The tween years in our house mark a transition from parental control to parental influence, as our tweens spend more time with friends away from home. Talking to our kids about media before they are exposed to it helps them make good choices and process what they see and hear. We discuss cultural mindsets and talk about the negative influence of these common messages:
- "Normal" teenagers engage in underage drinking and sexual activity.
- Using profanity makes you sound older and cooler.
- Lying is not really a big deal.
- It's funny when people misuse alcohol and drugs.
- You need to have sex before getting married.
- Older adults are out of touch and have little value in a young person's life.
Additionally, we do our best to model good media choices and emphasize that even PG-13 movies are not always appropriate, even for a 13-year-old. When a movie is questionable, we wait and watch it together on DVD. If our children are uncomfortable watching the movie with us, they probably don't need to be watching it at all.
This article appeared in the December 2013 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2013 by Becky Baudouin. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
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