Family, Parenting, THE BRAINY BUNCH

Magazines and Parenting

My family and I went to a book store last Monday to buy some supplies. As we were getting ready to pay and line up at the counter, King told me to go to the other one. There was no one in line, so I started to protest. Then I saw, just as he was telling me, the magazine with a pornographic cover. (Here we go again with women being used as tools.) I don’t know what publication it was, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t what they call an “adult magazine.” They’re also prevalent in convenience stores and when the kids are with me, I quickly turn them around so we only see the back cover. It pains me to know that they have seen some of them before. We have grown more aware and alert about these things.

Anyway, I immediately took the girls and motioned for them to go the opposite direction before they noticed the magazine. One counter was closed and there were a few people lined up in the other. Even though it was a tad inconvenient, it was an easy decision to make.

I am so thankful that my husband and I are on the same page when it comes to raising our daughters. We know that we cannot protect them from every evil, disgusting, defiling thing, but we do what we can. My girls are already curious about boys, girls and relationships as it is. We don’t need immodest, obscene pictures of women to pollute their minds.

It’s easy to tell them right now that “it’s not for kids,” but we really don’t want to give them the idea that it’s “okay” to do such things as pose nude or even half-nude when one is an adult. Purity and holiness does not only apply to the young or to certain seasons in life — it applies to all.

We don’t want them to adapt what the world regards as beautiful or cool or good. We hold God’s word as the truth. Their beauty does not depend on their own or others’ idea or depiction of beauty. They are beautiful because they are loved by God. Without God, there is no beauty. Their goodness does not depend on what they do or do not do, or on what other people say or think. They are good only because of the finished work of Jesus. If not for Jesus dying on the cross, taking our sin and giving us His righteousness, no one is good.

Our desire is for our children to live according to the will of God — live their lives to the full, free from the hold of sin, free from condemnation, free from death and the fear of it, free from wanting what the world wants, free to love and serve their Creator, Father, Savior, Lord, Friend, free to love and serve others. This is why we deliberately parent them, teach them, pray for them.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6 NIV

For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 1 John 2:16 NLT

Parenting

VISUAL, are you?

I believe I am a visual person. When I see something that catches my attention, I most probably will remember it for a long time. So you can bet that some of the obscene things I’d seen in the past are still in my memory, though I choose not to actually picture them in my head. I wish I did not get exposed to such things and have to go through that, but I did. I guess in this case, my memory loss or the slowing down of my brain (which I totally blame on giving birth and epidural hahaha) is a good thing.

And that is why guarding what our children watch is so important to me and to King. We want to protect our kids from things they see that could harm them. We do our best to monitor what they watch on TV and in the movies. At home, they can watch most of the shows on Playhouse Disney unless the content is about Halloween or anything scary, and very few shows on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. They are not allowed to switch channels by themselves because of the possibility of accidentally switching to a channel that is totally not safe for any kid, such as channels that carry shows with violent or sexual content. We choose the movies that they watch in the theater, making sure beforehand as much as possible, that it’s safe, meaning no kissing scenes, no witchcraft, no foul language, no violence and anything we deem too mature for our children. If not, we’re ready to cover their eyes.

When Shrek came out, we watched it with the kids. We didn’t realize they’d be showing a lot of trailers of movies that aren’t kid-friendly! During the first trailer, King’s hand was over Pablo’s eyes, mine were on Danae’s and Noelle’s. Imagine how tiring that was! Danae was on my left on her own seat, while Noelle was on my right in her stroller. It was practically 2 minutes long. Only 2 minutes, but it seemed like forever for my unfit arms! After that first one, I asked King to bring Pablo and Danae out while the movie wasn’t starting yet. That was a good 10 minutes. After the movie, we also realized that it was funnier for the adults and too mature for the kids.

Recently, Danae came to the knowledge of a certain Justin Bieber and since has claimed that she loves him. She told me that she saw the video on YouTube and that there’s no kissing, only Justin’s face very close to a girl’s face. She even showed me, putting her forehead to mine. A few weeks ago, King left his laptop on at home while we were out on a date. When we came back, Danae told us about this new Justin Bieber song that she learned. After a while, I asked her where she got it coz I’d never even heard of it. She said she saw it on Dad’s laptop, and then King told me that he saw on his Google search the word “Jasten”. She did that by herself! We already told her that it’s not safe to just click away on the computer, and that not all shows on YouTube are okay for kids. Not all shows or videos are okay for adults, for that matter. She was disciplined for that, and since then has not been allowed to watch anything on YouTube unsupervised.

I know my daughter. She’s very perceptive and impressionable. And her memory is exceptional. But she’s only 4, for crying out loud!!! I don’t want her mind to be filled with unnecessary thoughts of boys and such. She’s already very curious about weddings and marriage, and we’ve recently been hearing the word “boyfriend” in her monologues. As you can see, we cannot shield her from EVERYTHING she hears or sees from people around and in places we go. But we still want to do what we can to protect her. It doesn’t matter to me if people think I’m overreacting or that I’m too strict. I don’t buy into the “it’s okay, they’re too young to understand it anyway” thing. I am a firm believer of NOT UNDERESTIMATING A CHILD’S INTELLIGENCE, even a child Noelle’s age or younger. Having said that, I am also a firm believer of NOT OVERESTIMATING A CHILD’S EMOTIONAL MATURITY. There are things we think our children are ready for, but they may really not be, even if we properly explain it to them or even if they seem to respond the right way. I choose to not expose my kids to certain things because I know what I went through — the impure desires that got stirred up from watching romantic shows, movies, videos, and reading romantic stories, also the foul language and bad attitude I picked up from all sorts of movies. I do not want my children to suffer from the same mistakes I made, whether from neglect on my parents’ part or from my own unwise decisions. It is just unnecessary to allow them to be subjected to that kind of torture. Torture???? Yes, TORTURE. You see something, it plays over and over in your head, you don’t know what to do with it, you can’t get it out of your mind, it affects your thoughts, your speech, your dreams, your behavior. Adult minds are not immune to this, more so young minds.

We are teaching our children to protect their minds and hearts by being careful with what they watch, what they read and what they hear. I only learned to do this at age 24 when I gave my life to the Lord, and am still doing it now at age 33. We want them to form this HABIT as early as now, so that it will, sooner than later, become a strong CONVICTION and a consistent LIFESTYLE. We pray that our girls will live pure and holy lives before God. That’s why we named them Katina Danae and Katrin Noelle. Katina and Katrin mean PURE. We claimed it then, we claim it now, and we claim it tomorrow and each day after that. 🙂