We've known for quite a while how the different forms of media (radio, TV, magazines, etc) can influence our lives. They can change how we feel about ourselves and what moral or social views we may have had. They do this very powerfully in our children's hearts and minds as well.
I don't know how many TV shows or movies you sit down and watch with your children, but you will notice a common theme in these shows aimed at our kids. Among movies the theme seems to be one of independence. The child who is the main character always seems to be independent of parents. Either they have been abandoned, run-away or they have lost their parents to death. In TV shows the theme seems to be that most parents are stupid, naive or inept at raising their children. The child is usually portrayed as knowing more than the adult so they end up having to rely on themselves.
What kinds of feelings does this portray to our children? I think it relates the exact attitudes that we are now seeing in society among mainstream kids. An attitude that they really don't need us and that they can do things better their way. An attitude that has stimulated their sense of "right" or feelings of deserving things and the outcome that results in many arguments between parents and children. That is why so many power struggles have been going on. Children are trying to be adults before they are truly ready!
I've said it before and I will stress the point again. Pay attention to what your children are viewing, watching and listening to!! Monitor your child's friendships and their social circle. Most importantly, communicate with your children. Talk to them about the "why's" and "how come's" of situations that are happening in the movies and television shows that they watch. Sometimes our children may resent us for our stance, but we need to have "tough love" and look at the whole picture on behalf of our child's best interests in the long run.
Every child needs boundaries, guidelines, rules and structure. Every child needs a parent - not a buddy who will just let them have their way. They need a parent who is wise, discerning and loving enough to incorporate structure into their lives until they are old enough to wisely monitor things themselves. That wisdom comes with practice.
Sometimes you may be the only parent who says "no." But do so knowing that your children will be emotionally, physically and spiritually richer for it. And God bless you for your courage.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dionna Sanchez enjoys writing from her home in Idaho. She is Editor/Publisher of Emphasis On Moms...the newsletter focused on encouraging moms not just as parents, but also as women. Visit today at www.EmphasisOnMoms.com