The Culture War: A Five-Point Plan for Parents
As I travel the country speaking about my
book, Home Invasion:
Protecting Your Family in a Culture that's Gone Stark Raving
Mad, I'm met with nearly universal desperation from parents who
are sick and tired of the battle for their kids' hearts, minds and
As the mother of three teens, I admit that I
sometimes "fall back" in my own war with the culture. It's often
tough, tiresome and even tedious. But raising children who will
tower above the culture makes the battle well worth my unwavering
So where to start? Here are five basics:
Rebecca Hagelin is a vice president of The Heritage Foundation
and the author of Home Invasion: Protecting
Your Family in a Culture That's Gone Stark Raving Mad.
Home Invasion is 270 pages of information, personal stories and
practical tips on how to conquer the culture. It also includes
nearly 38 pages of resources with phone numbers and web addresses
for products and organizations so parents don't have to go it
alone. To order a personally autographed copy, log on to www.HomeInvasion.org
. To book Rebecca for a media interview or speaking engagement,
contact Tori Ueltschi at 202-608-6142.
Envision, assess, compare.
Envision the type of adult you want your child to
become. Whether you are liberal, conservative or somewhere in
between, all decent parents pretty much want the same thing for
their kids. We all want them to grow up and have happy families of
their own. We all want them to be marked by good character; to be
responsible, honest, healthy and courageous; to be respected and
respectful. But taking the time to actually picture our children's
best future reminds us that we need to do our best every day to
help shape them in to all that they can be.
Next, assess the media your child is consuming. According to
a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report, today's teens consume 6
½ hours of media every single day. The number-one cable
choice for girls is the racy MTV; the number-one music genre choice
for kids from all races and socio-economic levels is the often foul
rap and hip hop; 90 percent of kids who go online stumble across
hard-core porn, simply because parents have never taken the time to
install a filter. (I protect my kids with a great filter from
www.bsafe.com). What are your sons and daughters watching and
listening to? Do you even know? Time to spend some time in their
world -- to find out the messages that are being pumped into their
Now, compare: Do the messages and materials your child is
feasting on teach the values and behaviors you want him to embrace
as an adult? If the vision and what you've discovered in the
assessment are at odds, it's time to move to step two
Commit to the daily battle.
And believe me, it is a daily battle. The attacks of the killer
culture are relentless. From the commercials, to the gangsta and
street-walker clothing styles, to the movies, magazines, games and
music marketed to teens, decency is under attack. Try breaking it
down to one day at a time, and you will succeed. I awake every
morning with a simple prayer, "Lord, please help me today to uphold
the values and standards my husband and I have set for our
Teach your child that he has intrinsic
value in God's eyes.
The greatest gift we can give our children is to let them know
that there is a God who loves them and knows them by name. We must
teach our sons and daughters that the God of the Universe is
intensely interested and familiar with every aspect of their lives
and wants what is best for them. Today's culture teaches even the
young child that he is here by accident, and that he is just
another creature on a big, impersonal planet, no different from any
other animal. It's no wonder that kids today are experiencing
depression and loneliness in record numbers.
Improve your family life.
A few years ago the mantra was, "It's quality time, not
quantity time, that counts." WRONG! Kids need a good dose of both
from their parents. If we think we can spend one great hour a day
with our kids and counteract the negative garbage they're getting
from the culture "24/7," we're fooling ourselves. Drop the
senseless activities that take everyone's time and leave your
family stressed out and exhausted. Spend more time talking to your
kids and less time watching TV. The Heritage Foundation reviewed
the tremendous impact that even the simple act of having family
meals has on our kids
and found that teenagers who eat dinner
with their families only two nights a week or less are more than
twice as likely to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs than teens who
have frequent family dinners.
Take a hands-on approach with your
Whether your kids go to private or public schools, you should
be intimately acquainted with what, and how, they are taught. When
was the last time you picked up your child's English book, or
science book, and actually read it? Do you know what she is being
taught in history? Exercise your right to opt your child out of
misguided sex-ed classes. Challenge the reading lists if the
assigned books are pop garbage. The point is to remember that you,
as the parent, have every right -- and the ultimate responsibility
-- to make sure your child is taught well, and well taught.
First appeared on World Net Daily.