Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Can I lock her up like Rapunzel?

I am pretty conservative, but I've never thought of myself as overly conservative. In fact, I would have thought I was barely on the conservative scale. In the past few weeks, however, I am beginning to wonder if I am unreasonably restrictive. My daughter is four. Four years old to me is still very young. I still have her watch Sesame Street with her brother and honestly I think it is extremely age appropriate. She is learning to read and such- sesame street is ALL about this. Most of her friends haven't watched that show in a couple years. Shows I think meant for tweens are now apparently being watched by most of her friends. Take, for example, Hannah Montana. Certainly it isn't a bad show, I just happen to think it isn't appropriate for a four year old.

She's also started to tell me her friends are claiming to have boyfriends. One of these friends from church is the youngest of a very large family. They are a family that home schools. I would have thought they would be MORE conservative than I am, yet their daughter is talking to mine about her boyfriend and going on dates. The other little girl is a friend from school. She told Ava she is "in love" with a boy in their class and wants Ava to ask him to be her boyfriend. Ava didn't want to do this, so she asked me about it. We had a good conversation and I think I handled it fairly well. I told her these girls were funny (not in a demeaning way). We talked about what a boyfriend was and I told her she didn't and shouldn't really have boyfriends until she's ready to get married because the REASON for having a boyfriend is looking for a husband. She laughed and said, "four year olds aren't ready to get married. why do they want boyfriends?"

On one hand, I can tell myself this isn't a huge deal, but I have to admit the larger part of me wants to pull my daughter out of preschool and sunday school and just keep her safe and innocent at home. I just don't love the idea of my young child learning thing from other kids. Shoot- I hate the idea. I appreciate that she so far has come to me when she is wondering about these things, but how long before she doesn't tell me everything?

We live in a crazy, hard world that is very sinful in a lot of ways. I know I cannot protect her from that forever, I was just really hoping to keep her innocent as long as possible. Certainly I get that many people reading this will think I am a little bit of a nut job. I know a boyfriend and Hannah Montana are bad things. No "harm" has come to my child. It isn't about these issues in particular as much as realizing that kids are growing up faster and faster. If they have "boyfriends" at four years old, what will they be interested in at 12 years old?

Can't we just stay focused on letters and princess play a little bit longer?!


  1. Hi kim-
    I found your site from How Could I Ask For More? I totally agree with your post. I have a 7 year old daughter and know how you feel. I want to protect her innocence for just a few more years but it's tough. I just pray (kinda easy) and trust (NOT so easy) that the Lord will protect her innocence. Or maybe pray that even though she is in the world, God will draw her heart to Him.
    I like your blog. From what I've read you seem real and honest. I like that in a blog. I'm sure I'll "be back!"

  2. Kim, I am TOTALLY with you! I feel like the most restrictive parent with tv that I know! These things that draw the heart of the child begin so subtly. But I agree, where does it lead? Is it drawing them nearer to the image of Christ? Or is it competing for their affections?!

  3. Kim, you are so on target. Our society is getting worse and worse. Think about what it was like here only 100 years ago. People weren't bombarded with these images everywhere like we are. We live in a Babylon mentality and the evil one revels in the fact that we treat our holy vessels (our bodies) as if they are unholy. Keep going with what you are doing and what you are teaching Ava. It's God honoring and we are to stand out to the world and be different. Holy and set apart. Praise God you feel that way, I'm proud of you.

  4. I think the best part is that she came to you- that is what is really importnat- that you are fostering a relationahip where if something seems "not right" or just different she knows her Mama who is a Godly woman can help her navigate. We cannot shield them though, Jesus hung out with mostly "savory characters" but He never allowed them to change him. YOu are doing awesome and Ava gets to see your example and love for everyone :)

  5. Ugh I totally understand what you are talking about. I feel like I am super conservative too. I screen G rated movies before I let me kiddos watch them. My oldest is going to be 10 in Jan and I don't think Hannah Montanna is age appropriate for her though she is the target audience. One thing I was told by an older wiser women was set family rules and instill them in your kids now, especially with dating and clothing. Then when they are older the opposition won't be as strong because they know what to expect. For instance, my kids know if they want to see a movie We have to watch it first and if we don't like it or don't think it is appropriate they can't watch it. They haven't argued with us about this issue because they know what to expect it has been consistent. I think them knowing they can ask and we will look into it helps too. Protecting your kids innocence is a full time job these days I feel like. But it sounds like you are doing a fantastic job!