Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2011 VMAs: A Glimpse Into Today’s Youth Culture


I often tell my audiences that parents may live in the United States of America, but their children live in the United States of Entertainment and MTV is writing the constitution for this youth culture.

What does this mean to parents?  Our children live in a different culture than we do.  If we are going to reach this generation for Jesus Christ, we must reach them as we would reach a Third World Nation.  We must become acquainted with their language.  We don’t have to speak it fluently but we should be able to understand a few words and phrases.  We must understand the customs and culture so we are able to respond properly and not commit a social faux pas when we attempt to present our message of hope. 

This Sunday evening at 9:00 PM, MTV will showcase the values and culture your children live in everyday.  MTV will present their Video Music Awards – The VMAs this Sunday night at 9/8 central,  This is NOT a program you want your children to watch.  I suggest you set your DVR and watch The VMAs when your children are NOT HOME.

CAUTION: If you struggle with pornography, stay away completely.  Use this time to ask God to help you overcome your problem before you will be able to help your children deal with today’s culture.  We will give our perspective of this evening in next week’s email newsletter.  It is not the same as seeing it for yourself, but this is not the program to watch if you are struggling with pornography. 

Most parents tell me they don’t allow their children to watch MTV or listen to “that type of music.” These parents are missing the point!  Their children are growing up in a culture where MTV values reign.  The VMAs is your “opportunity” to see this “foreign culture” up close and personal. I believe Christian parents should watch this two-hour award show to get a taste of what our society considers “normal.”

Every year, when I recommend watching the VMAs, I receive criticism because MTV always seems to “push the envelope” with their sights, sounds, and values.  I apologize in advance, but I believe there is no better education for parents of today’s children – even parents of preteens and younger. 

MTV has a way of pushing the envelope beyond our expectations, even though the bar is set so low.  I’m hoping I’ll be wrong this year – especially because a decent artist like Adele will be one of the performers.  I’m not holding my breath. 

Why watch:
1. It will break your heart.  A broken heart is softened to the needs of those they want to reach.
2. It will give you a new understanding of the youth culture that daily influences your children and their friends. 
3. Hopefully, it will cause you to pray specifically for your children that God will guard theirs hearts and minds and help them develop the character to withstand these values. 
4. It will open conversations with your children.  They will be surprised you know a little of the language, customs, and culture.  This is NOT A TIME TO PREACH, but a time to listen to your children.  Ask about their favorite entertainment; songs, TV programs, videos and video games.  Listen to their responses without criticizing. 
5.  You may want to read RECONNECT, our book to help parents understand, connect with, and communicate values to their children.    

The VMAs are not just music, videos, and performances.  It’s the whole experience that is invading your children’s culture like a virus. I’m asking you to watch with an open heart and open mind.

If you absolutely need to stay away from this whole program, I strongly urge you to check out the nominees at this link: http://www.mtv.com/ontv/vma/2011/categories.jhtml.   If you have a difficult time understanding all the lyrics, I suggest you go to www.AZLyrics.com for help.  Enter the name of the artist, and then scroll down until you find the song you are looking for. 

Print the lyrics and go back and watch the video while reading the words.   It is worth the effort as this will provide you with a little insight into the language, customs, and culture of the people influencing your children. 

I don’t take this suggestion lightly.  Before I watch this type of “entertainment,” I ask God for wisdom and protection. 

For books and resources to help you connect and communicate values to your kids check out our website at: http://www.almenconi.com/

Al Menconi, Al Menconi Ministries, Parenting, Parenting help, Christian parenting, Christian parenting help, Parenting advice, Christian Parenting advice, Parenting tips, Christian parenting tips, Entertainment advice for parents, Entertainment advice, Christian conference speaker, Christian counselor, Keeping Kids Safe In the digital age, Keeping Kids Safe in the Internet age, The Christian Music Diet, It Doesn’t Affect Me.

Al Menconi Ministries Mission Statement:
Helping parents and leaders overcome the influence the entertainment media has on their families, motivate parents and leaders to connect with their children and teach parents and leaders how to communicate and model values to their children.

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