Children and Pop Culture (cont.)
Hopefully my book will become a call to action because the first step in protecting kids is for parents to know their values. I speak to thousands of parents every year, and many of them tell me they've never sat down and talked about what they value. How can parents possibly communicate healthy values to their kids if they're not even sure what they are? Parents need to really look carefully at their values and whether they're actually living their values. All parents will say they believe in the six values in my book, but if you look at the way they live their lives, many don't.
While our country is divided over a so-called culture war, we're losing the real culture war against popular culture, and our children are the casualties. Our only chance in winning this war against popular culture is to focus on the values we all share and create a counterpopular cultural revolution; this will only occur at the grass roots level. Our government, on the left or the right, long ago, sold our special interests and money, and only pays lip service to caring about children and popular culture isn't going to change because it's making lots of money.
Fortunately, parents aren't alone. Hopefully schools continue parents' values and for people of faith, houses of worship. In my book, I discuss what I call a family value culture. Kids want to be part of a culture, it gives them identity, connection and support. If parents can create a family value culture, that is a culture based on your family's values, they won't need to look elsewhere, such as to popular culture, to feel part of a culture. That family value culture starts with knowing your values, making sure they're healthy values, living your values and then to expand the army. Parents can't fight this war alone, and that army can come from neighborhoods, schools and houses of worship to create a community value culture.
Peer pressure -- the greatest ally of popular culture and the greatest enemy of children. We've lost our communities of shared values. When you send your kids over to their friends' houses, who knows what they're doing over there in terms of TV, video games and whatnot. But if you can surround your family with a community that has similar values, then the peer pressure becomes positive. The pressure is to adhere to your kids' values and when your kids go over to friends' houses, you can trust that similar values are going to be communicated. So this umbrella, the shield of values, goes with kids wherever they go.
Some parents believe they can protect their kids from popular culture by not educating them about it, by shielding them from it, by not exposing them to it and you want to do that early in children's lives. But as they get older and they're going out into the real world, parents need to give them the armor and the weaponry to resist popular culture's attacks. There are some important value tools that parents can teach their kids.
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