“Mom, we need those band aids!” My four-year-old daughter rushed to the kitchen where I stood chopping lettuce for dinner.
“We need what?” I crinkled my eyebrows.
“Those band aids! On the TV! They’re waterproof, Mom. Waterproof!”
“Oh,” I nodded, “I see. You heard about these band aids on TV, huh?”
“Yes! We need them. Protection from germs, water and dirt. Always on the go!”
Yikes. In our house, we limit television to channels with kid-safe commercials, but lately I’m skeptical there is such a thing. My children can hear a message once and believe it’s true. Worse, they can recite it word-for-word and remember it. I’ve been told we must buy spill-proof snack cups, a Shark steam cleaner, something called Teddy Tanks and—my personal favorite—a home waxing kit “because then you don’t have to shave your legs, Mom! Less time in the shower, and smoother, silkier legs! You need that!”
This makes me wonder. What else are my children picking up with their eyes and ears, which sticks to their little heads like New! Super minty Bubble Ice gum—now in your local candy aisle!
Do they catch when I snap at their dad for leaving his socks on the floor?
Or the unmerciful words I mutter at pokey drivers in traffic.
How about venting to my husband about what an exhausting day I’ve had with these kids.
And those self-critical comments I let slip about my unruly hair or tummy flab—what does that teach my kids about true beauty?
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
If a child’s mind is absorbent as a sponge, then I want to fill it with words that teach, edify and encourage. Words that define my children according to God’s point of view—which is the only real truth in a world dominated by ad copy.
You are smart.
You are brave.
God made you beautiful.
He is always with you.
Thank you—for using your manners, for sharing with your sister, for forgiving my outburst, for just being you.
Jesus loves you so, so much. No matter what, he will not take his love away. And neither will I.
So while that home waxing kit is awfully tempting, I think I’ll stick with what I know. Bic razors, the word of God, and commercial-free PBS Kids. Better yet, it might be time to switch to Netflix.