Has culture gone too far? Are you shocked daily by what you see, hear, and read? Now, I am not a proponent for the “holy huddle” or “family bubble” but sometimes, it sure seems crazy to be raising kids in our society. How about these startling facts:
A recent survey published by American Demographics indicates that 72% of men and 55% of women admit to swearing in public.
Today’s children watch an average of three to four hours of television daily. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children should watch no more than two hours of television a day. Even with the two-hour limit, it has been estimated that they will have witnessed 8,000 murders and more than 100,000 other acts of violence by the time they finish elementary school.
The average 8 to 12 year old now plays 13 hours of video games per week, while the average 13 to 18 year old plays 14 hours of video games per week.
Tween (those ages 8 to 12) and teen boys average 16 hours and 18 hours per week, respectively. Tween girls average 10 hours per week, and teen girls average 8 hours per week. Time matters because 8 to 18 year olds who spend more time playing video games are more likely to perform more poorly in school, get into physical fights, and/or be physically heavier.
What is a parent supposed to do in the midst of this onslaught of unprecedented negative influence in their child’s life? The number one thing a parent can do is to make sure that there are other voices speaking truth and wisdom into the life of their child. This is definitely one area where the local church and their children’s ministry can become a partner and aid parents. Parents are looking for help, and we have the one answer their child needs. We live in a culture where children are pummeled by negative influences throughout their day, and they need someone to step in and lead the way.
Here are some specific ways a children’s ministry can help.
Create a venue where parents can be the ones who introduce their child to Jesus Christ, which in turn will give parents a foundation for being the primary spiritual leader to their child.
Provide parents with free resources that can be easily introduced and practiced at home. Give them tools that will help counteract the negative influence of our culture.
Encourage parents to limit their child’s exposure to television’s negative influence by choosing shows that model positive behavior, such as helping, caring, and being considerate of others.
Keep parents informed of just what types of media are influencing their children.
As leaders in our church and specifically children’s ministry we can make a difference and have a positive influence in the lives of our families.