The thing about kids is—you never know what’s going to come out of their mouths.
“Momma?” My seven-year-old whispered from her top bunk where I’d just tucked her in.
“Do you know what KY Jelly is?”
“Uh. . . yes.” Good thing I’d already turned off the lamp so she couldn’t see my eyes bugging out of my head. “Do you?”
“It’s a lotion, Mom.”
“Yep. Sort of. Where did you hear about it?”
“On Family Feud!”
“Okay, sweetie, but we don’t talk about KY Jelly in front of people. Like at school or anything.” Please, Lord, don’t let her strike up this conversation with her second grade teacher.
“Because most people think of it as a lotion for, ah, ladies’ private parts. It’s not appropriate.” Thank you, Family Feud.
Just then, my four-year-old piped up from her bed. “Princesses wouldn’t talk about KY Jelly, right, Mom? Princesses don’t talk about things that aren’t appropriate.”
“Right, sweetie, yes, that’s right. So now we’re all going to stop talking about this, okay? Go to sleep! Good night!”
“Good night, Mom!”
My husband and I are super vigilant about what we allow our kids to watch on TV. We lock down their choices to certain pre-approved channels and programs, and we fast forward through commercials, for crying out loud. How was I supposed to know the family game show station could introduce my seven-year-old to intimate lubricants?
Sometimes I wish I could tape my children’s ears shut so they’d never hear a dirty or disrespectful word. Yet as they grow and go to school and begin experiencing new adventures, so must I learn to release them. At some point, we moms can no longer protect our kids from every indelicate exposure. However, we can teach them how to filter.
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere” (James 3:17, NLT).
How can our kids recognize the difference between good vs. evil? Teach them the wisdom test.
Is it pure, gentle, and kind to others?
God says that’s okay!
Is it crude, selfish, or picking a fight?
Turn away and pray.
The wisdom test works for a variety of influences our kids will face including TV, music, friends, books, fashion, social media and so much more. And honestly? It works for grown-ups, too. If our kids need to filter it, so do we.
So let’s not fear the unpleasant teachable moments. Instead, we can lean into them, knowing that our job is not only to protect but also to equip our kids to make wise choices even when we’re not around.
“Mom, do you know what a Trojan is?”
“A horse! It’s a really big horse, Mom!”
“Yes,” thank you, God, “it’s a horse, from ancient Greek mythology. And where did you hear that word, may I ask?”
So about those teachable moments—heaven help me. Some of them can wait.