We were at a convenience store the other day with the kids. While I was getting the stuff I needed, I noticed Ryan standing by the magazine rack and he looked like he was shuffling and rearranging the magazines that were neatly stacked in rows. I gave him that glaring “what-are-you-doing!-leave-those-stuff-alone” look while walking quickly to where he was. As I was getting closer, I realized what he was doing. He was turning the magazines the other way, but not all the magazines, only those that had skimpily-clad women on the cover. He told me “It is not good for people to see these.”
I felt so proud of my little boy. At 6 years old, he understood what it meant to “guard your eyes.” One of the biggest challenges we parents face these days is how to protect our kids from images that can mar their innocence and purity. Whereas years ago, you would need to go to “adult stores” to see explicit material, now you just need to drive down our highways and there they are, left and right, and a million times magnified before our very eyes. It is sad that we’ve had to ask our kids many times to cover their eyes and turn away while in the car on the road because of those graphic, uncensored billboards that are supposed to advertise clothing brands, yet their models are hardly wearing any.
Our kids’ tiny minds will almost immediately soak up images they see, whether good or bad. We need to teach them to guard their eyes. They need to know when to look away, or flip the channel, or close a window in their computer. And we need to train them early. Or media will train them otherwise.