Kids, parenting and the media

I keep having these conversations about raising kids today. We have become a completely media driven society. What to wear, what to listen to, how to decorate your home, what is happening in Chinese pop culture, what is happening behind the celebrity scene, what is sexy, what is not sexy. It’s out there for the taking. Kids are subject to more information now than ever. It is right out there on the Internet and TV. Even the content of the video games can be out there. Young kids watch shows on Disney that are supposedly age appropriate but they are not. The 4 year olds are watching shows made for an 8 year old, the 8 year olds are watching shows appropriate for 12 years old, etc. So, how do you make sure that you raise a grounded kid who is capable of navigating the world and making solid decisions among the white noise?

At the end of the day, I think it all comes back to the basics. I would find it hard to believe that parents today are not having the same conversations that their parents had and their parents had, etc. about the music, the sex, the drinking and the drugs that scare the pants off them. Although every parents generation experimented, it is now somehow different. We have to protect them from what we now know. Wrong. Kids need to figure it out on their own. But as parents, we must teach them the tools to make sound decisions.

Teaching your kids manors and to respect their elders but still challenge to learn why and why not. Be present in their lives. Be home to sit around the dinner table and discuss the events of the day. Set expectations. Be interested in their lives and school work. Keep your eyes and ears open. Don’t preach to them. I believe these are probably the same basics that were taught to us by the generations of the past. The media might be seeping into our every day lives but teaching kids values and ethics is the only way that they can look past the information and make their own sound decisions.

I hope I am doing the right thing….only time will tell.