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Popularity or Purity? Help the Children Choose

Updated on June 21, 2016
MsDora profile image

MsDora - parent, counselor, seminar presenter - offers suggestions on raising confident, conscientious, responsible, productive children.

Many teens living on the wrong side of morality are not from the stereotypical fatherless, abusive, or drug-infested home.

Reporting on the ABC Documentary (2009) Teen: Oral Sex and Casual Prostitution No Biggie, Sharlene Azam said, “The girls are almost always from good homes, but their parents are completely unaware."

Open communication . . .

Photo by Linda Bartlett
Photo by Linda Bartlett | Source

The emotional needs of the teens can drive them into inappropriate actions:

  • Some teens reject the love and security of family to pursue the approval of their peers.
  • Some choose offers of gifts and money in exchange for acceptance.
  • Some leave home ambitious to begin their search for fame and fortune.
  • Rather than give up the quest for their desired success, some make the ultimate sacrifice of self (even if it violates personal convictions).

Without a sense of purpose and a commitment to positive life principles, the pressure to be popular or prosperous at any cost could be overwhelming. What can parents do to influence children’s decision before and after they leave home?

Here are six proposals for consideration.

(1) Explain Your Habits

Parents cannot take it for granted that children will interpret their moral actions correctly. Communicate the “why” of what you do.

  • Why do you choose to watch some movies and not others? Do you choose based on your preference for the actors or on the type of language they use?
  • Why do you prefer certain fashion over others? Do you choose based on your budget or on your sense of modesty?
  • Why do you not use curse words or watch porn? What principles do cursing and porn violate?.

If there is anything more important than modeling the purity principles in your home, it is explaining your reason. They have to understand a principle in order to adopt it. Besides, explaining the reasons for your action can be a subtle way to teach without lecturing. And the more conversation you have with your teens, the more memories will surface when they are bombarded with opposite views.

One Can Make A Difference

(2) Emphasize Personal Significance

Teach the children early that individuality is an asset; that although team spirit is necessary, personal worth matters to team success (as in a family venture, in sports activities, in classroom projects). Make them aware that even when other team members shirk responsibility, it is important for their character growth that they keep up their end.

Introduce them to the "power of one" in biographies of people who have made a difference: like the story of the female astronaut in Sally Ride: The First American Woman in Space; or the story of the neurosurgeon in Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story; or the inspirational stories of many others in 50 American Heroes Every Kid Should Meet.

Stress the importance of making a difference over the recognition that comes after.

(3) Encourage Selective Associations

Your intention is not to give your teen the impression that he or she is better than others, but to to teach the importance of choice in friendships.

  • Encourage your teen to be civil towards other teens who are disrespectful, manipulative and abusive, but to avoid becoming buddies with them. Teach them zero tolerance for bullying.
  • Encourage them to choose friends who share their passion for purity and productive lifestyles.
  • Make your home available for extracurricular activities, so you can meet their friends, and indirectly influence them too.
  • Impress upon them that their teen peers will likely be the friends who influence them most in their adult years.

While you are around to support them, have them begin to take responsibility for the friends they allow into their circle.

(4) Discourage Hero or Idol Worship

Justin Bieber Fans by Joe Bielawa
Justin Bieber Fans by Joe Bielawa | Source

Sadly, many teens choose to be fans of people who are popular rather than principled. In his television series Anchors of Truth, John Lomocang brings to light the hidden satanic symbols displayed on stage by popular icons like Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West and many of the other music stars which our children idolize. Without being aware, our children help their stars extend these negative influences by imitating the Baphomet horns and other hand signals which have satanic origins.

Among the lessons parents teach the children, should be included that:

  • They can love everyone but their adoration belongs only to God.
  • Their purity choices extend to the lyrics they sing, the books they read, the movies they watch, and to the content of their texting and emails.
  • The life-size posters in their rooms, and the pictures on the T-shirts should not be chosen randomly, but should promote what they believe.
  • Because every human being has character flaws, none is worthy of worship or fanatic admiration.

Be Positive When You Discipline

(5) Affirm and Applaud Wise Judgement

Occasionally, your teen who seems inattentive to your teaching, will take a stand or initiate an ethical action that surprises you. Make it a big deal. Commend him or her. Let your child hear you expressing the pleasure you feel to someone else. Everyone loves to receive applause.

Some teens might not have left home if they received the acceptance and approval they longed for. On the other hand, those accustomed to genuine parental applause will call home when they run into a dry spell in distant places. The approval of parents do not substitute for the approval of friends, but it encourages the child to keep on track.

(6) Pray

Last, but definitely not least, keep your teen lifted up in prayer. While they are at home, teach them purity principles from God's Word and pray with them as they make their commitment to live pure lives.

Who has not heard of the power of a parent’s prayer? And of the moral stamina of the child who heard a parent call his or her name in prayer? Make prayer for your children a daily habit while they’re at home, and let them know they can count on your continued prayers when they leave. If anyone can intercede effectively for another, it is a parent for a child.

© 2011 Dora Isaac Weithers


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    • profile image

      SJmorningsun25 5 years ago

      Well done. Our society is desperately in need of people who teach well and pray hard! Voted up!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for your kind comment, SJ. Hope we can make a difference.

    • thebookmom profile image

      thebookmom 5 years ago from Nebraska

      Your advice on selective association and no engaging in hero worship is really practical and helpful. Thank you so much for sharing, good things to ponder.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, thebookmom. So glad you found those suggestions helpful. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

    • profile image

      Eddie-Perkins 5 years ago

      You are a blessing to me MsDora and this hub blesses me too. Recently a young lady joined our praise team at church. I could not distinguish her voice from the others but her smile was contagious. After the service I pulled her aside and said; I don’t know how good of a singer you are but your smile is a tremendous asset to our praise music and it made my day. From that point on she would always come by and speak with me, introducing me to her friends and her younger sister also seemed happy to meet me. I had not yet met her younger brother. We then had a revival and every night I felt impressed to give a testimony. This young lady’s younger brother came up to me after the service and said my testimony brought tears to his eyes and wanted to know all about my experiences. Then his younger sister came by and his father and I finally made the family connection. The young man later wrote a message on his blog about meeting me and I learned his older sister was a fabulous singing voice for our Lord. I say all this to say that this generation gab may never have been closed this effectively if the Lord wasn’t blessing some amazing parents. Vote up and beautiful ~ thanks and may God continue to bless you.

    • profile image

      Wilson 5 years ago

      This timely advice is for all parents regardless of whether they have teen kids or not. Actually parents with younger kids would benefit even more from this advice. Behavioral problems in most kids start when they are still young. Talk of ‘straightening a young tree while it is still young’ -African proverb. It makes sense for parents to start guiding their young ones on the right path while they are still young avoid breaking them when they grow older. Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for your kind thoughts and for sharing your experience, Eddie-Perkins. I can tell that you're practicing the Titus 2 assignment that mature women disciple the young ones. Now you're in touch with the whole family. I appreciate godly women like you. God bless you, too.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Wilson, I pray that other parents can make the application like you can. Truly, we never outgrow parenting or parenting advice no matter the children's age. Thanks for your input.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 5 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Teaching purity in the home is so important. There is no moral absolute in the world any more and if we do not teach it at home, they will not have it. Keeping God in the mix is vital. Youth with strong testimonies that purity in their bodies connects them with the power of God are a vital force for good in our society.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Well said, Denise. Thanks for your affirmation.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Great advice.

    • shasha123 profile image

      Sharon Condet 5 years ago

      Thanks for covering.....It is so important that we manage to stay involved in our teens life to help guide them through. Thou they may reject us it is important we find ways to keep the lines of communication open.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      I think we're on the same page shasha123. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Thanks lambservant.

    • desburwell profile image

      desburwell 5 years ago from Spring, TX

      I love this MsDora! Kris Valloten recently wrote a book on this subject called "Purity". I believe the Lord is putting this on the hearts of the youth. Purity will become popular. Amen!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Amen again desburwell. Our work will not be in vain. Thanks for your affirmation!

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 4 years ago from Northeastern United States

      All of this is such good advice but, above all, prayer wins! I've prayed for all of my kids and will never stop. God's hand in their lives shows. They need the strength that only He can give. Voted up, beautiful and useful.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      MsDora, this message is very relevant in today's times when moral values are taking a dip. Thanks for some wonderful tips on guiding our younger generation. Voted all up and across. Shared too.

    • sharonchristy profile image

      Sharon Christy 4 years ago from India

      Beautiful hub! :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sinea, Rajan and Sharon, thanks for reading, voting and commenting. Thanks also for affirming that this message is relevant. I appreciate you all.

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