Earlier this month, I wrote about protecting my daughters’ innocence. A reader asked how, in a practical sense, I attempted to do that. While I seek to be on guard in a variety of areas, the first one that comes to mind is the media our children encounter.
My husband and I are very careful about what we allow our children to be exposed to in the area of media. They watch no television programming on a regular basis. As a family, we may watch sporting events, such as college basketball’s March Madness or a NASCAR race, but even then we avoid the commercials. Our girls typically watch a VHS or dvd movie on Saturday nights, but only those that we have watched previously or that I have researched ahead of time.
We have a filter on our computer, which is in the living area (although I don’t rely totally on the filter to block inappropriate material). At their designated computer time (usually 20-30 minutes each on weekends during the school year), they can play games on cd’s or on internet sites that we have selected and saved under their favorites.
At their current ages, they don’t listen to the radio very often. The music tapes and cd’s that they own – mostly Christian children’s music or old Disney favorites like Mary Poppins – have been given to them by us. While I like to listen to Dave Ramsey and a few other talk show hosts on the car radio, I sometimes have to turn them off due to language that I don’t want my children repeating.
Monitoring their reading material is quite challenging. Since both of our daughters are voracious readers, it’s often hard to find a wide selection of good, age-appropriate literature for them to read. At the library, I strive to flip through those books they select that we’ve not read before or those written by an author who is unfamiliar to us. They are now at an age where they have a relatively good sense of what is acceptable and will usually let me know when they come across something questionable in a book.
Let me say that these are the standards we presently follow in our home; every family is different and God may lead others to direct their families in a different fashion. Unfortunately, in our society, it is on ongoing struggle to keep the minds of our children free from impure sights and sinful thoughts. However, I am convinced that it is a battle worth fighting to keep my daughters’ as innocent and childlike as possible during these precious growing-up years.
I’d enjoy hearing how you guard your children from ungodly influences – especially those of you with older children who have “traveled this way before!”
Oh, so true! It is hard when we are bombarded on every side. 🙁 We usually go get a drink from our local convenience store on SONdays after we drop dd to go out on bus to help with picking up kids. Well, ds has come with. We went to the back of the store and when we come in that way, the magazine rack is right there. There were many magazines that weren't covered. I ended up speaking to the manager that day and politely asked if there was some way to put something over those magazines that weren't intended for little eyes (or really for big eyes for that matter). He apologized and asked which ones I was talking about and put shield things up; however, we now go in the front of the store. We cut down to basic cable which has been a huge blessing!
Have a great day, Tracey!
It has been great for me to take a similar path with my kids -all along discussing with them our reasons. Now, I really see them being selective for themselves about media and books. My oldest has learned through repeated example what is appropriate and now she is often more selective than I would be. That is truly the point, they have to learn to filter things for themselves and understand why we live like we live.
I wish I could go back in time and be more strict about the limits I placed on how much TV is watched in my house. Madison is obsessed with every commercial – she asks for every toy and DVD. It drives me crazy! Thanks Nickelodeon and PBS Kids. We do have the Cartoon Newtwork, but I don't let her watch many shows from that channel. Have you seen some of the cartoons now days?! Crazy. I think it will be easier to curtail TV watching now that warmer weather is here and we can break out of our hibernation mode.
It is so refreshing to read this! This is exactly the way my parents raised my siblings and me. No TV except Gator football and the Olympics, basically. Of course, we didn't have the internet back then, so that wasn't an issue. One thing we loved listening to (even into our pre-teen years) were Adventures in Odyssey tapes.
We also were avid readers and I honestly believe that most of that was due to the fact that we weren't stuck in front of a TV all day. We were imaginative and creative and entertained ourselves.
This is my goal for my daughter (and future kids!) also. She is only 10 months now, but my husband and I have already had many discussions on the very limited TV policy for our kids as well as other things.
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. (Deut. 6:6-7)
The Fifth Street Mama says
We do not have television in our home. I have thrown out toys and music that uses unkind or inappropriate language (ex: a Lightning McQueen car that say "I eat losers for breakfast"). I attempt to point out unkind behavior or words used by my children and role play kind and loving ways to handle situations. As well we pray for our children to be filled with truth and not lies. We pray for protection from evil influences.
That is so great! I was raised the same way, and I had so many people tell me growing up and sometimes even now, you are so innocent! They mean it in a bad way, because they don't understand, but I am so glad for the way I was raised and glad that I was raised to be innocent. Great post!
Forever Neighbor says
Growing up as a child I was pretty much allowed to watch and read whatever I chose. There were many things I shouldn't have seen, heard, or saw.
I, as a parent now, monitor EVERYTHING with my children. We pretty much do the same things you do with your girls. Looking at my daugher compared to other girls her age, my daughter is very innocent. I have people tell me that we are too strict and our children will rebel aganist us. I, however, believe we are doing right, and that we have God on our side helping us along the way.