Media influences

As if you need another reason to limit and supervise the media which your children (of all ages) are exposed to, Yahoo had this article today. Here’s a few relevant clips:

“Molly is the street name for a drug that is pushed as the pure powder form of a banned substance known as MDMA, the main chemical in ecstasy. In the last five years, Molly has made its way into popular culture, helped by references to it made by entertainers such as Madonna, Miley Cyrus and Kanye West.”

“Grob said references in pop culture can fan misconceptions.” Grob is a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine and an expert on MDMA.

However, just limiting the media isn’t enough. Show them how to make positive choices and explain why certain things are inappropriate. Otherwise, as they get older and peers have greater influence over them, they may see you as a dictator rather than guide. My children and I have had several good conversations about media. When we see, read, or hear an ad for an inappropriate media we sometimes will discuss what’s wrong with it. This helps strengthen their beliefs.

Let children actively participate in the discussions; don’t just preach to them. In fact, it’s often my children who are the ones who bring it up. I’ve been surprised a few times when I was thinking “this may not be too bad” but my children clearly thought it was totally inappropriate. LOL. In cases like that, we usually defer to them rather than confuse their beliefs by being hypocritical allowing some things and not others just because I (an adult) like them.

Afterall, a parent’s job is to guide a child to become a successful adult. Yes, we have to trust them, but we have to give them the strong moral base to make good choices. Limiting and supervising their media is one way to do that.

Cheap entertainment

In today’s fast paced world of expensive electronics, I’m glad to say I have found a way to get my kids away from it. It’s a way to provide cheap entertainment. Literally. What am I talking about? A bird feeder of course!

Two years ago, the kids studied about local birds as part of their homeschool. They bought a bird feeder and seed. We placed it right outside our living room window. Each day, they were to watch it and then write or draw in their journal what they observed.

This will be the third winter we have put up the feeder. Last week, we went to WalMart and bought local bird seed. We usually go through 2 or 3 bags in a winter. The past few days, we all eagerly awaited our small, feathered friends’ return. After awhile, we can tell individuals apart. There’s fatso (the biggest, fluffiest chickadee), weirdo (a redpoll with an unusual shaped beak), nutty (the nut hatch), and many more.

Today the first chickadee found the feeder. They along with redpolls and an occasional nut hatch will provide a little nature time each day even when it’s too cold to get outside. We enjoy watching the greedy chickadees and the more territorial red polls in their antics. It’s “cheap” entertainment.