has a lower rating, doesn’t automatically mean its appropriate for us or our family. We also take in to consideration the subject matter. If it is a movie that deals with something we don’t approve of, we don’t watch it. We don’t watch movies or television shows with crass/rude humor. It is a choice we have made for us and our family.
It is our job to protect them and help them stay kids a little longer in this ever growing digital age.
As for social media, my husband and I believe in being open and honest with our children. While we may reserve some e-mails and social media conversations for our eyes only due to privacy of the sender, we do not hide who we are friends with online.
With a world full of sexual temptations geared younger and younger, our restrictions have become more and more strict. If a new subject matter comes up, we discuss it. We often discuss these choices with our now ten year old, as he needs to learn how and why we make these decisions, so as to help him make wise decisions in the future. They are not easy discussions or choices, but they are ones that we believe will help him remain a child just a little longer.
I full-heartedly believe our choices directly affect our children. They see our choices. They see our attitudes, which are often a reflection of the television shows, movies and music to which we listen.
Protecting & Preparing Kids for the Dangers Behind the Screen
If you’re looking for more information on how to both protect and prepare your kids for the big-wide-world of media consumption, check out this 3-part training—The Media Monster!