Take Your Stand

Wednesday February 9, 2010


As parents, we have big decisions to make.

What will my child be exposed to? Books, media, online opportunities…what do I want to make available to my child?

And we must make those decisions – or they’ll be made for us.

Parents who are on the same page provide the strongest, most united front, so discussing these things with your spouse is crucial.

And once you’ve taken your stand, I say, “Hold on.”

Our children are ours to raise; they don’t belong to their friends or our friends or to the culture at large. So don’t let those groups pressure you into things you know aren’t healthy for your kids.

You’re the parent. Be the parent.

It may not be the popular position, but it’s really a position of love. Your kids may not see that now, but they will, one day.

On one hand, I have to appeal to your sense of boundaries, but on the other, I know flexibility is important, too. Your kids grow; they mature. They’re ready to see and read and talk about things they couldn’t process two years ago. So let them.

But be there. Watch with them. Discuss what they see and read. In my chapter on Media and Boys in I’m Outnumbered, I quote E.M. Forster: “Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.” If all you do is lay down the law and dictate but you never discuss, how do you expect your kids to learn to discern on their own? They’ll leave your home with a list of yeses and nos, but they won’t understand the why or how.

So, take your stand. United. In love.
Go with them as they grow, and help them learn to discern.

Have you found it hard to take your stand -- and to maintain it? What did you do?

7 comments:

cindy said...

Hi Laura,
Mine are grown but ya I took a stand. This is what my post sort of is about. Funny how when you read someone else's post it reinforces what you just did in a post. Conversation and explanation are the best they go hand and hand. So often I hear a parent say to their child, "No" that the child walks around pointing to the object and saying, "No" thinking everything must be called no.

Jean Wise said...

I have watched my daughter Katie stand firm on no television until after the age of two for Kyla due to all the research she has read. Many people don't agree with her and roll their eyes but she has held to that stance. encouraging post, Laura

Diane said...

I love how you said once you take your stand, hold on! Ain't that the truth!!! :O)

The Farmer Files said...

Just tossed out a bunch of entertainment magazines in a basket in the bathroom. My six year old was so engrossed with movie star couples. A thought fluttered across my mind. If he loves the magazines now, what media will he love at 16? I walked into the bathroom as he sat on the pot and left him just the Costco magazines. Everything else went in the trash. It will not be coming back in the house.

Shonya said...

I read this, walked away, and now just read it again. I think there is so much in this post, and I. CAN'T. WAIT. for my book to arrive in the mail! :) My oldest two are 15 and 13, so I don't have the experience of having raised children completely, but what you are saying resonates with me. We have set boundaries, taken stands, and stood firm. But as they are getting older, it has seemed appropriate to nudge the boundaries a little this way and a little that. Your quote from Forster puts into words my gut feeling, and your whole post is ringing true. Thank you so much for sharing!!

Susan DiMickele said...

This is good advice Laura. I recently had a situation where I know other parents thought I was really over the top for not letting my son watch a movie.

"Hold on."

I needed to hear that tonight.

It's Grace said...

A big AMEN on this post. I have taken many stands and refuse to let go. There are plenty of appropriate media outlets and wonderful books to read without going with the mainstream Hollywood filth. We do a lot of reading and games, too.

We have to have those boundaries and know when it's time to be flexible on certain things as they get older. We have to guard our children's hearts until they can learn to do it themselves.

This was a fantastic post- a subject I am so very passionate about.

I also wanted to let you know that I do a weekly link up on Thursday's called Mama's Heart where mothers write about what's on their hearts as mothers and for their children. I'd love to have you join in sometime.

Thank you again!!

Erin
It's Grace

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