You know the phrase “From the mouths of babes?” Most of the time, people use that phrase when children say something profoundly true or spiritual.
Well, I think it can also apply when they say something that shouldn’t be true, but it is too often – when they say something that causes reflection, and possibly change in one’s life.
This happened to me a few weeks ago. Rigel and I were sitting at the table eating lunch. All of a sudden he clearly articulated,
“When I am an adult, I can watch bad movies with bad words!”
I was taken aback, and wondered who told him that or why he thought that. I knew I hadn’t told him that, and I told him that Daddy and I don’t watch movies like that.
He then said, “Yes you do. There are movies you don’t let me watch. They are bad movies with bad words.”
He was right that there are movies he doesn’t watch that we watch, but I explained to him that some movies he wouldn’t understand or enjoy due to his young age. Jad and I actually don’t keep any movie in the house we wouldn’t want our kids to watch, and when we watch movies we don’t own, we use VidAngel to cut out language, nudity, and other things we aren’t comfortable watching.
I don’t think that Rigel’s definitions of “bad words” and “bad movies” match mine, but it still got me thinking a lot.
Then, the following day, I spoke to a friend whose nephew had called his sister a bad name. When she corrected him and asked him not to do that, he showed his understanding, by saying when he grew up he would be able to use that word. Where did he get that from?
These two interactions left my heart aching. My husband and I try really hard to practice what we preach. We do have very high morals when it comes to entertainment and speech. We aren’t perfect, but want our kids to fill their lives with things that are virtuous, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy (Articles of Faith 1:13, Phillippians 4:8).
My heart was hurting as I thought of other children in the world whose parents do use bad language consistently around them but tell them not to do the same, or who do watch movies with content that they hide from their kids (or worse – don’t).
Kids are like sponges. They will hear what words you use, they will hear how you speak about others, they will find a way to view those movies or books you are hiding from them – and then they will adopt that behavior themselves.
I truly believe that as parents, we have been given a God-given responsibility to be righteous examples to our children. We should study the words of Christ, and carefully determine what things we will allow in our homes. I believe home should be a holy place – a haven from the world. We must make it that way through our our words, our actions, and the tangible objects we allow in.
I hope I can help my children fill in the blank differently. Rather then, “When I am an adult, I can do bad things,” they will say, “When I am an adult, I can”:
- Get a good college education.
- Earn a job in my chosen career field, and try to change the world for the better.
- Continue to share the gospel of Christ.
- Marry my sweetheart and start a family.
- Work hard to support my family physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
- Love my children, my spouse and the Lord with all of my heart.
- Be a good friend to all.
- Use my talents and time to help others.
- Learn new skills, such as gardening, fixing cars, or cooking new foods.
- Continue to improve myself each and every day.
What do you want your kids to say?