Vision Forum and No Greater Joy and the Institutes for Basic Life Principles tell them that if they do just so, they will turn out perfect godly Children. This is the appeal these groups have, and parents buy it. They then live by the formulas these groups present and expect complete conformity from their children, not because they think they have to force their children to believe something they don’t believe, but rather because they think the formulas will work and produce children who genuinely believe just as they do.
Over the years as our children were growing up, Deb and I offended about every family member and some of our friends by being “overprotective” of the innocent charges God sent into our care. We guarded them from any suspect company and thoughtfully planned their associations. We have not trusted, “good Christian families.” We have not participated in churches where the children were separated from us. After church, we watched them and their associations. When kids stop running around in circles, screaming, and start talking, or drawing aside, you’ve likely got the beginning of troubles brewing. Keep the little ones standing right beside you after church. They should always sit with you, never with their friends. If they go out to the bathroom, go with them. Never allow them to spend the night with friends or cousins. Slumber parties are sin parties. Never allow them to listen to music through headphones. Three-minute phone conversations, no chat rooms, no surfing the web for any reason. Parents should make it physically impossible for them to even access the web. We didn’t allow our children to spend time in their bedrooms unless they were working on a project or reading. Bedroom doors were always kept open, except for two minutes while dressing.
Yet sheltering and surveillance are rarely taken quite to this extreme by the families of Christian Patriarchy, which can vary in many respects. In my family, for instance, we children had plenty of friends and activities, and we weren’t watched every minute. We were allowed at least some privacy, inasmuch as privacy could be found in a house full of children. We were also allowed to go to friends’ houses and to slumber parties. In addition, my family believed in sending children away to college, trusting that by that point they were well trained enough to withstand the evil influences they might come in contact with. Yet, nevertheless, every family of Christian Patriarchy practices at least some sheltering and surveillance, especially with regards to internet use, friend selection, and privacy in bedrooms.