Hey sweet moms…many of you have been asking questions and we want you to know WE HEAR YOU and WE ARE HERE FOR YOU.
Every Monday we will be answering questions you are asking and WE ARE ASKING YOU TO JOIN THE CONVERSATION.
JOIN US every Monday for QbyUand4U (Questions by You and for You) and share your thoughts as we answer questions moms ask.
“When my son goes over to his friend’s house, they let him watch movies I don’t approve of and play video games I don’t like either.
I love the parents but I’m how do I tell them that he is not allowed to watch certain shows or play certain games when he’s over there?”
Like all good questions, this one brings up a whole host of other questions!
1) What are our family’s core values?
2) How do our family’s core values guide each of us in making wise choices about media consumption?
3) What conversations have we had (should we have) about encountering media that does not match our family’s core values?
4) What role-playing have we done (or could we do) to help our children practice standing up for their values while showing respect for others? What role-modeling have we done?
5) How does our family determine whose house our children may visit without us?
6) How do we (or can we) establish an ongoing dialogue with the parents of our children’s friends?
We’re going to tackle this QbyUand4U in two parts. Today, I’m sharing the collective wisdom of some of The M.O.M. Initiative Team as well as some guest contributors I’ve met through Proverbs 31 Ministries.
Julie Titus Sanders: Oh, not easy. Have been right there with ya! I’m not sure if we’ve taken the best path with this, but due to his age when we most faced this, we really walked Jacob through how to tackle it on his own. It has not been easy for him at times.
It’s really hard when it’s at a “youth group” event, but he finds himself having to take a stand. We’ve talked him through how to point to our family guidelines, how he wants/needs to honor his parents, and then to offer alternative activities/games/entertainment.
I don’t think his friend has always loved it or responded well. And I’m pretty sure the adults might’ve given us a few eye rolls, but Jacob has learned through it that we need to hold fast to our convictions in a gracious way and participate 100% whenever we can.
As he’s moved into more independence, we’re glad he’s had practice in how to face this issue himself, and now we pray for his discernment and boldness to go on from here. (www.JulieSanders.org)
Wendy Blight I have walked this with both my kids. We had a rule that our kids had to call and ask if it was PG 13. Sometimes we said yes, but if we said no, they told the parents or friend that they were not allowed to watch the movie.
Responses have varied. One parent changed the movie, a great result! Another did not, so our daughter called back and we picked her up.
It did not take long to build the reputation of what our kids could watch. Generally we did not have the issue very often after the first time or two.
Of course, your kids have to be okay with speaking up. Mine were, thankfully. It never affected their friendships, which was great. And other parents came on board.
It sends a message about your family and your kids that is important. (wendyblight.com)
Stephanie Shott: Hmmm. It’s definitely not easy. There are so many dynamics, like Julie said, but when it’s just from one family to the next and not in an ‘”event” type of situation, it would be good to meet with the mom and just say, “We don’t allow Johnny to play violent (or whatever) video games (or movies).” (www.StephanieShott.com)
Julie Reuter Sunne: When my children were younger, it wasn’t as difficult. As they get older, the lines of what they can watch or play is blurring some. The lines are not so defined, and they need to learn how to make good choices apart from us. With my upper teen boys, I guide them more by discussing their choices, not necessarily forbidding them outright as much. (www.juliesunne.com)
Lori Appel Wildenberg: Our kids need the “tools to go with the rules”. I like what Julie said for the older kids–younger ones need mom and dad to gently step in and speak to the parents. I tended to say things like,”My daughter is pretty sensitive so we avoid scary or violent movies.(or we stick with g/pg ratings) Would you be able to avoid those when she is over?” Most parents will accommodate it they don’t feel as if they are being judged. (www.1corinthians13parenting.co
Holly Smith: We use these as opportunities to teach our kids “self-monitoring.” We challenge them to turn their eyes and walk out, or speak up and ask for another option that is within the limits we have taught them. (AMarthaHeart.com)
We’ll continue this discussion with some principles as specific action plans on Monday, January 28. Until then, we’d love to hear your answer to today’s QbyUand4U, as well as:
- Any thoughts on the added challenge of handling this with extended family?
- What if you’re seeing negative effects on your child from media exposure that is still within your family’s guidelines?
- What scriptures have you specifically used with your children to help them stay true to the values you’ve taught them and not cave to the pressure to “not make waves” or “not seem judgmental”?
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