Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kids ARE Impressionable!

 I heard recently from a Christian school teacher who was shocked at how many of her elementary-aged students had received M-rated videos for Christmas. And of course most of us have seen young kids in movies, watching television programs or at concerts that were clearly inappropriate for them.

The excuse that many parents use is that most of the mature concepts just go right over their heads and that they don't get the negative parts because of their age. Hmmm.  I was just around my three-and-a-half year old grandson and he repeats everything!  Sure, he might not "get" the implications or meanings of certain words or ideas but it's clear they have been impressed on his maturing brain.

When our son Tim was still young enough to be carried into the house, I heard him one night saying "Shoot, daddy," as I was trying to get my key into the lock of our side door on the house.  I quickly realized that he had often heard me say "shoot" other times when the key didn't easily slide into the lock.  Glad I didn't say something worse!

So imagine a six to ten year old with a mature rated video, in front of a racy television program or watching an PG-13 film.  Do we think that all the impressions and intentions of that experience will simply go over their head?  No way.  Some of it will stick.

We must be reminded that we parents are the gatekeepers of what goes into the hearts and minds of our children.  No, we can't keep them from every evil or inappropriate influence (nor should we) but we can do what we can now while we are able.  These early years are when we must teach them appropriate boundaries, morals and guidelines from which to someday make their own decisions about right and wrong . Their little minds can't handle the barrage of input that they can have access to if we don't limit it in some way.

In fact, much of what is presented to us in popular entertainment isn't just immoral - it's amoral.  Intentionally or not, many of those who produce today's popular movies, video, music and television offerings treat everything as equally right and acceptable.  What a person chooses to do is what is moral for him or her.

So when we let them do just anything or what everyone else does we're also saying, "It's all ok. Don't worry about it. It won't make that much of a difference."

So parent, don't just let your kids watch, see and do anything. Monitor the movies and other entertainment they might be exposed to both in your home and their friends' homes. Say "no" to popular gifts that they simply aren't ready for. Turn off the television when programs aren't appropriate.  You aren't being a tyrant or a prude.  You're being wise.

And when they are exposed to something you know they don't need to see, talk about it with them. Turn it into a teaching time about what's truly right and wrong. In fact as they become middle and highschoolers  you'll need to have more of those discussions.

Our children were made to be like soft, handfuls of clay ready to be impacted by the many wonderful things God has made for us all to enjoy. Don't let those benefits be crowded out because you simply looked the other way.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

No comments:

Post a Comment