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Parents: Please Do Your Research!

Do Your Research

I review and recommend a lot of books and products for kids here. My reviews are always based on MY experience with MY family and OUR values and standards. I love sharing the things we love with you, but that doesn’t always mean you will love what we love!

It is up to you as the parents and spiritual leaders of your children to make the decisions about what is read, watched, and played in your house. And it’s time we all took that role very seriously.

Parents: Please DO YOUR RESEARCH!

This was all prompted by a discussion on The MOB Society Facebook page about the Brick Bible. The Brick Bible claims to be a story bible portraying Bible stories with Lego figurines. To most boy moms, this would seem like the PERFECT way to get their sons interested in or excited about the Bible. I checked it out on Amazon when I first heard about it thinking Big J would LOVE it. And I made a special point to read the reviews. There are a lot of them. I am so glad I did.

It turns out that the Brick Bible was put together by an atheist looking to portray what he considers a more “accurate” representation of the Bible in a “fun” way. There is much sarcasm, no Gospel message, very little actual Scripture reference {he claims because of copyright issues}, and from what I’ve heard, it is quite graphic. Circumcision, assaults on women, dismemberment, and more are depicted in great detail. He states that this “bible” is for older children, teens, and adults, but of course the Lego aspect attracts much younger children and this is NOT something I want my seven-year-old son seeing or reading.

I would have never known this from the seemingly harmless name of this book, but doing my research saved us a lot of trouble.

It is up to us as parents to choose what is allowed in our homes. Even if my best friend tells me her children enjoyed a movie, The Hubby and I still take the time to decide if it is right for our family or not.

And this is not all based on sex and language and violence. We don’t watch Caillou in our house because we don’t appreciate the whininess of the main character. That is a personal decision based on our family and the influence we saw on our children when they were younger. Well, we also can’t stand his voice, but that’s another matter…

I just want to plead with you, moms and dads, to know what your kids are asking to read, watch, and play. Don’t judge a book, movie, or game based solely on its name or cover. Care enough about what is entering your children’s minds to do your research.

If something troublesome has slipped by and you’re feeling guilty or convicted about it, you don’t have to continue to let it influence your children! And you have NO reason to feel shame about it. You have a great opportunity to discuss with your children the values of your family when you remove the item. These moments are not failures – they are teachable moments that can also help shape your children’s own decision-making and discernment skills!

Have you ever been really glad you did your research on something your child wanted to watch or read or play?

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Comments

  1. So, so good! I didn’t know that about the Brick Bible. But it makes sense….I got it for my 14 year old and when we looked through it we were surprised at how little Bible is actually in it. I let him keep it, but it’s just used around here for ideas on ways to use Legos.

    I have a post on my blog about how we choose movies for our kids. We never let them see anything we haven’t previewed first. That means if we want to see a movie I have to go see it by myself first (finding time and money for that) then take the kids (IF it’s OK to see) so I see it twice. If I don’t have time for that then we just don’t go see it. I am always shocked by parents that let their kids read or watch something they haven’t looked into thoroughly.

    Thanks for this post….I’ll be sharing! Lisa~

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    Erin Reply:

    Lisa, I love how you handle movies! Right now, our kids only go to movies with us, but as they get older, this is a great idea to adopt! Thanks for sharing!

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    Celestine Reply:

    I just wanted to share a website with you. I have been using it for a while now and have found it extremely helpful when deciding if a movie is appropriate for my family or not. It’s http://www.dove.org. The Dove Foundation makes age recommendations and gives a thorough breakdown of each movie. You may be aware of this already but I thought if not it may save you time and money. :)

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  2. seriously! This book was in the “kids section” of Barnes and Noble. My son didn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to get it. I told him just because of the title doesn’t mean that’s what’s inside. I had already heard of it – and saw some of the pages in question (naked legos on top of one another).

    Totally inappropriate book for kids.

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    Erin Reply:

    Disgusts me, too, Stef!

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  3. Wow! I would never have expected that from a Lego thing. I read reviews, too. I like to read both the positive and negative to get a good idea. It’s saved me from some mistakes. :)
    Anna recently posted..One Year Ago…

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    Erin Reply:

    That’s how I read as well, Anna. I can’t trust just one or two reviews because some people are just always negative or always positive!

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  4. I really appreciate this! I know my parents/friends sometimes think I am nuts for what I won’t let my kids watch/do/read. But books that have kids disrespecting their parents, parenting seeing misbehavior as cute, or showing dads as dummies (Berenstein Bears!) are not read around here. I haven’t let my 5-year-old see Brave because I think there are just some inappropriate things that were completely unnecessary in it. For me, it’s part of letting a kid be a KID, not a mini-teenager! It’s OK to want to protect their innocence and have you be the one to introduce certain topics.

    I also find OhAmanda will tell me the absolute truth and I know she has the highest discernment for movies and books, so I trust her reviews. It’s nice to have someone whom you can trust.

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    Erin Reply:

    We watched Brave even after doing research and none of us liked it! We should have listened to the reviews!

    And I love your emphasis on our kids being KIDS!

    Amanda is one of my trusty advisors as well :)

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  5. I’m so glad people agree with me about this Calliou (sp?) Character.. I can’t stand him!!!!!!!!!!!

    Also, such an amazing point – and this ‘bible’ is pretty scary.

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    Erin Reply:

    You are not alone! :)

    Thanks, Emily!

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  6. Loved the article. I had no idea that book existed but I may have purchased it for my son.

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    Erin Reply:

    Thank you, Melissa!

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  7. Amen, sister! I wish I would have read the reviews prior to my PURCHASE of the Brick Bible – yuck. It was as bad as you think. My kids never knew it existed. Thankfully I READ it before it got to them. Which I don’t always do with books….oops.

    I, too, cannot STAND Calliou – whininess or voice. Yeah Glad I’m not alone there.

    With us it’s superheroes. Our boys LOVE superheroes! No problem there, I enjoy them, too, and I enjoy the movies. I feel much pressure from my mom and other parents to let my boys watch these movies. Not necessarily outwardly but by them allowing their kids (or wanting my kids, in my mom’s case) to watch these movies. If the secular system says they are PG-13, then I can guarantee my kids aren’t watching it AT least until then. Superheroes are geared toward little kids but usually not made for them. I have let my boys watch the original Superman and they enjoyed it but it was watered down a lot because it’s older. 8
    Randi recently posted..Gimme Shelter (movie review)

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    Erin Reply:

    It really is sad that most superhero movies aren’t for kids because they LOVE them! I would love to see Disney {or whoever} make some new boy-geared movies where the main characters aren’t cars or animals, but people! That’s a whole other post in itself… {And maybe I’m missing or forgetting some good ones}

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  8. WOW! That’s INSANE! And yes, it’s so important, even if other people recommend something to check it out for ourselves! So many people recommended Frozen for us, but when I saw it first, I knew it would be far too scary for 2 of my kids until we could skip over parts. Preach it sister!

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    Erin Reply:

    Exactly, Lauren! We know our values and our children best so it is our job to look into what those little eyes and ears see and hear! Thanks for your comment, friend!

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  9. I JUST had an issue with this book earlier today. I gave it to my kids to read for the first time. They had seen it at the store several months ago and really wanted it. So I finally bought it and gave it to them without looking at it. Then I think the Holy Spirit nudges me into looking it up. I wish I had done that before I gave it to them. It’s not quite as horrible as some reviews make it out to be, but I did not think it was appropriate for my children. So I had to go take it back from them. My oldest son was very upset. We had a good gospel conversation as a result, but was still definitely very upset afterward. It is easy to google the specific problems with this book so that you can decide for yourself.

    One example is the page that depicts circumcision. He is holding a knife over the baby. My 8 year old said, “It looks like he is going to kill him.”

    There are other more subtle things, like the expression on Jacob’s face when he looks at Rachel (it just looks lustful and almost wicked, and maybe not appropriate for children). The depiction of Jesus in Revelation with red eyes. The bible says his eyes are like fire, but in the brick bible he just looks like a little demonic bad guy. There are other things like this that ultimately made me decide this book was not something I wanted my young kids reading over and over. Some images are warped, other inadequate. They make the Bible stories seem small and insignificant in ways that other story bibles do not.

    I am not an overly restrictive parent (my older kids read Harry Potter, for example), but the brick bible bothered me, mostly because I know they woukd read it until it was worn out and because I have multiple young kids who still don’t know the Bible stories well enough to discern what is true and what is not. I also thought some of the imagery would disturb my younger kids. Hope this helps other moms.

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    Erin Reply:

    I really appreciate your thoughts on this, Jen! Praying your oldest son isn’t upset for too long and understands your decision!

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  10. Jenny Coe says:

    Yup we looked at it in Barnes and Noble and it showed an incest scene from the Old Testament a little too clearly for me. No go.

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  11. I can’t stand Caillou! I learned that when my little sister watched it when I was a teenager. Thank you, I’m not alone! Great Post!

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  12. Yes! We actually looked at this very Bible for our 9 year old for Christmas. My husband is very diligent about doing research for things like that – I was so glad he did. Once we read the reviews and more about the author, we both agreed we could find something much better for our son.
    Andrea recently posted..Creating a space to encourage your pre-writer

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  13. A friend just suggested I read your Blog on this topic. May I suggest as a more comfortable alternative. the ACTION BIBLE? It’s amazing. I believe it’s Zondervan that publishes this amazing version done by a Christian comic book artist. A Children’s Ministry director suggested it for us and it has our kids in the Bible all the time.

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    Erin Reply:

    We LOVE the Action Bible!

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  14. Great Post! Kinda spills into everything though. I agree teaching and what our children are watching are MAJOR things to research, but I even spent 30 min researching potty chairs just yesterday. Its good to be informed and what better way then reviews from others who have already been there.

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  15. sara karr says:

    thank you I always try to look at the reviews about books but not sure that I would be given the same review and given the fact that I have a boy that loves Lego one day I could have boughten this book and not realize it and we stay away from star wars lego ect so thank you

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  16. This is great advice and it goes into both the secular and christian programming! We have JellyTelly on our roku, and we love it, great Christian cartoons for the kids and so many varieties! However, we will not allow them to watch one program on there because while preparing lunch, I turned it on for them, it was telling the story of David and Goliath and the characters kept using the word “stupid.” Mostly the little boy admitting his flaws and fearing he will “look stupid” but I was honestly surprised. That is definitely not a word I’d like for my 4 and 2.5 year old to pick up so that program has been deemed unwatchable.

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  17. Well-said. When someone recommends a book, I usually ask them why and even then pour over reviews before I let books into my home. I even do that with books I’m getting ready to check out from the library. It’s saved me from many a book that I would have otherwise been taken in by the title or illustrations…
    Heather H recently posted..There and Back Again… Musings from a Homeschool Grad.

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  18. Thank you for research, I too bought this for my son for Christmas foundit at Costco and was wrapped in plastic. Didn’t think to even look it up to read I assumed it was decent. Needless to say my son hadn’t really looked at it so it will just go away.

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