Guarding Your Kids: 5 Proven Strategies Against Secular Influences

Studies show children are exposed to an average of 8 to 10 hours of media per day, much of which may contain secular messages conflicting with their family’s values and beliefs. Continue to read as I share 5 Proven Strategies Against Secular Influences.

Influences on our children are all around us

In today’s digitally driven world, secular influences on children are more prevalent than ever before. From TV shows and movies to social media and online content, the bombardment of secular ideas can significantly impact a child’s worldview and beliefs.

As parents, it’s important to recognize the nature of these influences and take steps to guide our children’s beliefs and values in a secular society. 

Our role as parents extends beyond providing food and shelter; we are also called to nurture our children’s spiritual and moral development in an increasingly secular world.

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of parents being proactive in guiding their children’s beliefs and values among the frequent secular influences. 

We’ll dive into practical strategies that parents can use to fight these influences and help their children navigate today’s secular world while staying true to their faith and values. 

Guarding Your Kids: 5 Proven Strategies Against Secular Influences

5 Proven Strategies Against Secular Influences

1. Foster Open Communication:

Encouraging honest conversation within the family is important for creating a caring and encouraging atmosphere where children know they are valued, listened to, and comprehended. 

By making open communication a priority parents can develop close connections with their children and set the groundwork for positive relationships founded on trust and mutual respect. 

A. Establish a secure environment 

A crucial part of promoting open dialogue involves establishing a secure environment where children can freely share their thoughts, inquiries, and worries without worrying about criticism or consequences.

This involves actively listening to their children, validating their feelings, and providing a non-judgmental atmosphere where all perspectives are welcomed and respected.

B. Have meaningful conversations with our children 

As parents, we need to have meaningful conversations with our children about faith, values, and beliefs. This is essential in shaping our children’s understanding of the world and their place in it. 

These conversations serve as opportunities for parents to share their beliefs and values while also allowing children to voice their thoughts and interpretations. 

Through these discussions, parents can impart wisdom, guidance, and moral teachings that align with their family’s values and beliefs.

C. How to facilitate effective communication

To have more effective communication, parents can use different techniques such as active listening and validating children’s feelings and perspectives. 

  • Active listening involves giving full attention to what children are saying, paraphrasing their words to ensure understanding, and asking clarifying questions to delve deeper into their thoughts and emotions. 
  • Validating children’s feelings and perspectives demonstrates empathy and understanding, reinforcing their sense of worth and fostering a deeper connection with their parents.

Guarding Your Kids: 5 Proven Strategies Against Secular Influences

2. Create a Strong Family Identity:

Creating a strong family identity is an important part of fostering a sense of belonging, unity, and shared purpose within the family. 

By building a foundation centred on shared values and beliefs, families can form a unified identity that enhances connections and fosters relationships.

A. Set family values and beliefs

One of the key aspects of cultivating a strong family identity is the importance of mutual values and beliefs.

When families have a clear understanding of their core values and beliefs, they can align their actions and choices based on these values, promoting harmony and unity.

By stressing the importance of these shared values, parents can instill a sense of purpose and belonging within their children, creating a strong foundation for each member of the family.

B. Create times of shared experiences

Suggesting activities such as family rituals, traditions, and discussions is a great way to grow the family’s identity and connection. 

These activities provide opportunities for families to come together, celebrate their unique identity, and create lasting memories. 

Whether it’s weekly family dinners, holiday traditions, or bedtime routines, these rituals help strengthen bonds and reinforce the family’s shared values and beliefs. 

C. Share your past experiences

Parents should also encourage open discussions about family history, values, and goals allowing family members to connect on a deeper level and gain a better understanding of their identity as a unit.

I was at a function recently that was talking about things parents can do to help their children make good choices. The speaker shared a connection between parents sharing past failures with decisions the children made in the future.

He shared a study that showed this: Each of us has made mistakes in our past. When we share those mistakes with our children and how those mistakes shaped our lives- our children are less likely to make those same mistakes. BUT- when we don’t open up about our past and we DON’T share our mistakes- our children are much more likely to go and make those same mistakes in the future! 

Why am I sharing this? There is so much wisdom found in scripture- but when we take to time and share personal experiences or stories about our lives that apply to scripture, our children are much more likely to be able to apply those lessons to their own lives and also less likely to make the same mistakes in the future. 

When we take to time to discuss scripture and how it applies to our lives, our children will be more likely to understand that scripture is not just a book of rules to follow but a book of life and lessons that apply to our everyday lives. 

D. Lead by Example

Leading by example is also an important part of creating a strong family identity. 

Parents play a crucial role in shaping the family’s values and beliefs through their actions and behaviours. 

By demonstrating their commitment to these principles in their everyday lives, parents set a positive example for their children to follow. 

Whether it’s volunteering in the community, prioritizing family time, or practicing kindness and empathy, parents can show their children what it means to live by the family’s values and beliefs.

3. Provide Positive Role Models:

Positive role models play a crucial role in shaping children’s beliefs, behaviours, and character development. 

Children often look up to and copy those they admire, making the influence of role models significant in their lives. 

Role models can come from various spheres, including family, community, and faith-based organizations, and they can have a profound impact on children’s moral compass, self-esteem, and aspirations.

It’s essential for parents to surround their children with positive role models who show the values and principles they want to instill. 

By observing and interacting with positive role models, children can learn valuable life lessons and develop positive attitudes and behaviours.

A. Where to find these role models 

Parents can find role models for their children within their family, community, or faith-based organizations. 

Family members, such as parents, grandparents, or older siblings, can serve as role models by displaying positive traits and behaviours. 

Community leaders, teachers, coaches, or mentors can also be positive role models who inspire and guide children in their personal growth and development. 

Being involved in church activities can also provide children access to positive role models who live out the teachings and values of their faith.

Positive role models not only inspire children to be their best selves but also provide them with a sense of guidance and support as they navigate the complexities of growing up.

Guarding Your Kids: 5 Proven Strategies Against Secular Influences

4. Educate & Equip:

It’s really important for kids to learn and think carefully about the things they hear and see, especially in today’s world where there are lots of different ideas and beliefs.

 Parents need to help their kids understand what they believe and why, so they can tell what’s true and what might not be.

Parents can do this by encouraging their kids to ask questions, think about things carefully, and check if the information they’re getting is reliable. 

This helps kids to be smart about what they believe and feel confident in their faith.

There are also lots of good books, videos, and online classes that can help kids learn more about their faith and values. 

These resources show kids different ways to think about things and help them understand why they believe what they do.

It’s important for parents to talk with their kids about what they’re learning and answer any questions they have. 

This helps kids feel safe and supported as they figure out what they believe. 

By doing all of this, parents help their kids grow up strong and sure of themselves, even when they face challenges to their beliefs.

5. Create Community and Support:

Creating a community and support network is important in strengthening children’s faith and values, providing them with a strong foundation. 

When children are surrounded by like-minded families, churches, or religious organizations, they have the opportunity to learn from others who share their beliefs and values. 

These connections offer support and encouragement, helping children navigate challenges and grow in their faith journey.

As a parent, you can also connect with other families who prioritize faith and values. This creates a supportive community where children feel accepted, valued, and understood. 

This sense of belonging is essential for children’s emotional and spiritual well-being, as it reinforces their identity as members of a larger faith community.

In these types of communities, children have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with peers, mentors, and role models who can guide and inspire them in their faith. 

They also have access to resources, such as Bible studies, youth groups, and community service projects, that further reinforce their faith and values.

Conclusion: 

In today’s world children encounter a continuous stream of messages that might contradict their family’s values and beliefs.

As parents, it’s our responsibility to recognize the nature of these influences and take active steps to guide our children’s beliefs and values in a secular society. 

Beyond providing for their physical needs, we can nurture their spiritual and moral development, getting them ready to understand and deal with the challenges of the secular world while keeping their faith and values strong.

In the comments below, share how you help your children fight against secular influences on their lives. 

Guarding Your Kids: 5 Proven Strategies Against Secular Influences

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