I am part of an email list called the "MOMYS Digest" where Mother's Of Many Young Siblings can post questions, concerns, fun announcements, money saving ideas, etc. and the other MOMYS can reply, offer encouragement, advice, and so on.
Recently a mother put out a warning against the dangers of iPads and other hand-held devices for youth and children after learning her barely 14 year old son had become severely addicted to pornography after innocently coming across images when doing searches for science fiction material ("image" searches). Then another mom told the heart-breaking tale of how her husband was exposed to porn at the age of seven years. He ended up committing crimes fueled by his addiction, recently turned himself in to police and is now in prison for a minimum of 13 years. This mother of seven is now desperately trying to figure out how to financially support her family! Yet another mom told of her older son being shown a dirty magazine while working as a cashier at a family dairy farm. One of the hired "farm hands" thought it would be funny to show the pictures to this young man. He had two younger brothers and ended up exposing them to porn at home on their computer and to this day he sees absolutely nothing wrong with his addiction, lives on his own and is in his early twenties. His brothers are struggling with bitterness towards him as they became addicted also but thankfully are working with leaders at their church to help them break the chains.
All of these sad stories came out in just the past several days. Each of these mother's pleaded with us other MOMYS to do ALL we can to guard and protect our children from these things. It was terribly heartbreaking to read their accounts in greater detail than I'm giving here, but their warnings are applicable to every parent! Giving youth and children full access to the internet, movies and music is not about "trust". That would be like allowing your children to sample the most addictive and dangerous drugs available because you "trust" them and know YOUR child would be immune to those drugs.
While teaching a class at the LDSEHE conference in Virginia a little less than two years ago about parenting and homeschooling I was hit with a powerful and profound truth by the Holy Spirit. This was the message: "If you raise your children to have the Holy Spirit as their constant companion, (because you as a parent are doing YOUR personal best to have the Holy Spirit as YOUR companion), you will simply not be able to stop your children from doing and accomplishing GREAT things in their lives." I know that this is true! If you want your children to achieve their full academic or career potential in life you need to put this truth at THE VERY CENTER of your priorities.
When we or our children are filled with the Holy Ghost we or they are also fueled with a desire to learn and grow in good and virtuous things. Not only that, we will KNOW what are the very most important things for us as completely unique individuals to focus our time and energy. This is education at its finest and most exciting level. There is no fear involved but instead lots of self-driven hard work.
- editor - For more of Karolyn's insights visit her blog here.