This blog post has been going around today. And I tried to sum up how I felt in a status update, and frankly, it wasn't going to happen.
I do not personally know the woman who wrote this. I do not know what prompted her to write her post. But what I do know is that she did not have bad intentions in mind. As a mother, we all want the best for our kids and she is just doing the best for her kids that she knows how, just as I am doing now.
My kids are in the 8 and under crowd. But yet this is something that I think about often. I wonder how we are going to deal with things like this. How we are going to deal with the photos that are posted, taken, texted, etc. I wonder how we are going to deal with how my daughters and son dress. How they are going to behave when we as parents aren't around? Are they going to be acting appropriately? Are they going to be going with the crowd? Are they the leader? Are they the follower?
Then I remember that we as parents need to do somethings before they get to the point of the kids going out on their own. Before they have access to Facebook and Instagram (and the like). We need to do things right now. My kids are in the pre-FB crazed stage. My kids know Facebook exists to Mom and Dad but right now, they see it as a fun way to get messages from Grandma and Grandpa and other family. They do not know the dangers of the internet. My children, for the most part, are still innocent.
To my daughters: My hope and prayer is that your Dad and I would raise you with self respect. I pray that we will have instilled in you self worth. I pray that I will have taught you how to present yourself in a Godly way. No, I do not wish you to dress fully covered from head to toe but I do pray that you would learn a modest way to dress while still feeling good about yourself. Just for the record girls, you do not need to show skin in excess. You CAN be cute without all the flesh. I pray that you remember that even though others may not have that level of self respect that it is ok for you to. It is ok to not follow the crowd. It is ok for you to be your own person. I pray that you will protect your heart and your eyes for your husband someday.
To my son: My hope and prayer is that your Dad and I would have raised you to have self respect. I pray that you will not only value yourself but value others and see what they are worth. To see that they are worth more than they think. I pray that you would be able to stand up against what the world sees as "normal" for a guy. I pray that you would be the difference. I pray that you would protect your eyes and your heart for your wife someday.
As a parent, I need to remember this very important lesson. My kids do NOT know how to act. Just like I had to teach my kids to crawl, walk, talk, and use the bathroom, I need to teach them to act, dress, and post appropriately. I need to TEACH them to be responsible and to have self respect. If I do not teach them the world will and if I let the world teach them, I will not like the result. I feel that far too often we give our kids too much "wiggle room" without the lessons to prepare them for what they are about to face.
I do realize that no matter how much I teach my children that they will run into situations and photos and whatever that do not line up with what we have taught. So in that, we need to also teach our children how to filter. We need to teach them how to filter out the bad and filter in the good. In my mind, communication is key. I pray that my children will feel comfortable coming to me and discussing the tough topics. That they would feel that they can ask questions and get real answers. The world is out there. We are living in it. What we need to remember is that we are not of it. We are to be beacons of light for Christ. I pray that my children would see that in myself and their Dad and I pray that someday that they would be that way as well.