Small Actions Are Important

As always, I sat watching a children’s video with my young daughter. We had seen it several times before. She enjoyed the animals and puppets. The music was classical with very little dialogue. Even though I had seen this particular video before, I knew that it was one within a series, most of which I had thrown out for one reason or another. So I watched with wary eye, asking the Lord to help me see that which I had missed before.

That’s when I saw a very short clip: It was a puppet scene with two cows and one bull. The bull enters the picture last, emits flatulence and the two cows leave in disgust. It’s supposed to be funny – thank God my daughter didn’t catch on to the scene and its supposed humor. I mean, really, do I want my little girl to grow up behaving crudely because she thinks it’s funny?

We started to watch another video from the same series. Yes, there was more disagreeable content. Rather benign from most perspectives. Two mice, again puppets, were eating a tray of beautiful fruit and cheese. Suddenly, a food fight breaks out. In walks the mommy mouse and she is suddenly covered in food. I thought, it’s a cute little scene, but I’ve been trying to teach my toddler that throwing food is not funny and not permissible. Why would I allow her to watch this and see that it is funny?

Enough is enough. Videos like these make my job as a parent more difficult. Not only do they undo the training of a little lady, they hinder the training of a little Christian. I threw the entire series in the trash. No – I didn’t even give them to charity. We acquired them through a library discard sale and they were not worth the quarters we laid down for them. So, in the trash they went.

Parents should deal faithfully with the souls committed to their trust… They should not teach them, or suffer them to learn, little pranks which appear cunning in small children, but which they will have to unlearn, and for which they must be corrected when they are older.1

Little pranks and errors may seem to be amusing when the child is a baby, and they may be permitted and encouraged; but as the child grows older, they become disgusting and offensive.2

Be careful what you teach your child to find funny and amusing. Keep the end result in mind at all times. You are raising a child for God: Dare to be a Daniel or a brave Queen Esther.

© 2010, C. Gillan Byrne


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1White, E. G. (1954/2002). The Power of Habit(Chapter Title). In E. G. White Publications (Eds.), Child Guidance (p. 201, ¶4). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association.

2White, E. G. (1954/2002). The Power of Habit (Chapter Title). In E. G. White Publications (Eds.), Child Guidance (p. 202, ¶1). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association.