[VIDEO] The Two Most Important Words A Parent Can Say

Two most important words

Words have power!  They can either lift up or they can tear down!  They can either raise our child’s self-esteem or they can destroy it.

There are a LOT of words we use as a parent.  Five words I find myself uttering often are, “Go Clean Your Room, Now!”  Three words my kids need to hear every day are, “I Love You!”

But, did you know that there are TWO WORDS that, when strung together in a sentence, can create a powerful bond between parent and child?  In fact, these two words are SO powerful that those who refuse to say these two words place a huge divide between themselves and their children.

What are these two words?  In this video, I share these two words with you and how you can use them to spark incredible conversation – DEEP conversation – with your children.  Using these two words will create an atmosphere where real bonding and healing can take place.  I pray that you take the few minutes and watch this video.  It might save your family!

This is PART 4 of a 4-part video series.  In case you missed the first three, here you go:

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

Every Conversation Is A Spiritual Conversation

spiritual conversations with our kids

 

In my twenty-three years as a kids’ pastor, I can’t tell you how many times a parent has walked up to me after church and asked, “My son was asking me questions about baptism last night.  Would you meet with him to explain what water baptism is all about?”  I’ve received countless emails that say something like, “My daughter asked me what it means to be saved.  I don’t want to confuse her, so can I set her up an appointment with you this week?  I’m sure you can explain it better than I can.”  Parents have asked me to talk to their kids about every conceivable spiritual question.

I’m happy to help, but when a parent asks ME to talk their kid about spiritual issues instead of them…my answer is always, “No.”  Now, before you decide I am the meanest Children’s Pastor on the planet, watch this video and you’ll understand where I am coming from.  In this video, I explain why I believe the primary sources of spiritual conversation for these kids should be their own parents.  Too often, parents and grandparents believe they aren’t qualified to impart spiritual wisdom to kids.

Take a few moments and watch what I share in this video.  I think it will cause you to have a seismic shift in your view of what “Spiritual Conversations” with your kids can look like.

This is the third in a series of videos taken from my new book, “Talk Now And Later:  How To Lead Kids In Life’s Tough Topics.”  If you missed the first two videos, you can find them here:

VIDEO #1:  “Are You A Proactive Or Reactive Parent?”

VIDEO #2:  “Don’t Miss The Cues”

My book releases on September 1, 2015.  For a limited time, you can purchase a pre-release autographed copy of the book HERE!

Don’t Miss The Cues (VIDEO)

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Our kids WANT to talk.  Sometimes, the reason they don’t is because REAL conversation with Mom or Dad isn’t something that they do often.  But, it’s not always THEIR choice.   Too many parents don’t recognize the cues that their children give that are a clear declaration of, “I really want to talk.”

Many times our kids want to talk about things that haven’t crossed our minds. Instead of always being focused on the task in front of us or what’s on the radio while we’re driving, parents need to look for the open doors of conversation that their kids are presenting them dozens of times per day.  Parents need to be able to read their kids’ body language and tone of voice.

In this video, I share a personal story about my son and some insights on how you can always be ready when your child gives you the cue that “it’s time to talk.”  Believe me, you don’t want to miss those cues!

 

In case you missed Video #1 in this series, you can find it HERE!  It’s all about becoming a PROactive parent rather than a REactive parent!

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT About My New Book

I have been working the last two years on my new book, Talk Now And Later: How To Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics.”  I firmly believe this book is going to be a GAME CHANGER for all Christian Parents!

Children today are being bombarded by messages that are contrary to what the Bible teaches. Parents (and grandparents who are now parenting their grandkids) feel completely overwhelmed as they try to navigate the difficult waters of conversation with their kids about very difficult topics.  That’s why I wrote this book!  To help parents and grandparents lead kids through topics like SEX, self-Image, death, bullying, divorce, and more.  You don’t have to GUESS how to communicate with your kids about these subjects.  I have taken my 23 years of Children’s Pastoring experience (and my experience as a father of two children) and put it in this book to help you.

Here is the basic message of the book:

  1. Parents need to understand that it is far better to be PROactive in having conversations about these tough topics than to simply be REactive when a crisis hits their family.
  2. The way to pave the way for those BIG conversations in the future is to have many many small conversations as your child grows (about these tough topics), giving them a little at a time and building the foundation for meaningful conversation later.
  3. Parents must have their radar on all the time, looking for open doors and cues that their children will give them that “now is the time to enter through the door and have a small, meaningful conversation.”  Seize that moment!
  4. Parents should realize that EVERY conversation can be a Spiritual conversation.  God can use every conversation to shape their child’s future.

I am so honored that Dr. Michelle Anthony wrote the Foreword for my book.  She is the best-selling author of “Spiritual Parenting” and “Becoming A Spiritually Healthy Family.”  I am very excited about this book becoming a resource for every Christian parent.

The book officially releases to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christian Retailers on September 1st. However, YOU get a chance to get it RIGHT NOW!  For a limited time, you can get an autographed copy of the book for only $15!  PLUS, you’ll receive it within the next couple of weeks…WAY before the rest of the world!

Want to download a FREE chapter of the book?  Click here!

You can order your copy HERE and have it before anyone else!

So, get your copy of “Talk Now And Later” today and start learning how to lead the kids in your life in meaningful spiritual conversations about life’s toughest topics.  You’ll be glad you did.  I can’t wait to hear the stories of what God is going to do as you “Talk Now AND Later!”

Here’s a quick video to tell you more:

 

The Two Most Powerful Words A Parent Can Say

father says i am sorry

Parents mess up.  ALL parents mess up.  Even deeply committed Christian parents mess up.  But, not all parents are willing to admit it.  Two of the most wonderful words children of all ages can hear from parents are, “I’m sorry.”  These are also two of the most difficult words for parents to say.

Too often, we wrongly believe that in order to have the “upper hand” as a parent, we must be seen as infallible.  We must never admit our mistakes for fear it will show weakness to our children, and they will try to exploit it.  Parents who believe and practice this – do so at their own peril.  The truth is, the parents who are willing to say, “I’m sorry” actually RISE in their child’s esteem.  Those who refuse to say these two powerful words place a huge divide between themselves and their children.

Your kids aren’t stupid.  They know when you are wrong.  They know when you have made a mistake.  When you refuse to admit your mistakes, your children begin to see you as someone who cares more about BEING right than DOING right.  It’s hard to recover from that.

Saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t only apply to the small things like being late to pick your child up from practice or forgetting to bring home ice cream like you promised.  “I’m sorry” are two words that need to be used for the BIG blunders as well.  Apologies are necessary for individual offenses, but parents also need to address prolonged, harmful patterns of communication—demanding too much, blaming, withdrawing, smothering, and so on.

Let’s face it, not every parent today grew up in a healthy home.  Often, you are doing your best to parent your own kids in spite of the negative, dysfunctional home you grew up in.  You want to be a good parent, but you are often guessing at HOW to do it well.  You didn’t have the best example placed before you growing up, so you struggle with communicating with your child in a healthy way.

In many cases, parents can and should explain how their own painful backgrounds have colored their perceptions and shaped their responses.  These stories help the rest of the family understand how they got this way, but they aren’t excuses for bad behavior.  The offending parent needs to own the offenses, apologize, repent, and begin to rebuild trust.  A full apology communicates, “I get it now.  I realize how I’ve hurt you, and I’m deeply sorry.  I want to open the lines of communication with you.  I’ll do my very best to do better, and I need your help.  Will you tell me when I mess up again?  I have a long way to go, but I’m stepping onto the road today.”

This isn’t just a theory.  I’ve had these conversations with my kids.  I have asked Ashton and Jordan to speak up anytime I become condescending or demanding, and I’ve promised that I’ll respect them when they have the courage to call me on my personal shortcomings.  That means I don’t get angry when they’re honest with me.  I don’t walk off in a huff, and I don’t look for some reason to blame them and turn the conversation around.  I take it like a man and thank them for their courage and love.

For instance, I get upset when mechanical things don’t work.  I won’t go into the deep, psychological reasons for my sense of electronic entitlement, but you can be sure that if a computer program or a television remote or a lamp doesn’t work the way I want it to work, my reaction isn’t pretty!  When my face gets red, I begin to growl, and it looks like I’m going to yank the cord out of the wall, Ashton and Jordan can say, “Calm down, Dad.  Have some patience.”  That’s enough to remind me of my commitment to them to maintain my cool.

When they speak up, I don’t bark, “You can’t tell me to be patient!  Can’t you see that this darn thing isn’t working?”  Instead, I thank them for their loving reminder.  My relationship with them is far more important than my desire to have electronic components run smoothly.  And because I have asked for their input, they are validated as valued, respected people.

How about you?  Do your kids have permission to respectfully call you on it when you make a mistake?  Do you need to “man up” or “woman up” and bring yourself to say those two powerful words?  Do it now!  Get up from the computer, call your kids to the living room, turn off the TV, and say it.  “I’m sorry.”  They are two of the most powerful words you can say to your kids.  Speak those words – and watch the healing begin.

***Adapted from a chapter in my upcoming book, “Talk Now And Later:  How To Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics” (coming September 1st)***

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1 BIG Reason Why Your Kids Won’t Listen

parent child talk down

“I am so sick and tired of my child not listening to me!  I try my hardest to share my wisdom with them in order to help them avoid pain in life, and they completely tune me out!”  Ever said those words?  If so, you are like MOST parents.  So many parents feel like they have more success talking to a brick wall than to their child (especially their teenager).  Part of the reason for that is the tendency for parents to “talk down” to their kids.

One of the most important principles about talking with kids is to avoid being condescending.  Some parents have told me they want to “dumb down” communication with their kids.  If they mean they’re trying to talk on the child’s level, that’s a good strategy.  My guess, though, is that the term dumb down implies two incorrect and destructive assumptions: that the child is inferior, and the parent is superior. Kids pick up on this perspective, and they deeply resent it.

We need to avoid the attitude: “I’m going to tell you what you need to know so you can become like me.”  No kid wants to be EXACTLY like their parent — especially teenagers who are beginning to value independence and carve out their own identities!  Instead, we should communicate with our words and attitudes, “These are complex topics.  A lot of people have wrestled with these issues, and our family needs to wrestle with them, too.  I value your ideas.”

Of course, this means that we don’t rush through an answer when a little child asks a question, and we don’t react with disgust when teenagers voice views that are very different from our own.  We don’t have to agree, but we need to listen and ask follow-up questions instead of shutting the youngster down.  “I don’t know if I agree, but tell me more of what you’re thinking” shows far more respect than, “I can’t believe that’s what you think!”

Don’t lecture, don’t laugh, don’t dismiss the kid’s input, and don’t talk to your child like he’s dumb or a fool.  I list these errors because I’ve seen them so many times (and truthfully, I’ve made them far too often myself).

I often tell parents to think of themselves as missionaries to a foreign culture.  When missionaries travel to the other side of the world or the other side of town, they put the gospel in the language of the people they’re trying to reach, but that’s not all.  They also work hard to understand the foreign culture so they can put their messages into an appropriate context.  Parents will greatly enhance communication with their kids if they do the same thing: adapt every message to the language and context of their kids’ worlds.  It takes some work to understand the younger culture, but it’s well worth the effort.

This is one of the reasons I wrote my new book, “Talk Now And Later:  How To Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics” (releases on September 1, 2015).  I can’t wait for you all to get it in your hands.  I believe it is going to be a powerful resource for parents who want to lead their kids through life’s tough topics.
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Parents Allow Four Year Old Girl To Become A Boy

self-image

Meet “Jacob.”  Born as a beautiful baby girl named Mia, “Jacob” began expressing the desire to be a boy.  Mia didn’t like dressing like a girl or being called a girl.  So, after a period of painful, thoughtful deliberation, Mia’s parents decided to help her transition to a boy.  My heart breaks for the family, as I am certain this decision was very difficult for them.  You can watch a video of their entire story HERE.

Transgender children are becoming more and more common.  I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, but I do want to ask a few questions to probe conversation.  Aside from the obvious moral and Biblical questions that this presents…

*  Do four year olds have the maturity, cognitive ability, or perspective to be allowed to make life-altering decisions like this?

*  Should parents follow the lead of the child in ALL instances (especially where the child’s preferences or desires would lead to a life-altering decision)?

*  What should a Christian parent’s response be when their child is unhappy with their body, their personality, or their identity?

*  What kind of messages should a child who is struggling with their self-image or identity be hearing from their parents and grandparents?

Your child’s self-image is being formed from the day he or she is born.  The messages you send matter!  Children’s self-esteem is shaped by the significant people in their lives.  Parents, of course, play the most important role because they have countless opportunities to steer the development of the self-esteem of a child or teenager in a positive direction.  But don’t overlook the impact a grandparent, uncle, or aunt can have in speaking powerful messages of encouragement, hope, and value into your child.

When your child begins to doubt who they are and begin to ask questions like, “Did God mess up?” or to quote “Jacob” from this video, “Why did God make me this way?  Is God stupid?”  Here are some messages that they should hear LOUD AND CLEAR from the most important people in their lives:

1)  “God designed you!”

No matter the reasons for a child’s birth, he or she is never a mistake or a “cosmic accident.” God told Jeremiah (and us): “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb” (Jer. 1:5). King David wrote:

 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,

as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. (Ps. 139:13–15)

2)  “You’re God’s masterpiece.”

God doesn’t make junk!  He beautifully and specifically crafts each person.  In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul explained, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Eph. 2:10).

Like an artist who paints a beautiful portrait or landscape, God took His time to craft every part of us: eyes, nose, personality, gifts, and talents.  God designed each of us individually and specifically.

You and your children are God’s masterpieces. When we learn to see ourselves from His perspective, we will see how wonderful we really are. And when we believe this truth about ourselves, we will impart it to our children.

3)  “God paid a high price for you!”

Some kids see themselves as disposable, valueless, and not worth anyone’s time and attention.  How is the value of anything or anyone determined?  By the price another is willing to pay for it.  A baseball card is just a small piece of cardboard, but a 1909 Honus Wagner card recently sold for $2.8 million!  The person who bought it believed it was quite valuable, but many moms throw out their kids’ baseball cards because they think they’re just clutter!

What’s the value of a person? God put a price tag on human beings when He sent His Son to pay the ultimate price for us. Jesus died in our place, paid the debt we couldn’t pay, and ransomed us from sin and hell to be adopted into God’s family!  In a letter to the Corinthians, Paul explained, “You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price” (1 Cor. 6:19–20).  God was willing to pay a high price for us because He considers us and our children supremely valuable.  We’re worth more to Him than the stars in the sky!  Our kids need to hear this message.  So do we.

4)  “God cares about the details of your life!”

God didn’t spin the universe into being and then leave us on our own.  He’s intimately involved in everything we do.  God is omnipresent, which means He’s with us (and with every atom in the universe) at every moment.  And God is omniscient, which means He knows everything about . . . well . . . everything.

Jesus once told His followers, “What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows” (Matt. 10:29–31).  You mean so much to God that He knows exactly how many hairs are on your head.  When one falls out, He changes the number.  Isn’t that amazing?

If you want to help your children develop a healthy, positive self-image and identity, teach them to view themselves the way that God, their Master-Designer, sees them.  They are His Masterpiece.  He created them, and He cares about every detail of their lives.


***These principles are taken from a chapter on “How To Talk To Kids About Self-Image” in my book, Talk Now And Later:  How To Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics (available now)***
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10 Principles To Help Kids Make WISE Choices

wise_decisions_kids_computer

We all want our kids to be wise.  We train them, talk to them, model for them, do everything we can to instill Godly wisdom and practical intelligence in their minds.  We spend eighteen years (sometimes more) monitoring their every move, correcting when necessary, and preparing for the day we will set them free to go out into the world and make a life of their own.

We hope and trust that the scripture we have quoted numerous times throughout our trials and tribulations of parenthood will come true:

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

But, the question still remains…how do you GUARANTEE that your child will walk in the way they should go?  How do you GUARANTEE that all of the principles, lessons, and wisdom you have poured into them will actually stick with them when they launch out into the world?

After all, we have all seen children who grew up in godly homes, had amazing parents, went to church every single Sunday – and when they left the nest, they ended up walking away from it all – into a lifestyle of sin.

How do you make sure your child doesn’t end up that way?  The truth is – there is no guarantee.  I don’t mean to be a pessimist or to rain on your parade, but it’s true.  There is no guarantee that every child will choose to follow the way that is set before them.  They are individuals.  They make their own decisions.  There is no guarantee in the Scriptures that your child will become a life-long follower of Jesus if only you follow steps 1 thru 3.  It just isn’t in the Bible.

We are a culture obsessed with getting ahead and ensuring a win. We have little tolerance for failure.  We want guarantees on everything – purchases, programs, etc.  We want a 100% money-back guarantee that this will work.  “If you can’t guarantee the weight-loss program, I’m not trying it.”  “If you can’t guarantee that I will get a job on the first interview by using your training program, I am not even giving it an attempt.”  We want guarantees on EVERYTHING – including raising our children to follow Christ and make wise decisions.

It really breaks my heart when I see children raised in Christian families by parents who were desperately trying to raise them the right way – those children walk away from their faith.  In many cases, (though not all) it was the actions and attitudes of the parents that drove their children away from Christ.  The parents’ micromanagement and attempt to control their kid pushed the kid away. In trying to guarantee their child love the Lord and grow up to think exactly like them, the parents became the biggest obstacle in their kids’ spiritual development.

So, now that I have thoroughly depressed you – let me share some things that I have learned.  I want to again remind you that I am NOT an expert.  My children are 14 and 12.  I have SO MUCH still to learn and experience when it comes to parenting.

However, having been a Kids Pastor for 22 years, I have seen a LOT of kids grow up.  I have watched parents train their kids.  I’ve seen kids who have grown into amazing leaders and exemplary Christ followers.  I have also seen many who have fallen away, never to return to faith (not yet anyway).

So, although I cannot make any kind of overarching guarantee about whether or not your child will become the next Billy Graham or Joel Osteen – I do believe there are some basic principles to learn about how to train your children to make wise decisions that will draw them closer to God and help them become life-long followers of Jesus Christ.

In this video, I share 10 principles that will help guide the conversation with our kids when it comes to making decisions that are “in agreement with the Bible, influenced by the Holy Spirit, and promote the spiritual growth of the individual and those they influence.”  

I have included a fill-in-the-blank outline PDF for you – in case you want to play this video for your parents and use it as teaching tool.  How To Talk To Your Kids About Making Wise Choices (OUTLINE)

Can I Be A Good Dad & Pastor?

GUEST POST by Michael Bayne (of ParentMinistry.net)

This is a post that I struggle writing because there is no way I am getting nominated for “Dad of the Year.”  I am learning on the go the same way all the rest of you are as parents.  The question I am wrestling with is can I be a good pastor and dad?

I ask the question because I know every pastor, minister, and lead volunteer out there wonders if they are giving the best they have to the ministry they lead at church and ministry God has given them at home.  I think the answer to the question is YES, you can be a good dad and pastor.  I believe this because I have been mentored by some guys that I have watched balance the weight of parenting and ministry.  As I have watched these guys balance the two I have come to believe that all of them had to make some hard choices that set them up to be good dads and good pastors simultaneously.  I am discovering for myself a few choices I have to make if I want to balance my call to serve others and invest in my children at home.

  1. Establish Traditions / Eat together as a family certain nights, go on dates, eat lunch at school, create a movie night, just make sure you create and calendar traditions your kids will remember.
  2. Take Vacation Time / You have vacation time so have the courage to use it.  Make sure that you take time to totally shut down and have some adventures with your family.  Make some memories, your kids will be so blessed by that time with them.
  3. Work Hard & Play Hard / Work hard in your ministry then make sure and come home and play hard with your family.  Be present when you are home and strive to be engaged with what is going on at home.
  4. Invest in My Marriage / You can’t be the Dad your kids need if you are constantly struggling with your spouse.  Model a healthy marriage for your kids to see up close.
  5. Pray Intentionally for My Kids / Whatever you want your kids to become pray intentionally.  Praying for and with your kids helps me to fight for them spiritually.
  6. Be a Dad Even at Church / It’s OK that your kids enjoy the fact you are a pastor at church.  My kids get my attention even when we are in “work mode” at church.
  7. Say No to Church Sometimes So I Can Say Yes to My Kids / Your kids need you to say no many times so you can say yes to being with them and being a parent.  No is a powerful word that will help you be a better dad.  Saying it is really the only way to find balance.
  8. Keep Striving to Be Better as a Dad / Every day is a new day to get better.  I have to keep working on being a better parent and not be bound my mistakes made yesterday.
  9. Get Used to Apologizing / My kids need to hear me say I’m sorry when I am wrong.  Yep, I make mistakes and it’s gonna be OK.  Being an authentic parent means I simply have to be real with mt kids!
  10. Fight for the Heart / As I fight to help my kids succeed in life and follow Jesus I also have to fight to have a healthy relationship with them.  Rules and expectations without relationship are worthless.

Is balancing ministry and parenting hard for you also? I struggle with being fully present at home…playing as hard as I work. Which one is hard for you? What are some things you would add to this list?

If you are a children’s pastor and you want to process how you can be a better parent and also set up parents in your church to be better parents check out ParentMinistry.NetWe launched a new podcast this month and my friend Brian Dollar is featured on it this week!  Check it out here!

 

Disney Channel Introduces First Lesbian Couple On A Kids’ Show

image source: Disney Channel

Yesterday, I posted on my Facebook page a link to an article about Disney Channel introducing it’s first lesbian couple on a kids’ show.  My goal was to share something that many may not have been aware of and to see what parents and Kids Ministry leaders thought about this decision by Disney and their show, “Good Luck, Charlie.”  I got a lot of reaction – on both sides of the issue.

Rather than respond to each comment, I thought it would be better if I fleshed out my thoughts here on the blog.  So, here are my random thoughts on the subject:

  • I am not shocked, but I am disappointed. – Disney is not a Christian company, so I certainly NEVER expect them to reflect Christian standards, values, or practices.  Generally, Disney does a great job of providing benign family entertainment.  Sometimes, there are even some good morals and values displayed within their stories and characters.  My main disappointment with this is that Disney made a calculated decision to introduce this controversial adult subject on a show that is aimed at young children.
  • I see it as an opportunity for conversation with your kids. – Disney should not have included this very controversial subject in a show that is targeted to kids.  The issue of same-sex couples is one that is way too complicated and difficult for a six-year-old to comprehend or process.  But, the fact remains – they did include it.  It’s done.  If your kids saw it and had questions, then this is an opportunity for you to talk with them about what the Bible says.  It’s possible that your kids didn’t even notice the “two moms” thing.  If not, then don’t feel pressured to have the conversation.  However, if your kids are in 4th grade or older – it’s definitely something they are already hearing about.  Probably time to address it and help them process from a biblical point of view.
  • Don’t overreact and freak out!  I see too many parents flip out over things like this.  Don’t go on a diatribe about the “liberal agenda” and the “Disney Conspiracy.”  Just calmly share with them how, although some people choose to live their lives in contradiction to what God planned and the Bible teaches (whether that is homosexuality, lying, stealing, or any other sin) – our goal should be to pray for them, show them God’s love, and display God’s character in everything we do.  Don’t flip out!  When you ignore the murder, violence, and harsh language in some shows and then become outraged when a scene that depicts homosexuality appears – I think that sends a message to your kids that some sins are more egregious than others.  That’s not biblical.  Sin is sin.  Let’s not be guilty of elevating ONE sin above others simply because we personally find it more offensive.
  • Be aware of what your kids are watching! – Parents need to KNOW what their kids are watching.  You need to preview things when possible.  Just because something is marketed as a kids show and is on a kids channel does not make it appropriate for your kids.  Cherith and I banned several “kids shows” from our children due to the fact that the subject lines followed YOUNG kids dating and kissing one another.  We felt that it wasn’t the “norm” we wanted our kids to see and accept.  Had we not made a habit of watching the kids shows WITH our kids, we never would have known to do this.
  • Don’t be afraid to turn the channel or turn the TV off! – You don’t have to create a firestorm and go on a rant.  You can simply turn the TV off.  Your kids may not understand why, but you can talk through it and explain the reasons. After all, we are called to be “in the world, but not of it.”  Whether it is this particular subject or another – we can’t hide our heads in the sand and pretend like nothing is happening.  We must be proactive in guarding our hearts and the hearts of our kids.
  • Don’t focus only on the DON’T! – More importantly than what we DON’T allow them to “take in,” we must make sure they ARE taking in God’s Word, His presence, and His Spirit.  If we focus only on what we DON’T want our kids to see or experience and don’t put the same amount of effort into putting the RIGHT things in their lives, I think that is a failure on our part as parents.

So, those are MY thoughts and opinions.  Am I off base here?  Do you agree?  I welcome honest feedback.  (a short clip from the show where the couple is introduced is below; for a full representation of the entire subplot, visit this link http://goo.gl/qSlUCF)