Offering Them Alternatives

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In this excellent blog entry about Muslim child brides and the lost innocence of children, blogger Quirino Sugon asks, “We may condemn the Muslim practice of child brides, but have we also looked at our own culture and try to see how far custom essays uk we have wrought emotional, moral, and spiritual harm to little children through our sex education in classrooms, movies, and TV shows?”

That the general moral environment is not child-friendly goes without saying. Even schools, which ought to be safe spaces for children, fail to provide a wholesome moral environment, what with things like classroom sex education, sexually-explicit selections being assigned in literature classes….Every conscientious parent knows they have to be on top of what their children learn in school, what they read, what they watch, what they listen to, what they view on the internet.

Not surprisingly, the question arises of whether a good Christian home must necessarily be a repressive one. I grew up in one of such good Christian homes, and it was far from repressive. At the same time, things like custody of the eyes and the curiosity were transmitted naturally. How my parents succeeded is a mystery, but I attribute a large part of it to them giving us alternatives to TV viewing.

My parents have excellent tastes in music, art, and literature, and transmitted them to us. They also encouraged us to have wholesome hobbies and interests. With this, it was easy for them to limit our TV viewing to the barest minimum, and only to previously approved shows. For with so many interesting activities to pursue, who would want to waste time with cheap variety shows on TV?

Whenever we did watch TV or movies as a family, we discussed them family afterwards (and still do). This way, we develop criteria to assess whatever we view. It is also a great opportunity to get to know each other as a family as everyone expresses his or her own views.

Granted, the challenges to establishing a good Christian home are more than they were during the time that my parents raised us, but I know parents who still heroically succeed. Furthermore, even as new developments like the Internet are sources of filth, they are also sources of good things like educational websites.

I agree with the father who once told me that parenting involves a marketing strategy; parents must convince their children to buy the values that the parents want to transmit. In addition to guiding their children on what they should not watch, read, or listen to, parents must offer their children alternatives and show their children what is good in the world. A morally safe good Christian home need not be a repressive one. One may learn to enjoy life while growing up in these homes, especially with the exposure to truth, goodness, and beauty.

Cristina Montes

Cristina Montes

Cristina Montes, from the Philippines, is a lawyer, writer, amateur astronomer, a gardening enthusiast, a voracious reader, a karate brown belter, an avid traveler, and a lover of birds, fish, rabbits, and horses. She is a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan who reads the entire trilogy once a year. She is the eldest daughter in a large, happy Catholic family.

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