Plugged-in Parenting: How to Raise Media-Savy Kids with Love, Not War, by Bob Waliszewski is a worthwhile read for anyone with children. Even if you think it's "too late" for your kids -- there is still advice in this book relevant to you and your family.
The book states: "I would suggest that until our children hate poison, they're likely to fall victim to it." If we turn a blind eye to the influence that media can have on our children and don't equip them with the skills of discernment, the inevitable outcome is that our children fall victim to the "poison".
We need to teach our children discernment between positive, neutral and objectionable media. Objectionable media "promotes pride, selfishness, immorality, rebellion, greed and drug use -- often portraying these behaviors as glamorous, fun, and beneficial." Isn't this typical of most mainstream entertainment these days?
I tell my kids that you can't unsee something once you've seen it. I tell them: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things." Phillipians 4:8. This is what we try to model our entertainment choices on.
When I was 12 I went to a sleepover birthday party for a Christian friend and a horror movie was one of the movies shown. As soon as I realized it was a horror (can't unsee that scene!), I asked two friends if they wanted to leave with me. Both of them said no. To this day, the one friend says she has nightmares and wishes she would have left with me when I asked her to. It was lonely and boring sitting in another room flipping through magazines by myself during the party, but I've never regretted that decision.
I wish I could say I showed that same restraint as I got older, but there has been a movie or two I wish I could unsee.
As parents we need to be aware of what our children are seeing, listening to and playing -- in our home and in the homes of their friends where it's harder to supervise the influence media has on them.
For parents who want to make informed decisions about what their kids are exposed to, check out reviews on movies, tv, video, music and games at Plugged In.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book through Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.
~ Chelsey ~