December212012.com
FREEBIE LIBRARY!
Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

50 Shades of Frustration

50 Shades of Frustration

Those of you who know me well know that I am a person of strong passion and conviction. I am fiercely loyal, intensely focused, and highly opinionated.

If you’re a newer reader here, you’ve probably not seen this side of me as much as those who know me well have seen it. I’ve learned, from numerous mistakes, that there are many things that are better left unsaid online.

We have a very diverse group of readers here and I don’t feel like my calling is to stir up debate and controversy. Instead, I want to encourage, inspire, and challenge you to live lives of intention and purpose.

So most of my strong words and passionate beliefs are reserved for conversations with those I know best. However, every once in awhile, I just cannot hold back… and today is one of those days.

I hadn’t planned to blog about the whole 50 Shades debate. It’s long been swirling and, with the movie releasing this week, it’s escalating to epic proportions. While I believe that some debate and intense conversations can be healthy and helpful, much of the debate has seemed to be polarizing and divisive. In my (yup, strong!) opinion, conversations that only serve to create an “us” versus “them” mindset don’t foster anything worthwhile.

As a result, I’ve skipped over blog posts and Facebook posts on the subject and kept silent on the topic. We don’t need any more division in our ranks than it seems we already have.

50 Shades of Frustration

But after this morning, I can keep silent no longer.

You see, Silas (my 5-year-old) had finished most of his Daily List and was getting ready to watch a YouTube LeapFrog video on my phone. I’d picked one out for him, clicked on it, and then was sitting next to him fixing one of the girl’s hair while he started to watch it.

As soon as it began playing, I knew something was seriously wrong. He flipped the phone over face down and acted very surprised. I could tell that the sounds coming from the phone weren’t LeapFrog sounds at all.

I quickly took the phone away to see what it was and was AGHAST to realize that it was a 50 Shades of Grey commercial playing!!! Yes, it was playing before a kid’s educational movie clip on YouTube. For real!

To say I was upset and frustrated was an understatement. So was my husband.

I know that YouTube is not completely safe no matter how many controls we put on it. I get that. And that’s why we’re careful to keep close tabs on what our kids are watching when they do watch YouTube clips.

But seriously? Surely YouTube could at least have the decency to ban commercials for R-rated movies from kid’s channels!!

It was a stark reminder to me that no matter how careful I am as a parent, my children are going to be exposed to things that I wish they wouldn’t be exposed to. I cannot completely bubble wrap their lives from things I feel are objectionable and unhealthy for them to be filling their minds with.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 1.01.54 PM

What Can We Do?

As I thought about this more over the course of the day, I realized that while it’s our job as parents to nurture our children, protect their little minds, and instill good values in them, there are ways we can take this a step further.

Instead of just being on the defensive and reacting to the bad attitudes, poor examples, and objectionable things they are exposed to, let’s become offensive and start being proactive about raising our children to be upstanding adults of strong character.

Here are 4 ways we can be on the offensive in our home:

1. We Can Provide Wholesome Role Models for Our Children

It has been well said that you become like the three people you’re closest to.

In the books we read to our kids, the media we watch as a family, the friends our children spend the most time with, and the teachers and coaches they have, we are seeking to have our children regularly rub shoulders with many wise mentors and models.

2. We Can Surround Our Children With Beauty & Purity

We want our kids to appreciate beauty and purity on a deep level, so we are encouraging them to read and listen to good books, develop a love of hymns and classical music, try their hand at drawing and painting, study historical men and women of character, and love the beauty of nature.

50 Shades of Frustration

3. We Can Fight For Our Marriage

A strong marriage takes enormous amounts of work, but it’s so worth fighting for. We’ve committed to do our best to prioritize our marriage over our kids, spend intentional time each week investing our marriage, constantly look for things to praise and express gratitude for in each other, and work hard to have honest communication between the two of us.*

4. We Can Teach Our Children to Be Critical Thinkers

We don’t want our children to blindly follow our beliefs or the beliefs of others. From the time they were little, we have asked them deep, open-ended questions on a variety of subjects (we let them answer and then we often follow up with, “Why do you believe that?”), encouraged them to question what they hear and make sure it’s valid, and to never accept anything at face value.

50 Shades of Frustration

How are you promoting beauty, wholesomeness, and a strong marriage in your home?

Note: This is a sensitive topic and one that could be highly controversial. By writing this post, I am not seeking to open a Pandora’s box of debate on whether or not you should read or watch 50 Shades. Because of this, comments of that nature will be deleted. Instead, I’d love to hear you chime on what you’re doing to promote beauty, wholesomeness, and a strong marriage in your own life and in the lives of your children.

*Update: Please note that section on marriage in this post was written for couples who are in healthy relationships where both parties love each other and want to work on issues together and personally. If your spouse is abusive, please, please, please don’t hide the abuse out of fear or let your spouse convince you it’s your fault. Get help immediately.

Subscribe for free email updates from December212012® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!

213 Comments

  • andrea says:

    Very good post. As a (hopefully) future parent I appreciate the wisdom in the thought that instead of sheltering our children we provide them with the tools to make good decisions.

  • Melissa B says:

    What I’m doing to promote beauty, wholesomeness, and a strong marriage is reading your blog each and every day. It provides encouragement that I’m not alone in my beliefs, values, and goals, which is over half the battle. Feeling like you’re not alone is so empowering, and most days all I need to get through the day blazing our own path with pride.

    • Jo says:

      “It provides encouragement that I’m not alone in my beliefs, values, and goals, which is over half the battle.”

      This is so true! Knowing we are not alone makes SUCH a difference.

      Also? Thank you for this sweet and incredibly kind comment. I’m humbly grateful!

  • Luba Rokpelnis says:

    What a beautiful and well-written post, Crystal. I commend you very highly for raising a young man who would flip over the phone.

    My husband and I make our spiritual lives a priority. He writes down a verse from his devotions and meditates on it all day. It really helps him so much! We are also very blessed to have a wonderful Christian bookstore in our church, and my husband and I love to read especially the biographies. He is reading about George Muller right now, and we have read books about Isobel Kuhn, Corrie ten Boom, Charles Spurgeon, and other strong Christians!

    We also love great music. My husband sings in our church choir, and I play in our church orchestra. Another thing we do is listen to sermons together. Yes, we do get excellent preaching in church, and we are so blessed. However, a person cannot get enough of wonderful Bible teaching in his heart.

    May the Lord bless you and Jesse as you strive to glorify Him in your marriage and family. 🙂

    • Jo says:

      This is SUCH a great comment!

      I was raised on a diet of good Christian biographies and truly feel like that is one thing that deeply impacted my life in powerful ways!

  • Jen says:

    I hope this post goes viral!
    I’m fed up too. Watching Christmas cartoons on Abc “family” this past year and being flooded with very in family friendly commercials. I don’t know how to take action.

    So many family tv times being ruined with content not appropriate for our youth. The Internet not much different. Including those popular music websites.

  • [email protected] Your Cash says:

    My husband and I have always tried to focus on the language we use in our house. And while we make sure we don’t use any “bad words” we also try to make sure we talk to one another and our kids in a positive way.

    When my daughter first started to really talk, she called my husband “honey” for almost a year because that was what I always called him. I obviously found this cute, but it was also a good reminder that she was going to copy us so we needed to make sure we were worthy of that.

    • Stacy says:

      I agree with you totally! My three year old son has called me babe or darlin for a long time because that’s what he hears my hubby call me. Words are sooooooooooo important!

  • Siné says:

    I just want to say thank you for this post. It is a good reminder that I am not alone in trying to fight the good fight. I really like that you encouraged teaching children to think well. I find that is often a missing piece of most advice on how to raise children well.

  • Mackenzie says:

    Well said Crystal, well said! ♡

  • JG says:

    What a smart little boy you have—flipping that ad over so he didn’t have to see it anymore. I really hate that children are exposed to adult content before it is necessary or they are ready.

    I don’t have children but I am helping a friend get her finances in order and we are starting to plan how to teach her child, too. Her ex spends money like crazy, is in incredible debt, and is teaching the child to value “stuff” more than the things in life that really matter. I hope that showing this child how to budget, save, and plan will benefit her life and help her contribute to causes that she really cares about.

  • Heather says:

    We lead by example in our home for our daughter…use kind words of encouragement towards one another, pray together as a family, sit together in Church side by side and hand hold. Read books together as a family, sometimes separately while we are all reading in silence together. Take time to eat facing one another and actually talk and laugh about our day. Take her on dates with us, to show her how to “date” your spouse. Take her on solo dates…to show her how although we are husband/wife she is important too.

  • Leah says:

    These are such good points!!

    I think it’s also good to keep in mind that it’s important to be active in trying to improve our communities as well.

    Years ago, my mother talked to a local grocery store about the terrible magazines they sold at the front of the store, and found out that the owner was just trying to carry things that would sell, and had honestly never thought about the fact that children came into her store and saw those things. She took them down immediately.

    Our families should always be our first concern, of course, but I also think it’s so important to do what we can within our communities as well. It may not seem like much, but a kind and respectful request can sometimes have have far-reaching effects. 🙂 (And even if it isn’t, at least you’ve tried! It may seem hopeless, but I can guarantee it will be if no one tries!) Hopefully raising our children well will help change our communities for the better, but I think it’s also just so important not to forget that we need to be active members now too!

    • Leah says:

      And, great titles! 🙂

    • Jo says:

      YES! This is SO true! Thank you for this great word of encouragement!

    • Leah says:

      And getting into Facebook fights doesn’t count. 🙂

      If you feel strongly about the movie, write a letter to your local movie theater, or newspaper. At least flag inappropriate ads on you-tube. There are tons of ways to get engage these issues within your community without being nasty about it. (Not ‘you’ as in Crystal, ‘you’ as in readers. I think this is a lovely example of how you can get involved respectfully but firmly.)

      And, great title! 🙂

  • Melissa says:

    Well, you know you’ve done a good job so far because of Silas’ reaction when the questionable material came up. It’s so hard to protect our children in our current environment!

  • Stevi says:

    I want to raise my daughter to be very open minded and accepting of other people. We listen to music from many different genres, read lots and lots of books, and do arts and crafts every chance we get. We were at the grocery store last week and we saw a child who has downs syndrome. My daughter asked me what was wrong with him, and I knew the parent over heard. Talk about being on the spot. I told her there was nothing wrong with him and that all people are different. I asked her if she wanted to go say hello to the young boy, and being the social outgoing butterfly she is, she of course said yes! So we went over to say hello. I was kind of expecting the other parent to not want to talk to us, but we were very well received. The parent explained a little bit about her sons condition to my 3 year old, telling her he was born with something called down syndrome and it just means he looks different and learns different than everyone else. My daughter then began to say hello to the boy and talk his poor ear off. The parent then thanked me for taking the time out of our shopping trip to come and say hello and to explore my daughters curiosity, not many people do that and most of the time parents tell their kids not to stare ect, I then thanked her for being so understanding of my daughter and thanked her for explaining it (as much as she could) to her. I don’t want my daughter to grow up being judgemental or afraid to learn about the differences of the people in this big world of ours.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you! My son has special needs and it’s because of parents like you teaching children love and acceptance that makes a difference!

  • JJ says:

    A sweet young mom at my church said, “Children love what their parents love.” I have already seen this true with my 1 and 2 year old. When my husband comes home from work, from day 1 I would get excited and exclaim, “Daddy’s home! ” Both of my littles could be anywhere in the house and shriek with delight when they hear the door knob turn when he comes home. Since Jesus is a relationship and not a religion, I try to share that with my kids throughout the day. If my son mentions someone or asks about them, we pray for them. We also try to make crafts to give to others who are going through different things. My son decorated a Valentine’s Day card for my aunt who is a widow (1-1/2 years ). If we are intentional to focus on relationships and loving others, our kids will, too. That doesn’t mean everything is perfect. We’re learning how to use our hands to help and not hurt right now. I’ve noticed when I focus on talking to my son about not hitting, he does it more. When I focus on telling him helpful things he can do with his hands, his attitude and behavior change. Until we have the talk again. 😉 And again. 😉 Training is a constant process, and I’m thankful for the grace I’ve been shown; I try to extend that same grace to my children. Thanks for another heart-felt post!

  • Kat says:

    yep, that’s pretty bad:/ I have a 4 year old, and that would frustrate me to no ends:/ does youtube have a way to block certain commercials?

    • Jo says:

      I was wondering that myself and planning to find that out before I let the kids watch any YouTube clips again. Anyone know?

      • Lydia @ frugaldebtfreelife says:

        Crystal, I have a growing YouTube channel. It is monetized and my family earns a small income from those ads. Content creators have NO control in the ads run before their videos. But we do have control as to whether or not we monetize them. I think I am going to turn off my ads for the duration of February to make sure a family watching my channel doesn’t encounter what your son saw.

        Obviously it’s a short-term solution, but atlas it something I can do.

        Also, there is a program called AdBlock that removes all ads from videos before you play them. You could always try that route.

      • Anna Arkema says:

        We use this at school so we don’t get ads or see comments.

        http://viewpure.com

        It allows you to watch YouTube videos without comments, ads, or other distractions.

      • Rachelle says:

        Crystal, I’m a Spanish teacher and I have several educational children’s songs that I use in the classroom and play from YouTube. I mute and “freeze” my projector before I play these videos because there have been too many times where commercials for alcohol, racy albums and TV programs, R-rated movies, and other things that aren’t school appropriate have come up. This has happened repeatedly, even with ad block and strong school Internet filters that put extreme limits on accessible content.

      • Erica says:

        My husband and I were talking about this the other day. In this day and age, we know there is a way for the YouTube “powers that be” to not allow these type of advertisements to be played before videos obviously meant for children. Problem is, they just don’t care. We need to make our voices heard that this is not acceptable.

        In our case, it was a commercial for rated R horror movie (extremely scary images) that came on while we were watching Laurie Berkner’s channel (she’s a wonderful children’s performer of you don’t know who she is). I wholeheartedly agree we must be there to monitor our kids Internet use, and we were. But, like with you, if you have no warning that’s what is coming on….
        I’ve also heard about some of the ad-free sites, but those don’t work for us as we watch via our Apple tv. It just shouldn’t have to be an issue. YouTube and the companies behind the channels need to take the little bit of time and technology to prevent such a thing from happening.

    • Diane says:

      If you are on a computer you can just use adblock. I don’t know about tablets or other mobile devices.

  • Brittany says:

    Crystal just an fyi- As a private Christian school educator who loved to use YouTube in the classroom- someone introduced me to quietube.com. You can play YouTube videos through that site and it eliminates almost all advertisements- including the ads that surround a video while it is playing.

    • Jo says:

      THANK YOU so very, very much for this! I’d never heard of it before and am so grateful! I knew there had to be some good alternative and am so thankful you shared this tip!

  • Stacy says:

    As a Christian, parent, and public educator I focus on using real life experiences to remind my family of the importance of Jesus’s love– ways the devil tries to steal our joy or works to make our hearts turn from God, and how many people are hurting and doing self-destructive acts due to not having God in their hearts. I think the lessons of focusing on God instead of the World are conversations that must happen often and openly with family members to help all understand the attacks and lies. It is important for us to show that life is hard, decisions matter, and choice and selflessness can bring peace and joy in any life situation.

  • Lana says:

    Thanks you for alerting us all. We have grandchildren that we need to be mindful of for this as they do watch on our phones from time to time when we have them. This really makes me angry.

    I know that this is not what you were asking for in this comment field but, I know there are others my age out there who worked so hard as we did to do it all right when our children were growing up and then some have made some bad choices as adults. Hugs to you all as we are walking that road as are others we know. You cannot feel that you caused them to make those choices. We are finding that they are much more open to us when we were able to put aside our anger.

    When our children were in college so many times they came home heartbroken for a friend whose parents had announced that they were getting a divorce. After the children left home they had nothing left in common. This was a powerful lesson for us and we made our marriage a priority for a lot of years before we were empty nesters. So many marriages within the church are coming undone that I am grieved by it all. Daily there are broken hearts that I lift up in prayer. Ladies, please make sure your husbands know that they are more important to you than your children! I did not allow the children talk to Daddy after he was home until he and I had talked and connected for ten minutes. This was a powerful message to them that our relationship came first. Respect is more important to a man than anything else and will completely change your marriage. Now that we are just two we go to our lake house where we do not have internet, barely any cell phone signal and no TV to speak of and just get face to face for several days as often as we can do it. (Seven long weekends last year.) We are the best of friends. I hope you can all know this joy.

  • Denise says:

    I’ve always known you were raising great kids but this story just confirms it! I love that Silas immediately knew he was starting to see something he shouldn’t and turned over the phone! He is growing up to be quite the young man! I’m so proud of him!

    Hopefully that link someone mentioned that reduces ads will help so the kids can still enjoy youtube videos without filthy ads…

  • Liz @ Wonder Woman I'm Not says:

    As a mother of an 18 year old who is starting to date, marriage (and sex) is something we discuss frequently. We talk about what makes a lasting relationship, the importance of waiting and how hard it is to make a marriage work. Unfortunately she doesn’t really remember the tough times, she is seeing the “easy” season of our marriage and I worry that it is putting unrealistic ideas in her head.

    You are right, we can’t shelter our kids from everything but by letting them know what they are going to face we can arm them for the battles they will have to face.

  • Elizabeth Rogers says:

    Hi Crystal,
    I was encouraged to see your post this evening as this has been weighing heavily on my heart today. At approximately 3:38am this morning as I was foggily nursing the baby (again), I got stuck thinking about how the media is portraying love these days, especially in light of this movie. With Valentine’s Day approaching, I want my children to have some better examples. I want my daughters and son to hear about true, hard working, other-centered love. Do you think you and your readers would help create this by sharing stories of how others have shown love to them? I want to spread beautiful stories of true love into our society instead of just avoiding the bad. At approximately 3:45am I decided that if I were in charge of it, I would call it 50 shades of pink. Because pink is a color of love and innocence. And because my little girls love anything that is pink. Lets pink-wash this world for Valentine’s Day! ‪#‎50shadesofpink‬
    Thank you for the work you do.
    God bless,
    Liz

  • Cate R. says:

    I would be 50 shades of frustrated too. Not only a kids video but a Leap Frog video which is for the preschool-ish age range. It is so hard raising kids in this age where ever more each day anything goes and there are no boundaries for innocence. I feel like I am realizing more that beyond filters and restrictions for what they are exposed to, there’s really no replacement for just plain watching ones kids and being aware of what they are doing, and available to explain why we do or don’t want them doing something.

  • Sheri says:

    Thank you for this post, Crystal.

    As we cry out, struggle, and pray for our children to live lives of purity, we, as mothers (and fathers) need to set our standards based on God’s Word. WE must be the change we wish to see in this world! We must be the examples for our children… Keep fighting the fight and running the race, dear sister!

  • April @ A Simple Life says:

    This happened to us last week as we were looking for Disney Sing Along videos! I immediately yelled to the girls to cover their eyes and turn around and then I hit the mute button. They obeyed.

    Here are some of our computer rules:

    1) Don’t use the computer with permission and supervision.
    2) No YouTube or similar w/o mom sitting right there. We just can’t trust it.
    3) All our computers are to be used in the open room and never in any bodies bedroom.

    We are not perfect in what we decide to show our children and we do make mistakes. But we spend most of our days with good rules in place and activities to keep our children productive and useful.

  • Christa says:

    Thanks for taking the time and opening up about this. The same thing happening to me the other day. I was getting something on the iPad for one of the kids on YouTube and as I waited for it to come on it was the same commercial. I felt sick to my stomach. Seriously? On a kids channel? I was just so thankful my eyes were the only pair that saw it coming… Thank you, Lord!

    I appreciate the light you shine through your blog about the things that really matter in this temporary life.

  • Cat @ MaryMarthaMama says:

    Ugh. I had no idea that that would happen on a Youtube educational video! We were actually just talking at our moms group this week about some resources from Family Life today that help you to talk to your children about sex in age appropriate ways. I think they might be these. I have never seen them but intend to check them out. Apparently there’s books for each age group.

    I really appreciated what one mom said about the importance of speaking to our children about God’s view of these things before they come into with distorted views of them.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I love to heard from more experienced mothers.

    • Anne says:

      Awesome point about proactively educating our children about God’s value of sexuality before the children are affected by the culture’s view.

      (On a side note, I was disturbed when Swagbucks played these ads, too, and I was watching my app around my two-year old).

    • Need A Nap2 says:

      Maybe I’m naive and not ready to talk about certain subjects with my homeschooled really protective kids but we have used these books but took a larger age range than what they recommend (so if it said 3 we probably waited until 6-8 and so on). 🙂

  • Jess says:

    Thanks for alerting us to the fact that those kinds of commercials are played on kids’ channels! We never allow our tot to watch anything without one of us there (she can watch about 30 minutes/day and 5 out of 7 days, that 30 minutes is a DVD), but we do, as a family, watch Sesame Street on YouTube a couple of days a week. I’m going to be keeping an even better eye on what commercials air on YouTube.

  • Liz says:

    Such a great post! I, too, have had my frustrations with youTube showing inappropriate commercials when we listen/watch our Christian playlist we have made. It makes me keenly aware of how drastic the “worldly” tilt is. I can sometimes forget about that as I sit in my home with no cable and my nose in homeschool books. My sister is unsaved and we talk about that with our children. We want them to know that we need to be in prayer for the souls of those who haven’t yet come to know the Lord. Thank you for your words and heart on this subject. It’s certainly a sketchy/touchy subject.

  • Liz says:

    Oh… we recently deleted the youtube app from our ipad (which is just used for educational purposes in our home). The only way to access youtube is via the search engine and they need a password to access that. It’s not a perfect solution, but it does ensure that my kids don’t accidentally get on youtube without my knowledge. Okay… I’m officially done. lol 🙂

  • April D. says:

    Crystal,

    Thank you for this timely post. As a mom I struggle daily with trying to compete with what the world says is appropriate versus my own conservative views. I recently came across James Dobson’s Feb. 2015 newsletter that was some great food for thought as well. I am never too old for a tea party:)
    http://drjamesdobson.org/about/february-newsletter-2015

  • Emily says:

    This is such a lovely post! I second the individuals who have said they read your blog as a source of encouragement and purity. I don’t yet have children, but I admire the way you teach your children to be critical thinkers. I often think critical thinking and questioning is undervalued (and occasionally even unwelcome) in the Christian community. However, it’s such a vital tool for children and even adults in making their faith their own rather than just a copy of someone else’s. Truly a wonderful and inspiring read.

  • Need A Nap2 says:

    We’ve had the same issue with Hulu Plus showing South Park ads before family friendly shows like The Brady Bunch. 🙁

    A dear family from our church has shared a tip, they have their boys (they have all boys) immediately look down if there is something inappropriate. Whether it’s a commercial, or walking past Victoria’s Secret in the mall. Unfortunately, the world isn’t a great place these days. They’re serving overseas as missionaries and there was a completely nude billboard. Ugh! But it’s now been replaced and the mom is so thankful. 🙂

  • Mara says:

    Perfectly said!!! Thank you 😀

  • Jennifer Vincent says:

    teachertube.com is a video based educational site. It’s more trustworthy than youtube

  • We don’t watch much tv around here and I honestly didn’t know what 50 Shades was about. I had heard of it, but not in depth. I LITERALLY (just the webpage before yours) read a quick article about it to see what all of the hype was about. Then I clicked on your website and saw this post.

    Ok, so now I know. 🙁

    My husband and I love each other. We put God first in our marriage. We go to church as a family, often 3 times a week. We are involved in church activities. We watch family friendly shows (aka Little house on the prairie, etc) and mute all commercials. My children know to “bounce their eyes”.

    Trying to keep our children’s ears and eyes pure is a task in this world when we can’t even let our child watch a children’s show without worry. We just pray for guidance, seek wisdom from others and talk to our older children as necessary.

    Then be thankful God is in control of this world. 🙂

  • Sandie says:

    Though my child is in her 20’s, I still believe we need to set a strong wholesome example. A beautiful post Crystal, thank you.

  • c says:

    As a teacher, I wanted to share this tip. There is a website called safeshare.TV that takes all the conmericals out of a you tube clip. It has definitely helped me 🙂

  • Misty Nicole Roberts says:

    I agree with many aspects of this post. I believe that all children should be nurtured and given a hand-up philosophy in life. Many of the aspects you speak of are not simply a Christian mindset, but the basis of the liberal arts curriculum’s the world over, where all arts are intricate and universal to both learning and longevity, but are all taught with dispensed moderation.

    With that said, I do believe that children, perhaps older than your kiddos, should not be completely sheltered, censored, and given only a channel-vision, ivory towel existence. Living in a bubble, believing that only the values of their immediate family, their church, their political background, andtheir desensitized perspective, is not a healthy way to view the world.

    At some point, all parents have to learn to let go, in this area at least. If an older child isn’t allowed to see the ills of the world, from time to time, then how would you honestly know if their faith, humanity, and relativism isn’t just a learned behavior?

    Sometimes seeing the depravity of the world, makes people change. And sometimes seeing this depravity makes people stronger, more appreciate of their upbringing, and spurs others to become advocates for social change. Just a thought.

    • Jo says:

      Yes, I definitely agree — and that’s one reason why we’re seeking to train our children to be thinkers from a young age (see point #4). We want our kids to go out in the world and be able to examine, analyze, and make wise decisions. And that’s why we encourage them to ask hard questions and then ask them “Why do you believe that?”

      We want them to be critical thinkers and are slowly exposing them to differing viewpoints and belief systems, etc. as they get older to help them better sharpen their thinking and analytical skills and to know what they believe and why they believe it.

  • Jacqueline says:

    Hi there! As a teacher I frequently find great YouTube clips to show my kids, but the ridiculous commercials get to me as well. Have you tried Safe Share? It’s a website where you copy and paste the YouTube link and Safe Share gives you a new link where you watch the clip ad-free. I didn’t read all the comments, hope this wasn’t repetitive!

  • Heather bell says:

    You are right on. I haven’t petitioned or commented or read anything about this debate. In my opinion you can go crazy trying to stop the bad in the world or you can teach your kids moral correctness.

  • Natasha Faye Photography says:

    Well written post as always however my response will not be like the others.
    I help my children deal with situations such as this by instilling good morals and values in them I just go about it in a different way. I can’t and won’t bubble wrap my children. Some days they see and hear things I may have preferred they not see and hear but I answer their questions truthfully and I move on. Life is completely filled with imperfection and I want my children to be able to embrace that.
    I am not religious and we have not set foot in a church but I still think teaching my children the importance of kindness and compassion is a priority. We have spent countless hours as a family devoting time to rescuing homeless animals. We volunteer with our local children services. Perhaps that’s our church.
    My children may spend ridiculous amounts of time on YouTube and playing their xbox. I sit there and listen to the words cringing when I hear some Minecraft You Tuber use language I consider inappropriate. Then I hear my kids pipe up about that inappropriate language. They don’t say it, and they don’t want to.
    They have also grown up in the not so conventional blended family that has actually become quite conventional. My husband and I had two kids before we even talked about marriage and have had two more since. Our relationship has been filled with to most joyous moments of our lives and at times moments of hopelessness and despair. We have fought for our marriage many times and in many ways….. one of which will be in the form of movie tickets this Saturday evening. That’s our night out. My kids don’t see a preview or really even pay much attention to the content, they just see their parents excited to spend time together.
    There was once a time when this type of post may have angered me or made me want to prove that I’m no less of a parent because I choose to live my life differently. That would’ve come from an insecure place. Now though I just feel overwhelming comfort in knowing that so many of us are just rolling with the punches and trying to connect over the many anxieties that parenting creates.
    As always, love your blog. Keep up the great work!

    • Jo says:

      I SO agree that we can’t bubble wrap our kids… it’s not only impossible to do, it’s not a healthy thing for them to be completely smothered or never exposed to differing viewpoints/beliefs nor taught to think/examine what they believe and why they believe it. That’s why I think it’s so good that you’re having these discussions with your kids and teaching them to make wise decisions, as well as modelling a strong marriage before them!

  • Rebekah says:

    I have run into similar situations with a similar movie ad in between VBS videos on youtube as well as too descriptive of a book of how babies are made on display at the children’s picture book section of the library. This post is a great reminder to be close by when my child is at the library as well as watching “harmless” youtube clips at home or do that ad remove idea. The library incident prompted us to purchase a book that goes through how babies are made/understanding our bodies from a Godly perspective and is age appropriate. Totally agree on being proactive and not letting the world teach them first.

    • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker says:

      Our library just had their annual book sale. Half of the room was romance novels. . . . 🙁

      Always a good idea to check!

    • Jessica says:

      What do you mean by reading how babies are made from a Godly perspective? There’s only one way babies are made. God is not the stork. The baby doesn’t magically appear on the doorstep.

  • Rebecca Schultz says:

    I can’t believe that kid’s YouTube videos have to be so closely monitored. It’s quite unfortunate. Thank you for writing this post. I just love your blog!!

  • Diane says:

    We also work to fill our kids’ minds with truth and beauty. We have been memorizing out of Truth and Grace, sing hymns , listen to quality music (Classical in the broad sense, not just Classical period ). I am also picky about books we read and rarely we might watch a VeggieTale dvd.

  • C Green says:

    Around the time we started trying to conceive, I started becoming sensitive to the subject matter of secular rock/pop/country music that I was listening to and seeing my young nieces dance to, etc. I made the choice to start listening to Christian music exclusively, even though I found it cheesy sometimes. I actually grew to enjoy it and especially some alternative/rock Christian music I discovered. I know it’s not a big deal to some people, but I don’t want my daughter listening to questionable lyrics or even substitute “clean” lyrics when there is another, perfectly good option.

  • Allesan says:

    We use Netflix. I was able to go in and remove all of the Monster High and other inappropriate content. And all of the leap frog videos are on there. It’s so hard to keep all of the unwholesome influences away so I appreciate the ability to screen what they see.

  • Ann says:

    My children are in college now, but I remember talking with them about video games. I didn’t ban them from playing the violent ones as they got to be pre-teens, but we did talk about how the violence was pretty disturbing. I knew that they would be exposed to violent games at their friends’ houses, no matter what we did at home. Amazingly enough, they began to prefer to play games like Katamari, Civilization and the like, that were more fun, less bloody, intellectually challenging, and often funny. Many times a thoughtful conversation has more impact than an edict from Mom and Dad.

  • Jada says:

    As the mom of an 11-year-old boy, I feel like it’s coming at us from all angles! It’s hard to find balance between allowing him the things he enjoys – iPod, Xbox, you tube videos and texting with friends – and monitoring the constant barrage of content being thrown at him. We have Netflix, not cable and sometimes even the shows I feel are appropriate for him sneak in things that are too mature for the audience they’re aiming for. It IS frustrating! It’s scary to try and raise children in this tech generation. We are the first! We don’t really have a frame of reference.

  • nora says:

    We had this problem with Hulu and commercials. We complained and cancelled our account

  • Stephanie says:

    First I want to thank you for writing such a thought provoking but non-judgemental post. As a reader whose family does not quite identify as Christian but aims to raise our daughter to be a kind, loving, spiritual person I really appreciate it.

    One of the main ways we promote this in our home is by homeschooling. We also highly value manners and being polite-if you hurt someone’s feelings apologize.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker says:

    What a good thing that he knew at that age to turn the phone over. We’ve told the children to close the laptop if they’re on the computer. I love that Silas knew what to do at such a young age. You’re a great mom, Crystal.

  • Nikki says:

    I so appreciate your post but probably for a reason that no one else will mention – your grace. I have been a reader for a very long time (I have a faint memory of reading your non-frugal blog on my blog reader). You have always been so sweet but I have seen you post opinionated pieces and people commenting in a mean manner. I have noticed a slight shift in your writing since your move – not shrinking back from truth or what matters the most – but just a more loving, grace filled approach. That is such a hard balance. Thanks for being a beautiful example of what it can look like. And, thanks for reminding me of what is most important – not a debate about a topic but an encouraging conversation about how to raise our children.

  • Joy says:

    There is a Safety Mode on You Tube you can turn on to block out inappropriate videos. I thought it worked on ads, too. Also, you can try kideos.com. It has kid friendly You Tube videos and shows on there.

  • Tiffany says:

    Excellent post!

  • CJ says:

    I know how you feel. My oldest daughter is nine and wanted to watch a movie on ABC Family. Sure, why not…. it’s ABC Family. Even on ABC Family the B word and A word were dropped a couple of times. I just looked at my daughter and reminded her that we don’t use that language, she knows (have had these talks plenty of times being around older kids at parks or even kids at her school dropping some bombs…). Our kids are going to be exposed to certain things as much as we try to protect them from it, all we can do as parents is encourage our children to try and make good choices.

  • Zac says:

    Awesome post Crystal!!!

  • Rebekah says:

    I am so sorry that your son was exposed to that. Both, my husband and I were appalled. Thank you for the warning! My kids are just now getting old enough to use my smartphone and I appreciate you being willing to share this with us so we can prevent this in our own homes. I have followed you for almost seven years now and am so thankful for your encouraging posts.

  • Karen Rucker says:

    I’m so glad you’re taking a stand for your values. I believe that this is probably the most important thing we can do as parents. Sometimes it’s hard to explain things that are upsetting (be it a race riot or a commercial for a movie), but I think that it’s important for kids to see that when we notice something really wrong, we try to change the world and make it better. Maybe it’s writing a blog post, or maybe it’s writing your congressman. But taking a stand and taking action show our kids that we have the power to change the world.

  • Jessica Strubhar says:

    Love this. I posted an article against the movie on my Facebook page but I never felt entirely at peace about it. I love the thought of working to build beauty instead of tearing down what we may feel is wrong. Thank you.

  • Esther says:

    Crystal,
    Thanks for the heads up on the ad. I’ll be sure to keep an even closer eye on my kids screen viewing. As for our family, my husband and I will often hold hands in public which causes our 8 and 5 year olds to be utterly embarrassed! We want them to know that our relationship and marriage is of the utmost importance even if it grosses them out! 🙂

    • Leigh says:

      Esther, so often children only see physical affection shown through the world’s (generally inappropriate) lens rather than in the correct context of godly marriage. When my children were younger they would “Ewwwww” at my husband’s and my quick hello and goodbye kisses, even if Daddy had just hugged the kids. I reminded them that those hugs and kisses meant that Daddy and Mommy love each other and we talked about what sometimes happens in families where that is not the case. I concluded by reminding them that having parents who love each other and them meant that their little world was secure. For years afterward, if they saw any parental PDA one or both of the kids would loudly announce, “My little world is secure!” They’re teenagers now but they still say it from time to time. PDA away, Esther!

  • annie says:

    There are so many thoughts running through my mind. First and foremost, to reassure you that nothing happens without Our Good Fathers allowing it to happen for His greater glory.

    Good for you that you teach your children to be critical thinkers. That will serve them very well. When life happens to them, like Silas today, they will have the tools Gods grace to make holy decisions.

    You are very blessed to be able to homeschool. i see so many homeschooled children from strong families who are becoming leaders in the church.

    Your beautifully worded post is a great example of how charity is so very important. And is such a good example to your children.

  • Jen says:

    Your son deserves praise. He knew to turn over the phone.
    Kids will experience things they shouldn’t no matter how hard adults try to protect them. It really speaks highly of him to know how to react.
    (Youtube shouldn’t have shown that and it was inappropriate).

  • Georgia says:

    I’ve started facing similar issues with my oldest son, who is now 5 years old, and I’ve also been reflecting on how we can shelter our children, yet we cannot filter out 100% of the objectionable material they see.

    For me, I spoke to my son about the importance of desiring purity. As parents we desire for him to stay pure, but we would like to instill in his own heart a desire to keep himself pure, from a young age. I explained to him in simple terms that if he unintentionally saw something “bad” or “wrong”, he could ask Jesus to erase that image from his heart, and I believe that God would honor that coming from a sincere little heart.

    I hate that that happened to Silas 🙁 and thank you for posting that so we can watch out for that. I too let my kids watch YouTube videos but I usually wait to see that it doesn’t start with an ad because I have on occasion come across YouTube ads that had warnings that it wasn’t appropriate for kids (even on kid videos!). I only let my kids watch videos unsupervised if they are ad-free, like from Amazon.

  • Abby says:

    I have very strong feelings on the topic of 50 Shades as well, but my daughter isn’t quite 2 yet so we haven’t had to deal with this subject with children yet. Can I just say how encouraging it is to see your son turn the screen away when there was something inappropriate shown! I dread getting into the stages where my daughter will start to be exposed to those things and (gulp) understand them and it makes me feel that there’s hope when young children are taught such discipline and purity as it shows that yours have. I strive to raise children like that and thank you for being an example to those of us not in that place yet. And thank you for the reminders about keeping a healthy and syron marriage and the positive influence that will have on our children. It seems the importance of a good marriage is often ignored anymore since it seems to be the exception instead of the rule. God bless you for the priceless lessons you’re teaching your children!

  • Kerry Hunt says:

    Wonderfully thoughtful post. I love how you looked past the controversy to focus on what matters most. I’m attaching a link to an article you might enjoy written by a member of my church–the same church launched by Ian Cron whose book Chasing Francis you reported on last year! http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/02/06/fifty-shades-grey-five-things-real-man-knows/

  • crystal price says:

    Oh! I know your pain & frustration! I showed my 14 year old son a trailer for an upcoming Marvel movie on youtube & when it was over we were discussing what we thought would happen in the movie. All of a sudden I hear a sultry toned voice coming from my phone and look down and it was playing the 50 shades trailer!
    We just got internet and very basic tv in our home a few months ago and am learning that I need to be very diligent with what is viewed on there and what sites/channels are being viewed. Just because the show is ok, doesn’t mean that the commercials will be ok. I will have to read over these comments for other parents’ suggestions! 🙂

  • Heather Siani says:

    Ironically at the end of your post is an ad for Vermont Teddy Bear and it said “Mr. Grey will see you now.” With a teddy bear in a suit.
    I worry constantly about darn YouTube. My daughter has certain things she enjoys watching on my iPad but sometimes one video will link to another and down the rabbit hole it goes. I try to monitor anything she accesses and have safe controls on it all…even on our guide on our tv (although she can’t read yet). We have the names of anything questionable blocked. We feel that as we guard our children, it’s good practice to also guard ourselves and our home in general for the things we allow in.

  • Jen5253 Range says:

    This is something that I fear my kids will stumble upon one day. Kuddos to your kids on knowing to turn the phone over to you! I need to make sure and talk more about this with my kids as they get older.

    One thing that we have done is installed AdBlock on our computers. I am fairly new to the smartphone world, so I am not sure if it works with smartphones or tablets. It looks like it is available for Android, so it probably is available for Iphones too. But it blocks the adds on sites like Facebook and Youtube. I know that there are other sites out there too, like K-9 and Covenant Eyes.

  • Morna says:

    What a great post! It really made me think. My sister was shocked at one of the Barbie movies I let my 3&5 yr olds watch, she said she thought it was too bitchy and almost bullying- I hadn’t seen it in that light before. I’m a big fan of 50 shades (although I think I will skip the film, I don’t want to spoil the book) but I had to reflect on how I would feel if my kids watched the trailer. That’s the amazing thing about kids though – they are such a blank canvas – I don’t think mine would be upset by the trailer because they wouldn’t have a framework upon which to reference it. I’m pretty sure they would brand it ‘boring’ and Peter rabbit would be put on quick smart.

    I have a policy of complete honesty with my kids. If they ask about something they get a straight answer, I I think it’s an adult concept they won’t understand I explain that I’m finding it hard to explain but I do my best. We listen to a lot of folk music which lead to me having a very long conversation with both kids about syphilis!

    There is a lot of stuff in the world I don’t ever want my kids to know about, but I have to be realistic, I can’t protect them forever so for me nothing is off limits, all questions get answered and I will never lie to them, I try to apply the same to my marriage 🙂

  • Shannon says:

    Yesterday, my two and four year old daughters wanted to watch the “Let It Go” music video on the Disney Anamation Studios YouTube channel, and we were also shocked by a 50 Shades preview. I was pretty horrified, but thankful for the reminder that it is not safe to let my kids use YouTube (even to watch Disney) unsupervised.

  • Lakelyn says:

    Crystal–have you tried just enabling Safety Mode on the YouTube website? It may not be 100% perfect in filtering, but I’ve personally never seen an ad like you’re referring to. Here’s a link on how to enable Safety Mode:
    http://www.bewebsmart.com/safe-search/youtube-safety-mode/

  • Stephanie says:

    We struggle as parents to control the world that our kids view and that is easy when they are younger but it is harder when they go to public school and meet new kids from different backgrounds and sometimes other parents expose things to kids then they say it to ours. Oh it has happened in our household a few times. That is where intentional conversations is needed from us as parents. By having them our kids know what is appropriate and what is not. They know what is not to be repeated especially around their younger sisters. I do my best to watch what is viewed and listened to, but we are not perfect. That is where teaching our kids morals and values comes in. And it sounds like you have done a fantastic job so far!

  • Christine B says:

    The same thing happened with my young daughter watching a kids clip on Youtube! It wasn’t a 50 shades ad, but it was for some type of rated R movie (I can’t remember which one), which was SO inappropriate for a young child. I talked to my husband about it, and I meant to give feedback to Youtube about it (but I never did – oops! 🙂 So glad I’m not alone in feeling like this!

  • Robin Y says:

    Crystal, I’m so saddened that Silas saw that video ;(

    As a mom of daughters, I am praying that the men that they will marry one day have parents who are as determined as you and Jesse to instill a deep sense of purity in them.

  • Scharity says:

    Well said!

  • Allyson @ All Our Days says:

    Thanks for the continued encouragement to be intentional with our children. One thing that is working really well for our family is to expose the kids to lots of great missionaries (past and present). We’ve been reading through the Heroes for Young Readers series. Also, I don’t know if you’ve listened to it, but the Brinkman Adventures audio series is great for giving positive role models and telling about the work of missionaries. Our oldest daughter has started a mission fund because of an episode of Brinkman Adventures 🙂

  • Anne says:

    We banned YouTube for my son when we looked over in horror to see that stuck in among the Wiggles videos that were clips from the shows and/or DVDs was a “parody” video that portrayed one of them as a junkie. This would have gotten past all the automatic censors since, as I recall, only the video part was changed, not the words to the song (“Wake up Jeff”). We have decided to stick with DVDs for the moment. Even if some of the commercials and/or trailers for coming movies lead to the “gimmies,” the content is generally OK.

  • Ashley P says:

    I am SO proud of your son for having the discernment, even at his young age, to turn away from the screen.

    As the wife of a man who long struggled with porn addiction (he’s a wonderful husband, it’s just something that started in his teens and has occasionally resurfaced from time to time), I have strong feelings about sensualization in media. Images like that have a tendency to burn into a young man’s brain and pop up occasionally in the subconscious mind.

    If you’re interested, there’s a video series that addresses this topic (and a ton of other things) extraordinarily well. It’s actually part of a video marriage seminar called “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage”, and it is not only poignant, it is HILARIOUS! He addresses these particular issues in part 2, called the “Yo Momma Session”. It would be a wonderful tool for young men in their teens to explain why purity is so vitally important, not just from a Christian standpoint, but from a practical one.

    I’ll include links to all 6 parts, and you can watch the whole thing at your leisure. Hubby and I rewatch it from time to time as preventative maintenance on our marriage. You can also purchase DVD copies. I hope you like it and find it a valuable resource.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nR3zbf3fn0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIA575TCf7Q
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHNzJgW-kYI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNcR0cQasF0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5iOcUAF1ZI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iDxAzoAeaQ

  • T Nadalet says:

    Is there any way to directly express this to You Tube? I once called a news station and they removed a Murder Movie ad before a children’s program and were very nice about it.

    • Jo says:

      I ed them and asked them to remove ads for R-rated movies from Kid’s Channels. Not sure that it will do anything, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt!

  • Tramaine says:

    You are a blessing!!!! Thanks for sharing

  • MaryBeth Matzek says:

    My son watches Minecraft videos on You Tube and I’ll be on the watch for this. I also remember during the election last fall that You Tube filled kids’ channels with election ads

    • Hilda says:

      Definitely be on the watch with Minecraft videos. There are a lot of them that are made by adults and have adult language/content in them. My friend threw a Minecraft party for her 8 year old daughter and there were a lot of great videos of Minecraft parody songs that she played during part of the party but she had to pre-screen a ton of them and make a note of which ones were OK for 8 year olds. And she still had to mute and turn the screen during the ads because there were lots of them that were inappropriate for kids. Same for videos of creating different things in Minecraft… my daughter likes to watch them but we’ve found too many have adult content.

      • Leslie says:

        My husband is one of the creators of one of the largest Minecraft parody channels, mineworksanimations, and they are well aware that there is a large variation of ages in their audience- from 8 year olds to adults. They are careful with content and language but it’s hard to keep all scenarios completely rated G. The song lyrics pass by our kids first and I’ve not heard one that is offensive.
        Best to be sitting right there to know what they are watching the first go ’round. We had issues with the 2 year old watching BuzzBee – go figure!

  • Angel says:

    I would just add to your list to build strong character kids you need to express your love for them. It might sound simple, but it’s one of the hardest things to do. Tell them they are beautiful and loved, spend quality time with them, and hug them every day (especially after they spilled the gallon of milk across the floor and it’s dripping into the basement). Knowing pure and unconditional love from parents goes a long way for building strong character in children.

  • Lisa says:

    Crystal, I am so glad you posted this! I am struggling to keep my own four children from the likes of the world, while still living in the world and daily it is an exhausting battle to say the least. My children are in public school and they were thriving. “Were” being the key word. We looked into the private school at my church and we loved it, but it comes with a $28K price tag per year and that is simply out of our budget. I am also looking into homeschooling, but as you know, we can’t protect our children from everything.

    Just yesterday my 14 yr old daughter came home with a new book for her Honors English class–“The Glass Castle”. I almost lost it! I kindly emailed the teacher and the principal and asked for an alternative. The teacher was willing to give her a different book but found it necessary to give me a hard time about it.

    I think as parents, we are all struggling. God has given us these precious children as gifts and we are to take great care in raising them with the morals and values He has mandated. But since we live in the enemy’s domain right now, it’s always going to be hard. 🙁

  • Amanda says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! It was very convicting for me. I like to watch morning news shows and they have terrible commercials. I always rationalized that my kids don’t understand, but it’s never too soon to promote a culture of integrity. And I understand and don’t need to let that stuff into my life either. I turned it off this morning and we danced to praise music instead. A much better use of morning hours! Thank you for being a constant inspiration!

  • Faith says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I experienced the same thing a few days ago with my three year old. We were going to watch a children’s song at the same website, and I was shocked at the ad that played before the video. I passed it on to another parent; I’m sure the wide audience you have will appreciate the heads up.

  • Laura Wegener says:

    Same thing happened to me! I started a petition to YouTube because even if there are alternatives, it absolutely should not happen anyway! https://www.change.org/p/youtube-please-ensure-kid-friendly-youtube-videos-have-kid-friendly-ads

  • BetsyD says:

    Crystal~ Thank you for sharing. I totally agree with a number of your points, including that we must teach our children to be critical thinkers who filter life through a biblical worldview. It does not help to simply spoon feed them, but to give them the tools to understand and interact with the world around them in a God-glorifying way. Having said this, though, it is important to teach them the Gospel as we do this– without God’s help, none of us would want to turn away from stuff like this, none of us would desire the best, none of us would have hope from being forgiven when we see and do and act in sinful ways. As others have commented, be frustrated with this ugliness of sin, but be encouraged too that God is using all that you read and intentionally pray over in your children’s lives. Sounds strange to say this (and I am would be equally horrified by my son coming across something like this), but be encouraged that you were given a glimpse into your son’s attentive heart to your instruction. It gives a weary mom hope!
    It’s also so wonderful that so many of your readers have offered all of us suggestions (that I would never know about otherwise) on ways to view some of these videos in more appropriate ways. Thank you.

  • Leigh Ann @ Intentional By Grace says:

    Oh my. That makes me so sad for your little boy. 🙁 Thank you so much for sharing, and for your grace in dealing with this topic. We don’t watch a lot of YouTube for that reason – the commercials on the kids’ shows … well, they disgust me. It’s frustrating to say the least. I loved your 4 tips for promoting wholesomeness in your home. Thank you!

  • Kay says:

    Great perspective. There will always be something new to be “against” if you hold strong family values, so putting our energies in these areas that you mentioned are much healthier than jumping from outlet to outlet to fight against. Thank you for your stance and motivation to use our energies to do something positive, productive, and helpful. God bless you.

  • Tara M says:

    You are going to want to be careful at the stores as well. I was at Target this week and on the end cap of the main isle was 50 shades section of adult “items.” I was grateful I did not have my kids with me.

    • Jo says:

      Thanks for this word of warning! We’ve not been out shopping much the last few weeks, so I’ve missed this and it’s good to know and be prepared.

  • Sarah says:

    I took my son to see Paddington a few weeks ago, and while the trailers were appropriate, the clips they showed in the pre movie, pre trailer, reel, were not. I don’t think he paid much attention, but as a parent I was horrified.

  • Bethanne says:

    Ads were one of the reasons we dropped cable television. Ads should be rated and only be allowed to air doing the same rated shows.

    Congrats to you that your son knew not to watch what was playing and was responsible enough to turn it over.

    • Lynn says:

      Love the idea of rating ads and only showing them during like rated shows. We had a major discussion with our son, age 6, after a long and fairly graphic preview for the Victoria’s Secret fashion show was shown while we were watching the afternoon weather segment of the news to see if we could plan an outdoor trip the next day. Of course the remote was MIA. Kids already grow up way too fast today.

  • Sandra A says:

    I agree with you. My other frustration is network televsions. When some series are originally aired they must air after 9pm due to content. Then all of a sudden they are syndicated and can air at 5, 6, 7pm.

    I am not saying that these shows are “bad” show, just that they are adult show. I might watch some of them myself, but do not allow my 8 and 10y/o to do so. Why all of a sudden are the police based shows with gory corpses, or talk of sex crimes allowed? Why are sitcoms which center on adult themes on.

    My kids know that there are several shows they can’t watch because they are not appropriate for kids. AND yes it is my responsibility, and I don’t shirk it, but it would be nice if in certain areas of our world we didn’t have to police to so hard to guide their path.

    • Lori says:

      I agree completely. I love scary shows and normally watch “The Walking Dead,” but I was surprised to see it on syndication, showing at all hours of the day.

      I don’t have children, but I feel that the content would be inappropriate for them. My mom won’t even watch the show!

  • Laurie says:

    I love the fact that your son knew to put the video down, face down instead of watching it. As the wife of man that had a very damaging and destructive addiction to porn, I often wonder how I’ll be able to properly prepare and equip my son for this battle of curiosity and desire.

    • Tammy says:

      I agree with Laurie. Kudos to you for already teaching your 5 year old son what to do when he is faced with that situation. Unfortunately, it won’t be the last time in his life, but at least he is equipped to handle it correctly.

  • Staci says:

    Question what books are you parents reading to build strong character in your kids? I know about American Girl books and Little House on the Prairie. Suggestions? Thanks!

    • HappyWife says:

      I’m curious to read 10 Gifts of Wisdom by Sally Clarkson

    • Angel says:

      My daughter was a super early reader and finding appropriate books both in content and reading level can be challenging. “B” is for Betsy, Caddie Woodlawn, Eight Cousins, and most children books with a copyright date in the 1950s were generally good to go without pre-reading or research. Biggest issue we had of older books was antiquated terms that my daughter tried to use in her conversations… I’ll have to check out that 10 Gifts of Wisdom book suggested…

  • Jamie says:

    I agree with so many things you said in this! Including how certain things don’t need to be said on the internet and how nobody wins in an “us vs. them” mentality. I also have learned through lots of mistakes 🙂

    I also loved reading through the comments about viewpure.com and stuff. Didn’t know!

    So we try to do several defensive things: Password protect, safety modes, and internet only in public spaces of the house. Then when junk gets in we try to talk about it with them.

    As far as offensive, I feel like this is super important! (Focusing only on defensive can be anxiety-producing. Ask me how I know.) Our pastor says the reason we say no to some things is because we get to say yes to something better. So we try to get the kids outside as much as possible. Talk about the beauty of creation and the Creator. We listen to things like Seeds Family Worship Cds and try to get Truth into their brains other ways.

    I agree with good role models (we have so many!), but we also have lots of people in our life with different beliefs and standards. We try to talk through this with our kids.

    We have fought for our marriage in many ways: counseling, prayer, strong friendships in which we can be honest about struggles, and loving the daily-ness of life together in front of our boys. I think, most importantly, we apologize when we’re wrong. This usually includes raising our voices. When we say we were wrong and are sorry, their faces are flooded with love and forgiveness. They will never wonder if we’re perfect; they know we aren’t! Plus I am never filled with more admiration for my man than when he pulls us all together and apologizes with humility. My heart about bursts!

    This is getting to be the world’s longest comment…almost done! I love, love, love your point on critical thinking. It is really hard to find the balance between fault-finding criticalness and wise and loving discernment. I heard a critical spirit only finds fault, but wisdom and discernment sees what could change AND what is good in a certain situation. Asking our boys lots of questions and making sure they know they can ask us anything seems to be the route we’re taking.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Melanie E. says:

    Wow, lots of comments already! I apologize if someone already linked this, but there is a Change.org petition out about this very topic: https://www.change.org/p/youtube-please-ensure-kid-friendly-youtube-videos-have-kid-friendly-ads?recruiter=79977247&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=des-lg-no_src-reason_msg&utm_content=ci_fb_share_title_text%3Acontrol&fb_ref=Default

  • Leslie says:

    I was exposed to so much as a child, I sometimes think my kids are sheltered, which I DO NOT want. We grew up in the 80’s watching Dallas and Falcon Crest on Friday nights and there’s a whole lot more going on in those shows than what we typically watch.

    I think for a child to have a true view of the world, we do need to limit the severity of what they are exposed to, but not shield them completely. I think this is why Crystal wants to bring her family back to South Africa- show them how people live (differently, sometimes shockingly so) and experience the love she was shown.

    Anyway, my ‘on the offensive’ is to have proactive conversations and address things real time that may be questionable. I had a very frank conversation with my 14 year old daughter about the 50 Shades movie and what it’s about. She kind of knew, but I wanted her to be sure. There is no judgement on this or any lifestyle (it’s not mine to judge), but it’s important to understand that we do have the choice to read the book or watch the movie as an adult (not as a 14 year old!).

    I grew up in a single parent household and there was no affection to observe between two loving committed adults. I didn’t understand that type of relationship and there was no discussion about sex. Needless to say, I found myself figuring it out myself (which was hard!) and trying to make decisions about something I knew nothing about. Had someone been on the offensive, I can imagine my early adulthood looking very different!

    So, while I understand a parent’s desire to have their children’s lives pure and clean, it’s not reality. I think it somewhat sets us up for failure due to lack of knowledge at some juncture.

  • Christin Slade says:

    This is soo good, Crystal and I agree. And you delivered your concerns and opinion very gracefully. Love you, friend!!

  • wanda says:

    How infuriating! I have felt the same frustration with even trying to watch The Today Show in the mornings. It seems they are pushing the movie with all they’ve got.

    Not everyone believes Blah Blah Shades is harmless!

    Reminder that we have to buckle down and filter EVERYTHING as parents of young children.

  • Sharon, The Mayor says:

    I will keep this short since several others have made great comments. We teach by example. What is inappropriate for the kids, is inappropriate for us. That means some nights we do not watch TV after 9 since most of the shows do not reflect our values.

    Side note: LeapFrog videos are on Netflix. Cheap $7 entertainment package for us. Includes our app on the phones.

  • Heather @ MyMothermode says:

    The exact thing happened on a funny singing/teaching monkey Youtube video required by my 5yo’s Spanish teacher. A cancer ad with people proclaiming over and over and OVER how much they love “boobies” really shocked my kids!

    Some of my children’s personalities are such that I am certain it is critical to build a good moral foundation that is rooted within their hearts, not just barked at them. Including much emphasis on the ‘why’ of our faith.

  • Jessica Lynette says:

    How frustrating! I agree completely with strengthening our kids… we can’t shelter them forever, and things – like this! – pop up despite our best efforts.

    My husband and I came up thirteen areas we work on with our boys – it was specifically inspired around the idea of strengthening them to avoid porn while they are still too young to actually discuss porn with – http://www.jessicalynette.com/family-2/strengthening-our-sons-to-avoid-porn-while-they-are-still-too-young-to-know-what-it-is/

    It’s a constant battle for our children’s minds – isn’t it?!

  • Joy says:

    I think we should add that we can also educate our children about our bodies and sex according to God’s Word beginning at a young age. We can teach them about modesty. And we can teach them about what types of images are appropriate in magazines, books, & on tv and movies.

  • Jessica says:

    I’ve been gathering my thoughts all morning since I read this, because this post actually bothers me quite a bit. What I’m able to write is that I prefer to think of these instances as “teachable moments.”

    I also wanted to recommend that you the Leapfrog or whoever is in charge of their youtube programming. Reach out to them on social media or directly through a phone call or email.

    • Jo says:

      We’ve ed YouTube about it, but that’s a great idea to also LeapFrog. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • Brenda says:

      Teachable moments are NOT the same as pornography showing up on your child’s screen.
      Teachable moments are things like sharing, forgiving, walking away from bad situations that kids age five should be facing not pornogrphy.
      Pornography is INSTANTLY dangerous because it causes permanent images that arouse powerful physical drives to be installed in your child’s memories. Every exposure causes damage to future relationships.
      The addictions caused by pornography are overwhelming and extreme.
      The average age of exposure to pornography in America is 8years old but it looks like five is about the age now.
      It cannot be viewed with any degree of tolerance. There is too much at stake.

  • Cari says:

    Thank you for writing about this and all the other heads ups in the comments. According to my 11 year old there is an inappropriate ad (not video) in the mine craft forums. He didn’t realize it was inappropriate, he just thought it was strange. He has also come across nudity in Stars Wars Old Republic video game in the bounty hunter class. My 5 year old also watches Leap Frog on Netflix and when I type to search for it (he is watching me) sometimes a movie comes up and nudity is shown. Even when searching for comics movies, inappropriate selections come up. It’s pretty sad for kids these days. Silas did a great job responding appropriately.

    • Cari says:

      Sorry, the ad I thought was inapproriate on the Minecraft forums was actually an ad for the movie Kingsman. It really is important to teach our children well though. Thanks for the ways we can be proactive about these things.

      • Marisa says:

        I am in Canada so our Netflix setup may be different then yours (i know in the US you can create favorites lists etc and I can’t) but I have my kids setup with a kids account so it will only show them titles for kids… Definitely not perfect especially since there are a lot of violent movies etc BUT it does seem to assist in keeping the icky images away!

    • Sondra H says:

      I’m not sure how Netflix works on other applications, but we use ours on the Xbox. It worked the same on the ps3 and 4.
      You can set up “profiles” in these apps. We have a profile that’s just for the parents which is regular Netflix then we set up one that’s for kids. Netflix has an option for “kids only” shows and movies, so nothing racy ever shows up when it’s in kids only mode. It’s definitely helped keep my kids eyes away from those shows and movies that insist on using nudity for their front covers.

  • Amy says:

    I had the exact same thing happen when I started a youtube video of the old original TMNT for my son. I had to distract him from the TV until I could “skip” the ad to get to the show. I was also appalled! Thank you for writing this and the ideas you gave on what we can do.

  • Marisa says:

    I am struggling as a single mom living with parents who don’t have faith, to raise my children in the love of God. Fortunately, my parents do have a strong marriage and this may sound silly, but they fight in front of everyone over silly things, now that is clearly not the ideal way to do it, BUT growing up I learned through them having their spats and being open to us about how you can fight or butt heads while loving each other. We are a very open family whether it is about finances, to differences of opinion. Every ones thoughts are valuable and worthy of being heard. I pray that my children gain wisdom from this living experience and grow to make their own educated decisions on topics dear to their hearts.

    As far as your youtube fiasco goes I have Google ChromeCast (its about 30 dollars) and i cast directly from my ipad or computer to the TV. It does NOT play the commercials which is a great help!! If you have a tv that can have this it is a GREAT way to not only watch things as a family, but to also avoid the almost always scary commercials we see on our regular devices!

  • Jay says:

    I think it is good to support good wholesome movies. Oldfashionedmovie.com is coming out in select theaters the same day as 50 Shades but opposite values.

  • Liesl says:

    YouTube’s ad content is an ongoing source of frustration for us, and our children (like Silas) know to turn the device over and hand it to one of us if something “strange” starts to play before the clip we’ve approved for them. One of the most significant things we’ve done to promote “beauty, wholesomeness and a strong marriage” in our home is to turn off the TV… for good. This gives our children much more time to read, practice music and engage in creative play. When we do occasionally watch videos online, we choose programs that are in alignment with our family’s values and educational goals. This allows us to avoid mainstream shows on TV and the commercials that go with them. (‘Tis a bit more difficult to turn THAT device over!)

  • sarah says:

    As a child psychologist I help parents with this issue all the time and agree with you list. It is an increasingly growing problem as access to technology and the moral compass of what is seen on technology continues to decline. The only think I would add to your list is to encourage parents to have conversations with your kids often about issues like this. Crystal, your child quickly flipped the phone over, it’s important to talk to him about why he flipped it, praise him for making a good choice, and help understand at a developmentally appropriate level why watching certain things is not ok. As a parent taking those opportunities to instil values and allowing him to express how he felt when the advertisement started paves the way for those more challenging conversations that are sure to come further down the line.

    Images and words find their way into children’s minds at a young age, even subconsciously and we don’t often realize the impact it is having. That is why open, calm conversations about sensitive topics like this are so important to have with your children. They need to know that just because something upset mom or dad/mom or dad don’t approve of something etc. that they can still come to you and talk about their feelings and thoughts.

    ***Crystal I am sure you did this but just want to put it out there because I feel that it is an important reminder for parents.

  • Virginia Smith says:

    As we were coming home from school today there was a radio commercial for the movie and my 10 year old daughter said that is going to be a stupid movie. I was a little shocked because I have not discussed it in front of her. Glad though that she thought it was stupid. She was watching Goosebumps on her nook when an advertisement for the movie came on. I am very concerned that they are addressing such a young audience. What happens to the children that don’t have proper guidance at home? They will think this is OK. It saddens me deeply.

  • Kim says:

    Thank you Crystal for the heads up. I have 2 little boys who watch Netflix and you tube on the iPad. I’ve been thinking about “losing” the iPad and you’ve helped me decide to do just that. I fear what they are exposed to when I’m not around. I support our family financially andI have to work a lot of hours. Unfortunately my husband and I do not agree when it comes to what is and is not appropriate for our boys. I constantly have to ask him to turn off movies or tv with language or subject matter that isn’t appropriate. It is frustrating to say the least. Sometimes I struggle with wanting to separate just for the good of our boys because their dad is not a good example for them. He is not a Christian and I am which makes things very difficult.

    • Jessica says:

      Kim, I just wanted you to know that my heart went out to you when I read this I will pray for strength and peace for you today, and for your husband to come to know the love Whose name is Jesus Christ.

      I fervently hope that you have other Christian families near you to give emotional support to you and your husband. Men need that “bolster” just as much as women do; seeing another man act as a leader and a devoted Christian would be powerful for your own husband.

      God bless you. I wish I could give you a big hug and pray with you, but know that my thoughts will be with you today.

  • Tiffany Erb says:

    This very thing happened to me last week when I pulled up a video for my daughter to help learn her 8 times tables. I was also appalled that they would have such a commercial on a children’s video! Thank you for the reminder of what an impact we are on our kids and how important it is for us to behave in that way that we are.

  • Karen H says:

    I so agree with your stance on issues such as this. As a parent, it is our duty to educate our children, nourish their bodies, motivate their energies to broaden their horizons, protect them from the nasties in the world and set their feet on a path to successful adults. A parent can only do so much but it is with great joy when, as watching your children develop into responsible adults, you know you did it right. They won’t thank you, but they will appreciate all you did for them.

    All that said, I was interested in the striking black and white photos in your blog today. In the world of color photography, how did you do that? They are beautiful.

  • Sioux says:

    Just to add what I do to control youtube and other online videos I use for teaching my kids: I use a simple file converter, Google “get videos off YouTube”, you put in the link to the video and it downloads the video to your computer- delete when done, OR upload it to your own personal private youtube channel, that you can set all the controls for.

  • AJ says:

    I was looking up Christian Country music and before the playlist an ad for an explicit horror film played that we could not skip…so yeah YouTube is done as far as the kids go. But since you can’t keep them out of the world, I have taken the time to explain to them the nature of the “deceitful heart”. And how people are sometimes led the wrong way in life from following their “heart” or “feelings”. This is all coming from a Bible based family. Any who, for whatever reason (maybe because we believe its the truth), that simple explanation has guarded my children from having to make sense of things that are yet beyond their understanding, AND has kept them from growing into judgmental little Christian children. I want them to understand the world around them as, “yes, that is Right and that is Wrong, and either way I am supposed to love.”… until the next episode this is what we have figured out 😉

  • Susan says:

    I really like your blog and message, but this touched a spot in me that hurts.

    I promote love and care in my home but I am also getting divorced. I fought for my marriage for years and sacrificed and kept secrets. He’s still angry and a year and a half ago he got violent and I realized no matter what I can’t fix all problems on my own. And I did not want that example for my kids. To save my kids & myself, I filed for divorce. He’s still angry and I can’t change him, only me and the example I show my kids, which is love.

    If that makes me unwholesome so be it. I’d rather be that and happy then living with such sadness. I feel this was very judgemental and you have never been that in the years I have been following you.

    • Jo says:

      Please know that there was absolutely zero judgment intended in this post. I actually re-wrote the part about marriages three times before posting because I didn’t want it to come across in a way that would be hurtful toward those who tried to salvage a marriage and it just didn’t happen. When I write posts on marriage, I always write them to couples where both parties are willing to put forth effort and work on the marriage. I know that that is often not the case and do not ever want someone to feel judged as a result.

      I’m going to go back and add this to that part of the post so that you and others in your situation will know that section was not written for you:

      Note: This post was written for couples who are in healthy relationships where both parties love each other and want to work on issues together and personally. If your spouse is abusive, please, please, please don’t hide the abuse out of fear or let your spouse convince you it’s your fault. Get help immediately.

      Also, I know you are hurting very much right now and I just want you to know that I just stopped and prayed for you. {Hugs!}

    • Tshanina | Thrifty T's Treasures says:

      Susan,
      I wish I could dive through the computer screen and give you a big bear hug! As someone who has been divorced, I know the pain you are going through. (My husband for left me for someone else. After fighting for my marriage for a year, divorce was inevitable!)

      The Lord wouldn’t ask you to stay in a violent relationship. Leaving was a wholesome example for your children!

      I’m sorry that you had to endure the pain that you did. I’m sorry that you are walking through a divorce. I’m sorry that you’re hurting!!!

  • Charity says:

    I feel so dumb….I seriously have no clue what 50 Shades of Grey is. Back to my bubble….

  • Jen says:

    I am so sorry your 5 yr old saw inappropriate images on your phone, but kudos to you, momma, that when he did, he put the phone down and didn’t keep watching. We teach our boys to look away from inappropriate images, and it sounds like that is just what your 5 yr old did! Now to pray that the images do not remain in his “file”.

  • Maria says:

    Unfortunately, these moments are occurring more often than not anymore, and it’s an interesting time to see the character of your children when it occurs. My daughter was doing a school assignment on an iPad at school looking up “contagious” on their web browsers when she somehow got an image of male genital herpes on it. She covered her screen and discreetly showed it to the teacher; she told us it made the teacher look green looking at it. The school followed their set polices, informed us before she came home, and immediately took her tablet and started an investigation on how it got through their systems. My daughter has been very discreet about it and understands what she saw was an accident and not to be talked about with her friends. She has been praised for her judgment and actions. Our children cannot be sheltered and protected from everything, so we must equip them with the knowledge and judgment of what to do when something like this occurs.

  • JOYce says:

    From a positive, upbeat perspective: 50 shades of God-ordained opportunity!!! Many times ads on youtube are inappropriate as a lead to a Christian offering ~ wondering if they cycle as to specific ad and someone doesn’t realize they can include updated unwanteds. Have read financial websites that have taken down ads due to not be as in charge as promised. However ~ God wasn’t sleeping with your or any person’s experience such as this. What a teachable moment ~ an opportunity as a believer to reach out with God’s grace and mercy to not only youtube and the video channel…but, also, your family and readers! The world is upside down, we all begin in the same boat, and the gospel is what tilts it and us proper. Have been seeing this as a theme on many sites recently. These two books specifically touch my heart:

    World-Tilting Gospel: Embracing a Biblical Worldview and Hanging on Tight by Dan Phillips ~ The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies(sample reading at following links).

    Never too young to begin, individual maturity levels kept in mind ~ possibly Silas didn’t grasp other than it wasn’t Leap Frog if the ad was the movie trailer(doubt the initial frames were as expressive as they likely progress). I’ve come across recycled programming that would have been televised when I was his age ~ never picked up then on the “extras” included even from way back when things felt a bit more benign, family friendly.

    http://www.wtsbooks.com/world-tilting-gospel-dan-phillips-9780825439087

    http://www.wtsbooks.com/the-discipline-of-spiritual-discernment-tim-challies-9781581349092

    God bless <3

  • Courtney says:

    Great post, Crystal! My personal pet peeve is tv commercials for male “dysfunction” drugs such as Viagra that are shown during family programming. Ugh!

  • Melanie says:

    Did this happen with the “safety mode” setting on? If so, I’m going to YouTube. What’s the point of having a safety mode setting if they are still going to play content that isn’t appropriate for children?

    As a child, I could watch whatever I wanted. When I say whatever I wanted, I’m not exaggerating. I remember going with my mom to rent scary movies when I was around 9 or 10 years old. To this day, I wonder what my mother what thinking. I have first hand knowledge on the effects of being exposed to inappropriate things too early. That’s why I’m very cautious about what my children are exposed to. I don’t want them to have the same issues that I developed.

    I appreciate you writing this without being judgmental toward the opposite side of what you believe in when it comes to this topic. 🙂

  • Amanda S says:

    Can i just say that I am shocked this movie is not rated NC-17?? From what I am hearing about this (I haven’t read the books and don’t plan to) it is VERY “adult” and we are only making it rated R?? And yes if it very inappropriate then commercials should be limited to only airing on late night TV or certain websites – not everywhere!

  • Rachel R. says:

    Ugh. I truly believe it should be illegal to advertise a movie/show during content that has a lower rating than the thing being advertised.

  • Rachel says:

    Interesting. I have a very small child (still toddler years), and am a first-time mommy. All this uproar about 50 Shades has helped me begin preparing for this exact thing. It has taken a week of all this hoo-ha for me to begin to sift through and find what I truly believe. Thank you for articulating how I feel! We need more encouraging things like this to provoke thought about various issues-not just 50 Shades. Thanks again 🙂

  • Bev says:

    We never see commercials on YouTube or any other place for that matter and no ads on websites because we installed 2 blockers on our Firefox browser. We use Ad Blocker Plus and Ghostery – works great and we no longer have to wonder what will come up! I also love reading the news and blogs without ads! 😉 It also speeds up your browsing, or at least it did for me as there is less to load!

  • Kim Anderson says:

    We don’t live near family so we opt to participate in parents night out at our local ymca and have a date night at least once a month to strengthen our friendship and marriage. I do what I can to protect his innocence as long as I can because my heart longs for him to live in ignorant childhood bliss until the day it’s time to do otherwise. I try to be a gatekeeper and I think that’s all most parents can be. Great post.

  • vanessa says:

    The library is a great option for these movies. No worries about the ads. We dropped Amazon Prime too to save $.

  • Jean says:

    Two things to add, in addition to enabling Safety Mode, is that if you are viewing YouTube on a desktop, you can use a browser Add-On such as Ad Blocker Pro which will block all ads on YouTube! There are also some YouTube-specific ad blockers as well, I believe. Also, word is that Google will be announcing a Kids YouTube app within the next few days.

  • Tshanina | Thrifty T's Treasures says:

    I’m a little late to the discussion because I’m just now catching up with my blog reading. (I have a four month old.)

    I love that Silas knew to turn the phone over…how and at what age did you teach him this?

    I’d also love to know more about teaching children to be critical thinkers and the questions you asked them!

  • Nicola says:

    Love this read. My husband I believe that it is so important to prepare our kiddos so that when they encounter different things they are prepared with the tools.
    My husband and I work hard to model a loving relationship before our kiddos. One small thing he does that makes me feel special is that he greets me before the kids when he gets home. We also swap babysitting with another family once a month for date nights. Didn’t know if you are aware of YouTube kids?

  • Nova says:

    Hi Crystal,
    First let me just say that I am loving you more & more each day, sister! In a season where I am trying to purge a lot of unhelpful info/input from my life, I find your posts to be well worth my time. They build UP, not tear down. Even in the housekeeping/managing posts, an area where I SERIOUSLY struggle as a single working mama, I feel inspired when I read your posts bc they’re actually HELPFUL. (PS. Started making my bed everysingleday bc of you!)

    Regarding this post, I recently had to kindly ask all my adults friends NOT to hand their phones over to my 5 yr old. A lot of well-meaning, lovely people think they are being loving by sharing their phones with my son. Not only do I want to guard his heart again excessive screen time & inappropriate images, but I want him to enjoy real, live PEOPLE and not become numb to meaningful human interaction. BROKE.MY.HEART when recently I engaged an upstanding young man (recent college grad I trust completely) from our small church to come babysit for an hour. J said, “YES!!! Joel is coming over??? He’s my FAVORITE guy!!!” I chuckled and said, “What do you want to play while he’s here?” To which he replied, “I want to play on his phone!” ?!?!?!?!?!? Our favorite person comes over to visit, & all we want…. is to ignore him & use his phone???? Argh!

    • Jo says:

      Such good words in this comment! And thank you so much for your sweet encouragement! Your words blessed me today!

  • Brandy @ Our Thrifty Home says:

    Wow’ This post came to me via Facebook just on the right day.

    I, too, have had this happen to our kids. They where playing a (very innocent) game on my phone when my son brought me the phone and said “um, Mom! I don’t think I’m supposed to see this!” It was a half naked woman advertising a game. I had played that game numerous times myself and never encountered advertisement on it. Needless to say, we had a discussion right then and there.

    Today, we (my kids & I) were watching ABC Family (tv channel) and the commercials that were coming on were appalling to say the least. Definitely not ‘family’ values. Worse, they kept coming on. Here we were watching a movie meant for children and over 90% of the commercials were adult content. I was quite frustrated and my son said to me “we know that’s not right Mom. We know not to do that.” Honestly, my children should not have to feel that way or say that to me…… it’s a family station with a family movie on!

    I can remember watching toy commercials when I was young… not commercials for adult situations.

    It’s so sad, isn’t it?

  • Sharon Hartwig says:

    When my kids were younger I let them watch this show on a channel called G2. The show was specifically for children and as I had seen it before, and approved, I used this time to get some laundry done. After awhile I walked back into the room to find my son sitting there with his hands over his eyes while a Girls Gone Wild commercial was on!

  • Amanda says:

    These are great principals to instill in our children. My husband and I do our best to show our children we love each other, it’s important to say your sorry and we do our best to have set them up to have a true relationship with Jesus. Have you ever read “Loving Our Kids on Purpose”? I think you would really enjoy it. 🙂

  • valerie says:

    Oh I hate when that happens.

  • Sharon says:

    Well said.

    You cannot protect your children from the filth and danger of the adult world. You handled the problem to the best of your abilities.

    Your children are in danger from people who hide behind facades of goodness. Acknowledging their existence, talking with your children and educating yourself are your weapons to protect your family.

  • Lissy says:

    I totally agree with you! I don’t understand why YouTube doesn’t band those kinds of commercials out of kids channels! The reality is that we are raising children in a society when sexual immorality is prevalent and accepted as “normal.” As a Christian family we try our very best to protect our children’s innocence and I think we are doing a good job at it. I believe that not all is lost and we, as parents, can instill good values to our children. Please keep writing.

  • Erin says:

    This happened to us watching a kid’s cooking competition on food network. Not a kids channel, but I think networks need to be more vigilant about what they air when their audience is not what it normally would be. It just feels like nothing is safe anymore. Thank you for posting.

  • Amanda P says:

    I haven’t personally tried this yet, but reading your post makes me think that I should. This link provides information on how you can set up a safe YouTube
    http://www.icanteachmychild.com/how-to-watch-youtube-videos-safely-with-kids/

  • Jill says:

    Silas did a fantastic job responding!
    Things like this are one of the reasons I’m beginning to despise YouTube. We have actually removed YouTube and put on YouTube Kids. Not perfect (my daughter learned about “purple nurples” from the show “Jessie”), but better. My son picked up too many unfortunate things from YouTube before we made this change. 🙁

December212012® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Do not be silent