Do we see that we each have the power to change this?

Do we see that we each have the power to change this?

Here are a few interesting dots to connect.

Yesterday CNN covered loads about their own media industry. Wait, is that a circular reference? No matter. They featured a shouting panel of experts arguing whether or not we should vilify the writers of Glee who predictably leveraged the public debate of guns in schools to desperately elevate their ratings. An equal number of arguments expressed moral devastation as those expressing the show’s right to be current.

Immediately following that story was a follow up to the true story about the young woman who was raped after passing out at a party, and then committed suicide after the horrendous assault was publicized on social media.

I confess to seeing a connection in these two reports and their tragic realities. The health of our community rests in so many ways with the individual power of the parents of our children. As the world gets intoxicatingly concentrated into endless screen time, the irony is that this sophisticated high-tech culture creates an ever-increasing need for old-fashioned conversations in the home, as our kids are forced to face hard challenges at earlier and earlier ages. We forget that their emotional ages don’t match their apparent physical age and we forget to be appalled at (and disallow) their bikini shots on Facebook as middle schoolers.

First, I wish the Fox producers had a sckosh more compassion (and basic business sense) to recognize their opportunity to pay a lot more attention to the Newtown community prior to airing this [shameless] episode. I pray the parents of that community have the help they need in seeking on-going healing in the face of many painful reminders and “if only’s.”

Secondly, I wish the parents of the high school kids in Saratoga California (and in all of our communities?) were more loving and bravely serious about their children’s activities, exposure, and moral development. Are we too involved with our own to do lists and social media exploits? Have we all lost the ability to have the deeper, more difficult conversations … you know, the ones that our kids might not want to sit still to hear?

I believe if we spend our energy blaming the publishers and producers of violent and immoral content, we are missing the truth of our power as consumers of that media.

And if we believe at all that the publishing and producing of violent and depraved content is bad for our communities and even the cause of distress, how is it also true that our congress is continuing the debate about controlling guns without any allowable discussion of the role of media and movies in the emotional health of our communities and the people who might be most susceptible and vulnerable?  But then again, it’s not Washington’s job to manage our viewing habits, is it?

As my wise father-in-law says, “follow the money.” They produce because we watch.

Parents, wake up and take your kid out to a screen-free lunch. Be involved every day in their clicking and posting and help shape their thought life with your own (it’s all you’ve got).  If you haven’t been maintaining an open dialogue, it’s going to take patience and persistence to begin now. Start by sitting with them and focusing on their eyes. Watch what they’re watching and steer them to healthy content. Teach them to engage with their voice and heart on a deeper level. Talk about God more — because the love of an all-powerful God is life changing and that’s a story worth telling.

Our world will always be broken in many ways, and it doesn’t give your kids any rest. The pressure is incessant and they’re desperately trying to keep up in whatever social race they’ve entered. Give them your words of clarity and peace and solitude and unconditional love. Today.

 
and show them this


 

 
and definitely this:


 

3 Comments

  1. Miriam
    Apr 13, 2013

    This post reads like a geyser of wisdom. Thanks for this fabulous reminder!

    • Suzy
      Apr 13, 2013

      Dear Miriam!

      Indeed we have the chance to share great content too right? You inspire so many, dear friend.

      Love
      Suzy

  2. David R.
    Apr 13, 2013

    Yes, yes, yes! Not just moral and social development, parents must step up and realize their importance in education. It’s time we stopped blaming all the school problems on teachers, and looked homeward.

    BTW, reading to your (young) children is important in all of the above.

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