IS POP CULTURE THE BEST LESSONS FOR OUR CHILDREN?
Popular teenage idol and singer Miley Cyrus shocked the audience at the 2009 Teen Choice Award show when she performed a song while using the assistance of a stripper pole. In her eyes, her behavior was artistic, but little thought was given to the producer’s of the show as to the influence it would have on the millions of kids watching. Has our youth been so influenced by pop culture that they have become desensitized to behavior promoting sex, alcohol and drug use?
In a world that has so many communication mediums it is extremely difficult to filter out the good from the bad that our younger adolescents absorb and then duplicate in their personalities and character. As parents and now for myself grandparents we are faced with ongoing situations that place us at a crossroads on how much we allow our children to be exposed to. We are constantly looking for avenues that convey fun and at the same time keep our children interested long enough to comprehend a positive message.
Today’s teen idols, television and music influences leave our youth constantly exposed to negative vibes. Teen idols do not realize the full impact of their comments and actions.
The younger generation that is striving to stand out and be noticed mirror their idols to gain attention and recognition. The media tends to only verbalize the negatives of the teen idol community and not the positive. This leaves the younger population only exposed to one side of their teen idol’s personality and it’s not always the most flattering. The same goes for television. So many sexual and negative language connotations are allowed to be aired for all ages to view and that it is impossible to filter from our youth.
If we can continue to create and expose our younger generation to positive literature and likewise with role models and characters that they can relate to we will have won a portion of the uphill battle as parents and grandparents in developing our future generation. Families need to spend quality time together reading and viewing television programs and then discuss the good things they experienced. Keeping an open line of communication is more important today than ever before. Even when children are exposed to all the negatives that surround them from their teen idol’s to the music they listen to parents still have the opportunity to short circuit some of those negative signals by talking about what can be learned from it. Parents today have many obstacles that make it more and more difficult to have control over what their children are exposed to.
There is no silver bullet for controlling these negative influences. The only control that we have is how we react to it and how we continue to communicate positive thoughts and comments to our children. Parents continue to look for new material to introduce to their youth that can plant seeds for goodwill and good behavior. This is a challenge when what is popular and what sells is negative and somewhat disrespectful. As an author and creator it’s easy to buy into what sells but to really stand behind what you believe is a risk that may not be received very well.
So the battle continues to push good over evil in the many communication mediums that influence the future of our children Thisbattle is getting more difficult. The best way to know where and how children are communicating parents need to get familiar with all the latest crazes such as face book and twitter. Parents need to develop their computer skills and tune into the latest popular utube videos so they can learn to navigate in their children’s world. This will help them to better communicate on a level that youth’s can understand and relate back to.
Teresa Rinnes first went to college in her late thirties and in four and a half years not only earned her Bachelor’s degree but also two Master degrees. Snail Tails- Let’s Play Ball! is her first book and was inspired by snail characters she would draw and imagine as a child. Until the release of her book, Rinnes was known in her community as a member of her college volleyball team at the ripe young age of 40. Snail Tails- Let’s Play Ball! is available through major online booksellers and at www.authorhouse.com.