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.


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