How to Raise Kids in a Media Driven Society

How to Raise Kids – Assessing the Media Overload

how to raise kids“Give an inch, they take a mile!”  We’ve all heard this before and if the daily actions of the many media moguls are any indication, America has lost much more than a mile.  As advertisers become more aggressive chasing down a dollar, they push the closer to the edge every day.  From Calvin Klein’s barely there underwear to Trojan Man commercials on You Tube to the graphically violent PS3 video games, it is just next to impossible to protect our youth from these images.  How do we rear our children to become well adjusted without cutting them off from real life? 

Even the many safe guards that are cropping up can only do so much.   What can be done about our kids’ friends whose parents may have a more “laid back” or even neglectful approach to parenting?   No one wants to be policed 24 hours a day and who has time to do it?  The last thing you want to do is become an over-bearing parent.  Sometimes this happens when we are learning how to raise kids. The point of parenting anyway is to provide our kids with the knowledge and guidance to make good decisions on their own. 

But how is this done without tying them up in their room until they are 30? I’m sure that’s not how to raise kids. but how can we protect them and slowly build their sense of independence when their innocence is being attacked every moment of every day?  To be honest, I wonder if it is really even possible.  Our culture has changed so much and become so remorseless and ethically out of control, that we are basically left to constantly stay in defense mode. 

How to Raise Kids – Schweddy Balls?!? Did Ben & Jerry Go Too Far?how to raise kids

As if having to check the labels of video games and cartoons wasn’t bad enough, Ben & Jerry’s latest stunt now has everyone up in arms over the appropriateness of ice cream.  Yes, you heard me right. ICE CREAM.  I mean, seriously.  How do you turn something as wholesome and classic as ice cream into something vulgar?  Just when I thought I had seen it all, ole’ Ben & Jerry found a way to do it.  And they created quite the PR coo, too!  So much for family friendly ice cream.  Introducing Schweddy Balls with a hint of rum loaded with fudge covered malt balls. Not quite the terminology we learned in How to Raise Kids 101.

Their Karmal Sutra flavor made me raise an eyebrow, but after just SMH, I tried it and it wasn’t half bad.  Now would I want my kids asking for it in the supermarket?  Ummmm. . . That would be a no.  And I most definitely would not want to hear the cashier calling over the intercom to replace my leaky ice cream with a new box of frozen Schweddy Balls.  Now, I’m no prude by a long shot. I get the pun or whatever, but Ben & Jerry, you’re just going a little too far here.  And apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so.  The conservative group, One Million Moms, is calling for the ice cream king to  cease distribution of the flavor or risk a boycott of the manufacturer all together.   

How to Raise Kids – Ben and Jerry:  With “Just a Sense of Humor”

Alex Stewart, the spokesperson for Ben and Jerry’s, said that they chose the name to have a sense of humor.  I’m all for jokes, but maybe they should save that for Ben & Jerry After Dark.  My kid coming home to cookies and a bowl of Schweddy Balls is just not quite the American Dream I had as a little girl.  While I do realize that times change, there are some things that we as adults and especially parents, need to safeguard for our children.  Somewhere along the line, we forgot to stand up for the things that are important.  As a result, our cash hungry vendors get more and more out of control, until they cross this invisible line and step all over our toes. 

We’ve given too many inches and now those inches have become miles.  It will be difficult to get it back, but One Million Moms has made a step in the right direction.  We have to let advertisers and other consumer driven businesses know that these controversial things are not in the best interests of our youth. 

 How to Raise Kids –Take Action!

We also have to back up our words with definite actions. This will demonstrate that we mean business. While it’s unfortunate that it would come to this end,  it really boils down the consumer being more proactive on a daily basis rather than having to take massive action after pulling our heads out of the sand a year or two down the line.  I will readily shoulder my share of the blame.  I knew when I raised an eyebrow at the Karmal Sutra a while back that I should have put it back on the shelf and picked up cookies and cream.  It was my complacency that was part of the problem. Such complacency in large numbers means large profits for the vendor.  

In essence, by buying their product, I was condoning their questionable judgment.  Who can really blame them when they simply wanted to make even more money and thus became even more aggressive in their tactics? The last thing we want to do is jack our kids out of a happy childhood by eliminating everything that’s fun. 

how to raise kidsIf we proactively work at it on a daily basis, we can provide an environment that is not only safe and appropriate, but also fun and educational.  Technology has afforded us some safeguards that can be our eyes when we can’t be around to protect our kids.  Did you know that 69% of teens talk to strangers online?

Kidzafeis a tool that allows you to protect your child from online predators.  I want to apologize for allowing that Karmal Sutra to end up in my shopping cart.  If I had been more proactive, I wouldn’t be sitting here all indignant about something worse:  Schweddy Balls.  I’m off to find some cookies and cream.  In the meantime, learn how to improve communication skills, how to raise kids and how to get help with parenting at Raise Your Family

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