Wynter Pitts is the founder of For Girls Like You, a ministry to girls (age 6-11) and their parents, that includes a quarterly print magazine, journal, and other print and web resources. Wynter has a passion and drive to introduce young girls to Christian values in a way that they are able to palate and digest, so they can walk passionately and boldly in who God has created them to be. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Wynter resides in Dallas, Texas. You can find Wynter on Twitter and Facebook, and at her site, http://www.forgirlslikeyou.com/.
I like to think that I’ve done my share of preparation in regards to preserving the innocence of my daughters. I have prayed, read the top books, highlighted the key points, and engaged in personal conversations with parenting experts and best-selling authors. Not to mention, I started a magazine based on my convictions to protect and preserve the innocence of all of our girls!
So why was I totally unprepared when I found that my eight year old daughter had searched “sexy girl games” in the apps store on her ipod?!
The conversation went something like this:
Me (after a moment of collecting pieces of my shattered heart off of the floor):
Uhhhh Sweetie, what’s this?
I was just, I was just…I wasn’t going to download it…I….(mentally debating on if she should play the devastated victim role or deny at all costs)
What were you looking for? What does sexy mean?
It means love and cute…I was just looking for games for cute girls….(at this point devastated victim won and she went into a full fledge meltdown while I helplessly looked at Daddy and screamed HELPPPPP with my eyes!)
Although discipline was in order because of the deceptiveness and trust issue, ultimately her search for answers opened my eyes to see that my job is not solely protection, but relentless preemptive attacks.
For some reason I thought that my thorough preparation would protect her from the voices of her peers and images in our society at large. However, while I was busy preserving and protecting her innocence, a television commercial, a song on the radio, a stranger’s outfit in Target, or a friend at school sparked her curiosity and exposed her to concepts and misconstrued messages of sex and love.
While I was using vague explanations like “not appropriate for girls your age,” she was searching for real answers and truth on her own.
We cannot protect our children simply by sheltering them, we must prepare them by filling them with God’s truth on life before Satan plants his seeds of deceit.
Here are 4 foundational ways to protect our kids as well as prepare them!
1. Build trust:
Your kids need to know that they can trust you and that you trust them. The thing that was most devastating for me was not that my daughter was looking for answers, but that she was looking somewhere else. Let them know that they can talk to you and get truth, not just vague words to brush over real questions.
2. BECOME the expert and BE the example:
Never look too surprised or shocked by what your kids say! They don’t need to see you sweat. They need to believe that you know what you are talking about! They also need to SEE that you believe and follow your own advice! Your actions will always speak louder and last longer than your words.
3. Create opportunities for dialogue:
Don’t be afraid to ask your kids what they think about certain concepts and situations. Whether it’s a real life outfit or a made-up friendship, look for opportunities to engage in conversations with them. They may often surprise you with their knowledge and it will give you a chance to correct any false concepts or ideas they may be holding.
4. Trust God:
No matter how hard we try, how many conferences we attend or books we read, we will never cover it all. Satan will always view innocence and purity as a major fortress to attack. On our own, we simply cannot win. Pray over your kids fervently and seek God’s wisdom for every decision you make concerning them!