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!”