Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Protecting Our Children

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.


Love Abounds At Home said...

Very good post! I agree 100%....keep your children close. I did and now that some are young adults, I don't regret it.

Suzanne said...

Absolutely, keep them close! Not in a suffocating way, but really check out where their hearts are.

Ubiquitous Pidgeon said...

It's worth noting, however, that 85% of child molesters are known to their victims, and 85% of THOSE are the child's own father, his/her stepfather, or his/her mother's boyfriend. Statistically, children are often LEAST safe at home.

Kate said...

Very good post! Slightly off topic, but along the same lines, we really REALLY need to instill in our young boys to NOT get entangled intimately with young women they are not married to NO MATTER WHAT! So many young men are getting in trouble, even arrested and put on s*x offender registries because even if it's consentual, it's his word against hers and she usually wins! My brother's neighbor is a "level 2 s*x offender" because when he was 18, he was with a 16 year old girl. Her parents found out and had him arrested. They are now happily married and have 2 children, but he's still considered a level 2 s*x offender.

Audrey said...

Agreed!! It's hard to keep your children safe from harm when you're letting them wander the world (literally and figuratively) exploring by themselves.

And contrary to what I've been told, no, it's not a "good learning experience"!!!

Great post!

Jennifer @ Just Peachy in Dixie said...

I completely agree! I would rather be labeled as overprotective, than sorry that I was not more careful.

Thanks for sharing!
Jennifer @ http://www.justpeachyindixie.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

No one would have ever thought my dad was sexually abusing my brother. He was worship leader, youth leader, very "spiritual" man all the while sick in the head. I now have 3 boys and he is not allowed to even see my children with out my husband being RIGHT there. Since they live far away, and my husband isn't going to take a vacation just to watch him while visiting there is no visiting allowed at this time. YOU CAN"T BE TOO CAREFUL!There is a book written for children teaching them discretely to identify a situation and then to "yell and tell" If I could get this book into the hands of every child I would. Check out the following link for more info on the book.

S. Belle said...

Ubiquitous Pidgeon, those stats are really alarming and sad!

Kate, I totally agree with you about premarital sex. I know of quite a few young men, too, who are labeled as sex offenders because of consensual sex with a 15 or 16 year old girl.

Jennifer, my thoughts exactly!

Anonymous, I will check out that link. You're right, we can never be too careful.

L.H. said...

Amen! I am so with you. There are times that I really need a break, but I try to leave my children with my mom or my best friend.

For me, being at other relatives homes who have "guest" and other random people coming in and out to visit, etc, led to alot of bad influences for my brother and I. I am really concerned about that as well.

Great post!


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