My kids came home singing a song by LMFAO and I was not happy about it. To be fair the song sounds like fun and they had no idea what the song was actually about. Little did they know that their dad is a culture genius. Actually no one knew that. The truth is I didn’t know the song, except for the few lines of the chorus they were singing. After some questioning about the origin of this song, I found out that a third grade student on the bus has an I-Pod and is playing this garbage on the bus.
Gone are the days when young kids were not being bombarded with sexually suggestive messages on the school bus I guess. This produced an opportunity to talk about why we don’t listen to that music in our home and why. I have no idea why a parent would allow their 8-year-old to have such trash on their I-Pod. I know I hear a lot about how they are just songs and they don’t have any bearing on what people do. I disagree. If you fill your mind with garbage, garbage comes out. What are parents of elementary kids to do to help steer them in the right direction when the culture is pressing in on all sides?
Live it out
I know I might be some sort of anomaly, but I will not listen to things on the radio that I would be embarrassed if my kids repeated. Call me old school or uptight if you want, but I teach my children to think about what is true. The best way to teach them is to do it yourself.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. – Philippians 4:8
I ask a lot of questions, but not in the judge and jury sort of way. It is interesting to hear about the people they know at school and the things that are talked about at school. There is a lot of positive interaction and plenty of negative. It helps to talk about some of the negative things and provide some help from the Bible as to how we react to those things. The goal is to integrate the truth of God’s Word to their daily life. Yes, you can do that even in elementary school. I believe it must be done early, or else it will not be done.
Dialogue is Better Than Edicts
I told my boys that we want to stop singing the song because it doesn’t honor God. They seemed alright with that. Then maybe 10 minutes later my oldest son told me that it was stuck in his head and he was concerned he was going to sing it again. Do I need to come down hard on him? No. What I told him was to think about what is true and sing something else instead. Instead of saying something with anger or stern tones, I have found it works better to reinforce the positive in order to help them avoid the negative.
My oldest son came home yesterday with permanent marker on his pants and shirt. When asked about it he said that someone in his class did it to him because another classmate told him to. In the offender’s defense my son said, “well, he was told to do it; he didn’t have a choice.” Really? Is that how things are? You see as annoying as this was for us, it was also an opportunity to tell him that he did have a choice. And even though marker boy was not trying to ruin his pants and shirt, he did make a choice to write on them. The dialogue works and it keeps kids applying the truth of God’s Word to their world.
As parents we must prepare our kids for godliness in this world. I know that it is challenging, but it is worth the fight. Parents, we must stay involved in what our kids are doing, thinking, saying and consuming as media. If we become passive, they will default to what their friends are thinking and that is unacceptable. It is not time to get lazy, it is time to get involved.