Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Parenting, Intentional & Purposeful.....

In prep for an upcoming family trip to the New England area, I came across another instance where I can be, what I call, an Intentional Parent.

I was looking around for something for our family to do on Labor Day Monday. I wanted to do something more "educational" and active than just laying on the beach. Sitting around isn't really something that my family does - we are an ACTIVE family. So, I started looking at some of the festivals or farms/mazes in the area.

I considered the King Richard's Faire. I had lived in the Boston area for about 7 years and never went, even though that is one of the most popular fairs in the area. Thinking it might be neat for Eliel to see the horses, the kings and queens in their getups and so on, I looked at the entertainment and activities list. Um, I was NOT impressed with the highlights which included, a Cleavage Contest (how low can you go without baring it? was the show's "theme"), a Torture Show, a Town Brawl, a Wet Dirty Women show and an axe and knife throw show.


Is this really what I want to expose my family/children to? In some ways, I understand that the above "activities" may have been part of the Middle ages, but what about the codes of chivalry, knighthood, loyalty (where are the Crusades???) --- why is there absolutely NO focus or "entertainment" along these lines? And I know that in today's society, the choice between a cleavage contest and a "chivalry demonstration" or a soldier being knighted is yawn, not a hard choice -- seriously! Fair owners, you can't get more creative than a CLEAVAGE CONTEST? Why do I feel a Faire such as this one is just a few inches short of a strip club-debauchery brewhouse combo? And just as a side note, and pay $23 an adult for this?

So we moved on, deciding THAT will not be one of our activities.
What about a corn maze at a farm?

That seemed a better choice but even there, there are subtleties of evil, darkness (whatever you want to call it....it's not of God and Light). For example, each year, the corn mazes decide what image they will design. Usually, a Fall theme or something locally attributed, you might find...

Under the Sea

Space Adventures

Circus Theme

or even something local and fun like "Celebrating Ohio"

HOWEVER, the ones that were available this year in the area we were going to included:

The Headless Horseman

Blackbeard's Revenge

Family Guy

Over and over again, it is amazing to me to see how easily evil gets into our life. Actually, it's easy, because we let it. It's more than turning a blind eye -- it's not OPENING our eyes! It's not the passive response of "well, we will go for the fun of it and explain it all later...". It's the ACTIVE response of "No, we are not going and supporting that OR exposing our kids to that". We give our kids a subtle message that it is actually okay - because we are participating in it, despite a 2 minute disgruntled talk about how bad it is.

I've never been the mom that dressed my children (or myself) in skulls/crossbones, in celebrity clothing (esp from those athletes and musicians that are probably more well known for their criminal/devious acts than their "real careers") or laughingly called my children "little monsters or little devils". In fact, when family members have said something along those lines, I have calmly but directly asked them not to refer to my children as such, ESPECIALLY in front of them.

I do believe we have to be INTENTIONAL about what we SERVE to our kids. Just like we are intentional about what we serve them at dinner time --- don't you make sure there are veggies on the plate, that the food is nutritious, that they had enough liquids, that they are fed --- why wouldn't you do this for their intellectual and spiritual appetites as well?

And just for the record, the Bible calls and commands us, as parents, to train and direct, to lead our children, to guide them, to discipline and to protect. Our actions, from the very start, even when they are as young as my son (2.5 years old) are important and will either lead them onto the right path or to one that is so destructive (in both obvious and not so obvious ways) and that much harder to get off of. Why wouldn't you want to give the BEST for your child, instead of exposing him to the likes of Family Guy (seriously?!) and then HOPING s/he comes out with a good, righteous character and sound mind?

So what are we planning on doing?
We did find a corn maze that is doing a "family-friendly" theme, that of a local sports winning the Stanley Cup.

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