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14

TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY

Of course, and this is most tragic, some parents simply do not care what happens to their children—who may not have even been planned for or wanted in the first place.

But either of the above two scenarios—interested but ignorant or cavalier and uncaring—need not be you. Perhaps this book can inspire you to see your role as a parent for the exciting, thrilling and ultimately rewarding experience that it can be—if you are properly prepared for what lies ahead!

Instant Gratification

Consider the typical television sitcom: Strong family values, once promoted in the past, have been corrupted into the dysfunctional family values of today. And almost every form of entertainment now reflects this.

Let’s take a closer look at Hollywood films: Many glamorize sexual immorality, with movie characters usually portrayed as changing sex partners more often than they change their clothes. Hollywood producers manipulate audiences into rooting for the reb- els, anti-heroes and action characters who thumb their noses at ev- ery form of authority. The movie industry also promotes an extreme emphasis on physical beauty and appearance. Also, defenseless against the daily bombardment by ads in most teen magazines— with those much younger also reading them in large numbers—up to 63 percent of girls just 7 to 10 years old now go to school wearing make-up and expensive perfumes. This statement alone reflects a sad and worsening picture of childhoods lost! But it gets worse. By age 14, 90 percent of girls are wearing some type of lipstick, mas- cara or eyeliner. This, in turn, leads to earlier and earlier sexual ac- tivity.

Now consider the Internet: With a few clicks of a button, your child can access web pages that promote every twisted, immoral and perverse idea that men can devise. Photographs of absolutely ap- palling images are only seconds away from your child’s mental con- sumption. And parents seemingly can do little to stop this.

Virtually all societies on earth are now exposed to the age of instant gratification, through mass media and CDs: television, radio, music, movies, video games, music videos and magazines. All of these deceive children into believing that they are the center of the universe. Children are constantly bombarded with messages of self-

Facing the Challenge

15

ishness, greed, deceit and “me first” attitudes. These messages are “boxed, wrapped and marketed” to target an unsuspecting genera- tion in packages of vanity, illicit sex, hatred, physical aggression and rebellion against authority.

Television has spoon-fed this destructive, awful diet to children for so long that the majority no longer know how to think, reason or solve problems with their minds. Instead, the television culture has taught them to solve problems through violence and force, coupled with deceit in every form.

Tragically, an even worse condition afflicts young people of the modern age. Many have grown up not even having been taught to think, let alone talk, about anything of DEPTH. Obviously, this is be- cause most people no longer read very much, including any of the important parts of a newspaper—let alone a wide variety of books or news magazines. Children no longer read beyond what is required by their schools, and this is usually little more than the basics. To read, one must move his eyes back and forth across the page. And he must think about the words he is seeing and what they describe. Incredibly, experts report that this has become too much effort for a generation that has been programmed to stare at a TV screen. Tele- vision does not require thinking—or effort.

There is also evidence suggesting that early exposure to televi- sion can perhaps “rewire” a child’s developing brain patterns, chang- ing the child’s thinking for the rest of its life. With commercials in- terrupting programming approximately every seven minutes, it has been demonstrated to produce a seven-minute attention span in chil- dren. This seems to be confirmed in the experiences of a profes- sional storyteller, Odds Bodkin, who reads mostly to children. He observed that children began to be restless after about seven min- utes, in anticipation of a commercial break. This new phenomenon has been labeled “Attention Deficit Disorder.”

An article titled “Toddler TV Time May Shorten Attention” points to a link between time spent watching TV and attention prob- lems in children. It states, “Experts know too much TV is bad for older kids, but it may also harm the attention spans of children as young as 1 year old, a new study suggests” (HealthDay Reporter).

Another study, by author Dr. Dimitri Christakis of the Univer- sity of Washington, Seattle, states, “We found that watching televi- sion before the age of 3 increases the chances that children will de- velop attentional problems at age 7.”

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