#ILoveMyKids Parenting Series – How to Protect Your Kids

I am so happy and inspired by the family photos on the Shirley Solis Facebook Page in regards to the #ILoveMyKids Parenting Series! If you haven’t gotten a chance to participate, definitely do, we need you to inspire others!

If there is one thing that startles me about the society in which I live, it is the increasing loss of innocence in the lives of children!

As I look around, I see children whose eyes were open far too young, by experiences beyond their developmental capacity and it saddens me.

So today, as we continue our parenting series to raising powerful and responsible children, I want to talk to you about Protecting Our Children’s Hearts.

When children are young, their hearts are extremely fragile. While a full grown person is able to withstand the many things life throws at her, a child is not.

Yet, I commonly hear individuals say, “Well, they have to grow up sometime” or “They really have to learn.”

This may be true regarding responsibilities, however it isn’t necessarily true for everything! An example of this would be inappropriate content, such as showing a rated R movie to a seven year old.

Youtbe Video Link How to Protect Your Kids

When this is allowed to happen, we over-expose the child and destroy the innocence that is absolutely precious in every child!

Think of it like this… If we handle an egg the same way we would handle a full grown chicken, the egg would shatter… Instead, we handle the egg with care.

We customize our actions to the egg, because it is so fragile and sensitive. Likewise we should customize our content to our children’s needs, instead of customizing our children to our own needs for content.

When children are young, their hearts are extremely fragile. While a full grown person is able to withstand the many things life throws at her, a child is not.

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We need to protect their growing and flourishing minds!

This principle, applied to all of our children, has proven effective for raising mature and happy children. Let’s look at ways you too can protect your children:

1) MONITOR what your kids watch. We do this in order to make sure the content lines up with the values we want our children learning. To some this may seem controlling… And YES! There were even times, when my kids were not allowed to watch movies that many of their close friends already had…

We didn’t do this because we were controlling parents, who wanted to hold our children back… What we were really doing is giving them the best opportunity for growth according to their personal capacity.

My husband and I, and now our young adult children, use IMDB and their Parent’s Guide to review the thematic content of movies in regards to violence, sexuality and strong thematic elements.

2) Don’t assume all books are good books. As a bookstore owner, one of my favorite, but sad, sayings is “most of the modern books should have best been kept as trees.”  So many of the modern classics have inappropriate themes for children. These books don’t always guide the child through the healthy way to deal with emotions and situations. A teenage life, in the book, may end without any hope and no lesson and way for the reader to process that. As long as your child is under 12, I would recommend you briefly review the theme of the book and make sure to let your child know you are there to discuss any positive or negative elements the book exposes. If a teacher assigns a book that you know your child is not ready to read, don’t be afraid to ask the teacher to choose a different title for your child. Be firm and stand your ground.

3) Carefully consider sleepovers. I don’t want to sound like a hyper controlling or party pooper mom, but what is the real reason behind sleepovers? For young children to stay up for hours, without supervision of responsible adults. I would rather err on being a boring mom, than on going along with the rest of society and doing the “sleepover” thing. Ask around and you’ll see how so many of the incidents where children lost their innocence came from sleepovers. Please note that Boyscout or team sport sleepovers tend to have multiple adults to watch over the kids. If that is the case, I would evaluate the pros and cons very carefully and make an informed decision based on who is attending and who is watching the kids and the activities that will take place.

4) Watch your mouth in front of the kids. So much of the inappropriate language and behavior young children learn today is unfortunately with their own parents. It’s not funny for a 4 year old to say bad words. IT’S REALLY NOT. And it will not be funny when that child is 16 and is saying them to you. Please limit yourself with the words you speak and the themes you discuss in front of your children.

5) Closely monitor the video games and phone apps. Not all games are created equal. If at all possible, make sure there is a password before your children can download any games to your phones and evaluate the type of game and the theme of the game. The same goes for computer games and video games. A popular game is not necessarily a good game. Talk to your children about your family’s guidelines for games and set a high standard for what your child will play.

As we all know, Life has an exciting way of introducing new experiences to our children. If left to Life, often, each experience will occur at the right time.

In the meanwhile, allowing our children to stay safe in their cocoon, for as long as they can, will NOT stunt their maturity. Instead, it will flourish it!

Allowing our children to stay safe in their cocoon, for as long as they can, will NOT stunt their maturity. Instead, it will flourish it!

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Our children will know how to make good decisions for themselves because of the example WE led.

So my friends and fellow parents, protect your children’s mind! Remember, their hearts are sensitive, help keep it that way. Only then, will they be even more mature later when it really counts!

Question: What are some ways you commit to protecting your child’s innocence?