Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Straight Talk About The Talk- Part 4

For a few weeks, we've been covering this area of 'The Talk' with our kids and teens. In Part 1, we covered the Littles. Pray early and often. Part 2 was about purity and marriage. This is big. The war against biblical marriage is raging furiously. Engage in this battle and enlist your kids to support marriage. Part 3 took us to learning to set goals for the future and just look ahead.
{{ http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/28/wired-kids-negligent-parents/ }}
Talk Media - This is multifaceted and I'm working hard not to be all over the place here. Failing.

Television, movies, music, print ads, internet, etc... they are all a part of that war against purity. I am all for censorship. Do not think that your child doesn't understand the innuendos. This is just ridiculous.  (Remember, the title says "Straight Talk".)

This doesn't necessarily mean censor forever.  At an appropriate age, discuss media messages with your child. Have conversations in light of God's Word, sharing a biblical worldview and your personal values. The point is, don't think they aren't internally processing the images--whether they mention them to you or not, they are processing.

Do not put a TV or computer in your kid's bedroom. This is a no-brainer to me. Please don't tell me that your kid is the one kid in America who would never choose to watch sketch on TV. When your son is channel surfing one day (maybe not today, but one day) he will see some breasts or cleavage and he will. slow. the. clicker. down.
I've recently heard of a family that requires iPods to be used in common areas of the house. I love this. We have allowed them to be used in the girls' bedrooms and they bring them to us at night, but I like this even better. We have discussed keeping iPods limited to downstairs, but haven't pulled the trigger just yet. It's time.

Media includes communications, such as phones and texting.
When I asked high school students for one piece of advice for me to give to parents of younger kids, the Number One response is, "Don't let them get a cell phone!"

No joke. High schoolers are seeing the problems of cell phones in their own lives. Just delay it as long as possible. I know it is convenient for your teen/preteen to have a phone, but parenting isn't always convenient. You had practices after school and went to friend's houses without a cell phone, little Junior can, too.
Also, texting is not required for the phone to work. Don't be afraid to shut it down. Seriously, other parents will applaud your willingness to take a stand, and likely follow suit. Be a trend setter! :)

On the subject of media, we have to talk social media. For starters, can we all agree that allowing your child to lie in order to get a Facebook or whatnot is not helpful to anyone? It's just not.
If you allow your teen to use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) you should have an account, too, and your teen should be required to friend you. Also, be aware that teens also have accounts with pseudonyms that parents aren't aware of. Have access to all computers and devices and check them often. It has nothing to do with not trusting them. At the end of the day, God has entrusted us with these precious ones and we have to be willing to fight for them and with them in the battle of purity.

Stay in the know on current trends in social networking and be a part of it. Y'all parents who are saying "Oh, I'm just not that computer savvy" or "I don't do the whole Facebook thing."--I don't know... That seems noble and all, but  I don't think it's wise, unless you are keeping your whole family away from all social media, too. And, that's great, if you are! Rock on. I support you from the other side!
Otherwise, you need follow CNET on Twitter. They post a lot of good reviews about trending apps and whatnot. Also, they are a good consumer resource on all things techy.

Again, it's not about trusting YOUR kids, it's about understanding that our kids are a target! There is a multibillion dollar porn industry that would love nothing more than to get my girls hooked.
[The porn industry sees us all in 3 categories: target (never exposed), bait (exposed, maybe curious), hooked]. This is the real deal. Get an internet filter on your computer! Net Nanny, Safe Eyes, something!

At the end of the day, you are the parent. I've said it before, you know your kid. Nothing I say here should do anything but empower you and maybe give you ideas about ways to navigate this better. If you've got ideas, let's hear 'em! Don't be greedy with your good stuff! Share!

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