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Thursday Thoughts: Prizes, Shielding Kids, and more!
Hello, friends!

I'm busy editing chapter 10 of "The Good Girl's Guide to Sex" today, but I have a few things I want to tell you about, and a prize to give away!

First, the prize. Last week I asked you all what the worst piece of advice you've ever received was. One lucky commenter would win a copy of To Love, Honor and Vacuum, and this morning I used a random number generator to pick a comment. It was Michelle from How to Eat an Apple! Thanks, Michelle, and congratulations! She participated yesterday in Wifey Wednesday, too. I'll try to offer prizes more often, because I like giving things away!

Now for something not so fun. I'm royally ticked at the moment with our disgusting society. As readers of this blog know, I'm pretty picky about what media comes into our house. We don't have cable, and get no TV channels. We only watch movies that we rent or borrow, and thus think about first. The girls listen to lots of music, but they're very discerning and don't listen to stuff I'd hate. The computer has controls. They're allowed on Facebook, but I know their passwords and can see what they're doing.

So I think I'm pretty safe.

Well, on Tuesday we went to the library and rented some Agatha Christie Miss Marple movies. Agatha Christie, people! That's safe, right?

Apparently not. I remember all these movies I saw from the seventies and eighties that were fine, but apparently the BBC is now producing a new series that is not fine. We were watching A Pocketful of Rye, and right in the middle of it, with no warning, is a scene of a couple having sex in not exactly the missionary position. You couldn't see body parts, but it was obvious what they were doing. It was only about a 15 second clip, but boy was it jarring.

Then the next day I got a chat message on Facebook from a friend asking me if I knew what Facebook group my 13yo had just joined. I took a look--it was one of these groups for Christian girls about how beauty is on the inside, and tell each other we're beautiful, etc. etc. Pretty harmless stuff. A bunch of teen girls that she knew had joined, so she joined.

The group had 125,000 members.

Well, somebody decided to post some extremely graphic disgusting porn pictures on that group's wall. I saw them; Katie hadn't. So I made Katie remove it from her profile, and all was "well", I suppose.

But what it reinforced to me is that I can't protect my kids from everything. Even when I think I'm taking a ton of precautions, stuff still gets through.

So I've had to sit down with my girls again and have a talk about it. We're very open in this house, so it's not like they don't know about things, but I don't want them to have gross pictures in their head, or a distorted view of what sex is supposed to be. They're at the age when they're starting to first experience sexual feelings, and when it's tied to stuff like that, it can do long term damage.

It's bad enough with girls. I can't imagine what those of you with boys go through.

Now, I know many parents who have just decided to say no to Facebook for their kids, and I understand. But honestly, it's the only way for my girls to keep in touch with some of the amazing Christian kids they meet at all the quiz meets we go to, and they've developed some awesome friendships out of it. I know it has its dark side, but it has its plus side, too, and sometimes when Rebecca feels like none of her friends near home understand her, she can go online and talk and pray with someone from Florida or Kentucky and she feels much better. That's worth something to me.

It's all just a giant balancing act, and I guess we have to realize that a parent's job is not only to shield--for we cannot completely shield--but also help them process things when bad stuff gets through.

I understand that. I'm just not all that happy about it!

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At 11:38 AM , Anonymous Neal Ford said…

I once had to do an intervention when one of our Brazilian students and my daughter both "liked" a page with a title like "I dont Drink , smoke or swear, and I'm waiting til marriage" For some reason my "spidey sense" started tingling, so I checked it out. The main picture on the site was of a nun, but the wall posts were a completely different kettle of fish. Its not so much that the site was denigrating chastity per se, but it was actually the most vile anti-christ blasphemy I'd ever seen. There were sections depicting the nail wounds in Jesus hands and making sexual references to it, and that was one of the milder ones! this site had over 212 000 people who "liked" it. I bought this to the girls attention, and they immediately unliked it, but suffice it to say, there are plenty of stealth sites out there, be they atheistioc, or all-out porn. Porn is a 97 billion dollar a year business now and it didn't get there without laser focussed marketing. BTW, i remember Focus on the family being in shock back in 1996 when porn had grown frtom a 2 billion dollar a year business to 12 billion between 1982 and 1996. With the Internety, they've really struck pay dirt, and in order to 'compete' even mainstream TV is pornographic to one degree or another.


At 11:43 AM , Blogger Kimber said…

So difficult to shield them, especially when surrounded by other children in society where they see so much internet unsupervised.
Sad but true.
The good news is, you can talk to your girls and help them develop defenses against this type of inappropriate content.

I think I may have been too strict, which led to the kids doing things behind my back. I should have trusted their judgment more, after all, I know their mother! She taught them well..hehe


At 11:58 AM , Blogger King of King's Princess said…

I completely understand. i have both boys and girls and their purity is extremely important to me


At 12:02 PM , Blogger Herding Grasshoppers said…

Mine are a little younger than yours, so we haven't run across some of those things yet, but I see it coming and my heart is heavy. We really can't protect them from all of it, though I wish I could! And from what I hear and read the pornography is a bigger threat to the boys than the girls, as far as being addictive. UGH. Come Lord Jesus!

The not-so-funny but kind-of-funny issue in our house is the subtitles. Like you we don't have cable, so only watch movies we've actually chosen, but there are still surprises...

There's a lot of dialog in movies that really just slides by us and we don't really notice. Unless you have a HoH (hard of hearing) kiddo, and have the captions on All The Time. And every single word that is said is emblazoned across the screen! Ack!

I'm realizing there have been a lot of little comments or asides that probably just slipped by me (and would've slipped by the kids) but are now unavoidable!

It's a fine line we have to walk and it's hard to keep our balance!



At 12:15 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

Oh, Julie, the subtitles would do me in, too!

A few thoughts: I want to make it clear, given that I'm writing a book about sex, that it's not that I'm opposed to things that aren't the "typical" position; I just didn't want my kids to see them :) ! Hope that's not too graphic for all of you.

Neal, you brought up an interesting point about liking a page. Maybe I should just tell my kids to stop liking pages, unless it's a celebrity/something they actually know? That might get around some of this. I'll have to talk to them about it.


At 2:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

I can't imagine what it will be like by the time I have kids. I think a lot about what it would be like to raise teenagers. I know it will be hard to know that I cannot keep them from sinning and cannot truly protect them from the world—not all of it. Jesus said that sin comes from within the heart. Trying to protect ourselves from it as though it comes from the outside is like trying to keep our feet off of the ground. I think I would just want to protect them from what could actually cause them harm and lead them to act out in sin, not just the things that might give them ideas. But it's very scary to think about...


At 2:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

P.S. I love your blog and would love to read your book when it gets published!


At 12:11 PM , Blogger Cherish said…

You do have to prepare kids, not just shield them. My oldest sister refuses to have internet in their home because she's so worried her three boys will see p0rn. I think she'd be better off to teach them about how to avoid, what to do if you encounter it, because they won't always be at home.

It's just not possible to keep away from everything.

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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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