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Sheltering is Not a Bad Word
Too many people believe that if you "shelter" kids, you're somehow dooming them to lives of geekdom and ignorance. Sheltering is seen as a cruel thing, done by strange, nerdy parents who are insecure about their offspring and scared that they will wander too far from the nest. The end result of this is often assumed to be either open rebellion on the part of children when they grow older or children growing into adults who just don't fit in.

Personally, I've never really understood this. After all, God shelters us. We shelter our plants from too much sun. What happens when you've got tomato seedlings and you want to plant them outside? You shelter them, planting them on a cloudy day, so that they aren't exposed to the rough world all at once. Sheltering is necessary there, and it's necessary and good with our children. It's how we care for them. If we don't shelter, we're just letting our society raise our kids. And honestly, would you trust our society to do that?

I think most people reading this blog are on the same page I am. Frankly, I'm not really sure why people who disagree with me would wander here, but obviously they do, as this comment from my post on watching television shows:


That's just stupid. Children are never innocent, only ignorant. Keeping them under glass bell will only make it harder for them to face reality when they get older and the bell is lifted and shattered. This world is cruel and your children should get the right informations from you before someone feeds them false ones. The bible as the source of the information is terribly out of date and out of touch with reality of the 21st century.
Also, do you like making your daughter feel like idiot? Imagine her talking with other children and not having a clue about what are they talking about 'cause that's exactly what you're doing. Why do you want her to accomplish less in life than you? You were watching TV as a child, why are you not giving the same rights you had? You can control what she's watching, you know.
As for home schooling: Why are you not giving her the same starting position that the other children have? Why do you think you know everything and are able to do the job as well as teachers that are trained and paid for it? Are you that proud not to see that you are not doing a favor to her, but to yourself, because ignorant child is easier to control?
One day, your daughter will want to go to college and won't make it, because she will not have the same knowledge as the other people and it will be your fault for not providing it.
I pray that God will bless you with wisdom to see the errors of your ways, but that's a very thin hope.
Best wishes, Jon Snowing.


Where to start? Let's take it point by point:

Keeping them under glass bell will only make it harder for them to face reality when they get older and the bell is lifted and shattered.

Actually, those who are sheltered do better. Kids who are homeschooled, for instance, do better at university, score higher on standardized tests, do better socially, are happier, are more likely to have stable marriages when they grow up, are far less likely to commit suicide, are more likely to vote and volunteer, are more likely to hold a job and less likely to collect unemployment insurance, and in general are exactly the kind of citizens we want.

Last week a 15-year-old boy froze to death just a few hundred metres from my house in the woods. He had run away from home after being bullied at school, and didn't want to be forced to go back. School is like a jail for many kids. Forcing them to face a situation we would never put up with ourselves is cruel (not all schooling is like this, of course; but for this boy it was).

Also, my children are not ignorant. They know all about the facts of life. They have seen poverty firsthand on our trips to a Kenyan orphanage. They know about terrorism, about rape (they have seen 14-year-olds there with babies), about AIDS, and about alcoholism.

But there is a huge difference between knowing about sex and alcohol and watching it on television where it is presented in a positive light in situations which are definitely harmful. For an 8-year-old to be wanting a boyfriend because that's what she sees on television is just stupid. Television shows glorify a lifestyle which is wrong and harmful. I know you can pick and choose what your kids watch, but this commenter was replying to a post in which I specifically mentioned the show How I Met Your Mother. Why would you want your child watching that? I really don't get it.

Also, do you like making your daughter feel like idiot? Imagine her talking with other children and not having a clue about what are they talking about 'cause that's exactly what you're doing.

My daughter doesn't feel like an idiot. Most of her friends know she is extremely smart. They come to her asking her questions because she has such a rich and varied life that doesn't revolve around media.

Why do you want her to accomplish less in life than you?

I'm not even sure where this is coming from. My kids are accomplishing more because they don't watch television. They're both several grade levels ahead in school. We just signed my oldest up for online high school and she's doing grade 10 courses (she's the age of grade 8). They have numerous hobbies. They do a ton of sports. They have more time to pursue these things than I did. I wasted my whole childhood and much of my adulthood on TV. I only started writing and speaking (which is now my career) when I got rid of the box. Before then I had no time. How is taking away television limiting my kids? It's expanding their possibilities!

As for home schooling: Why are you not giving her the same starting position that the other children have? Why do you think you know everything and are able to do the job as well as teachers that are trained and paid for it? Are you that proud not to see that you are not doing a favor to her, but to yourself, because ignorant child is easier to control?
One day, your daughter will want to go to college and won't make it, because she will not have the same knowledge as the other people and it will be your fault for not providing it.

This is just offensive and ignorant. My kids, as I have said, are grade levels ahead. Rebecca will be starting online university at age 15, and then will go to regular university later. Universities now give scholarships to homeschoolers, and Harvard is actively recruiting them (as is Wilfred Laurier in Canada) because homeschoolers do so well at university because they are self-starters. By the way, I'm more educated than 95% of teachers. And my husband is a doctor. I'm more qualified to teach them. But even if parents aren't educated, their homeschooled children still score higher on standardized tests.

I really didn't want this to become a post on homeschooling, because that's not what this blog is about. But the commenter brought it up (even in a post that had nothing to do with homeschooling).

I'm proud of my girls and thrilled with my life. They are more self-confident and well-rounded than I was at their age, and I went to school and watched television. Our society is sick. Why would you want it raising your kids? I feel sorry for people who don't get that, but I feel even sorrier for their children.

And for those of you who don't homeschool, you can still shelter your kids. You can still monitor the television (or get rid of it). You can spend more time as a family doing sports, reading books, or playing board games. You can get involved in their schools. Just don't let the media raise your kids, as this guy is suggesting. That's abdicating the most important job you will ever have. And it truly is a shame that so many parents do that.


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18 Comments:

At 4:09 PM , Anonymous Marlo said…

well said, Sheila. The bible is hardly dated - one needs to know the difference between the cultural/historical context in which a principle is shared and biblical principles themselves. Love how he will be praying for you to have wisdom :)

 

At 4:37 PM , Anonymous smallmiracle99 said…

*insert applause here*..Sheila,you put into words my thoughts exactly. Thank you for standing up for our God given right to homeschool and censor whatever we seem necessary in regards to our children. I'm praying that this man will rethink his views and understand that our children are only "sheltered" for so long-they aren't caged incompetent animals who never get out into the world. They understand and see the world in a different light, are able to look an adult in the eye and hold intelligent conversation and receive the guidance and WISDOM from their parents-not some stranger in a brick & mortar school who can't encourage or inform them with any moral values-less they cross the line between church & state.

I'm officially off my soap box now....smiles & hugs to you & yours, Happy Birthday to your daughter-14 is a beautiful age to be- both inside & out!

 

At 5:11 PM , Blogger Tara said…

You just keep on keepin' on, Sheila. "Shelter" your kids as much as you possibly can. They'll be better people for it!

 

At 5:30 PM , Blogger Mel said…

I hear that alot about my boys but my theory is this, having been removed from birthparents, lived in foster care the bulk of their lives, sheltering them is a good thing...they lived in the adult world quicker than they should have.

I am so glad you addressed this.

 

At 6:13 PM , Blogger Kathleen said…

I have had people "accuse" me of sheltering my children because I homeschool. Guess what? THEY'RE CHILDREN!! It's my job to protect them!! Yes, as they get older, I discuss deeper and deeper subjects with them in order to prepare them for adulthood and so they will know what it means to be IN the world but not OF the world, but I am the mom, and I want them to be kids for as long as possible. As for Jon, I wonder if he knows that colleges and universities actively SEEK homeschooled children?

 

At 9:54 PM , Anonymous Ginny said…

Excellent response. It's alarming how the world has warped some people's thinking and has distorted thier value system. Thanks for speaking out.

 

At 10:18 PM , Blogger BarbaraLee said…

As a homeschool mom I agree w/you. I get complements all the time for my kids on how they behave.

 

At 12:57 AM , Anonymous Amanda said…

Does he really thing we homeschool because we're selfish?? Is he kidding me? Next to giving birth, homeschooling the is the most SELFLESS thing I've ever done.

Besides, he can't even use correct grammar. It's "an idiot." He left that out therefore showing he really is not an authority on anyone's intelligence level. :)

 

At 3:39 AM , Anonymous James said…

Mr. Snowing displays a writing level consistent with that of a ten year old child! Surprisingly, he has the arrogance and audacity to call you arrogant and underqualified to teach your own children. Perhaps public school was the forum in which he gained his vastly superior English language skills! (sic) Your future sons in law, will thank you for the efforts you are putting into your daughter's upbringing, of this I am sure!

 

At 10:45 PM , Blogger Nancy said…

This guy reminds me of an online "discussion" I had with an acquaintance. He had a lot of negative things to say about homeschooling. One thing he brought up was that he thought that homeschooled children tend to be tied to their parents' apron strings when they are grown. This came from a 39-year-old man who is still living at home with his parents. And no he was not homeschooled.
While we have had some rough days, I would not trade the time spent sheltering my children for anything in the world.

 

At 4:02 AM , Blogger AlaneM said…

Wow that was a great response to a horrid comment. We are not a homeschooling family but I know many of them, have seen the benefits firsthand & they are tremendous!!
Hat's off to you :)

 

At 10:42 AM , Anonymous Betty said…

Well said!! By the way, it has been my experience that those who say the Bible is out-dated have never read it. I'm still in awe on a regular basis at how relevant it really is.
Thank you for such a well written post! Keep up the good work!
Betty

 

At 5:44 PM , Anonymous Sandpiper said…

Amen! I couldn't have said it better myself. Great response and I hope he comes back to read it.

 

At 10:04 AM , Anonymous Rebecca said…

I'm so glad you stood up for yourself Sheila! You're so obviously wonderful and didn't deserve that at all. I know many people look up to you, I always leave your blog with something to reflect on. I have so much respect for you as do so many others.

Keep up the good work!

 

At 8:11 PM , Blogger LilBear said…

Yes! I am so on board with what you've said here, Sheila. We truly need to protect our kids. Well done and God bless!

 

At 2:19 PM , Blogger merri said…

Very well said Sheila and I love your blog!
Kris

 

At 2:45 PM , Blogger L.H. said…

Very well said! I spent a large part of my childhood being influenced by television and other people's kids at church, school, etc. I wish that I had spent less time being exposed to all that crap and more time under caring parents who were taking the time to mold my thinking, ideas, and experiences.

 

At 9:11 AM , Anonymous Kristi said…

Very nicely said, Sheila! Thank you for standing up for those of us who shelter our kids from true ignorance!

 
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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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