Rebecca Hagelin

If you’re a parent, you know there’s one thing you’ll never lack -- advice.

But I'd actually like to get more of it from some very special people: readers of my column.

I hear enough from you to know that your real-life parenting success stories and the way you face challenges are so much better than the tripe that often fills magazine after magazine at the local newsstand. And most of you share the same worldview … the one that teaches us that our children are a gift from God … that it’s a privilege and a joy to shape and mold their little hearts and lives.

We know that it is mom and dad -- not the school, not the government, not the village -- who actually do the best job of raising sons and daughters that tower above the modern culture.

We also know that with the constant barrage of toxic garbage thrown at our children, it is tougher than ever to navigate them safely through the clutter to find what is pure, lovely, true, noble and just.

Being a parent often means standing tough -- and doing so on a consistent basis in the everyday tasks of life.

Take something as simple as clothes shopping. What should be a mundane task has become, in today’s over-sexualized society, a cultural minefield. My regular readers may recall a time, a few years ago, when I wrote about the time I took my daughter, Kristin (who was then 13), shopping for a bathing suit for our summer vacation.

Anybody with a teenage daughter can tell you the problem: Nearly every swimsuit is far too revealing. And for Kristin and me, an afternoon of fun turned into one of frustration:

We try on item after item, hoping against hope that maybe the next pair of shorts actually comes up somewhere close to the waist, or the next bathing suit isn't really as tiny and baring as it looks on the hanger. But time after time, I have to shake my head and say, "no." Which is why tears are starting to well up in Kristin's beautiful green eyes.

For a moment, I think of ignoring the reddening eyes as we continue our mission to find something decent. But I think better of it, sigh, and simply, softly say, “Sweetheart” as I step forward and hug her close. … We remain in our silent embrace for several minutes and then I step back and wipe away her tears. She sweetly smiles as I say, " We'll keep on looking -- no matter how long it takes -- until we find something you like, and that also reflects the honor and respect for your body that you deserve."

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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