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Good for the Whole Family
BY BARBARA RAINEY
Determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. ROMANS 14:13
An often overlooked aspect of media use in the home is that some things that might be appropriate for an older child are not acceptable for a younger one. If you have an older sibling in your family, consider challenging him or her to be a good example. We’ve seen that an older teen who is making the right kinds of choices can help you establish the right standards for your younger children.
I remember once talking with our older kids about some of the music they enjoyed. I said, “I don’t want you boys to listen to that stuff, because you have little sisters who don’t need to hear it.”
“But, Mom . . .”
“I’m sorry, but what you’re doing affects everyone else in the family, not just you.” They grumbled about it, but I think they realized there was good reason for being a model to their little sisters. So although everyone has personal tastes in media—TV, movies, music— parents need to take responsibility for setting and maintaining boundaries that work for the entire family. Make this clear: As long as your child resides under your roof, you have the right to screen—and to bar—all media consumed by everyone in the household. As your children get older and leave home, however, they will begin making more and more of their own choices. Brace yourself. Some of those decisions will not be ones that represent your values and convictions. At some point as they move into adulthood, you will need to give them the freedom to make
their own mistakes. Just like you and I did. However, while they are at home, as parents you have the responsibility to establish the boundaries and standards for your family. At times, it’s going to feel like you are swimming against a mighty strong cultural current. Stand firm.
What are your convictions, standards and boundaries about music, movies, the Internet and TV for your family?
Pray that you will both stand firm in protecting your family against the various forms of evil being pushed upon our families today.