*GLITTERING GENERALITIES *TESTIMONIALS *CELEBRITY STATUS *CAUSE AND EFFECT *EMOTIONAL APPEAL *CONFUSION *SEX APPEAL *TECHNICAL JARGON *NAME CALLING *PLAIN FOLKS
Are these terms familiar to you? and are they familiar to your children? When recognizing the influence media has on our children and how much their world is bombarded with its messages, our responsibilities as parents becomes critical.
When I was in high school, I took a class on marketing strategies and we learned about how the advertising world targets varying ages, social groups, genders and personality types to lure them into buying or trying their product or believing the messages they are trying to deliver. This opened my eyes to the world of bait and hook, and I realized that is also Satan’s specialty. He loves to find the thing that we least suspect to be a hook, and he just waits for us to take the bait and run with it.
It is a wise thing to use filters and parental controls on the forms of media our kids have access to on their own…but it isn’t foolproof. We can’t protect them from being exposed to some things that will be potentially dangerous or harmful to them. It is good to empower our children with knowledge and to teach them discernment when we can. The internet has many resources for learning about these marketing strategies so that we can teach our children. We can watch TV with them and spend time on the computer with them showing them things that are meant to deceive them, and discussing the differences between what may be portrayed in a TV show with worldly influences and God’s standards. There are so many opportunities to engage our children in meaningful discussions and to involve them in the process of learning to think for themselves, instead of just following the crowd and easily taking the bait.
There are also many resources for learning about the various forms of media our children are interested in that we may have limited knowledge about ourselves. A very good resource is Be Web Aware http://www.bewebaware.ca/english/default.html, part of Media Awareness Network. This site has many interactive tutorials, links, and resource tools to help you become an educated and involved parent.
A PRAYER FOR YOUR CHILDREN: May God equip them with discernment and may they experience an open, involved communication with their parents that will help them to see through the deceptions of the world and empower them to look to God for guidance and wisdom as they live out the concept of Being IN the world, but not OF the world.
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