Three Top Ten Lists

, Heather Latham, Leave a comment

“Truth is a powerful tool,” Rebecca Hagelin says in her book 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family. “As parents, we have the obligation to step up to the plate and share what we know to be true with our kids. Too many moms and dads seem to be so concerned with image or political correctness that they fail to teach their kids what is noble, just pure, and true.”

Hagelin argued at a Conservative Bloggers Briefing that one of the best things parents can do for their kids is simply to pay attention. She pointed out that teenagers spend an average of about $200 billion a year. This makes them a prime target of advertisers. She says, “The reality is most parents don’t want to look or listen too closely to what their kids are doing. Why? Because if we find objectionable media habits, then we’re faced with having to do something about them—or turn our backs on the problem and our kids. For many parents, it’s just easier to remain ignorant.” She goes on to say, “Our children will largely become what they consume. It’s up to us to provide them with the materials that will build courage, fortitude, fidelity, sound judgment, and strong character.”

Hagelin said, “90% of kids who go online…are going to view pornography. 70% of those are going to stumble across it… Who’s creating that online pornography? Adults who have a different worldview than moms and dads… The battle is not with your teenager; the battle is with the culture that is largely controlled by adults that have a different worldview than you.” She said that parents should sit down with their teenagers and teach them why certain media are unacceptable. “[T]he problem isn’t with ‘these kids today,’ the problem is with these adults today. We must teach our kids character and values found in principles of courage, how to say ‘no,’ and how to rise and tower above the pop culture that seeks to do them harm.”

Hagelin says that her whole point in writing this book is to help parents raise their kids with truth. “We parents aren’t looking for the ‘perfect mom’ or ‘perfect dad’ to emulate—we are looking for help, validation, and formulas that have worked for others. I have been blessed with a unique opportunity to share what I have learned with moms and dads who don’t want to miss the obvious or make mistakes just because they didn’t know any better. I now believe that to be silent about what I have learned, about what I know to be true, would be immoral.”

In her book, Hagelin outlines thirty steps for parents in their “daily battle” with “modern culture.” They are:

1. “Commit to the daily battle”
2. “Envision the childhood you want for your children, and the adults you want them to become”
3. “Assess your home”
4. “Understand how marketers target your children”

5. “Make your home inviting, warm, and…fun!”
6. “Create family time”
7. “Discuss the modern challenges of friendship with your teen and evaluate your own friendships”
8. “Know the differences between your principles and your preferences
9. “Write a letter to your teen”

10. “Battle the culture, not your child”
11. “Direct your child’s education”
12. “Learn how to have meaningful discussions with your child”
13. “Vow to be the parent (not your child’s best friend)”

14. “Secure allies in the battle”

15. “Develop and follow your ‘mother’s intuition’ and ‘father knows best’ instincts”
16. “Install parental controls on your televisions—and be the ultimate control”

17. “Be your family’s movie critic”

18. “Tell your children what makes a true hero, and pledge to be a hero, too”
19. “Teach your children every day that they have God-given value”
20. “Establish a family tradition of a daily quiet time”
21. “Set the example”
22. “Follow ten simple steps with your teens to foster ongoing support for their purity”
23. “Set clothing standards for your daughter that reflect she is to be respected and admired for who she truly is”
24. “Dress your son in respect”
25. “Obtain a reliable internet filter”
26. “Keep your kids safe in online social networking”
27. “Let the Golden Rule rule your home”

28. “Help your children to connect ownership of material things and privileges with work”

29. “Teach your children to be good stewards”
30. “Make your own list”

Hagelin says, “We must constantly remember the beautiful, lovely, fulfilling lives we want our kids to enjoy, and start understanding that the decisions we make today about how we raise them will have a direct impact on how they choose to live their lives when they are on their own.”

Heather Latham is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.