Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Influence from Friends

My husband and I have chosen to homeschool our darling daughters. This decision started for one particular reason, but has grown into a plethora of reasons. The main reason {now} is that we want to glorify God in all that we do.

In school, children learn much more than what the teacher puts on the blackboard. Yes, there are many controversial issues that Christians will battle the public school textbook on, for sure {evolution, young Earth, dinosaurs, God's hand in all of history}.  

We really are more concerned with the lessons that our daughters would learn in the hallways, lunchroom and bathrooms. The friendships they would develop. The influence these friends will have in their lives in regards to music, movie, TV shows, clothing, jewelry, make-up, and even the way they talk. Friends can be a very strong influence in a child's life and they should be chosen wisely. They can easily influence a person do live foolishly and take their eyes off of God.

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, 
nor go with a wrathful man,
lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
Proverbs 22:24-25

After reading "Six Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl" this summer, I am also more aware of how Satan can use outside influences to harm the purity and sensitive consciences of our kiddos when they are very young. The younger they are when they are exposed to "cultural junk", the greater harm it can be. What may be OK for a 13 year old to watch, is confusing and even harmful for a 7 year old.

Homeschooling has been a great option because I can basically pick who our daughters are spending time with and therefore, have a great influence on the friendships they are developing. These are typically like-minded Christians from church and our co-op. It has been great!

One goal we had for the summer was to get to know our neighbors. This has proven to be challenging. They are not believers and since the live next door, it is hard to limit the time spent with the girls. It turns out that kids these days are very eager to spend time away from their homes - at least it seems that way when they knock on our backdoor 10 minutes after they get dropped off by the bus.

We have been very diligent to supervise conversations {so far}. There have been a couple of times where the girls next door do not understand why we do things differently {homeschool, not listening to pop music or watching certain shows}. But most of this has been pretty harmless.

Until last weekend.

There was a lot of chaos as our neighbors were having a big birthday party {and somehow all the kids wanted to play in our yard}. I looked out and noticed our 7 yr old and one of the neighbor girls weren't in the backyard. I sent the sister over to get them.

My daughter came home with a funny look on her face. I asked what they were doing and she said watching Martha Speaks on youtube. When I asked if that was all they watched, the tears streamed down her cheeks. She was very upset and very confused.

And I was getting angry....

What on Earth had the girl exposed my daughter to? They watched something  on youtube that has left my daughter very upset. What could it be??

She was so embarrassed that she didn't want to tell what it was.

I was getting angrier by the second, wrapped in compassion and love for my lil' girl.

It turns out that it wasn't as bad as it could have been, but because of her sensitive conscience {thankfully}, she was knew it was wrong to watch all the same.

So I had to have a talk with the friends next door. I had to explain what it meant that we are Christians.

But that'll be in the next post....stay tuned.

Have your kids been exposed to something from their friends that you weren't prepared for? Did a friend influence them to do something they shouldn't {or should have} have done?

I can remember so many choices that I made based on the bad influence from friends. Not blaming them because it was my own decision, but they presented me with options that I never would have thought of on my own.

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