Reposting and reprinting.
Stand, children of the West!
When I started The Last Ditch, I intended that one of our major areas of investigation should be the protection and education of children in today's ultra-toxic, anti-Western cultural environment. (I discuss the question, too briefly, in my introductory essay "Who we are; what we're up to.") We cannot foment a cultural counterrevolution in the world at large; but it is certainly possible for us to strive for counterrevolution in the sphere still open to us as individuals.
Since our founding in 1994 we've written much good analysis of the problems inherent in collective, large-scale activism, but we've written relatively little about individual counterrevolution and almost nothing on that subject as it applies to Western children. The principal reason, or excuse, for my own default is that, though I remember fairly well once being a child, I myself am childless. I walked in fear of facile didacticism, if you will; and honestly I was unsure of my ground. As for my co-conspirators, over the 11-year lifetime of TLD few of them have been the parents of young children.
But this default must not continue. Recently I invited several of my friends (non-contributors to TLD, at that point) who are parents of youngsters to bring forth any ideas they might have on the protection and education front. After all, they are actually at the front, dodging the teraculture's incessant barrage of twisted filth. One friend, the mother of two boys of grade-school age, has responded not only with detailed strategies but with good humor as well; and you will find her observations below.
I hope they will inspire TLD readers to respond to what I now extend as an open invitation. I'd like to see us build an entire department at TLD devoted to this question. I'd especially like to know what others think about the Bubble Boy Problem, by which I mean this: the more successful that parents are in protecting their children from the surrounding blackness, the more rude shocks those children will experience when they move out on their own. Assuming physical enclaves for Westerners are not in prospect how could we make them economically viable? how could we defend them? the little fish will have to be able to swim in poisoned water when they grow up. They'll have to be able to spot the sharks, too.
Parents grandparents uncles and aunts please let me hear from you!
December 30, 2005
From T.S. Powers, of
The media police
I can offer a few ideas of what we do to try to let our two little boys be "little boys" for as long as we can:
Top of the list: We send them to a Christian school. These days that's not a guarantee of anything, but this is a school affiliated with a conservative denomination, and we're very active there and would know about any unwholesome doings or teachings. We look at this as a huge, major, indispensable part of the culture-filter. With Jesus as No. 1 being taught daily, our boys aren't hearing about any other person or philosophy as No. 1. Even if God didn't exist (and of course we believe strongly that He does), having Christian morals at the foundation is better than having none there, or whatever cheap fake the government schools would install there instead. We are home-school sympathizers, but we don't see home-schooling as right for us at this time.
Regarding media influences in our lives, here are some approaches we take:
1. We have digital cable 99 channels. But there is no channel surfing in our house. We pay extra to have digital cable because it comes with an on-screen guide. Our elder son, who is 10, knows that he is to use the TV in the following way: Turn it on. Hit mute. Push the button so that the channel listings fill the screen. (Now he can't hear or see the channel that the TV was left on. So far, so good.) Next he hits the same button two more times, which brings him to a menu of kids' shows only. He may now choose one of those shows ... but only ones that he knows my husband and I find acceptable. Magic School Bus, yes; SpongeBob, no. Pokemon, yes (reluctantly); Yu-Gi-Oh, no. When he selects his show, the TV goes straight to that channel. He also is under instruction to mute all the ads, even for kids' toys and restaurants.
2. The "no channel surfing" also applies when my husband or I hold the remote and the kids are just in the room. It can be shocking what you can stumble onto just changing channels. So we use the guide screen, read what shows are on, and select one.
3. Any show for the boys that can have questionable content or commercials is dealt with in this way: I tape it on the VCR; I preview the show while the kids are in school; and then we watch it at home together later. This helps with shows like "America's Funniest Videos," which can be 99 percent clean, and then have one really rude video clip, usually something sexual. I make note of where the offending parts are, and I fast-forward through them when viewing the show with the kids. I also fast-forward through all the ads, so my young sons don't have to listen to a sexy blonde shampoo-user in the shower having an "organic" experience, complete with gasps and moans. (I assume you've seen this commercial!) By the way, I also tape most shows that I watch, so I can view them after the kids are asleep. (They don't need to hear CSIs discussing a gruesome rape scene as they're passing through the living room.)
4. As for movies, we check the reviews on the Focus on the Family Website before going to or renting them. This site's reviews list how many times individual swear words are used, exactly what sexual content the kids will be exposed to, any drug references, etc. The reviews even tell whether (and how many times) the names of God and Jesus are used as coarse language.
5. Our boys know that they may watch only G-rated videos in other kids' homes. If the video to be shown is PG, they have to call home and get clearance to watch it. If it's PG-13 or above, it's off-limits except in our home, where we can edit out offending scenes.
6. Same rules apply to video games at friends' homes Rated E (for Everyone) is the only acceptable rating, whether our kids are playing or just watching. They know they are to leave the room and do something else if the birthday party fun is in violation of our house rules.
7. Our kids may not surf the Web. The boys may play CD-ROMs we own, or go to game sites we know about and have checked out. Research for school is done via Ask Jeeves for Kids, not Google or Yahoo. (You should see the sites that popped up for me recently when I wanted to buy some bear-claw slippers or furry booties for a Halloween costume, and I Googled the term "furry booty." Yowwww!! Imagine if our 8-year-old's nature report was on the North American beaver!)
8. TVs, computers, and game consoles in our house are in public areas only, not the kids' bedroom, or ours, either.
9. No X-Box for us. We've got Mario and his ilk on the original Nintendo game console. The graphics are so lame that no character ever is seen dying they just vanish when "killed." And nobody looks sexy, believe me. (Our younger son recently mistook a ghostly character for a flaming chicken. Now that's lame graphics safe, too.) Our other son got a Gameboy handheld when he was 9; those graphics are limited by scale.
10. We limit radio in the car, too. Even country music, which up until a few years ago was pretty family-friendly, has become trashy and loaded with swear words and sexual references. (And Radio Disney, we've discovered, is all about trendy hip-hop, not Mickey Mouse and Pluto.) So usually the kids listen to cassettes of kids' music or stories when we're in the car. Some of these we're able to get from the children's section of our local public library ... but we end up buying quite a few audiotape (and video) series from Christian bookstores. Loads of material with an explicitly Christian worldview is out there, but it's not going to be found in public libraries and "regular" stores.
No doubt about it we are Media Police. But that's what it takes to keep your kids innocent in this day and age. And that's our goal, for as long as possible.
December 30, 2005
Published in 2005 by WTM Enterprises.
Reposting and reprinting.
A letter to the editor from a young reader
(June 2011), with my brief reply
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