Sometimes it’s really difficult to have values. In fact, it’s usually difficult. As a family we have chosen certain principals, values, and core objectives that will allow our children better opportunities to succeed. Unfortunately, the mainstream doesn’t always share these values and it often feels like we are swimming upstream.
This doesn’t mean the mainstream is wrong, or that we denigrate them in any way. it’s just that we choose to to shelter our kids from certain influences that have the potential for harm – emotional, physical, spiritual, or social. Some people don’t see these influences the same way we do – and they probably think we are conservative nuts. Others see us as too liberal with our kids and wonder why we don’t do more to protect them. Some people believe it’s never too early to start exposing your kids to trials and influences of the culture – while others seek to protect their kids until they are well into their 30s.
we choose to to shelter our kids from certain influences…”
Because of our own tendencies to watch too much TV, we have decided to raise our kids in a home without a TV connected to the outside world. While we’ll watch some videos on our set, we try to screen (no pun intended) our choices carefully. Sometimes we’ll make mistakes and realize the video we watched was not a good choice, but most of the time we do pretty well.
We have also decided to homeschool our kids. Quality of education, safety, and the fact that we want to raise our own children are all reasons we’ve made this choice. But the number one reason is for the sake of our children’s spiritual health. We want to make sure they receive a positive launch in the right direction.
Childcare issues are difficult ones for us. Protecting our children from the dangers of our culture, predatory people, and physical danger are some prime motivators for us not using random sitters. However, like the school issue mentioned above, the primary reason is to help our kids achieve the highest goals in their personal spiritual walk.
However, making these choices can have serious repercussions in other areas. For example, my Wonderful Wife and I have not been able to fulfill two other goals we set when we first got married. We no longer have regular – or even non-regular date nights. Also, we haven’t been to a marriage retreat since our Darling Daughter was born over six years ago. Both of these were goals we set for ourselves, but we’ve been unable to follow through with these two goals.
Sometimes we encounter people who love our kids and want to “adopt” them as surrogate grandparents – something our kids don’t really have ready access to. But without a clear image of those generous people’s values, motives, background, or purpose – we have to refuse their love. It is difficult to do that. My kids don’t get enough of that unconditional grandparent love.
There are plenty of other areas where our values clash, and it makes life hard. The peer pressure, cultural pressure, and the ordinary life stressors pressure – all of these gang up on us and often it seems as if there is no way out of a corner we’ve painted ourselves into. I’m concerned for my family.
How do we find the balance between our children’s future, and our present reality? How do we find the balance between the safety of our kids, and the help that others offer? How do we find our own serenity, while protecting the future serenity of our kids?
I know there’s a balance, ‘cuz I see it when I swing past!”