I know I have said this before but raising teenagers is hard with a capital H.
With summer comes a lot more invitations for the kids to go to this person’s house, to spend the night at so and so’s house and go hang out with this group. Most of the time I encourage the group to play here- we have the video games, the basketball hoop, etc. But that doesn’t always suffice.
I pray over my boys when they leave. So often, they are going in to homes (even Christian ones) that do not share the same rules, values and expectations as we have in our home. My husband reminds me that this is a great opportunity for our boys to exercise the things they have learned but a mama can’t help but worry.
Having adopted older kids that didn’t grow up in our home has also exposed our younger kids to issues and situations they might not have faced otherwise (not that we regret or question our decision at all!)
Recently, my boys announced they had a hilarious show they wanted to us to watch as a family. When they said the name of the show, my first reaction was absolutely not. I had seen the show before and it is completely inappropriate. Hubby and I excused ourselves and discussed it. We decided to watch as a family but before we did we had our then 14 year old read to us from Philippians.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippians 4:8
We asked the boys to keep track in their minds of how many times the show blatantly referenced sex in an inappropriate way. They rolled their eyes but I saw their fingers keeping track as we watched the show (and I kept a poker face and counted away in my mind).
Fifteen minutes into the half hour show, Jared said “Let’s turn it off, mom.” So, I did and we inquired why he wanted to. Jared and Matt were both blushing and embarrassed. “I counted 12″, said Matt. “I counted 13″, said Jared. (I had counted 12 by the way)
Folks, we had only watched half of the show. That is an inappropriate sexual situation, comment or innuendo at the rate of almost one per minute.
Is that what we want penetrating the ears, the eyes and the hearts of our children? How can we expect them to maintain a pure heart if they are exposed to literal filth on a daily basis?
The easy solution would be to turn off our cable (which we have password protected, BTW) and throw away our TV’s. But, that would not protect them completely. They will see these things in the homes of fellow believers. The important thing is to educate our kids about what to do when they see something that doesn’t coincide with their values or that makes them uncomfortable.
Teenagers, boys and girls alike, need to understand how important it is to guard their hearts. Guard their eyes. Guard their ears. Guard their bodies.
How are you teaching your teen/tween to guard their hearts?
Please link up any post you have about parenting teens/tweens below: