Pop Culture’s Negative Influence on Our Kids

This is one of those times when one of your emails says it all.  The following email puts every parent on notice with respect to the proper protection of their children from influences which hurt their souls: 

“Hi Dr. Laura!  I type reports for some youth programs and typed a report a few weeks ago that has been on my mind. This report said that this particular teenager had been using very offensive swear words since the age of 5 when this person saw an R-rated movie. My first question was “What is a 5-year-old doing watching an R-rated movie?” Where is the parent? Another report indicated that one teenager had started inhaling cocaine after seeing it done in a movie. I see kids being influenced by the media all over.

As a teenager many years ago, I was taught that our minds are like a camera – i.e., taking a picture that you can’t get out–so be careful about what you put in it. Many people are concerned about the effects of violent video games and truly believe that these games will affect kids, but why don’t they use the same standard about movies that have sex (especially explicit sex) and vulgar language in them? That sticks every bit as much as violence. Once something has entered your mind, it is changed.

Today, I read in a local paper about a study that was done regarding teens and media (television and movies) containing sexual content. The teens who watched media with sexual content were more likely to engage in such behaviors than those who did not.

We would never invite a stranger into our home without knowing their purpose. Yet, every day we invite strangers into our homes when we turn on television or put a movie on. We think we know these people–they’re on the front cover of every magazine at the checkout. These people often, don’t have our best interests at heart or the best interests of our kids at heart. They are there to make money, and generally, that is their only purpose. I’m amazed at some of the talk show hosts and authors that have shared their infidelities, whether on TV or in books, like it is a badge of honor. They will certainly take credit for lending their influence in the [recent] presidential campaigns, but they certainly would not take credit for their influence in the lives of today’s teens in the terms of drugs and sex.

We have choices! We as parents need to be more judicious as to what we will allow in our homes and what we will allow our kids to be exposed to within our realm. We need to love our kids and ourselves enough to turn “that program” off and spend our time with our kids or developing ourselves. Our kids are influenced by a lot of other people away from the home, but when they return to the home, we do have the influence to reinforce the difference between good and bad, right and wrong.

 Thank you so much for all that you do to fight the negative effects on the family!”

When you’re so busy, busy, or have long given up on taking the leadership role in raising your children, or you’re way too easily dissuaded by popular culture from having moral standards and values by which you wish to raise your family, your children become prey and the predators are many.  Like vampires, they wait to suck the blood out of your children’s souls and psyches, leaving them to the forces of their immaturity and the allure of their impulses.

Your children need you to take stands…their futures depend on it!