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“What children see, hear really does make difference"

Carolyn R. Scheidies
Award of Outstanding Merit - $1,000

A graduate from the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) with a degree in journalism, Carolyn R. Scheidies' published credits include over two-dozen books, several of which have garnered awards. She's written for a variety of publications, has a regular newspaper column, worked as an editor, speaker/teacher and book reviewer and, in early 2013, signed a three-book contract with Harlequin Heartsong Presents. Scheidies speaks to different groups, leads workshops, lectured at UNK for several years and has taught adult enrichment writing classes at Central Community College. She has been interviewed on NTV, KHAS and AFR radio as well as in numerous print and online publications and had a monthly book review segment on NTV when she was a regular book reviewer. http://IDealinHope.com.

 

© 2012 Carolyn R. Scheidies


We talk about wanting our children to be children who care about others, who do not bully or harm others and who grow up to be individuals of integrity, honesty and of whom parents can be proud. Parents have a harder task than ever to achieve this for their children.

 

No matter where you turn, from news outlets and television to books, movies and games, the prevailing culture goes counter to what most parents want for their children. Just watching television shows is enough to make a parent want to throw the set out the window. Even so-called family shows make fun of integrity and honesty and moral responsibility. Instead, the viewer watches sexual exploits even among teenagers.

 

Those who watch many of today’s television shows get the idea that sex is OK with anyone, anytime, anywhere. Consequences are played down. Those who watch fill their minds with the idea that a relationship always includes sex, cheating and lying. Young people watch shows in which those who gain media attention, and often their own shows, are those who are promiscuous, bully others, curse, drink and are often into drugs and a dissolute lifestyle.

 

Other forms of media aren’t any better. When we or our children spend hours and hours watching and listening to those things that go against everything we seek to teach them, they will be influenced— and so will we. We reflect those things with which we fill our hearts and with which we spend our time. If we fill our minds with good things, we become better people. When we fill our minds with things that are negative, it changes how we view our world and undermines our values. This is especially true for impressionable children and teens.

 

What we see and hear we think about. What we continually think about is revealed in what we say and how we behave. We tend to copy those things we see and hear on a regular basis.

 

The Bible from Matthew 12:33-35 explains this principle. “Make a tree good, and then its fruit will be good. Or make a tree rotten, and then its fruit will be rotten. A person can recognize a tree by its fruit....Your mouth says what comes from inside you. Good people do the good things that are in them. But evil people do the evil things that are in them.”

 

While it is difficult today to monitor what our children are exposed to, we can set an example in what we ourselves read and watch. We can also set standards for television shows and movies watched, books read in the home and games purchased for game machines. But to do this, you need to explain why some media aren’t positive for our minds and our hearts. It starts with being the people we want our children to become.

 

Printed in the Kearney Hub, March 26, 2012 (Kearney, NE)

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