Protecting Our Children Mentally

We have been learning how to have a covering over our most prized possessions by protecting them as parents.  In the last blog, we went over ways to protect our kids physically. Now we’re going to talk about a few of the many things we can protect them from mentally.

Alex’s dad was a youth pastor. He was introduced to pornography by accident on the internet.  He closed it down right away, but his mind was curious and before long he was searching for it online.
J.T. saw a movie scene with a nude girl that led him to want to see more. He searched for pics on the internet and soon became heavily involved in pornography as a kid.
Samuel grew up a pastor’s kid, yet still he began looking at pornography at age 9. At first he felt guilty, but soon it became an easy thing to do.

This is just a few examples of how kids get started on this mind-damaging path of pornography. It’s a parent’s responsibility to protect their child’s mind from these things while we can. Kids are not mature enough to stay away from obscene things on their own… they need our guidance and banner of protection.

What goes in a child’s mind does not come right out and then is forgotten. All it takes is one glance and it can take them to places that will affect them the rest of their life. Statistics tell us that the average age for kids to begin watching pornography is 11 years old. That is the average, not the youngest. If we want to protect our kids from this addiction, we need to start very young.

Violent video games is another big factor in the mental state of our kids. When a parent allows their child to watch killing scenes and constant violent, graphic video games, they are helping mold their minds to accept such actions as common and it desensitizes them. You may think it is just a game, but if your child spends most of his down time playing violent games, this is implying that violence is a fun thing to do – it’s a game!  Note that a lot of the kids that walked into schools and started shooting were heavily involved in violent video games at home. A sobering thought to consider.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7

We have to place a covering on our children’s minds and protect them from evil. Some things are unavoidable, but most evil images kids see can be avoided. Do you know what your children are looking at? Do you examine the games they play? Is it something that could warp their minds? Have you ever thought about who will be accountable for things they are permitted to be involved with?  Important questions to ask yourself.

Parents MUST be in control of their child’s phone, computer, iPad, video games and who they spend time with. Set boundaries. Set time restrictions for their screen time.  

Can your child flip channels whenever they want? I was at a conference one year looking for the news and flipping channels in the hotel room. I almost dropped my teeth when I accidentally came across a scene that I am still trying to get out of mind. That taught me a lesson that night. I realized that children should never be allowed to flip channels to find their cartoons or kid shows. Children are inquisitive enough. We don’t want to give them more opportunities and ways to explore.

How can a young person stay pure? By obeying Your Word.” Psalm 119:9 (NLT)

The first thing we must do as parents is to teach them what God’s Word says and encourage it to be put deep in their hearts. This should not be left to your pastor, their Sunday School teacher or youth pastor. It needs to start at home with you, Mom and Dad.

Drugs are another activity that is mind-altering. Most kids get started on drugs by a friend or relative that gives it to them for fun. The same goes with alcohol. Drugs, alcohol, and pornography addictions are a lifetime battle. Once they get addicted to it, they can overcome, but have to fight that battle the rest of their lives. Many parents look back and see where they failed to protect, but by then their kids are in the battle for freedom and recovery. As parents, you can help save them from this mental battle in the beginning before it gets a hold of them.

Don’t assume your child is mentally protected because you read them a bedtime Bible story or that you take them to church or that you spend quality time with them. It takes a special effort to be proactive and teach them to stay clear from anyone or anything that could infiltrate evil and harm in their young minds. If they have free access to TV, phone, tablet, or computer, then they are not fully protected. You can do something about that.

Let’s make a decision right now to protect our kid’s mind more than ever. It is worth whatever effort it takes to filter what goes in their precious minds when we know it could affect the rest of their lives. If you have a child that has already delved into these things that are harmful to their mind, I implore you to get them counseling starting now. It is much easier to conquer these addictions at an early age.

To Do:  Research how to talk to your kids about the danger of evil through pictures, movies, etc. Be certain your children cannot go to any inappropriate place on their phones, computers, or TV.  In loving your child, you will control what they see and hear to the best of your ability. You may not win the popularity contest now, but later in life they will give you the award.

Family Time: Roll a pine cone in peanut butter and bird seed to create a bird feeder. Making a birdhouse out of wood and painting it together is another fun family activity.

Time to Smile:  One family was dazzled by the sights and the bustling crowds during a visit to Manhattan. “This is the city that never sleeps,” the mother told her 11 year old daughter. “That’s probably because there’s a Starbucks on every corner,” she observed.  

Recommended Reading:  Instead of a suggestion, I urge parents of boys to read this book that I am reading now… “Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys” by Stephen James and David Thomas. Very educating on why boys do as they do and how to understand them. A must read! Get it today!

Previous Blog: Protecting Your Child Physically