Celebrating Five Years
Five years ago we gathered with 13 other parents from our boys’ elementary school to present what we had learned about protecting kids online. At that time, we were simply trying to meet a need we saw in our community—kids were stumbling across online pornography accidentally and parents needed more info to know how they could prevent this exposure.
We had recently attended the first-ever Summit to End Sexual Exploitation in Washington, D.C.. There, we found so many resources that other parents needed to know about. We felt a calling, a mandate, to do all we could to be a megaphone for these great organizations that were working to protect children and families from pornography and other dangers online. We wanted to be a bridge from these experts to all of the everyday superheroes in the carpool line at school.
We truly had no idea where that first “yes” would take us. YES, we would help the parents at our school. Then we began to get requests from other schools, churches, and community groups. We’ve gone wherever we’ve been asked, whether it’s talking in front of an entire congregation or crying with parents over the phone who are in absolute crisis with their kids. We’ve prayed, we’ve researched, we’ve strategized… all with this goal: to support parents and families in this sometimes overwhelming task of protecting kids online.
We didn’t really have many goals five years ago. We simply wanted to obey what we felt the Lord was asking us to do in that season. We weren’t sure where this work would take us. It hasn’t been a rocket ride… it’s been a slow, brick-by-brick build. We’re still working our “regular” jobs while we come alongside families, churches, and schools to build strong kids.
When we started, our kids were 8 and 10 years old. As a family, we had one computer, a DVD player, and two very basic smart phones to talk and text. Today, we have two teenagers, both with phones (one iPhone and one Gabb Wireless internet-free phone). We have an Xbox, two Amazon Echos, we stream movies more than we watch TV, we use Apple’s Family Sharing for all kinds of features, from restrictions to media sharing. The DVD player is unplugged in a cabinet upstairs and we’ve added two new laptops to our home. Parenting in the digital age has meant getting up-to-speed quickly, adjusting expectations, but also—standing our ground for the values our home is built on.
What will the next five years mean for Parents Who Fight? We’re not exactly sure at this point. We’d love to dedicate more of our time to this cause, but caring for our boys as they approach adulthood has to remain first priority. We remain open to seeing new ways for PWF to grow in order to one day replace our day jobs. Until then, we choose to be thankful that we have the grace of God to do both right now. (We’ve got some new resources and programs in the development stage that we hope to launch in the next few months, so stay tuned!)
Thank you for joining us on this journey, and for allowing us be part of your strategy to raise strong kids. If we’ve helped you along the way, we’d love to hear from you. Your stories encourage us on the difficult days.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!