Archives For June 2014

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I am so tired of having to write about this crazy stuff.

But once again, I realize I am going to have to explain another sick idea to my kids.

Not that they don't already know that the world is running amuck.

I agree with Jennifer LeClaire’s diagnosis in her article Can We Pray the Polyamory Away?   Our only real hope is to pray this stuff away.

“It's not only about setting the captives free,” she concludes, “it's about protecting the next generation of young minds the media is molding.”

But in the meantime, turn over to 1 Corinthians 7:2 and 1 Timothy 3:2.  Read them together and then go ahead and explain the word that the networks are throwing at us.

Image: Mary: “Polyamory contigent, San Francisco Pride, June 2009” via Flickr Creative Commons
License:  Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

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Personality clashes. Birth order strife. Jealousy. Selfishness.

Surely your children never display these types of problems.  Right? :)

It seems at our house that while summertime increases our quotient of family fun, it can also increase our quotient of family squabbles. So I figure that as the leader of these day-to-day family operations, it is my job to find ways to minimize our problems.

(Next week we are heading out for our week long family vacation. So, I am going to give this my best shot....and then I would welcome your ideas also!)

1. Balance Free Time with Structure

I love our more relaxed schedule. But it is easy for everyone to get their own individual plans going, and then selfishness sets in. Really, we all do much better with some structure that I communicate clearly early in the day... or even better, the night before.

2. Celebrate the Unique Personalities

My kids seem to take their lead from me. When I am affirming each of my children—even if I am not understanding their preferences very well—then the other children follow my lead better.

3. Ban Unwholesome Words; Require Words of Life

We needed the power of God's word working in our hearts. Ephesians 4:29 has been our memory verse for the last several weeks.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  (NIV)

I am pleased to report that this has helped tame the tongues and clearly identify the errors.

4.  Provide Tools

Interpersonal conflicts are a reality of life. I believe spending the time to help siblings learn to effectively resolve their conflicts is a good investment in my future grandchildren's lives. And, I often remind the "warring" parties that learning this skill now will prevent pain in marriage.

5.   Maintain Physical Health Habits

Sloppy eating habits + too many late nights + not enough fluids + too much heat = crankiness.

Sometimes we are caught in conflicts that are really just symptoms of irritation.

6.  Sudden Trip to Dairy Queen

Doug reminded me to include this one. Hey, with this many teens in one house, sometimes we just need to call a truce and provide some sweet distraction! :) 

Gratefully linked to:
Making your Home Sing Monday
Modest Mondays

Image: Harry “Wilf_Mon.jpg” via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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Metalcore musician Tim Lambesis founded As I Lay Dying, a band that toured the Christian circuit.  He has recently been sentenced to six years in jail for attempting to have his wife murdered. 

Oh, and by the way, he says he is an atheist.

I guess we shouldn't be all that surprised to read the kind of story where fame caused someone to hide their true identity. But when that hidden identity was clearly portrayed by lyrics sung from an un-regenerated heart, then perhaps as parents we’d best take note.

Here’s a telling comment from Lambesis, quoted in an article by Jennifer LeClaire:

 A lot of Christian parents said, 'Yes, you can buy this As I Lay Dying CD, because they're a Christian band.' They don't even think to actually check the lyrics."

Who are our kids listening to??

And what are the lyrics to their songs?

Parents, one of the clearest clues I have ever seen to identifying what is truly going on in the life of you kids is to note their personal taste in music. What they want to listen to reflects what is stirring in their soul.

Note the choices they make when they are not in your presence.  Make rules when you must ... but more importantly, listen, truly listen to what the Holy Spirit will reveal to you about what is feeding their passions.

We cannot police our kids’ hearts. Oh, we think we can. But really we cannot. They are given the free will to "obey" us on the outside, but sing whatever song they choose in their own heads.

That is why we pray… and love… and watch.  

For we care about more than just their taste in music. We care about the outflow of their souls searching for the voice it will worship.

Image: Kamphuisgijs “AILD2” via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

 

 

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The same day I posted about the trouble with sleepovers, one of my friends sent me this article by Ashlyn Melton:

One heartbroken mother's plea to other parents: Ask if there's a gun in the house

I hope you will read this today.

Looks like we have another concern to consider when we send out kids into another home!!! I am certainly talking to my kids and taking note! 

Related post: What To Do About Sleepovers

Image:  Internet Persona “Vigilance”  via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

 

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I am often asked by parents about how to handle child sleepovers in their family. To even broach this subject can sometimes feel uncomfortable because it raises so many interwoven issues such as:

At what age are they safe?
At what homes?
With what rules?

So I sometimes hear people practice speeches such as...

"Now if you are at someone's house and anyone touches you in a private spot or shows you pictures of naked people, I want you to call me right away."

I can appreciate the training intended by those speeches, and I have said similar things myself. But let's think logically for a moment.

Statistics show that it is very unlikely that a child will actually call for help, even after being told to do so by his/her parents.  But even if the child did call, the abuse would already have occurred!

That is why I am going to make a deep proposal.

No sleepovers. None.

I know that might sound extreme, but I am not the only voice proposing such a thing.

"I think the day for sleepovers is over,” says James Dobson.” Child abuse is so rampant today and so pervasive that you just can't afford to run the risk…”

So here are my reasons:

1. I cannot always tell which houses would be safe.

2. I don't want the job of declaring some houses off-limits and some on.

3. I remember my own sleepover experiences. Nothing abusive....but definitely major peer pressure in the middle of the night.

4. I do not know if other kids or visitors will suddenly come into the party scene.

5. Normal child curiosity in these days is no longer safe. One wrong click and a whole group of children is exposed.  And one child acting out a scene from even an R rated movie.....well....

6. Night breeds secrecy.

7. Children who have suffered abuse sometimes like to tell other kids their secrets. Sleepovers encourage secret telling. My child is not the one who can help another child.

8. In their struggle to deal with their problems, children who have been abused may act out sexually.  This will often manifest behind a closed bedroom door.

9. Obviously, older siblings as well as the adults in a household could be dangerous.

10. I don't want my kids having to police this or figure this out. It is too complex and too hard for a child or even teen!

11. Abuse may not happen, but grooming behaviors and relational boundaries are more accessible in overnight situations in a household. Abuse can follow later.

12. Kids cannot easily report to anyone suspicious grooming behaviors. That defies the definition of grooming! 

13. The issue in question might not be sexual. It may be substance abuse or wrong media standards. Leaving that control to another adult (or child or teen) is a highly risky delegation of responsibility.

14. Experimentation of same sex attraction is a new teen trend. Wow, we need to be aware! 

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Hey, I figure that whatever wholesome, above board activities kids have planned can be accomplished at a good, well-supervised party. So, I am the parent who is more than willing to make the late night trip to get the kids.  It may be inconvenient, or uncomfortable, but our children’s safety trumps those feelings.

Maybe you are not ready to make this bold of a move. But ....if you are not, then I encourage you to think through all the issues and find what risks you can take.

Please consider getting a copy of our book Unmask the Predators, to help you sort through what you need to know.

Lisa Cherry

Image #1: Bunches and Bits (Karina) “IMG_9999"  via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Image #2:  Polly Hutchinson “Sleepover at the Bressons”  via Flickr Creative Commons
License:  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Gratefully linked to:
Fellowship Fridays
Heart-Filled Fridays
Modest Mondays
Making your Home Sing Monday
Babies &  Beyond
Titus 2 Tuesday