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Dealing with no-so-Christian kids. *sigh*


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  #1  
October 8th, 2012, 05:35 PM
mamaginger's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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So I'm slightly annoyed and worried but then also feeling guilty.

Ive done everything in my power to protect Denton from things he shouldn't be exposed to. We literally have ONLY let him be kept by grandparents, my sister and just very recently by his BFFs parents. Even with MY parents....I've never let him stay the night and he's only been over in the evening when my dad is off of work about two or three times for about 2 hours. My dad drinks, curses and has a bad temper so I protect my child from this. Same applies to my sister. Only day time visits, never spent the night. We only listen to christian music and are very careful about what he watches on tv/movies. We NEVER talk about or tease about "liking" girls or having girlfriends. I feel like kids are exposed to romantic things WAY too early and even encouraged by parents to have girlfriends/boyfriends. I don't like this at all. If I see anything on tv where middle schoolers (and of course adults) are kissing or acting romantic we turn it off. We are mainly home schooling because i feel like its just a better education academically but a part of it is also due to protecting him from other kids and their lives. I know the kids can't help it and are "victims" of their parents but that doesnt change the fact that they know words they shouldn't know, have seen fights/drugs/ smoking/drinking and even sexual things they shouldn't know about.

Anyway, my point is....our church has been doing outreach at a government housing apartment complex nearby. These people live completely different lifestyles. They are also 100% black and our church is about 99% white so this also accounts for even more cultural and moral differences. Most of the adult women are single mothers and most of the men are unemployed and have criminal records. The complex is full of children. We use to just go out to their complex a few times a year and do kind of an all day carnival type event. Well in the last several weeks we have started actually bussing the kids to our Wednesday night youth classes. About 50 kids (completely without any adult supervision) are dropped off and sent to their classes. Even the PREschoolers are using profanity during class in front of other 3 -5 year olds that have never heard anything like that before. The older boys are fighting, cussing (even at the teachers) and threatening other kids. I know at least four boys were put on "restriction" by the pastor and can't come back for a week or two but still. The damage is already done and you're just inflicting a consequence AFTER the fact. There's not even anywhere CLOSE to being enough adult volunteers to handle our own kids, much less this new, unruly group. My husband has always volunteered in the middle/high class but will be moving to Dentons class next week due to all of this. It's either that or we quit going to our own church on Wednesday nights and that's awful to even consider!

Ok...on the home front....our neighbors who were kicked out several months ago are back next-door. The "dad" is Jay. Jay got his gf pregnant many years ago and had two children. I think they did eventually get officially married. There was constant screaming, cussing and fighting going on outside in the yard for all to see. Many in the neighborhood have called the police on them before. Well Jay cheated on his wife with one of the many grown adults without jobs that hang out over there all day long tattooing illegally in the house. I'm pretty sure I smell marijuana drifting through the air at times as well. There's also plenty of speeding cars and loud, booming bass rattling our pictures on the wall. Oh, and there are pit bulls that occasionally get loose and come bark at us in our yard. So for about a year, Jay was with the new girl and all of the same things continued. At the beginning of the year he cheated on her with yet another girl. His grandpa (who owns the house and pays all the bills since none of these people work) kicked them all out. We were completely relieved. The house has been empty for over 6 months. It's been so peaceful and quiet.

Well.....theyre back. Jay and girl #3. This girl has 2 or 3 kids and he has 2. One of his is an 8 yr old girl and one of hers is an 8 yr old boy. They have already started coming over wanting to play with Denton. My husband told them no the first time but me and dent weren't even home anyway. He said he didn't want Denton playing with them. Well they came back a day or two later and I reluctantly let them play in our yard and house. (he will NEVER go over there). They seemed fine although the boy has an earring and mentioned that he had been in a fight already. the little girl is surprisingly sweet and well mannered. I just worry about them using language or talking about things they shouldn't. The first day they came, the boy said something about his "old dad"....because I guess he's told that Jay is his "new dad". Denton has never even heard the word "divorce". Ugh...I just feel bad....because I know these kids just want to play and they can't help who their parents are but I have to protect MY child. He is old enough that I can talk to him about things that are wrong and words we don't say but I just don't want to have to do that if I don't HAVE to. Ya know? But I can't tell these kids he can't play with them! My husband is all aggravated about it but what am I supposed to do? Seriously? To top it off...even if these were the most well behaved Christian kids.....I really don't want ANY kids over here every day...or even every other day....or even 3 times a week. Idk...am I being a total mean person?? What would y'all do??
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For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together...Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16


Last edited by mamaginger; October 8th, 2012 at 06:11 PM.
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  #2  
October 8th, 2012, 09:40 PM
Countrymom4's Avatar Chrystal
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It's tuff Ginger. I have always had the thinking that the children need to live life and see things also. I can only put them in a bubble for so long, then what...throw them out into the world. The only way they can learn is by seeing right and wronge and them hope they don't make the same mistakes.

We have a girl same age as DD#1, she is at church, was at ps, and at skating. The infomation she would tell my DD made me so mad!!! I just kept taking with DD and showing her what is right. And I would see break thoughs when DD would see that see is not the nices girl.
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  #3  
October 9th, 2012, 09:15 AM
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That is tough for sure Ginger. Have you ever read Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel? GO BUY IT!!! I've read it many times and am always really encouraged by it.
One of the things the book talks about is to protect and prepare, that as little ones you protect your kids but your end goal is that when they leave your house they're prepared. (and that's not to say that your little guy needs to know and see everyone at a young age of course)
Also, and I don't know why this was such a lightening bolt for me because it's really something I should know: if you have Jesus you don't have to be afraid. I was always scared of how I was going to survive my girls as teenagers and all the outside influences you mentioned. Do I believe that God is more powerful than any of those things? Of course I do (I just needed to hear it from someone else).

As far as the neighbors kids playing with your son, I'd have boundaries for frequency, but I'd rather have them in my yard then in theirs, and maybe you can end up being a positive influence on them, give them a glimpse of what a normal household is. You never know what a difference you can make.
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  #4  
October 9th, 2012, 11:27 AM
Buggymom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Don't feel guilty for wanting to keep your child protected. We are the same way with keeping our daughter in a sheltered environment (except the homeschool part). If it were us I would let them play outside at my house only during weekend days that are not centered around family time...that way I could be the eyes and ears at all times (especially if you are unsure about things they may say). Our children will see and hear things we don't want them to...we then have to stand up and make sure they understand what is wrong and what is right. I don't think you are being mean at all. This is just my opinion. Children's minds are easily led so we have to be careful. One of the things we do is try to also keep our daughter in an activity of some kind (right now soccer) to keep us a little but not too busy so that there is not idle time. We live in a different day and age to where we ave to be careful. I would set up some rules about what days they can play and watch from there (if they seem alright after getting to know them, you could loosen the rules...if it doesn't work out and they are playing on a limited basis it would be easy to wean them off of each other...plus you don't know how long that family will even be there.)

My daughter who is 5 brought a book home from (public) school today that she got in the library. It was a Halloween book that has graphic pictures in it of scary creatures including a guy that looks like the devil with horns all over his head and he is red....named Bloodcurdle or something, with a pic of him eating spaghetti with blood on it. Let me just say right now, that book is up high and I told my daughter she is not aloud to look at it and we wouldn't be reading it. She will be exchanging it Monday. She trusted me and understood. Anyway, we go to the library on Wednesdays so I'll help her choose some better books. My daughter is sheltered and I am proud of it, LOL!!
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  #5  
October 9th, 2012, 02:01 PM
mamma_anna's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #5in2005 View Post
That is tough for sure Ginger. Have you ever read Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel? GO BUY IT!!! I've read it many times and am always really encouraged by it.

As far as the neighbors kids playing with your son, I'd have boundaries for frequency, but I'd rather have them in my yard then in theirs, and maybe you can end up being a positive influence on them, give them a glimpse of what a normal household is. You never know what a difference you can make.
I have this book. I've read it at least twice. Very highly recommended!

Ginger, I know exactly where you're coming from! When Meg and Abbey were young, I was extremely protective of them in this way. They didn't have any friends from the public schools and even with their "Christian" friends, they rarely if ever had play dates where I wasn't there to supervise. Rick and I were very careful about monitoring their reading material, t.v., music, etc...
You know that children's song...
"Be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little ears what you hear. The Father up above is looking down in love..." Well I was taking that to the extreme with my kids. I thought I was protecting them and parenting them the way God wanted me to.

Then one day, Meg came home from school telling me all about a new classmate who "lives in an apartment with her mom and her dad lives in California and she helps her mom at work after school and...."
My sweet little child thought all of these things were soooo COOL! She'd literally never had any friends who lived in an apartment or had divorced parents.
I came to find out later that this little girl was living in a one bedroom apartment with her mother because her father had been abusive and they had to leave him. She was on scholarship at the school, her mother was working long hours just to afford rent and food and couldn't afford after-school childcare.
Long story short... I saw myself in that little girl. I remembered a time in my life when my family was really struggling and I needed safe places to be and strong family influences. So after a lot of prayer and discussion with Rick, we decided to take her after school a couple days a week. It wasn't easy at first. She did push some boundaries, there was some cursing and yelling and other minor things that we had to deal with. But 8 years later, She and Meagan are still best friends. She has grown into a beautiful young woman and I love having her in my home.

We've loosened up on a lot of other things too. Part of that is just that the girls are older now so it's easier to have discussions with them and pray with them about things. But it's also because we've had to. No matter how hard we try to shelter and protect our kids, they're living in a fallen world. They're going to see and hear and experience things we wish they wouldn't. Our job as parents is to guide them through it in a way that shows them to have a Christ-like heart and a love for the world, not a fear of it.

I'm curious about this youth group situation... It really does sound like there needs to be more adult volunteers. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable at all with my kids in a situation like that just because of the safety issues involved.

Is the reason there aren't enough volunteers because it's a smaller church and there just aren't enough people? Or are people just not volunteering? It sounds like the church wanted to do something really good in welcoming these kids into the youth ministry but they didn't plan very well. If it were me... I'd want to speak with the leadership team and ask them to prayerfully consider if maybe there's a different approach for what they want to do or at least a way to get some more volunteers so there will be enough supervision. Those kids need relationships with loving adults. Not just another group activity to keep them busy and out of trouble. Just my
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  #6  
October 9th, 2012, 02:48 PM
mamaginger's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamma_anna View Post
I have this book. I've read it at least twice. Very highly recommended!

Ginger, I know exactly where you're coming from! When Meg and Abbey were young, I was extremely protective of them in this way. They didn't have any friends from the public schools and even with their "Christian" friends, they rarely if ever had play dates where I wasn't there to supervise. Rick and I were very careful about monitoring their reading material, t.v., music, etc...
You know that children's song...
"Be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little ears what you hear. The Father up above is looking down in love..." Well I was taking that to the extreme with my kids. I thought I was protecting them and parenting them the way God wanted me to.

Then one day, Meg came home from school telling me all about a new classmate who "lives in an apartment with her mom and her dad lives in California and she helps her mom at work after school and...."
My sweet little child thought all of these things were soooo COOL! She'd literally never had any friends who lived in an apartment or had divorced parents.

I came to find out later that this little girl was living in a one bedroom apartment with her mother
because her father had been abusive and they had to leave him. She was on scholarship at the school,
her mother was working long hours just to afford rent and food and couldn't afford after-school
childcare.
Long story short... I saw myself in that little girl. I remembered a time in my life when my family was
really struggling and I needed safe places to be and strong family influences. So after a lot of prayer and discussion with Rick, we decided to take her after school a couple days a week. It wasn't easy at first. She did push some boundaries, there was some cursing and yelling and other minor things that we had to deal with. But 8 years later, She and Meagan are still best friends. She has grown into a beautiful young woman and I love having her in my home.

We've loosened up on a lot of other things too. Part of that is just that the girls are older now so it's
easier to have discussions with them and pray with them about things. But it's also because we've had
to. No matter how hard we try to shelter and protect our kids, they're living in a fallen world. They're
going to see and hear and experience things we wish they wouldn't. Our job as parents is to guide them
through it in a way that shows them to have a Christ-like heart and a love for the world, not a fear of
it.

I'm curious about this youth group situation... It really does sound like there needs to be more adult
volunteers. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable at all with my kids in a situation like that just because of the
safety issues involved.

Is the reason there aren't enough volunteers because it's a smaller church and there just aren't enough
people? Or are people just not volunteering? It sounds like the church wanted to do something really
good in welcoming these kids into the youth ministry but they didn't plan very well. If it were me... I'd
want to speak with the leadership team and ask them to prayerfully consider if maybe there's a different
approach for what they want to do or at least a way to get some more volunteers so there will be
enough supervision. Those kids need relationships with loving adults. Not just another group activity to
keep them busy and out of trouble. Just my


We have this issue with everything....no, our church is not small. The same 20 people do EVERYTHING. People will volunteer but then when their life gets busy they stop showing up. A lot of kids play ball so there will be whole seasons where they and their parents aren't there. Others just get burned out from doing it alone for so long with no help so then a ton of responsibility falls on a handful of people who get really discouraged and even angry about it. Our pastors are awesome but they are TERRIBLE at delegation and management of people. It's frustrating.
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~ Ginger



For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together...Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16

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  #7  
October 9th, 2012, 02:53 PM
mamaginger's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,305
Thanks for the responses....it's just a delicate balance between letting them experience "the world" at an age appropriate level and protecting them from the HORRIBLE things they will one day hear and see. My biggest thing right now is anything sexual. Until he's old enough to have the sex talk, he's not old enough to be exposed to any words, ideas, images or experiences that are of a sexual nature. He doesn't need to hear about homosexuality or abortion or sex itself. I can't explain to him what "gay" means if he doesn't even know what sex is yet, ya know? I'd like for him not to know about divorce but I do feel like he's old enough to talk about that now. Of course I don't want him hearing bad words but again, we can talk about that. I'll check out the book you all mentioned. I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks
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~ Ginger



For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together...Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16

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  #8  
October 9th, 2012, 06:12 PM
Eowyn's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaginger View Post
Thanks for the responses....it's just a delicate balance between letting them experience "the world" at an age appropriate level and protecting them from the HORRIBLE things they will one day hear and see. My biggest thing right now is anything sexual. Until he's old enough to have the sex talk, he's not old enough to be exposed to any words, ideas, images or experiences that are of a sexual nature. He doesn't need to hear about homosexuality or abortion or sex itself. I can't explain to him what "gay" means if he doesn't even know what sex is yet, ya know? I'd like for him not to know about divorce but I do feel like he's old enough to talk about that now. Of course I don't want him hearing bad words but again, we can talk about that. I'll check out the book you all mentioned. I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks
YOU are the mom, so you know more than anyone the appropriate level of sheltering.

EVERY child should be sheltered in their early years. This is healthy.
Of course I shelter my children- next I'll be accused of clothing and feeding them too!!
children these days are shoved into the adult world far too early and expected to cope-and SO much of the worlds problems can stem from this unfortunate truth. I don't believe this is what God wants for our children.
We have been given the position of protector for our children. I fully accept that my children will have to be aware of all the evil reality of the world. but for now-I do protect them and shield them from what they are not ready for.
Now is the time for them to grow deep roots, to feel secure and gain confidence in themselves and confidence in in their faith.
There will be time when they will be tested and face many evils in the world.
They should have a strong foundation to stand on for this, I truly believe this is very important.
Age appropriate talks and exposure to other faiths (or lack thereof), lifestyles, drugs, sex,profanity, abuse and all of that- will be things they will have to learn and they can learn it on the worlds terms or they can learn it gradually as their guardians deem appropriate as they grow and have more experiences.
examine your beliefs ahead of time while they are young for all the subjects you must one day tackle-so that you can have clear reasons and explanations for why your family acts and believes differently from many others in the world.
they should learn it from their parents, not from the world first.

I encourage you to be prayerful in every decision and cross each bridge as you come to it.
It is no easy thing to be a christian in this world surrounded by unbelievers, You need God every step of the way so hold to him tightly in every thing that you do and say.
I've been in a situation similar to yours so I know how difficult it is. I really do and really empathize with the circumstances you are in the middle of.
I will be praying for God to give you clear guidance! <3
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  #9  
October 11th, 2012, 07:29 PM
jeweluv's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Oh, Ginger I completely understand. You are not being selfish or mean ...you just want what's best for your son...that makes you a GREAT mom!! Instead of blowing off all the little details, you are zoomed in on them and that shows such great effort and love!! I completely understand you realizing that they are kids but at the same time, your first priority is your son. This is tricky...especially bc they are neighbors and bc they are kids. I would limit the exposure and if anything "funny" comes up I would talk to Denton about people living by different rules and explain to him why it is important to live the way you do.

Unfortunately, in my house, my own family is the ones exposing my baby girls to things I don't agree with. DH plays violent video games and allows my 9 yr old step son to do the same. As much as I try to keep the dd's from it, it still is played when they are around and this drives me nuts! There are just so many battles right now and I have tried to fight this one but have not come close to winning. I can't force a grown man to not do something, I can only try and distract the girls and teach them the right thing. I don't think my "step" son should be exposed to this either. I too want to homeschool for many of the simlar reasons. I feel that we can't put our kids in a bubble but bc they are so impressionable and do not have their own filter, we have to be the ones to do it while they are still so young and innocent. I really feel that you are right in that kids are overexposed to concepts that are way beyond their level.

Some have told me that I'm being overprotective but I'd like to think that's not such a bad thing ya know? Here are our beautiful little children with these amazing little minds and we want to preserve and guide them. Yes, eventually they will see the world as it is but maybe by the time this happens they will have learned enough morals will have become accustomed to a certain way of life.
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