Preparing Children for the “Real World”

I came across an interesting post this morning about Dr. Ray Guarendi’s response to a mother’s question regarding protecting her chilren’s innocence.  This mom regularly hears from her peer group: You can’t protect them forever.  There is a real world out there.  They have to learn to deal with life.  I found this post interesting because my wife and I regularly struggle with the battle to protect our sons from a world which we know they are not prepared to face.  Our culture will not protect our children…only we can.  The assault is coming from TV, the Internet, video games and peer pressure from friends.  Do you face this problem?  Please read the post below and share your thoughts on the topic of  protecting your chilren’s innocence.

Preparing Children for the Real World

By Dr. Ray Guarendi

Dear Dr. Ray, I try hard to keep my kids innocent and to raise them more slowly than their peers. Regularly, I hear, “You can’t protect them forever. That’s a real world out there. They have to learn to deal with life.” – Cautious Mom

Yes, you can’t protect them forever. Yes, that is a real world out there. And yes, they do have to learn to deal with life. What does any of this have to do with raising your children at your pace, and not the world’s?

What you are hearing makes my top ten list of nonsensical notions assaulting good parents today.  Mindlessly repeated by…


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  1. Randy,

    Excellent article.

    >>The opposite of innocence is not maturity; it is worldliness. And worldliness doesn’t better equip a child to cope with the world. It just makes him more likely to be comfortable with it.<< That's it exactly. Our taks is not to make them "worldly", but it is to help them become mature and holy. No one should ever become comfortable with immorality. Deacon Mike

  2. I agree. The world is not a suitable parent substitute. We are not here to help them conform to this world…our job is to help them get to Heaven.

    God bless-


  3. This subject is very near and dear to my heart. After transporting our 14-year-old daughter directly from a psychiatric hospital where she was undergoing “treatment” for two weeks, to an out-of-state therapeutic boarding school, I have fully turned my life over to God. This all took place over Holy Week. God is good. I have now learned the tragic news that my daughter’s situation (self-injury, eating disorders and addiction to electronic devices) is not unique; she is among the many teens that have taken a dark and self-destructive path, turning away from God and family. Without a sense of purpose in life, they have have adopted a mindset rooted in selfishness and worldliness. The media certainly plays a large part.

    However, as parents, we have every right to say “no” and to assert limits consistent with our beliefs. We must live our faith and be extremely conservative when it comes to the media. We, after all, were the ones who purchased the iPod Touch, the laptop computers, the digital cameras, and opened wide the gates of temptation. At this point, I have shed far too many tears for my failures in not firmly living my faith and listening to God speaking to me through all of the noise. I beg parents who are walking that tightrope between worldliness and holiness to choose God over the world. Thank you Deacon Mike and Dr. Ray.

    I just discovered The Integrated Catholic Life website this morning after clicking a link on Teresa Tomeo’s website. In this case, the internet is a blessing!

    Faithfully in Christ, Jacqueline

  4. Jacqueline-welcome to our website and thank you for your comment. I am grateful for your personal sharing and illustrating what is a common problem in our country. We will be praying for you, your family and especially your daughter and hope others can learn from your story.

    God bless and thanks-


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