Don’t Be Afraid to Shelter Your Children!

Are you afraid to shelter your kids? Are you concerned of what others may think or say? Are you afraid your kids will be outcasts because you decide to go against the flow of modern day parenting?

shelter kids

Before you give in to the pressure to let your child lead, consider this:

Why did God put infants, children and teens into homes with two adults? Are the adults there to be “best buddies” with the kids? Are they present for the sole purpose of providing monetary substance?

Absolutely not. God put children into families so someone would protect and guide them as they grow and learn about the world in which they live.

What does shelter mean anyway?

Protect. Safeguard. Shield. Guard. Are these actions considered “negative” and “unhealthy” when raising a child? No level-minded individual would dare say a child should not be protected or guarded — so why is the majority of care-givers and parents apprehensive and critical of “sheltering” children?

The philosophies of this world scream out at parents to let children find their own way, let children “discover” themselves and let them make their “own” decisions. Conservative parents that desire to be involved in shaping their children for the future are accused of being strict, brain-washing and “helicoptering” their children.

Does that sound familiar?

What are some antonyms to the word shelter? Expose. Endanger.

So yes, I choose to shelter my children.

“Kids must feel like they are in prison when they are in a home with so many rules and guidelines.”

Have you heard that popular phrase that many people enjoy parroting?

My children are 12, 10, 9, 7, 5 and 4. We definitely shelter our children from evil things that are present in this world. We monitor books, magazines, movies, games and the internet. Why? Because we love them and we desire the best for them.

Just the other day my oldest child said the following to me as I was working:

“Mom, I think it is sad when kids leave home.”

“What do you mean, Joshua?”

“Well, I think it is sad that you have to leave your parents when you get married or go to college.”

I just smiled and said, “Joshua, I will miss you greatly, but you will be happy that you will be getting married to the girl you love.”

Sheltering Children Creates a Happier Home

Ten thousand dollars could not bring me the happiness that honest, unsolicited comment brought to my heart. My son was letting me know he loves living in our family. And yes, he lives in a sheltered home. Does he feel like a prisoner? Not at all.

Just as a shepherd is suppose to tend to his flock, we as parents should shepherd and tend to our children. The shepherd watches out for wolves, lions and bears. Parents must do the same.

Anything that could affect my child’s mind or heart in an evil way, I keep out of the home. All activities must be acceptable and pleasing to the Lord. One mom put it this way:

“When you have a young plant, you shelter, protect and nourish it until its root system is strong and able to stand on its own.”

When your kids are young and at home, that is the perfect time to nourish them with good things. If they are too young to know how to perform chores correctly, drive a car, pay bills etc., then they are too young to keep themselves from danger.

The sheltering in our home is based upon the Biblical principles. We want our children to know why mommy and daddy do not do certain things and why we do not allow them to do those things as well.

Honestly, this makes us examine all our standards and convictions.

Don’t be afraid to protect, guard and shelter your children. But, do so according to the word of the Lord. Seek out knowledge from the word of God and seek God’s direction in every decision concerning your children. You may arrive at a different conclusion than the majority of other parents, but if you are following the Lord’s leading, then you are going in the right direction!

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49 thoughts on “Don’t Be Afraid to Shelter Your Children!”

    1. Thanks, Lauren. You have such a wonderful, strong testimony for the Lord and are an encouragement to all of us parents that are raising our children in “sheltered” homes:)

  1. Christine @ African Babies Don't Cry

    I can agree with most of what you say, but I would never want my children to feel like they are in prison. I prefer to offer my son a simple life, we don’t have a TV so there is no negative influence from that, I intend to homeschool so peer influence will be small, etc. I hope that I can raise my son in a simple manner, but give him enough freedom to become his own person, who at the age of two years old, is already a wonderful little soul.
    Thanks for linking up with the Tuesday Baby Link-Up!

  2. Crystal Brothers

    I completely agree!!! I sometimes get criticized for sheltering my kids too much. I always say, I can living with being called “overprotective” or “too sheltering” I couldn’t live with myself if I went against my mommy gut and there were tragic or worse, eternal consequences for it!

    You can’t “unsee” or “unhear” something. There are many things I was exposed to as a child that I wish I could unsee, unhear, and unknow. For this reason, I prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to guarding the hearts and minds of my children.

    1. So true, Crystal! I wish there were things I could unsee and unhear as well. Hopefully we can protect our kids from those haunting memories!

  3. Why would you voluntarily “protect” your children from learning and gaining life experience? Children are tiny humans who learn really quickly about everything they encounter, not animals that need to be put on a leash and shepherded.
    By sheltering your children, you are depriving them of valuable stimuli that would enable their cognitive functions to grow exponentially. You are choosing to show a certain reality to your children instead of the whole truth. That is tyranny on a small scale.

    1. Dear Jules,

      If you take time to look around on Pint-sized Treasures, you would quickly see that we are all about kids learning and growing. However, we treat our children as special gifts and choose to treasure them. Just like a new, young plant, we would protect it and let it grow in a safe, sheltered place. Children are still learning and have not learned the life lessons we have of the dangers that lurk. Actually, we give our kids lots of stimuli to encourage the growth of their cognitive functions. They play, read and do educational crafts quite frequently. Our kids do see the whole truth, but they see it from a Biblical perspective — that breaking God’s laws is sin. Sin always brings negative consequences and scars life. All people should view life from a Biblical perspective because one day they will answer to the God of the Bible — and they will have to give an account of how they lived their life.

      1. Thank you for your reply.

        I did read a bit through your blog and see that you are a caring mother and person and would not oppose that. However, I would just like to ask what you think of the following: do you believe emotional scarring can help one grow? In other words, can you not eventually benefit from having been hurt in one way or another as a child?

        Say you break an arm in a bicycle accident once, will you not be more careful in the future, even more so than if someone just warned you?

        1. Hi Jules,

          I believe emotional scarring is quite different from falling off a bicycle and breaking an arm. Emotional scarring can really have many negative effects on a person that only God can heal. Emotional scarring can cause someone to reject other’s love, affection and praises.

          I desire to teach my kids that sin is harmful and brings forth death. I do not want my kids to experience the ill effects of sin. Though they will to some degree, because they are sinners and live in a sinful world. However, I teach them while they are young if they lie, steal or hurt others there is a consequence. I also teach them that some things the world calls “fun” is breaking God’s laws and in the end only brings heartache. I am glad that my mom drilled into me that drinking and fornication is not the life for a CHristian. If I didn’t listen to her, I would have many scars today. My teen friends thought I was sheltered, but I am thankful I did not receive the pain and scars they did. I am thankful I was sheltered in those areas!

          1. Hi,
            I am sure your children are god-loving and will do their best to lead a healthy christian life. Some sins are harder to avoid than others though as you surely know, like pride (I would say is the hardest), but isn’t god forgiving if you are willing to admit your mistakes? And are you not more inclined to show forgiveness to your peers when you went through something similar yourself and were forgiven before? In other words, screwing up could help people stray off sin in the future.

          2. “Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it.”

            Thank you C.S. Lewis

  4. Alison, I love this article. I look back on my life and wish I had been sheltered… protected, guarded. I shelter my boy appropriately and I am glad I am intentional about preserving his heart.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Tara. So glad to hear you are striving to preserve your son’s heart! It’s not always an easy job, but definitely a rewarding one. She will rejoice in time to come!

  5. Could you clarify for me, in your paragraph where you seem to blanket liberals and conservatives, are you saying all liberal parents are “endangering (y)our kids.”? I tried to read more into the whole article if you would expand on that but you didn’t, so I’m very curious about this.

    1. Hi Jasmine,

      Great question. I am speaking on morally conservative vs. morally liberal. Shelter does indeed mean protect, so if a parent is not protecting their child they are placing them in a position of danger, whether they consider themselves conservative or liberal, and again I am speaking morally. Children need to be protected and guided, and that duty falls on the parent. And in the post, I was referencing the press and media that typically targets conservative parents and accuses them of stifling their child’s creativity and growth. Does that make sense? Obviously people are individuals, but as a whole, the media and press do not favor parents that choose to protect their children from evil.

      1. Thank you for your response. Stick the word ‘moral’ in the context and you made it much more clear to me. Too many times people do blanket the left and right making it seem all liberals do this or that, or all conservatives feel this way or that. I appreciate your clarification and that you did not blanket everyone :-)

        1. Thanks Jasmine!

          I will definitely look over the post again to make sure it comes over clear to teh reader, and if it doesn’t I will gladly revise it.
          Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  6. God is using you in a great way. Keep being a voice for Him. You are a wise woman, and I’m encouraged beyond words. He brought me to this blog right when I needed it most….. Encouragement as I cling to what truly matters in this life…. My precious, God-given children. Oh how they truly are “An heritage from The Lord”! Have a wonderful day :)

    1. Dear Summer,

      You do not know how much your words mean to me! So glad you found my blog, and may God continue to give us a heart to treasure our children!

  7. Thank you. This has been the feeling in my heart ever since I became a mother. I was given a sheltered childhood, and I’m so grateful. I have had plenty of opportunity as an adult to experience aspects of the “world” now that my brain development has matured enough to safely navigate the ways of the world.
    Thank you for speaking up on a topic that can be considered “hot.” Your courage gives me more.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Sara. I am so thankful that these words were able to give you more courage! Keep sheltering and loving your treasures!

  8. I love this, Alison! Raising kids in the Word and with biblical principles is very much needed!
    If the parents don’t influence their kids, someone else will and that someone else isn’t always Godly.

    1. So good to hear form you again, Selene! Your words are always an encouragement and you are absolutely right about our influence as parents!
      May the Lord bless your sweet family!

    1. Hi!
      I am definitely talking about sheltering, and not smothering. We don’t hide things from our children, but we let them see those things in the light of God’s word. We explain to them WHY you shouldn’t do certain things and WHY you should do certain things. Our kids do not live in a bubble, they are quite aware of many sinful things, but the Apostle Paul in Romans says this:

      “…but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.”

      My kids are definitely more knowledgeable in the area of good things, and I desire to keep it that way. I would rather them be so immersed in what is good, than be too familiar with the evils of this world. My kids have no idea who Miley Cyrus is, but they do know who Jim Elliot, Amy Carmichael, John Bunyan and Eric Lidell are. I love it that way, and certainly wish I had known more about great heroes of the faith when I was growing up instead of Mariah Carey and Led Zeppelin. It is our responsibility to teach them truth, and I desire to do that. God tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go…” That is our instructions from God. That is what I am sticking with.

  9. Alison, I just want to say what a blessing your 25 days to a Happier Home series has been. I anxiously wait for the next post. As a working single mom, I sometimes find it difficult to apply all, but I prayfully consider all of it and apply, as well as I possible can, what God lies heavily in my heart. I wanted to let you know how grateful I am for your advise. As a note, I believe that you have two days titled day 21. God bless.

    1. Thank you Doris for pointing that out. Fixed!
      Thank you for your sweet comments about the 25 day series! I desire to encourage all moms out there. I can’t imagine being a single working mom! That must be extra tough, but I know God is able in every situation to help carry our burdens and guide us as we desire to cultivate a happier home for our families! Keep in touch. :)

  10. I am writing a thesis for school on private, Christian schools and public schools. I came across this article and I personally am so thankful that my parents had not over-sheltered me. I find that I am much more prepared to handle real-life situations easier and more gracefully than many of my other home schooled or friends who grew up in a Christian education. I have attended both private and public schools. One of my questions was do you think a parent can over-shelter their child?

    1. Hey! Sorry to post again, but I read your comment policy and it says if I have any more questions to e-mail you. However, I can’t find where your e-mail is! If it would be alright I do have some more questions that I would like to get your opinion on, and not just for my paper but my three year old nephew and one year old niece have moved in with me and my parents and despite my sister’s hatred of Christianity and Christians I would like to encourage them to live a Godly life. Thanks! :)

  11. Nice post. Keeping evil from my home for me includes negative peer influences & experiences as well. Kids can be mean. I experienced way too much of that growing up. Once you are picked on in school, especially in a small town, you tend to walk around with a target on your back for the remainder of your schooling. It did not make me stronger. It made me horribly insecure, distrusting of the motivations of others, & even more introverted than I already was. I choose to shelter my kids from that.

  12. I was raised very “sheltered”. I wasn’t allowed a lot of things like going to parties, being alone with boyfriends and things like that. I felt trapped, especially in my puberty. And to prove to myself I still had some control I started doing all the things they forbid me behind their backs. So, moral of the story: keep the conversation going, especially through puberty. Keep freedom and guidance in balance.

  13. Hi Alison,
    I know this post is quite old, but I’ve just been reading through the comments and just want to commend you for your grace and wisdom you share and shine on mothers around the world. You are a world changer from the inside out and I can’t wait to see the vast effect your kids are going to have in expanding the Kingdom of God. You’re a champion mum and so grateful for all that you share in your journey of biblical parenting. God bless! xx

    1. Dear Jenny,

      I am humbled by your kindness, and hope I can make a small difference in this world. Thank you for your encouraging words, they mean more than you know!

  14. We got so much flack when our kids were young for being very choosy about what media they were exposed to. We were told that our children would end up not knowing anything about the world. But now that they are teenagers we find that they are actually much more aware of current issues than other kids their age (or many adults we know.) Waiting until a child is mature enough to handle something will not stifle their development. (btw we are very liberal politically. :) )

  15. This is absolutely ridiculous. The fact that your son does not want to leave the nest and spread his wings saddens me. Let your child become his own person.

    1. Ummmm…he was 11 when he said that. I hope he doesn’t want to spread his wings and leave the nest yet! It’s sweet when a child loves his home so much that it saddens him to think about leaving. Some kids grow up ANTICIPATING the day they leave, or in other words, looking for a way out. That is not what is happening in our situation.

  16. When I went to college, one of the biggest questions was whether a student’s faith was theirs or just a byproduct of their parents. It is a difficult question to wrestle with.

    It was easier for me because I was allowed to read whatever I liked. If came home with a Koran or Orthodox Judaism books mom let it go. My church did more spoon feeding than she did.

    As such, by the time I went to college and had new influences around me, my faith was my own, even if not identical to my mom’s.

    1. Hi Mia!

      Our kids are definitely knowledgeable about why they believe certain things. They aren’t following blindly, and I think that is what is super important when you are choosing to shelter your kids. You tell them the whys and answer their questions. I want my kids to stand firmly on what they believe and know the WHY behind beliefs — not just, “Well mom said so!” However, as parents we are held responsible for teaching our kids the truth of God’s word. I desire to do that everyday and hope I will continue!

  17. I can’t help but feel sorry for your children…
    They’ll spend their whole lives in your little overprotective parent bubble instead of being able to think and express themselves! You do realize there have been several studies done, each time proving sheltered children are emotionally weaker and lacking creativity?

    1. Dear Sarah,

      If you met my children in real life you would find them super-happy, extremely social and well-rounded kids. I get so many compliments on their demeanor or behavior. You shouldn’t feel sorry for them, because they are some of the happiest kids on the planet. I love being their mom and only wish the best for them! Can you list on of your “Sources” for these “Scientific studies”?

        1. HI Eugenia!

          There have also been many “studies” proving the exact opposite. I believe we could throw around “studies” all day! That is one reason I did not include them in this article.

  18. There’s too many kinds of races and people to raise a child solely by religious guidelines. In,for example, a public school in new york there is an extremely large mix of races and religions. I was in an orthodox school most of my life. When I reached the ninth grade, I felt overwhelmed and ignorant. To raise children based solely on religious code breeds ignorance. The human race should aim to progress. The people that cling to religion too much are naive. The world’s too big a place for that.

  19. I’ve read through your article and have to disagree. I, myself was raised in a sheltered home and in the church as well. I was a shy individual and feared everything. Although I had a wonderful childhood, I was not prepared for the world as a teenager and adult. When I became a mother I refused to shelter my son. I love him more than anything. By not sheltering him, he knows that there is bad in this world but with voice and good heart he can make a difference. He knows this and he is only 3.

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