Monday, October 20, 2008

It's you and us against pop culture

White IPod nanoImage via Wikipedia I’m a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to pop culture. I don’t have an iPod, and never will. The whole Nintendo phase blew right by me. (Now what is it, Xbox or something?) Two years ago, I was forced to buy a DVD player after Blockbuster stopped carrying VHS tapes. I can’t stand Rap music and how it popularizes the denigration of women to a repetitious, hypnotic beat. As my 11-year-old so wisely said, “RAP stands for Robots Attempting Poetry.” I am disgusted by how popular it is for kids to dress and talk illiterately like “gangstas” – “Whassup, Dude?” And then there’s Freak Dancing, which has our children simulating sex by grinding with partners at school dances.

Where is all this destructive influence coming from? YouTube, iPods, TV, video games and movies, for starters. My ex-husband bought my oldest an iPod with a gift card for free downloads. Little did I know she was downloading filthy-mouthed comedians discussing things a 15-year-old isn’t ready to hear. One night I caught the same teenager in question watching “A Shot at Love” a reality dating show, like “The Bachelor,” with a slight twist: Tila Tequila had to decide if she wanted to date a boy or a girl. (MTV is now blocked at our house.) Last Christmas, a relative sent my daughter the book “Gossip Girl,” a prequel to a popular TV show aimed at teenagers. In the first 10 pages, the “F” word was used 4 times, and teenagers were discussing sex and one father’s affair while mixing martinis in a home absent of parents.

Is it any wonder that 16-year-olds, like Jamie Lynn Spears, are getting pregnant?

What I’m trying to say is: Be vigilant. PAY ATTENTION to what your kids are watching, reading, listening to and accessing on the Internet. If your children are young, come up with a game plan now for how much pop culture you will or will not allow them to be exposed to someday.

We, as parents, are the final fortress surrounding our impressionable children. And just because something's popular doesn't mean we should let it in.
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5 comments:

HeyJoe said...

Welcome to the blogosphere. Just wanted to be the first to post a comment.

Lynn said...

Thank you, Joe! Nice to know someone is out there and that when a tree falls in my forest, someone has heard it. Or something like that . . .

HeyJoe said...

"A tree falls in my forest..."

Joke in there somewhere but I'll let it lie.

Marybeth said...

Hey Lynn, a friend found you and sent me your blog address -- we are kindred spirits on pop culture and kids! Please see the web site for my book @ http://www.bringingupgeeks.com/. Would love to be in touch with you by email. Great blog, BTW!

Lynn said...

Marybeth,

I just checked out your website, and you have done some wonderful work through the years on raising children in a "must-be-hip-or-else" culture. I'm just starting to see what you have been up against for a number of years. Congratulations on being such a strong voice for concerned and DESPERATE parents, like me! I will get in touch with you through the e-mail address on your website. I would LOVE to strike up a private conversation with you!