Can You Shelter a Child TOO Much?

by | Raising Children | 5 comments

Taken from The Homeschool Minute. Used with permission.

Do you “shelter” your children?

That’s a bad word in some circles, we’re finding. Something is creeping into the church (and even the homeschooling community) and it isn’t biblical. It is an “anti-sheltering campaign” of sorts, and it’s full of holes. Think about it. What does it mean to shelter? Protect. Defend. Guard. Preserve. Watch over. Shield. Safeguard. Hmmmm, so far so good, right? Sure, until “pop psychology” comes in and tells us that we should allow our children to taste a little of the world in order to understand it or pray for it. That we should not “over-shelter” them. Nonsense.

What’s the opposite of shelter? Expose. Endanger. We parents are called to be like our Father in Heaven. He is the greatest “Shelterer” there ever was, and it is us He shelters – or watches over; protecting us, preserving us, shielding us. Praise Him for this! Glory to God who knows how to parent (shelter) us perfectly. May we as parents follow this model – His model. Let’s continue to shelter (love) our children as He loves us. Dismiss the garbage that crawls in; don’t buy it. We’re promised there will be false teachers, liars in the church. I want to keep my eyes focused on Christ, come what may.

Parents: Keep sheltering them. You are bringing them up in the love and admonition of the Lord, not in the latest speaker/teacher. May you be blessed as you continue to walk in obedience! Lord, thank you for sheltering me. Please never stop. “Over-shelter” if You will (if there is such a thing). Fine with me! Over-protect, Over-defend, Over-guard me; please do! I’ll take it all, Lord. Keep me tight to Your side. I’m safe there. There, I can breathe. It’s where I live.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
-Psalms 61:3

Gena Suarez


  1. Candy

    Amen! We homeschool, don’t use baby sitters, and our children sit with us at church. I have a saying:

    “Don’t cut the apron strings, tie more!” 🙂

  2. Charlotte

    Thanks for that post – very encouraging for our family!

  3. Jeremy Pierce

    There are certainly people who are unwilling to call something bad bad and are willing to allow their children to be influenced by things that are bad for them. But I’m not sure everyone who speaks the way you’re criticizing is doing that. Many of them might just mean that there are things our children need to be aware of and need to be able to address for what it is. There was a married couple in Germany a few years ago who couldn’t figure out why they weren’t having any children. Their doctor took quite a while to figure out that they didn’t know what sex was. Even if it would be inappropriate to teach kids about sex at certain ages, and certain ways of doing it would be bad, hardly anyone thinks it’s bad to teach them about it eventually. Similarly, even those who do not believe the currently accepted scientific picture of the descent of human beings from animals ought to let their kids know that it’s the currently accepted picture of human origins and ought to help them to understand what the view says and why so many people think it’s true. Otherwise they will be unable to address it when it comes up. Certain ages, of course, will not be ready for this. But Christians have to be prepared to engage the world, and that requires eventually understanding at least certain things about it. I think that’s really all some people mean by not sheltering kids.

  4. Tina

    I agree that you should protect your children but too much “shelter” from things YOU believe to be bad. I don’t believe in imposing my belief’s on anyone. I guide my children and try to show them cause and effect. I give them unconditional love. They know that every decision they make has to be for the good of themselves and others or their will be consequences/regret.
    If you shelter a child from the realities of life, then you truly are doing them no justice. Our world is full of bad things and no matter how good we are to our children or how long we try to shelter them from these bad things, at some point they will be exposed to some of it. It is best to expose them to things that they will likely encounter and allow for discussions to be had as a family unit to know first hand how this may affect your child(ren).
    If a child isn’t home schooled then they are very likely to be exposed to the things you disapprove of at school from their peers. I personally would rather have that exposure happen in my presence than the presence of a naive child that was most likely not correctly taught the information they are relaying to their friends.
    The most important thing to do in “sheltering” your child is to teach right and wrong and good and bad and reality and fantasy. “Sheltering” your children from a scary movie is not going to guarantee they won’t seek it out when they stay the night at a friends. I think the main thing sheltering a child TOO MUCH does is causes a rebel to be made. I know this first hand because I see it as a parent with parents that limit their children to certain things in their home. I think OVER sheltering does exist and I think it actually causes a bad result with many children and that result is DISHONESTY. If the child just-so-happens to like something that their parent does not like, they will likely lie and sneak around behind their parents back to partake in their like for whatever it may be.
    I am watching this first hand with a friend of my son.

  5. U R A FOOL

    ok agreed with ur point about the opposite of shelter is akin to endagering them but daying that sheltering your child too much is bad? are you out of your mind. in this world there are many bad things reported on the news daily. are you saying because a news story about sex or drugs or murder is on tv, you should turn over the channel to ‘shelter; them from this. if they cannot be allowed to understand these issues while you are there to explain and support them, when it comes to later life they arent going to be able to cope. by sheltering you your child from the factsof life you are not only denying them the chance to mature and evelop properly but preparing them for a very hard time later on ion life.

    im not saying that the moment a child can walk you should openly talk to them about sex and such, no. im saying that eventually a child is going to want to know where babies come from and why people die. you cannot sugar cote life for them but you can give them an education and let them be prepared for it.

    i am not religious but i respect peoples religious views, i accept that according to the church god is the protector of mankind and i will let people make their own choices but saying that letting god just wave his magic wand and believing that he will protect you kids is nonsense. i believe that the parent has the responsibility of arming the child for life and then letting them make their own choices and not forcing your beliefs on to them.

    just a note. i am 16 and i already believe that your view of the way to parenting is totally wrong.



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