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May 19, 2009

Grace for a strong grasp

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My boy Josiah, a constant jolt of energy and adventure. Amused by all things gross and boyish. He is fascinated by the aspects of his 6 year old world that he doesn't get at home. Cartoon character trading cards, guns, certain movies, etc. He's tempted to disobey our rules in order to have ANY of these things that would make him just the same as all his peers. We're not crazy strict parents, but there are some things that turn our stomachs about what kids are being shown to entertain them, and there are characters that Joel and I feel are just outright demonic. We can't treat them like they are just innocent kids stuff. We watch Star Wars and stuff, so don't get me wrong, but it's hard these days. I feel we will go through a detox once school is out at the end of this week.

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Josiah has been invited to his first sleepover this weekend. Besides the tug at my heart that my boy is just a little bit bigger every day, I am concerned that with just that short time away he might be exposed to things that I am not in control of. The family he's been invited to spend the night with are good people. They are very active at Josiah's school. They're spending the night at the boys grandma's house. It's only 4 boys. I mean what can happen? I guess I just wish we were starting out with a stronger relationship with this family before we jumped to the "overnight". I am just reminded of some sound teaching that I received at one of our churches in Atlanta. Don't just let anybody watch/teach your children. After praying alot about this past school year we made the decision to send Josiah to Battle. I knew that we would come up against the world in a bigger way than ever. I feel good about our decision, but I am always aware that Joel and I are in charge of him and we will make the final say. I guess I just want to be very involved in how Josiah views the world. This is important.
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I think I will talk to the Mom and ask her some imprtant questions about what they will watch, play, have access too. I am horrified by the statistic that little boys may experience pornography as early as 5 years old. And Josiah is such a joyful and cooperative playmate that he may experience peer abuse of various kinds: taunting and rough play, without much complaint but then in a moment of exhaustion he will express how much he was hurt by his friends roughness. God help us if it became anything questionable or outright painful. I might be thinking too much, but having kids is not just about keeping them fed, clothed and physically safe, it's about protecting their spirit. Being the barrier that keeps their innocence close to them for as long as possible. What are your thoughts, dear readers? Are their red flags that go up for you in this situation? My instinct is to pray for Josiah alot, talk to him alot about what we believe and think about things, encourage him to talk to the Mom and be honest. And of course talk to the Mom myself and ask the tough questions about what the boys will be doing and what bedtime will be and if there are any concerns Josiah might have, or concerns about Josiah. Whew, who knew a sleepover would be so tough! I refuse to get soft, Lord help me to be that strong barrier.

family | By katiek | 12:52 PM

Comments

what did you decide???????? Did he go?????????

Posted by: Kate at May 26, 2009 12:30 AM

Katie,

I totally understand your reservations. My pediatrician gave me a heavy talk at the girls last physical saying, "You've got grade schoolers now." I'm sure i looked like a deer in headlights...but man it just overwhelmed me. He advised me to always ask questions of anyone the girls would be staying with. He recommended asking about computer access, tv viewing rules and who else would be in the house. Be bold!

I hope Josiah has a great time and his first night over will be awesome! I hope you can sleep while he's gone too.

Posted by: jenny wells at May 20, 2009 4:59 PM

It is terribly hard. Here's my 5 cents as both an elementary teacher and a Christian parent.

There is no way you can shield your child from everything you would like to unless you are the only people he interacts with. In my opinion- it is much better to help your child understand what your family believes in and finds acceptable and how to deal with it when other families/friends do not. From the time my kids were young, they learned to say I'm not allowed to watch that at my house. If you let him go, make sure to let the family know what is and is not acceptable material at your house. Practice ahead of time with Josiah. Let's say he's not allowed to watch Pokemon. Practice with him by pretending to put it on TV. At this age- the peer pressure should not be too bad if you know this family to be good people.

Good luck with your decision :)

((hugs)) and prayers

Posted by: Mim at May 19, 2009 8:17 PM

wow kate! it's been a long time since i've commented but this, your thoughts, hopes, dreams for josiah, they resonant with me. i am not a parent as you know but i have felt close to josiah over the years and i can honestly say i want and pray for the same things you do for him. hold your guns high sister! do not be afraid to ask a load of questions! you can outright warn, teach josiah about what to do in situations where he might be exposed to things that are questionable. you are there to provide him with a conscience to be a barrier! he can call you in the middle of the night if he needs to. i know you won't baby him but you're definitely thinking right here.

Posted by: cat at May 19, 2009 8:10 PM

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