Vol. 2 Issue 35 | September 2, 2016

Vol. 2 Issue 35 | September 2, 2016

Three Things This Week

1. VMAs

What it is: MTV’s Video Music Awards were Sunday, with many notable moments and winners. As usual, Kanye had a long, rambling monologue, this time mentioning Chance the Rapper, 2 Chainz, and Jaden Smith as the future, “undeniably the influence, the thought leaders.”

Why it's important: Regardless of whether these artists were already highly influential or not, Kanye’s reference to them will undoubtedly make them much more influential in the future. Ask your teens if they know who the artists are, what work they do, what they stand for/promote, and if they agree with Kanye’s proclamation. Then do some research into each artist together, paying attention to ways they’ve been “thought leaders” from behind the scenes.


2. #WheresTheLove

What it is: The Black Eyed Peas, with many other artists, released a remix of their 2003 hit “Where Is the Love?” for 24 hours to raise funds and inspire younger generations to take a stand against violence and racism.

Why it's good: Though we may disagree with the artists’ stances, we can all agree that violence and prejudice need to end and that Jesus wants us to be a voice for the oppressed and marginalized. And what better way to catch the attention of distracted and overly entertained generations than to show up in their newsfeeds? Ask your teens if they purchased the song/video. If so, watch it with them (or read an article about it). Then ask which issues they find compelling and make a plan to participate in these social justice issues together.


3. Gay Conversion Therapy Illegal

What it is: California Senate Bill 1172, which prohibits state-licensed mental health counselors from employing “sexual orientation change efforts” with minors, was upheld.

Why it's bad: Though the court maintained that the bill has the “secular purpose of preventing harm to minors,” the law could easily be used to keep all licensed Christian counselors from telling minors about stories like Mike Haley’s or even talking with them about what the Bible says about homosexuality. Though conversion therapy may not be the ultimate solution, Jesus is and always has been more fulfilling, even than our sexuality. Restricting a counselor’s ability to teach the restorative and redemptive power of Christ has ominous implications.

2,617 Times A Day

Is it surprising to learn that that’s the average number of times we touch our smartphones throughout any given day? That’s about 18,000 times per week or 1,000,000 per year. Never before in the history of mankind has a single item been so intimate and ever-present.

These devices have only existed for 20 years or so and only been part of our everyday lives for the last 10, yet now we can’t go anywhere without them. And younger generations are only becoming more and more addicted to their devices, having never known a time when they didn’t exist. But it’s never too early or too late to begin modeling and creating wise smartphone habits! To help, here are 8 articles to change our perspectives on how we use and allow our children to use technology.

1. How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds
Consider: What was most surprising? How can I talk about these concepts with my children?

2. Reboot Your Phone with Mindfulness
Consider: Which of these suggestions can I implement right now?

3. Parents' Smartphones Harming Children's Ability to Hold Conversation, Say Teachers
Consider: What are 3 simple things I can change in my device habits today?

4. 13, Right Now
Consider: How can I better understand the world my teens inhabit? How can I encourage them to be deep thinkers, not just controllable consumers?

5. Don’t Post about Me on Social Media, Children Say
Consider: What part of my digital footprint could negatively impact my children? Do I need to apologize to them for something I’ve done on social media? Should you ask permission before posting something about your children online?

6. Six Wrong Reasons to Check Your Phone in the Morning
Consider: Are my device habits worth it? What “candy” and/or “avoidance” do I seek? If this is true for me, how is it true for my teens?

7. US Parents Largely Unaware of What Their Children Do Online, Research Finds
Consider: What might I be unaware of my children doing online? How can that impact them?

8. 19 Practical, Powerful Ways to Build Social-Emotional Intelligence in Kids & Teens
Consider: How does phone/screen time impede these practices?