When Protecting Your Kids Is Impossible

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Article Contributed by Jessica Cribbs. (Meet our writers here.)

The temptation to lock your kids in a bubble.

There are moments (sometimes weekly) that I’d love to protect my kids by placing them inside a very secure bubble. 35 seems like a good time to let them out. By then, they’d learn everything I want them to learn, they wouldn’t be exposed to things I disagree with and maybe they’d never find out some of the hard truths life has to offer.

A bubble doesn’t sound so bad. Kids like bubbles, right?

Sometimes, bubbles would come in handy.

We recently took the kids on a family vacation to Las Vegas. And yes, I do know how ridiculous that sentence sounds, depending on your impressions of Las Vegas. However, Las Vegas also offers some great family experiences, such as horseback riding, boating and an affordable indoor amusement park.

On one evening toward the end of our trip, we returned to our hotel to discover hundreds of scantily clad young adults ready to go to an annual festival that drew over 100,000 people to Las Vegas. The scene was more than a fleeting explicit image flickering across our TV. These were real-life people dressed (or rather not dressed) in a way that revealed EVERYTHING. To. my. kids.

As the kids began asking questions (a LOT of questions), my first reaction was to literally cover my kids’ eyes. I wanted to seal them away in the nearest bubble.

But, as I prayed quick frantic prayers to God, I realized that a bubble would do me no good.

It was a hard truth for me, but in the moments that followed, I realized something.  That a bubble would do me no good. And, really, a bubble wouldn’t do them any good either.

It doesn’t matter if we had taken the kids to Las Vegas or somewhere else. Even if you can protect kids from one place or one experience, you can’t protect them from life. And even if we could somehow shield them from every single thing we view as hard or harmful, it wouldn’t really be the best thing for them.

Because bubbles aren’t really stable. They pop way too easily.

The more I think about it, as much as I take my responsibility to protect them seriously, I do not have the right to hide them from this world. Hiding them would do a great disservice to their ability to deal…their ability to understand and love the people around them and to use discernment while doing so.

So instead of trying to construct a bubble that night, I prayed. I prayed for wisdom and words and that I would be able to collect myself. And then I answered every question that came my way to the best of my ability.

I vowed again, as I had long ago, never to lie or distort truth to protect my children from all complicated or evil things in the world. I trust that as they go, they too can access God when they need guidance and that he’ll have a better handle on things than I do anyway.

Photo Credit: Marcin Jochimcyzk

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