Welcome back to our blog series on Raising Strong Children in Today's World!
What we have established so far:
We are good mothers. We want to raise strong children in this world. “Strong” means that we want them to be responsible, faith-filled, honest and hard-working. We’d like for them to be happy. Well-adjusted.
We have also discussed that we, as mothers, have a fierce protective instinct inside of us. Don’t mess with our cubs.
I think that is absolutely glorious. I love that motherly instinct. You will do what you need to do to protect your children.
But what happens when a threat comes into your child’s life and you don’t realize it? What if your child is facing something and you are totally unaware of the threat?
I mean, how can any mother protect her child from something that she cannot see, hear or comprehend?
At this point of this conversation I would love for you to get a big cup of coffee. We need to speak Mom to Mom, heart to heart.
You know who you are. You know your own heart. You KNOW what you would do for your child. Anything.
But my job today is to help you see that your amazing protective instinct can be neutralized. I know that might sound a bit jacked, but I know what I am talking about. I know because I have walked this road. This is my journey, too.
I have spent a lot of time with many, many mothers. We did all the right things. We fed and watered our children. We taught them how to say “please” and “thank you” and how to wash their hands and say grace. We read to them. We nourished them. We did so many things right.
And we never even thought of the threat of p*rnography with our children.
It’s not like we saw it and just said, “Yeah, that won’t affect my kid.” It’s bigger than that.
Because we didn’t see it, we could not guide or direct traffic in that area.
Eric and I have heard this one phrase over and over again as we worked with parents, specifically with mothers: I.did.not.know.
We listened as moms poured their hearts out to us. They never even considered that p*rn could or would be a problem for their child. When they discovered that p*rn had entered their home under their watch, they were absolutely shocked.
Their guilt and regret was heavy.
As Eric and I spoke to those fantastic moms (who would do anything to protect their young), we asked many questions and we could easily see how and why p*rn is so big in our world.
It’s called “The Duality of Availability,” meaning something happens because of a DUAL combination.
In this instance, the two-part combo is:
If your child is normal, meaning, if they have a NORMAL, FUNCTIONING brain, then when a sexual image pops up (and believe me, they pop up everywhere nowadays) your child will have a NATURAL reaction towards that image. (I think us Christian moms think that we gave birth to celibate saints who have conquered all of their natural, human desires.)
See the issue?
So that is why this series is focused on you, the mother. We know your heart. We know how you love. We know your hopes and aspirations that you have for your child.
We know that you want to raise strong, confident and capable adult children.
We know this is not easy to want to begin to think about. We know that once “awareness” occurs (or begins to start awakening), there is a real part of you that might want to avoid the entire situation.
And this is what you must know:
Part of my evolution as a parent has been my willingness to sit with difficult truths without shutting down or ignoring but calming sitting with them and letting them come in for tea.
Then I can do this thing: “Oh. Okay. That’s what we’re dealing with.”
And then I can deal with it.
How? By prayer. With research. By talking with others.
And sometimes, it has taken my willingness to engage as a Mama Bear.
I kept this particular conversation short because I just wanted you to become aware that p*rnography is a very real thing in the lives of our young people. Think of this conversation as me gently awakening you to this idea. Open your eyes, dear friend. We have work to do.
In the next post, we’re going to do some really cool digging. Eric will be joining me; we’re going to teach you about beliefs and WHY we think like we do. It's a fascinating topic. As you examine your beliefs, you will be able to REFRAME them, helping you become the FORCE that God designed you to be in your child’s life in this particular arena.
Link to Post #4.
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