I remember the time when I was accused of something, and the accusation was true! I was found guilty of sheltering my children. I proudly admitted my guilt, and I rejoiced in the truth of it!
You see, God gave me that job as a parent.
Sheltering or protecting our children has become something that people think is bad, but protecting our children is God’s plan!
In Richard Fugate’s book, Will early Education Ruin My Child? he talks about Proverbs 22:6: Train up a child in the way he should go.
He explains that the Hebrew word translated train means “to make narrow” and “to strangle”.
Parents are to restrict their children’s paths and protect them.
We need to protect them from wrong influences and activities. We must keep guard! We must watch their friendships and monitor their TV viewing. We need to check what they’re reading, what they are listening to, and what they’re doing on the internet.
I love this quote from the book Courage to Flee:
What are your children watching in their rooms or listening to on those headphones? Who is your child e-mailing or texting? When they go out at night, do you know where they are going, and with whom they are spending time? Do you have access to your child’s email account?
Some may call this snooping: I call it being involved. If your child is resistant to your knowing, shouldn’t that bother you? What is there to hide anyway? Typically, things done under the cover of darkness and secrecy bring death and destruction.
Parents must be involved and active in order to assist their children in developing the necessary skills to survive in this lust-crazed world. The training must begin when children are young and be consistently applied.
This will take a lot of time, but no on ever said that parenting was easy. To be effective, it involves a great deal of self-sacrifice and time on the parent’s part. The training of their children has been delegated to parents from the very hand of God, and we must be willing to invest ourselves completely in the task.
It seems to me like it would be pretty hard to overdo it in this area. “Strangling” is pretty restrictive!
If you are accused of sheltering your kids, say Thank you! Glory in doing the job God gave you. You need to be more aware and careful of what’s going on in your kids’ lives. You must guard them and guide them.
Now, there is such a thing as “overprotecting” your child.
For example, over protection involves not holding your children responsible for their actions.
We shouldn’t make excuses for our kids’ wrong behavior or mistakes, but should let them suffer the consequences. They learn that way!
If your child leaves a toy outside after being told to bring it in (and reminded), if the toy gets ruined, don’t run and get them another one.
I once had a girl who took piano lessons from me, and she repeatedly forgot to bring her piano books to school with her. I finally called her mom and asked her to help.
She suggested that they buy an extra set of books for me to keep at school so she wouldn’t have to worry about remembering to bring them. THAT is over protection! It could have been a great way to teach responsibility and build character.
Another way of over protecting is by not allowing your kids to fail. Don’t keep them back from something because they might not make it.
We learn from failure and often those lessons leave a lasting impression.
Some parents defend their kids when they’ve done wrong. This is definitely overdoing it! If they do wrong, make them admit it and don’t cover for them.
Another thing you cannot do is protect your children from hurt and unfairness. That is part of life. They will be hurt and treated unfairly at times.
The thing to do is teach them how to respond to it properly.
Let’s strive to shelter and protect our kids the way God planned, and guide them in a narrow path. Don’t worry that you’re over protecting when you keep them from harmful activities or influences. Restrict their path as God planned!