Parents, What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You!

 The Urban Dictionary (www.urbandictionary.com) defines the saying “Ignorance is bliss” as “The lack of knowledge in reference to a situation, particularly a messy one. Once the whole truth is revealed one realizes they were much happier being clueless.” This can sound very cute to say for some people, but it is really a very dangerous place to be, especially for a parent.

Often times, my husband and I will reminisce about old songs that fueled our courtship in our teens and early twenties.  As we have grown older, we may take a moment to find one of the songs on YouTube or in Pandora.  In the process of recalling the lyrics to these “oldies but goodies”, we are typically amazed at how many of them had innuendos or language in them that were just plain inappropriate.  Seriously, if my parents had really paid attention to what was on the “Quiet Storm”, the radio would have probably been removed from my room.

Fast-forward twenty years.  Now, my own children are moving into a time where they are young, but social, exposed to a broader range of children from homes where I don’t know their parents.  They live in a time where television and music with inappropriate themes are easier to access than ever.   Many children now have mobile devices and computers in their rooms.  Others boast of having Twitter and Facebook accounts where anything and everything can be said.  And while this is going on…where are the parents?  Many are working long hours, maybe two jobs.  Some are at church or are just never home.  Then there are those who are home, but allow the TV to not only entertain their children, it is now raising them.  One might think there’s no harm to it.  As long as the kids are staying out of trouble, they’re fine.  Some even think that because they pray and take their child to church, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.  All the while, the devil is sitting back saying, “Ignorance is bliss”.

God has given us charge over our children.  We are to do exactly what Proverbs 22:6 tells us to do: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it”.  We have to be on point, on guard and on our post when it comes to the things that come into our homes and what our children are exposed to.  The Bible is explicit in letting us know that we cannot afford to walk around ignorant to what’s going on around us.  We are admonished in 1 Peter 5:8 to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  When we are not covering our babies, the enemy is looking for an opportunity to get his foot in the door and position our children to be devoured.

Don’t fall for the trap!  If you have not been on top of your game where your children are concerned, make some adjustments and raise the Godly standard for your family.  Put the devil on notice and let him know that he cannot have access to your children.  You cannot afford to be passive in this area. If you are ready to turn up the heat, please know that this will require extra effort from you.  Yes, prayer and the declaration/confession of the Word of God is exactly what needs to be done, but there are practical things that will help you drive the drive demonic influence out of your house.
 
  • If your children are of age to purchase and listen to music, get a copy of the sleeve and read what the artist is saying.  Some of the familiar terms may sound cute, but may have vulgar or explicit meanings that you need to be aware of.  If a CD has a parental advisory label on it, don’t buy it.  When they bring music home, listen to it. 
  • Periodically go sit and watch television with them.  Let them select the show or join them unexpectedly so you get an idea of what they watch when you are not standing around.  Pay attention to the content of the show and if it’s inappropriate, call your child out on it.  Remember, you are the parent and you pay the bill.  The TV belongs to you.
  • If they watch movies, don’t settle for the rating Hollywood gives the movie.  I have learned that G is now PG, PG is now PG-13 and PG-13 would be R rated when I was a child.  It is not Hollywood’s responsibility to tell you what’s appropriate for your child.  That responsibility falls on us as parents.
  • When your child is surfing the internet, surf with them. Even if you have parental securities set up on your system, don’t be hesitant to search the computer to check the browser.  If they have internet access on a smart phone, you most certainly can take it and review where they’ve been.   The same goes for texting.  Set boundaries.  I recently read a news story where a 17 year old girl sends approximately 150-200 text messages a day.  
  • When it comes to friends, be adamant about knowing who they are with.  I vividly remember my own parents having conversations with anyone new that I brought home.  My mother would ask “Who are your people?”  There were often times that no matter how much I begged, I was not allowed to go play with a new friend until one of my parents met one of my potential playmates’ parents.  As 21st century parents, we don’t need to abandon this.  I say to you again, KNOW WHO YOUR CHILDREN ARE WITH.  Just because you have good morals and godly standards, not every adult or parent does and it behooves us to know the environments our children are going into when they are not with us.

Yes, children need room to grow and mature, but as a parent, you have the right and the responsibility to guard what’s going in your children so you can be assured of what ‘s going to come out of them.  The world might say that ignorance is bliss, but I say, knowledge is power!

Peace,

Lady Al.