Rearing Christian Children in a Secular World
Raising children is a monumental task and everyone is scared that they will mess up. This is particularly difficult for Christian families trying to insulate your children from much of the secular noise that goes against your core values. This is not talking about ultra conservative Christian values, but normal parents who take their kids with them to church on Sunday and want them to have a good moral compass and not be corrupted by a society that more and more seems obsessed with love of money and sex. Here are some Christian parenting tips to help buffer some of the outside influences.
Monitor the monitors
Half the battle is knowing what your children are doing. You cannot know what they are doing twenty four hours a day but there are certain aspects such as television and computer viewing that you can control. The television in not a babysitter and if you are using it as one then stop. You should know what your child is watching and help him or her pick the shows. Many “kids” shows have a lot of violence and innuendos that are not appropriate for children. Knowing the wholesome shows and networks will help minimizes exposure to violence. Limit the time that the television is on so your children don’t become zombies who head straight for the TV upon arrival at home. Having a plan that the child is going to watch a specific show then turning off the TV when it is over will avoid over consumption of television. Make use of any parental filters that are available to you so that your child does not turn to any inappropriate material by accident. This same policy goes for Internet usage of monitoring content and time spent online. Placing computers and televisions in public areas like a living room as opposed to a bedroom helps the child avoid the temptation of looking for content that they should not be viewing.
Listening for the sources
If your child says or does something that is not in line with the value you are trying to instill in them you should try to get to the source. Many times if a child says something, it is best to firmly inform them that “in our house we do not talk like that.” So they know there are expectations and that they are held to a higher standard in your home. By asking them where they heard a particular word or action, many young children will proudly tell you where they heard the word. Just make sure you hold yourself to high standards as well or you might be on the receiving end of the question.
By monitoring what you can and by talking and listening to your children, you can help them avoid some of the outside influences that other children may be picking up. You will never prevent all bad influences but by starting at a young age your child can have a good moral compass and hopefully be able to avoid larger issues later on by holding him or herself to high standards that were instilled on them growing up.