Thursday, April 10, 2008

Parenting a virtuous child - is it possible??

Hearing about the girl who got beat up by her "friends", who then posted the whole thing on YouTube, makes me fear for my parenting future. What in the name of Heaven lies down the road for me as a mom? It's just plain scary. How will I ever make it through? Will I be able to raise my kids to live a life of virtue in the midst of such depravity? How will I walk the fine line of teaching them how to be in the world, but not of the world? How do I teach them to make wise choices and stand on their own, while at the same time, creating appropriate boundaries and limits?

Oy vey.

[Side note: I am not pregnant. My reference to "kids" and "them" are due to our plan to have at least one more child at some point in the future.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...]

This week I came across this blog and I have been eagerly absorbing it. I even went back to the oldest post and have been reading through the archives. Can I tell you how encouraged I am?? I can? Great! I AM SO ENCOURAGED!!

Whew - thanks for letting me get that out.

The author of the blog is Vicki Courtney, founder of Virtuous Reality Ministries and author of lots of books. She's also been on CNN, Fox News, and CNN Headline News to discuss issues impacting teens (and the parents of teens.) Here is an excerpt of an email I sent to Vicki's ministry earlier today:

I have a precious baby girl who is 18 months old, and even before I got pregnant I knew that parenting would be a challenge considering the day and age in which we live. I've already started to dread the future and brace myself for the battles that lie ahead, where my husband and I will probably be the awful, horrible, strict, and living-in-the-dark-ages parents. I never worried that we would be fighting this battle alone - I know lots of godly parents who are currently fighting and will continue to fight - but I did feel an overwhelming helplessness, not knowing exactly how to fight.

Vicki's words have served as a rally cry for me. A place to start. An instruction manual for war. I feel like I am donning my camoflage, surveying the enemy territory, and mapping out my battle plan. In a time where the media and our culture want to put down my standards and parenting philosophies, it is so refreshing to have a public voice actually affirming me. Telling me to stand strong, don't give up, what you are doing is right. ... I suddenly feel capable of doing this. I feel that I can raise my daughter (and future children) to lead a virtuous life. It's possible. I don't have to give up before I start.

If you are a parent, or hope to be a parent some day, or even if you are a person of influence in a kid's life, I encourage you to visit Vicki's blog. The main part of her ministry focuses on the challenges of being/raising a teen girl, but it is applicable to raising girls and boys of any age.

Here is a post that made me outraged, but is very eye-opening to what is out there to entice young girls.

Here is a post that made me smile, and reminded me to be thankful for the stage I'm in.

Here is the very first archived post, which gives an awesome example of what I mentioned before - living the fine line between being in the world but not of it, and teaching kids to make good decisions while also being wise about establishing boundaries and limits.

Here are Vicki's thoughts on the situation I mentioned at the beginning, about the video on YouTube showing a teen girl getting beat up.

I could continue posting examples, but maybe you should just head on over to Virtue Alert and discover your own favorite posts.

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