Why I Don’t Shield My Kids

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I don’t shield my kids, and let me tell you why. Not too long ago, Fuller House, starring Candace Cameron Bure aired on Netflix. Since then, I’ve seen dozens of articles about how disappointed people are with the show. And while I must admit that I was a tad surprised in episode 2 when DJ, Stephanie, and Kimmie went to a club, had tequila shots and “dirty danced”, I did not get offended and I’m not disappointed. I’m not disappointed that this show doesn’t point toward good family values because my kids learn their family values from their own family not from a TV show.

I’m not saying I condone it because I don’t. Even so, I won’t shield my kids from watching it. If anything,  I will use it as a teaching strategy and a way to have an honest conversation with them. Have honest conversations with your kids. #parenting Click To Tweet

Stephanie grew up to be wild. And she likes to show her chest…like, almost all of her chest. <insert wide-eyed emoji>  She likes to dance; dirty dance, with guys she barely knows.  Apparently, on occasion Stephanie, Kimmy and DJ go to clubs and they drink alcohol.

Newsflash: Sometimes kids from moral and dare I say even Christian families become “wild” when they grow up and may not mold to the way they were raised. It happens.

It’s called life.

Do I condone her behavior? Of course not.

Why I don’t shield my kids:

 

We will not hide these truths from our children;
    we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
    about his power and his mighty wonders” Psalm 78:4

Here’s the thing- my girls are going to come into contact with others that don’t believe the same way we believe. They will meet people who do things that we do not do. My responsibility is to point that out to them so that they have a solid foundation about what is right and what is wrong. I can not remove wrong from the world, I can only expose it in hopes that they will make the right decisions, and that their decisions are guided by the Holy Spirit.

In Mark 2, Jesus calls upon a tax collector to follow him. His name was Matthew and he left everything just to follow Jesus. That evening Jesus went to eat dinner with him. Scripture tells us that Matthew also invited his friends who were fellow tax collectors and sinners. Jesus had no problem with it. The Pharisee’s saw this and asked some of His fellow disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus replied,It is the sick people who need a doctor, not the healthy.”

The Pharisees felt like they needed to “separate” themselves from those who were morally or ritually unclean. To which Jesus basically said, “What good is a doctor if he doesn’t go around sick people? Of course he has to go around them, otherwise, how can he help them? Jesus hung out with sinners. He ate dinner with them. I love this passage of scripture. Jesus teaches us how to interact with others who do not believe what we believe. It also allows me to reinforce His teachings and guide my girls in “how to have dinner with sinners.”

Shining in a dark, dark world.

I want them to shine in this dark world because that’s what they’re called to do. We’re all called to shine so that others can see Jesus. If I’m shielding them from too much then they can’t shine, and this makes is very difficult for others to see Jesus through them. You are the light that shines for the world to see. Matt 5:14 #whyIdontshieldmykids Click To Tweet

If you shield your kids too much, they can't shine. #parenting Click To Tweet

We live in a very real and harsh world. My girls are not always going to be right by my side. They will learn things at school that I would prefer them not learn. I can’t stop that whether they go to public or private school.  Sadly, they will also learn things at church…and some of those things may be rougher than what they would learn at school! My goal, though, is that they learn those things from me and my Godly point of view first.  I want to teach them how to “eat dinner with sinners,” not keep them in a bubble. I want to have teachable moments with them so that I can point them to Jesus.

I realized a long time ago that I was different from a lot of other Christian parents. I would hear other moms talk about the things that they don’t allow their kids to do and shows that they don’t allow them to watch. I rarely voiced my opinion because I had such different views. Sometimes I questioned myself and wondered why I didn’t have the same convictions. I’ve always used the bible as my guide to mothering.  I love having honest conversations with my girls, and it started when they were very young. Was that right? Was that wrong? What do you think? What does the bible say? These are just some of the questions I would and still ask them.

We live in a cruel world, but I don't shield my kids; and here's why.

Nothing discussed in our house is ever taboo. They can ask me anything, and they know that I will give them a straight, honest answer. Your kids should be able to ask you anything. #parenting Click To Tweet

Knowledge is taught and is a blessing.

I want my girls to be able to make the right choices and know about the world they live in as we carefully guide them. As beautiful young ladies, and then on to beautiful, classy, God-fearing women; I want them to know how to cope in a sinful world and with a heart that loves Jesus and people, no matter where those people come from.

I want them to be independent thinkers.

Everyone has a way that they parent. I haven’t won any parenting awards, and I certainly have never been nominated as the “mother of the year,” but my hope is that I am a living testimony to my girls and that they see Jesus within me and that they know.

 

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  1. Hey there! I found your site from Carolina’s Open Mic Mondays linkup! I loved reading your blog post, and your blog has such a beautiful layout. I don’t have any children yet, but I am encouraged by the way you are rearing your children. It sounds like you are raising them to not be afraid to shine their lights. To not be afraid to be around folks that are seen as “less than.” I think it’s important to be a follower of Christ and be able to engage with others who do not follow Christ. We can’t hide under bush. Then, no one will see our light. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Regan FriZzelle says:

    So good Shannon! Love your heart and writing!!

  3. Jewell P. says:

    Excellent!

  4. Kristi Woods says:

    Good read today, Shannon. Oh, how I wish I could go back and hit the “re-do” button on several parenting phases. I love that your kids can come to you about anything. We’re working on that one….. And yes, it is the sick – keeping that in mind today. #goJesus

  5. Anne says:

    All of the yes’ to this post. 100% agreed! Helicopter parenting is horrible and shielding our kids prevents them from learning. And yes, they make mistakes but that is how you learn. Love this post!

  6. Shannyn says:

    Shannon –
    Thank you for this. I’ve never made a habit of shielding my girls, and have wondered if I was doing the right thing. They’ve both been through so much and are growing in to beautiful young ladies. I say ‘kudos to you.’ You & John are doing an amazing job!! Keep going (and keep blogging. I love what I’m reading!!))

  7. Sarah says:

    Your kids are a lot older than mine, but I must say that I definitely sheild them in ways and feel like God gave me the responsibility to do so in many cases. He I trusted them to me to make these discerning calls. My kids aren’t allowed to watch a lot of things, or even read certain books because right now I’m protecting their minds and guarding their hearts from things that aren’t appropriate for them to see or know. I do that even for myself. My husband and I are carful what we allow in our own minds and hearts. We will figure it out through loving sinners we serve and walk through life with. I take them to homeless outreaches and learn lots of lessons about choices. But in this stage they don’t need to see Stephanie Tanner’s boobies or understand alcohol. I want to let them be little. And I’m thinking the people who complain about the show probably hoped the same age group who enjoyed it 20 years ago could enjoy it today. It’s okay for mommas to want to hold on to the innocence that this world tries to take away too quickly, in my opinion.

    • Shannon says:

      Sarah- Although I think you completely misread my heart and the content of this post, I agree with some of what you are saying. Thank you for stopping by, and have a great rest of your week! xoxo

  8. Pam says:

    I applaud your decision not to shield your kids. I think children do better when they are in the presence of their parents when they are exposed to things they will see outside of their home. It lets them ask questions and let’s you have teachable moments if that seems appropriate. Happy to be visiting as your neighbor at the Linkup at Cornerstone Confessions.

  9. carla chasteen says:

    You are amazing.. I just love your perspective-its Godly, and so refreshing. Thank you for taking the time to share your heart and more importantly, share Jesus. You are changing lives for the glory of God’s kingdom.

  10. Diane Turner says:

    Hi Shannon,
    For us it is watching and tracking each child in how they are coping with outside influence. The decisions we will make for each child therefore will be different. If they are struggling with an influence then it may well be sinful to keep them in it. Each of us, before God, discerning for our children. We have over sheltered some of our children, in hindsight, and been thwarted and tricked by this world with others and are now playing catch up – if that’s possible! One day at a time with God’s grace. I’m comforted to remember He has a plan and purpose for these children of mine and that He loves them more than I do!

    • Shannon says:

      Diane- yes, I agree- each child is different and being led by the Holy Spirit is definitely a must in this life as a parent and mother! I don’t know how others do it without that guide. You’re so right- one day at a time with God’s grace! Thank you for sweet spirit!

  11. Isabelle says:

    For the first few years of parenting, I did shield them from many things. But then I started to notice moments when didn’t know how to deal with situations that were outside our norm and with people who didn’t live like us. That’s when I slowly changed my parenting style. While we still hold our family to high standards, we are not shielding our children to as many things as before. They, like you, have watched every episode of Full House and Fuller House, and other TV shows that are much more violent and offensive than that. They’ve seen the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. They love these movies. But we do like you, in that we take advantage of these times to have conversations with them. We use these as teachable moments. The one place we strongly draw the line, is sexual content (nudity and sex scenes) and coarse language. Every family is different, but that’s what we’re comfortable with.

    • Shannon says:

      Isabelle- Yes- We’ve always held our girls to high standards. And yes there is a line. We definitely won’t be watching 50 Shades of Grey or anything. lol. Honestly though- there is a line. Parenting is definitely challenging and I don’t know how it can be done without the leading of the Holy Spirit as our guide!

  12. Exposing your kids to reality YOURSELF instead of waiting for it to hit them in the face later, is actually a very loving way to mother. In my opinion you are shielding them in the very best way.

    • Shannon says:

      Michele- thank you for stopping by and yes I agree! I want to be the greater influencer, not the world. Thank you for your kind words!

  13. Bre Rock says:

    Your words are so wise! Thank you for sharing, I’m a new mommy of a 6 month old so I’m always looking for sound parenting advice. My hubby was brought up unshielded whereas I was shielded by my parents. And you know what? I think he had a much better understanding of the world and transitioned into adulthood much better. When I went off to college I was far too innocent and ignorant of the world around me. I wish I’d had an ounce of the knowledge he had to conquer the world. Thanks so much for the reminder that not shielding is OK and should be encouraged!

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Bre- It’s definitely a balancing act that’s for sure. A new mommy, huh?? Congrats to you and your hubby- you’re in the for the ride of your life!! Children are definitely a treasure. I pray for favor for you!! xoxo

  14. I mostly agree with your idea of not shielding our kids. I think there is a place for shielding, especially when they are small, but we have always tried hard to be honest and open with our kids and have brought up hard to address subjects, taken them to viewings and funerals, haven’t tried to hide some of the poor choices that people they know have made (when it was pretty obvious- and we tried to make sure to talk about it in a way that wasn’t degrading to that individual) etc.

    The only difference for us is that we have tried to shield them from inappropriate things that they might see (like the dirty dancing and exposed chests). Maybe it’s because our oldest is only 7 1/2, maybe it’s because he’s a boy, maybe it’s just that our opinion is different, I don’t know. But it feels like once you see something, you can’t “unsee” it and so while we talk about things like the issues you mentioned, if we are watching a movie and an immodestly dressed lady comes up or something provocative is shown, we simply turn it off or fast forward it instead of watching it. But then we’ll use that as a way of talking about things like choosing what you look at, what Jesus’ says about how we should live etc.

    All that to say, being honest with your kids and talking to them about life, the good and the bad, is so important and I applaud you for doing that!

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Lydia- thank you so much for stopping by! I totally agree with you- and every parent “has a way that they parent.” Thank you for genuinely and lovingly sharing your thoughts with me! I do protect my girls from different things- and I did when they were young too. Even still- I didn’t shield them as much as my other Christian friends shielded theirs and still don’t as they are older today. Parenting is tough and takes so much discernment! Again- thank you for your encouragement and loving words!

  15. Leah Adams says:

    I know a young woman who has been shielded in some areas to the point that she cannot function. She is now out of high school and is determined to try everything. She was talking recently about how when she turns 21 she is going to get drunk just to see what it is like. I said to her, “Well, trust me, it is not as fun as it sounds. So, if you are determined to do that be sure to drink in a safe place and drink enough to get good and sick so that you won’t want to do it again.”

    As you have said, each parent must raise their child the way the Lord directs. While I never had children of my own, I admire your transparency about your style. It certainly allows those who are parents to consider more than one style. Thank you for linking with us at The Loft.

    • Shannon says:

      Thank you Leah for your comment- parenting should be taken so seriously and I meant every word when I said “every parent has a way that they parent.” It really is up to them, but because I have this little blog I am blessed to share my little view point!

  16. Linda Stoll says:

    Gosh, our kids will be exposed to so much of the world as they grow up, no matter how hard we try to shield and protect them.

    But the greatest influence will, by far, be the consistent love and grace that they find at home, open hearts for deep and honest conversations, and seeing Jesus with ‘skin’ on.

    Laughter, too!

    Let’s hear it for parenting with confidence in Christ’s power … and put our fears to rest.

  17. Jerralea says:

    I’m with you: “But my hope is that I be a living testimony to my girls and that they see Jesus within me and that they know. ”

    Thanks for sharing your heart at The Loft today, Shannon. Love the CS Lewis quote!

  18. I have started my day reading your blog post. I have two kids and I also never try to shield because God is always here to protect them. But I always stop them not to do bad things in life. Thanks for sharing your heart feelings in this post. God bless you in all the way.

    ~Dr. Diana

  19. Leah says:

    I love this post! Though my kids are still pretty small (the oldest is seven) I hope they grow up feeling like they can tell me anything. I love what you said about how if we shield them, their lights can’t shine 🙂 great post!

  20. This is good stuff right here. I’m exactly where you are. I catch myself shielding my children and have to remember that if I continue to shield them, then I cannot equip them to go out into the world and conquer the negativity. They learn that from us. You are exactly right about that. If they see Jesus nowhere else, they will see Him in us.

    This is a wonderful post. I tweeted it out and hope it touches many.

    I enjoy that someone finally put a single mom on TV that had to go back home. Anyway, I could ramble on. This is not about Fuller House, but about our children and how they see Jesus in us. Let it shine! 🙂 So glad to have you link up at Open Mic Monday for the soul at Cisneros Cafe. <3 I hope to have you again this Monday. Such a pleasure.

  21. I so agree with you! I was shielded by well meaning parents and college was crazy in the beginning. My girls are 7 and 9 and we watch Fuller House. They are going to see much worse without me, so I want to be there. They both talk to me about anything and I stay calm at their questions. (While screaming on the inside.) parenting isn’t easy, but the good news is we are never alone!

  22. […] with them. I’ve always been very open with my girls about taboo topics even at a young age. I would much rather talk to them and have them hear about sensitive things from me BEFORE they hear …My girls know that they can discuss ANYTHING with me without me freaking out. I’m not naive […]

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