I watched The Oprah Show last Friday which featured Tyler Perry and 200 men who were victims of childhood sexual abuse. The show was heartbreaking to watch. Oprah shared the statistics that 1 out of 4 girls are sexually abused by the age of 18, and that 1 out of 6 boys are sexually abused by the age of 18. My jaw dropped. I couldn't believe it.
Many people when having daughters think about how they have to watch out for their daughters so they are not taken advantage of. Most people don't think about being overprotective with their boys. But, now, parents really need to be.
It makes me consider being an overprotective parent. I know in our society overprotective parents are kind of made fun of, and often told to loosen up, let their child go and have fun, you don't have to be around them all the time, etc. But, now I'm thinking being overprotective is the best and safest way to raise my children.Many of these stories these young boys shared involved trusted males in their lives from fathers to stepfathers, uncles, older counsins, priests and other church leaders, boy scout leaders, and even teachers! It's scary!!
It makes me feel distrustful of leaving my children alone while they are young with anyone besides their grandparents.
While watching the show I thought about Elizabeth Krueger whose wonderful website, Raising Godly Tomatoes, has great advice for raising Godly children. She talks about how she keeps her children close to her, and doesn't really allow them to associate with people outside of their family. When they do socialize with others it's as a family. She doesn't allow her teenagers to hang out with their friends without parental supervision.
When I first read about that on her website I thought maybe that was taking it a bit overboard, but now I'm not so sure. I think while children are young, up to their teen years children need to be very closely observed and mainly kept around their family if at all possible. I think doing otherwise is just too risky this day and age.
And honestly, it's not just this day and age, this has been going on for awhile. Most of the men on the show were in their 30-50's, some even older than that. So this is not somethng new. I know of an older relative in her 50's who said that her parents went fishing many weekends and left her and her siblings in the care of their aunt and her family. She has often said that she wished that her parents were more observant and protected them more, because things went on there that shouldn't have. She has been molested by family members, and feels that if her mother had been more watchful then it probably wouldn't have happened.
I just feel that parents have a responsiblity to protect their children, even if it means being overprotective. Sure, allow children to have their friends come over, allow yourself a break now and then and let them stay with grandparents or someone you really trust. But, for the most part, I think children need to be with their parents where they can keep a watchful eye on their children and raise and train them up in the way that they should go.