Marybeth Hicks

First and foremost, I hope you have done (and are still doing) everything in your power to rescue your marriage. Your best hope of having greater influence on the ways in which your children engage with the culture is to remain “inside” and do the job together.

If your marriage can’t be saved, then you’ll have to create in your separate home an environment with respect to cultural engagement that you think is best. Establish rules for your house that reflect your values and use the time there to expose the children to the kinds of media and activities that you feel are more wholesome and appropriate.

Expect resistance since your home will feel stricter, so lay out your rules in a loving, constructive way. Say, “I know you’re allowed to play certain games and be on Facebook when you’re at Mom’s, but I’d like to do things a little differently when you’re here. I’m going to limit gaming choices and put some limits on media time so we can make the most of our time together.” Or something like that.

Keep this in mind: The culture is a fact of life in this era. We who consider ourselves “conservative” or “traditional” in values must recognize that we can’t influence our children by only saying no (though often that’s absolutely what must be said). We have to be out there setting an example and demonstrating that we don’t have to be swayed by everything we encounter in the culture, but rather, that we’re capable of making choices about how and when we engage in it that reflect our values and the character we want for families.

• Got a question about parenting in today’s culture? Email me at marybeth@marybethhicks.com.


Marybeth Hicks

Marybeth Hicks is the author of Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom (Regnery Publishers, 2011).


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