Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How Should I Respond If My Child Listens/Entertains Himself with Junk?


A former student asked a question a number of parents in my audiences ask.  Her letter was quite long but the gist was: My son listens to a form of  Christian rock that drives me and my husband "up a wall." How should we respond?  Can you help?  

The following was my response:  
Julia,
Your question is not unusual for Christian parents. There is no single answer. But here are a few things for you to consider: 

1) At what point will you be satisfied? Personally, I hate Demon Hunter's "music," but that doesn't mean God can't use it in your son's life. 

2) If you can't understand Demon Hunter's music, have a "heart to heart" talk with your son with a very loving attitude. Ask him (don't tell him) if the music he is listening to helps him focus on life from a godly perspective. And WAIT for his response. He has to answer if you wait! He has to answer; Yes, No, or I dunno! This is a beginnings of a conversation with your son. Let him ANSWER.

3) If he answers, "Yes," follow up with, "I'm over 50 and I can't see any value. Could you please explain how it ministers to you?  Again WAIT for his response. Don't tell him what he should be thinking. You are teaching him to think by asking questions. If he can give a good explanation, listen to the album with him and discuss the "values." He may not show it, but he will appreciate your real interest in something he loves. 

4) If he answers, "I dunno, or no," you may want to suggest, "could we look for some music that helps you focus on life from a biblical perspective?"

You now have the beginnings of a meaningful conversation with a 13 year old! For a 50 year old, that is VERY unusual.
There is a lot you didn't tell me. I don't know where your son is spiritually. How are his friends? How is his attitude about you, life, God, etc.? What are his major questions and issues? At 13, you are just at the beginning. Don't cut off communication. IT WILL GET BETTER if you don't give up.

May I suggest, reading my recent books listed on our website <AlMenconi.com,> "But It Doesn't Affect Me!" is a simple book you and your son can read it in under 1 hour. You should read it first and ask the questions enclosed in the book during the following week. The second book, RECONNECT, is for you and your husband. It is written in 30 short vignettes to read and apply everyday for the next 30 days or until you have completed the book. 

It is written to help you understand, connect with, and communicate values to your children. I hope this helps. If you live in So Cal, please join us for our "National Kick Off" of our Christian Music Diet banquet on Nov 12. I'd love to see you again.


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.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

How to be a better parent in 4 seconds.


How to be a better parent in 4 seconds

The following is excerpted from Jon Acuff.  The complete article is at his blog
A few years ago, Jon learned a parenting trick that changed his life. It wasn’t complicated. I didn’t find it buried in one of those 400-page-long, zero-pictures parenting books that you often assume everyone has read but you. It’s not even that long. You can master this trick in 4 seconds. What is it?
Simple:

Hang up and arrive.
Or, in longer form, when you walk through the door after work or a trip or an errand, don’t be on the phone.
One of the greatest ways to destroy a little kid who is waiting for you is to come home and still be on your cell phone.
Nothing deflates a daughter who runs toward you for a hug like a hand that says, “Wait a second, I need to finish this call.”
Nothing says “you’re second place in my life,” like walking through the door while still on the phone.
Nothing says, “my world is more important than yours,” like refusing to end a call when your kids come sprinting down the stairs to see you.
But fortunately, nothing is easier to fix than this issue.
If you’re on a call that you can’t get off, then don’t pull into the driveway until you’re done. I used to park in our neighborhood pool for five minutes to finish calls instead of getting home and talking in my kitchen.
It’s a silly thing maybe. It’s a small thing I guess, but it makes a difference, and I learned this lesson by getting it wrong about a thousand times. And, the scary thing is, you’ve got a limited amount of time to do it.
My daughter L.E. used to knock me down onto my back with a running hug in the front yard when I got home from work. She’s still glad to see me these days, but sometimes I have to find her in the house, and she’s quietly reading a book, not standing at the window awaiting my arrival.
Want to be a better parent in about 4 seconds?
Hang up and arrive.
Question:
Is it hard to stay off your cell phone when you get home from work
?


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.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Abortion increases risk of severe mental health problems by 81%

Largest ever study finds abortion increases risk of severe mental health problems by 81%
LONDON, UK, September 1, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A new study published today in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that women who underwent an abortion experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems. The study also found that almost 10% of all women’s mental health problems are directly linked to abortion.
Conducted by Priscilla K. Coleman, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA, the study was based on an analysis of 22 separate studies and 36 measures of effect, that involved a total of 877,181 participants of whom 163,831 had experienced an abortion. The study took into account pre-existing mental health problems prior to the abortion.
“In order to avoid any allegations of bias,” Dr. Coleman explained, “very stringent inclusion criteria were employed. This means every strong study was included and weaker studies were excluded.
“Specifically, among the rules for inclusion were sample size of 100 or more participants, use of a comparison group, and employment of controls for variables that may confound the effects such as demographics, exposure to violence, prior history of mental health problems, etc.”
This makes Dr. Coleman’s study the most comprehensive of its kind to date.
“Given the methodological limitations of recently published qualitative reviews of abortion and mental health, a quantitative synthesis was deemed necessary to represent more accurately the published literature and to provide clarity to clinicians” Dr. Coleman stated in the report.
She said her research was focused on offering “the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world literature.” This, she said, would give health care practitioners “an accurate synopsis of the best available evidence in order to provide women with valid information in order to make informed health care decisions.”
The research revealed that abortion was associated with a 34% increased risk for anxiety disorders; 37% greater risk of depression; 110% greater risk of alcohol abuse and 220% greater risk of marijuana use/abuse.
Abortion was also linked with a 155% greater risk of attempting to commit suicide.
“The strongest subgroup estimates of increased risk occurred when abortion was compared with term pregnancy and when the outcomes pertained to substance use and suicidal behavior,” Dr. Coleman observed.
“Calling into question the conclusions from traditional reviews,” the report concluded, “the results revealed a moderate to highly increased risk of mental health problems after abortion. Consistent with the tenets of evidence-based medicine, this information should inform the delivery of abortion services.”
Commenting on the results of the study, Pro Life Campaign of Ireland spokesperson, Dr. Ruth Cullen said, “These findings are extremely disturbing and completely undermine pro-choice claims that abortion alleviates mental health problems. In fact, the study further proves that the opposite is the case.”
“These findings cannot be ignored,” Dr. Cullen stated. “They raise very serious issues for everyone regardless of which side they are one in the abortion debate. The best interests of women can only be served by an honest and dispassionate appraisal of the facts.”
Dr. Mary L. Davenport, president of the American Association of ProLife Obstetricians and Gynecologists and medical director of Nigeria’s Magnificat Maternal Health Project, said the study, “sheds important light on the mental health of women,” and exposes the “egregious cover-up of abortion complications” that are an aspect of “the abortion distortion.”
“This review, which is larger than any study to date, contradicts the recent and biased and less systematic review by the American Psychological Association, which fails to find a relationship between mental health problems and abortion,” Dr. Davenport wrote today in the American Thinker.
“The new meta-analysis also contradicts the stance of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which has been silent on the mental health impact of abortion in its official publications despite overwhelming evidence over the last two decades of abortion’s adverse effects.”
“By so powerfully linking abortion to mental health problems, the Coleman study helps us comprehend the magnitude of the damage done to entire nations by reckless, permissive abortion policies,” Dr. Davenport concluded.
An abstract of the study titled “Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995–2009” with links to the full text is available on the British Journal of Psychiatry website here.


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.
Copyright © 2010 LifeSiteNews.com, Inc. All rights reserved.

Fall Television Your Teen Will Be Talking About


Fall Television Your Teen Will Be Talking About
In Family media management by Sierra Filucci, on 08.12.11 CommonsenseMedia.org
Which TV Shows Are Taking Aim at Your Teen This Fall?
Every fall, TV networks debut a handful of new shows, and execs cross their fingers that something will stick. Many shows are rehashes of previous hits or follow a formula that's worked in the past. And occasionally something original hits the airwaves. But whether your teen is a fan of the tried-and-true or only tunes in for something really special, chances are he or she will hear about -- and maybe even want to watch -- these new network shows with strong teen appeal.
City kid moves to the 'burbs in edgy comedy.
This clever fish-out-of-water comedy features a top-notch cast and plenty of edgy humor. Jane Levy (Shameless) stars as Tessa, a cool city kid who's whisked off to the supposedly safe suburbs when her dad (Jeremy Sisto) finds a package of condoms in her dresser drawer. She and her dad arrive to find a cast of wacky suburban characters (like the potroast-weilding Sheila Shay, played by Saturday Night Live's Ana Gasteyer) who both irritate and charm the jaded teen -- who soon begins to realize that even though she's unlikely to ever drink as much sugar-free Red Bull as her new peers, she may find a place to call home in the end. Expect lots of sexually laced jokes and language ("gangbanger," "nymbo," "get laid," "screw"), some mild swearing ("crap," "bee-atch," "bastard"), and some over-the-top stereotypes about city- and suburban-dwellers.
Romance and teen angst in a small town of witches.
Based on a book series by the same author who wrote The Vampire Diaries, this supernatural teen thriller about witches is also produced by the folks behind the hit vampire TV series. Teens and parents who have watched that show will have an idea of what to expect here: Attractive teens struggling with a mystical situation, plus teen angst, sexual tension, and drama-filled friendships. Cassie Blake (Britt Robertson) is a thoughtful, independent teen whose mother dies in a freak accident, sending her back to her parents' hometown to live with her grandmother. She quickly discovers that she and many of the town's other teens have supernatural powers. While Cassie decides how -- or even if -- to participate in this coven, the town's adults seem to be dabbling in something darker than the teens can even imagine. While we expect the series to teeter on the edge of age-appropriate content, Secret Circle will likely explore edgy topics without veering too far into adult territory.
Upbeat vocal competition with Simon and Paula together ... again.
The X Factor is a Simon Cowell venture based on a British show of the same name that looks strikingly similar to American Idol. Both Cowell and Paula Abdul star as judges, with The Pussycat DollsNicole Scherzinger and Antonio "L.A." Reid filling out the roster. Some of the differences? Auditions are open to all ages and even groups, performers will audition in front of a live audience, and judges will drink Pepsi instead of Coke. Huge promotional efforts and the Cowell and Abdul's star power will likely attract a broad audience to this undoubtedly family-friendly fare.
Revenge (ABC)
Intrigue and betrayal all glossed up and set in the Hamptons.
This dark, glossy drama about a beautiful young woman (Emily VanCamp, Everwood) who returns to the luxurious life of the Hamptons to wreak havoc on the lives of those who betrayed her father is bound to get juicy. With backstabbing, gossip-mongering, affairs, and cocaine, the series feels like a slightly more mature Gossip Girl -- and will likely appeal to a similar teen demographic. But clich├ęd characters ranging from the vicious socialite (Madeline Stowe) and the working class guy with a heart of gold to the wacky Internet billionaire mean that this drama is unlikely to stand the test of time ... unless it becomes a guilty pleasure.
Terra Nova (Fox)
Big budget supernatural thriller with a family at its heart.
Lavishly produced and backed by Steven Spielberg, this sci-fi drama is a hugely anticipated addition to prime time. Centered on a family of five who leave their overpopulated city in 2149 to participate in a radical attempt to save humanity by traveling back to prehistoric times, the drama is clearly hoping to take the place of Lost in fearless families' TV roster. Adult and teen characters seem to get equal screen time, so 17-year-old Josh (Landon Liboiron, Degrassi: The Next Generation), his potential love interest Skye (Allison Miller), and Josh's sister, Maddy (Naomi Scott), might make the show attractive to teens. But with lots of gunfire and other military-like action, along with an eerie tone and scary monsters, younger kids and sensitive viewers may want to steer clear.
The Simpsons meets Family Guy with Jonah Hill in the middle.
Jonah Hill (Get Him to the GreekSuperbad) stars in this animated comedy as the voice of Allen Gregory De Longpre, a hilariously pretentious 7-year-old. When Allen Gregory's father's life partner decides to quit as his stay-at-home dad/homeschool teacher, the wise-beyond-his-years boy must enter elementary school for the first time. There he alienates kids with his references to Charlie Rose and infuriates his teachers with his lunchtime pinot grigio. In typical Jonah Hill style, the humor is quick and decidedly edgy. Kids too young to understand Allen Gregory's role as an anti-role model should sit this one out, but it remains to be seen just how raunchy the comedy will go -- and whether parents will feel comfortable with teens watching.

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.