Counter Culture, Anyone? Part One

God has been working on me a lot the last year, and I have too.  I have had these very strong feelings and passions about life since we found out we were pregnant with Lexie over 2 years ago.  I am so blessed that JTom shares those same sentiments; I couldn’t really find anything to describe our parenting style, and then while talking with like minded mamas on a forum, I found it- Counter Culture.  It’s pretty much us, to a T.  Some things that we do that are counter culture:
  • We say “no”- our children don’t get anything and everything they want.  If they cry and pitch a fit they especially don’t get it
  • We don’t watch TV.  JTom and I watch some television on occasion but in our house the TV is off.  Lexie knows a few shows (more than I’d like due to being around other family and friends) and sometimes she watches Thomas the Train.  But we limit it to a few times a month
  • We don’t do Disney.  that isn’t to say we will never take our children to Disney World, although I can think of a million other places I’d rather take them …  Disney is an overpriced, over commercialized parent trap.  Maybe when the kids are older we will visit, but we do not buy a bunch of Disney products or movies, etc.
  • We pray.  As a family.  A lot.  Much of this is instigated by the two year old herself.  One of our family goals this year is to pray as a family more.
  • We know we are created in His image, and seek to live closely with Him
  • We don’t believe that today’s “normal” is normal.
  • We don’t believe that today’s “good” is good.
  • We don’t believe that certain things come with “childhood.”  Sugary foods, not eating healthy meals, playing video games, and bossing parents around are not rights of passage in childhood.  They are not part of being a kid.  They are for some kids, but not for ours.
  • We go against the flow
  • Aren’t afraid to be ourselves, be different

Basically to sum it up, our culture is about self gratification, and we are trying to raise our children against the grain.  This may result in the exact same outcome every other family has; I am not saying our way is better or the best.  It is just how we do it.  We are trying to instill in our children that this life isn’t supposed to be lived just for us, it is supposed to be lived to the Glory of God.  That means we don’t always get what we want, what we beg for, or what other people have.  It is okay to be different, as a matter of fact, it is GREAT to be different than mainstream society; society today is not a good normal.  
What we do offer our kids is love, affection, time spent one on one, special outings, and an occasional splurge.  They aren’t deprived; but our society and even people in our family would probably tell you that “having lots of stuff/toys makes kids happy.  It’s just who kids are.”  No, that is who kids’ are raised to be.  That is how society has brought them up.  But JTom and I really don’t want that for our kids.  They have nice clothes, toys, books …. but they don’t need an excess of it all.  Sometimes gifts we receive go back to the store.  We would rather use the money for something they need rather than something they don’t even know they want.

J.Tom and I are raising our children as counter culture as we can, and started living this way well before we knew it had a “label.”  We seek God and His glory in all we do and try to extend that to our children.  Sometimes I think maybe I need to justify myself, my family, or the raising of our children to others, including our own extended family.  Then I realize … no, i don’t.

I can explain it, but really I can just refer people to scripture.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2.

Stay tuned for the rest of the series on our family and how we are going against the grain.
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