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A Minute for Parents

by JoAnn Hamilton

Do parents really know?

Do parents really know what their kids are involved with? I don't really know. I just know we all "think" we do. I guess we need to take a careful second look. Let me share what one mother told me.

With great concern this parent shared with me feedback from her fifteen-year-old daughter. Her daughter had just returned from a school approved trip to Cedar City. The teenager was upset at the environment on the bus. Girls were sitting on the laps of boys, the language was sexual and inappropriate, and students were showing each other porn from their cell phones. All of the students shared a dominant religious belief, which taught against all of these behaviors.

My comment to this mother was, "I'll bet the parents have no idea." She agreed.

This should be a scary concept for all parents. I read a book years ago concerning alcohol use called, Not My Kid. Denial by parents hurts the youth involved because then there is no interception, no treatment and no help.

I have seen parents discover problems, such as drugs, alcohol, pornography, anorexia, etc., and then get the necessary help and I have seen the youth, who was involved, pull out of these problems. The sooner the problem is intercepted, the easier it is to solve, but I have seen a lot of parents in denial. The children/youth suffer.

The National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families is pushing an initiative called CARE to protect children, educate, train and mobilize women to rise and stand against the assault attacking the innocence of youth. (Newsletter: Action, January 2007) In the newsletter Jerry Kirk, founder of the coalition states, "The National Coalition is greatly motivated by this campaign because (they) believe every child in America will be impacted by pornography and other sexual messages over wireless devices . . . Pornographers are continually on the offensive, determined to seduce those not seeking pornography – often times young children –and force their morality on them."

A recent survey by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as recorded in an article by Rebecca Hagelin entitled "Who's influencing your kids?" (WorldNetDaily, Thursday, August 17, 2006), found that more children are falling victim to the products of perverted pornographers. "The survey of 1,500 children and their guardians found that one-third of Internet users ages 10 to 17 were exposed to unwanted sexual material – up from one-quarter in 2000. Researchers said this increase was partly due to aggressive marketing tactics, including adult pop-up ads and computer viruses that can download material from pornographic sites."

"And an earlier study by the London School of Economics reveals that nine out of 10 children who go online will stumble across hard-core porn. Many of them are just trying to get their homework done when they suddenly find themselves gawking at the waste products of sleaze-balls – the greasy characters of a parent's worst nightmares." (Ibid.)

Media is affecting how your children act with one another. According to Rebecca Hagelin mere exposure to pornography inflicts a great deal of damage to their (your children's) developing attitudes, psyches and morality."

Statistics reveal how sexual stimulation and experimentation of children has already had devastating effects on the nation's youth: (These statistics come from Action, January 2007)

There are solutions: put the computer in an open area and supervise Internet use, use a filter, understanding that supervision is still necessary, teach your children to talk to you about what they see or experience that is inappropriate and build loving, kind relationships so your children will talk to you. Be tight on video games, television and movies. Children will mimic what they see. It is recorded in their brains and the tendency will be toward acceptance.

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