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Old 06-08-2010, 10:46 AM   #21
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Re: Thoughts on Sheltering

I think that kids should be exposed to things in an age-appropriate way. We don't watch tv at home - just movies and a few video games. My super active boys really don't need to be watching explosions or violence or crude humor. There are way too many parents out there who let their little kids watch things that I totally don't think are appropriate for them. I do also plan to offer to homeschool my kids through junior high as kids that age are just socially mean. Both my husband and I had a really tough time since we weren't part of the in-crowd and we'd like to spare our kids that experience. I do think that kids need to be around other kids in elementary school and by high school social interactions are a bit easier again. In general though, I'd rather have my kids see the world and so we can teach them about what's right through experience.


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Old 06-08-2010, 12:00 PM   #22
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Re: Thoughts on Sheltering

Your questions always make me think way to hard
I was very sheltered as a kid and I turned out fine (depending on who you ask lol!).
I will also shelter my kids-to a point. We do not listen to certain music, watch certain tv shows/movies, etc.
However my fil works in a homeless shelter that focuses on addict recovery and my kids have been around the people in these programs many times-either helping or interacting with them in a recreation setting (my fil started a soft ball team with some of the men in the program and we go every week and cheer them on ). Through these experiences my kids have had a bigger dose of 'reality' than many kids their ages and its really made them empathetic to others

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Old 06-08-2010, 07:12 PM   #23
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Re: Thoughts on Sheltering

very interesting topic and thread. i can't read everything; i just want to note that the amish let their teens run wild asa coming-of-age and most return to the amish way of life while others are "mainstream" forever. many do get into crazy partying, mingle with the opposite sex, etc while they are outside of the amish community but still find their way back and never leave again.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:25 PM   #24
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Re: Thoughts on Sheltering

Originally Posted by laur318 View Post
very interesting topic and thread. i can't read everything; i just want to note that the amish let their teens run wild asa coming-of-age and most return to the amish way of life while others are "mainstream" forever. many do get into crazy partying, mingle with the opposite sex, etc while they are outside of the amish community but still find their way back and never leave again.
I was going to mention that myself, but not as a good thing. While it's great that so many return to the fold, to me its not worth what they experiment with in order to get back. Some of those kids become drug addicts, go to jail, and so much more. I would much rather teach my child moderation of thought and action. But I guess its because I dont think you get a crazy period then you can come back with a clean slate like they do.

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Old 06-08-2010, 09:50 PM   #25
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Re: Thoughts on Sheltering

I think it's good to shelter to an extent, but not too much. As others have mentioned, this may include making sure the things our kids are exposed to are age-appropriate. My mom used to teach in a public elementary school, and she said it was amazing how many kids would come in talking about having watched Jason or Freddie Kruger movies. That's not age-appropriate for a little kid. A high schooler may choose to watch those types of movies, but when kids are little, I think as a parent, it's important to help guide them toward age-appropriate things, and sort of shield them from the things they are not old enough to deal with yet. I have this problem with my husband a lot. He was one who was allowed every sort of media from very early on, whereas I grew up in a house with only PBS (that was the only channel we got for years!), so he thinks nothing of watching violent war movies while the kids are in the room, while I would never do that. Although, I've got to admit, some of my PBS shows have freaked my daughter out 100x more than any of daddy's movies ever did. (I also recall being scared to death of something I saw on Nova once as a kid. It happens. Every parent who has TV screws up and lets their kid watch something that's inadvertantly scary at some point. I can own up to that screw-up of mine.)

I also admit that I sheltered my daughter from the reality of war for as long as I could. She knew that daddy went to work far away, and was gone for a long time. When she asked what he was doing there, I told her he was running the motorpool, the same way he does at home. (He was assigned as Company Motor Sergeant at that time.) She knows that daddy is a mechanic and that his job is to make sure things get fixed, so I never told her about bad guys, mortar attacks, or any of the scary stuff. I never told her about the times we nearly lost him. To this day, I haven't. But when she went to Pre-K, some kid was talking all big and bad about how his daddy was in Iraq to kill bad guys, and my daughter came home really confused. She said, "Mommy, is daddy in iRat?" (That's how she said Iraq at the time. LOL So cute!) and I said, "Yes, he is. How did you know that?" and she said that this boy had told her, and then she said that he told her that the bad guys in Iraq were trying to kill her daddy. She was SO sad and upset, and I seriously wanted to wring that other mom's neck for not keeping that tidbit of information from her 4-year-old, but I told my daughter that there were bad guys in Iraq, but they weren't daddy's job. His job was to make sure stuff got fixed, just like always, and she did not need to worry about anything. That was an ongoing battle throughout that school year, but I never did mention anything to that other mom. She seemed frazzled enough as it was, and I knew I probably wouldn't be nice, so it was better for everyone that I just deal with mine and leave her to deal (or not deal, as the case was) with hers.

Other than things like this, I think sheltering can be bad. It is my natural inclination to not allow my daughter to play at kids' houses whose parents feed them junk food, or who don't observe proper car seat safety, or who have video games in the home, and things like that, but it's not worth it. My mom even told me this. She said that she had the same inclination when it came to me and my sister, but she had to squelch it, because if we got to a certain age, and had never seen junk food, or a video game, or any of the other stuff that didn't exist in our simple little organic farming life, then we'd go nuts when we finally were exposed to it. I think she's right about that, so I try to loosen up a little and let my kids be around people whose parenting styles are different, but it's rather difficult because a lot of it seriously grates my nerves. I think that's par for the course, though.

I think this sheltering issue is even more pertinent to older kids, teens especially. I do not think that it's good to shelter high school aged kids much at all, because they can and will rebel hardcore.

As far as religion, I don't shelter my kids whatsoever from any MODERATE religious views. I do not accept nor condone extremism in any of its many forms, but any moderate view (and the vast majority of churches, temples, etc. fall into that category) is welcome. My kids are free to choose their own faiths, and the only way they will know what's right for them is if they are allowed to be around as many as they want. My daughter is Theravada Buddhist like daddy, but if she changed her mind, that would be fine with us. Her spirit, her choice. The same goes for our son when he's old enough to understand these things. We don't shelter from religion (other than extremism) at all.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:41 AM   #26
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Re: Thoughts on Sheltering

I am attempting to shelter my girls from the outside world and I think as their mother I have every right to do just that. We homeschool, live in a very tight, home, and my 2 sisters house. They don't even get to be around my mother much since she is an alcoholic and smokes so bad I can't go in her house for fear of coughing to death. My 6yo doesn't get to spend the night at anyone elses house but maybe once ever 6 months and then it has been only at my 2 sisters houses. My 6yo does have to go with her dad 2 days a week and I obviously have no control over what she sees and does there. We rarely have the TV on and she doesn't get to watch murder, rape, sex, etc. If she does get to watch TV she gets a movie that is selected by me. I don't even let them watch the cartoons that are on TV because some of the characters are pretty questionable, even for kids. She has got to watch a couple shows of Busy Town.

Some might think that is harsh and cruel to my kids but they are my kids and I will expose them to what I think is appropriate and shelter them from what I think is not.

I realize that I can't hide them from the outside world forever but I do not want them to get "desensitized" to murder, sex, single sex, gay (not bashing here, just not in my morals), weapons, violence, lying, cheating, crime, disrespectful attituteds exhibited in Sponge Bob and Bart Simpson and even Junie B Jones (she is so naughty that I will NOT let DD read them!)

Just my

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Old 06-09-2010, 01:04 PM   #27
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Re: Thoughts on Sheltering

Originally Posted by laur318 View Post
very interesting topic and thread. i can't read everything; i just want to note that the amish let their teens run wild asa coming-of-age and most return to the amish way of life while others are "mainstream" forever. many do get into crazy partying, mingle with the opposite sex, etc while they are outside of the amish community but still find their way back and never leave again.
There are several problems with the Amish situation. Many are hurt during their coming of age bout in the mainstream. They party too hard and are too naive to protect themselves. This leads to them being taken advantage of, becoming drug addicted and winding up in jail. The other issue here is why they return. Many return because they just plain can't make it on their own. They are so sheltered they cannot make their way in the "real" world. They don't know how to operate technology, how to work a typical job or how to navigate society. There is nothing specific wrong with living the Amish lifestyle however their children are at a distinct disadvantage when trying to enter mainstream life. They have essentially assured their children will return to the flock by handicapping them. Each year the gulf between the mainstream and Amish widens, it is no surprise these kids feel unable to bridge it.
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Old 06-11-2010, 01:00 PM   #28
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Re: Thoughts on Sheltering

Hmm. I think I probably shelter my boys some. They don't watch adult TV, only shows that are appropriate for their age (which unfortunately for me means I have several episodes of PBS shows memorized). They will not be allowed to listen to music full of profanity or sexual references as long as they live with us. Also, we watch with them and discuss things that happen on whatever show it is. So I'm not that concerned if they are ten and twelve and a sexual situation comes up on a show we are watching as a family, because it gives us an opportunity to discuss what we believe about sex and when it is appropriate.
Now, IRL? That's a little different for me. As far as school goes, I want my kids to be armed with correct information about things before they go to school and get bombarded with misinformation from their friends. I want them to know what we as a family believe before they are around a whole bunch of kids who believe differently. I didn't get that privilege as a kid, and it wound up getting me made fun of pretty badly. I knew I wasn't allowed to wear pants, but I had no concept of why. I just knew what the rule was.
I think as far as religion goes, the religious leaders in your situation sound a little... I don't know if paranoid is the right word? If you as a family are strong in your beliefs, your kids' friends aren't going to change that about them. Just make sure there is an open line of communication with your kids so they will come to you anytime it comes up. Make sure you are teaching them the tenets of your religion and WHY YOU BELIEVE THEM. At some point, they will experience the real world. If they do it now, while still living under your instruction, it won't be able to "taint" them when they are adults and have learned to deal with it on their own.
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Old 06-11-2010, 01:39 PM   #29
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Re: Thoughts on Sheltering

well "sheltered" is one of those ideas that vary so widely from person to person. it is just too massive a discussion to put into one post. I really don't care if other people think my kids are sheltered. I am the parent and it is my responsibility to make decisions for them regarding what is and is not appropriate or not. In general, I don't want them carrying burdens, thoughts, ideas that are just not okay for a little mind to carry. I saw plenty when I was young and wish there was someone there to protect me from those things. I would rather "shelter" them than allow too much into their lives that is not healthy or safe for their minds and bodies. If that is not being a parent, then I don't know what is.
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:15 PM   #30
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Re: Thoughts on Sheltering

I think sheltering your kids is definately neccessary to a point you know, you don't want them to be weirdos when they turn 18 or anything, but do they really need to know the ugly things of the world at 10? I worked with the 5/6th grade group at my church for awhile and was shocked when I heard that some were already having sex. 5th or 6th grade?!?!
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