Vol. 4 Issue 4 | January 26, 2018
Three Things This Week
1. Sick Boy
Why it’s prophetic: It’s receiving mixed reviews, but it does ask some great questions about a narcissistic society that chooses “pride over character” and in which “everyone projects and expects you to listen to ‘em.” It’s a fascinating critique of this generation’s new religion: social media. Its most poignant line is: “How many likes is my life worth?” Ask your teen that very question and see what they say. Then ask who the “sick boy” is and what’s causing him and our society to be so ill.
2. Rachael Denhollander
Who she is: A lawyer, mother of three, and the first woman to courageously come forward to publicly accuse USOC doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse.
Why it MUST change: Sentenced to 175 years in prison this week, Nassar was convicted of abusing hundreds of gymnasts over the last two decades while an apparent cover-up or sheer negligence by Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and the USOC allowed the abuse to continue. Worse, even the parents of many of Nassar’s victims chose to believe his story over their own daughters’. In court this week, Denhollander said, “It wasn’t just my abuser I couldn’t trust. I couldn’t trust anyone around me. I couldn’t trust anyone who should’ve been speaking up for the children.” We must do better. We must listen. We must respond. We must educate. We must be our children’s strongest advocates. Start by listening, asking questions, and looking for warning signs of sexual abuse. Here are eight things teen girls especially should know about sexual assault. Finally, teach them to trust the prompting of the Holy Spirit. If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong.
3. Text Neck
What it is: Poor posture due to prolonged smartphone usage is leading spine surgeons to create a new medical diagnosis called “text neck.”
Why it’s unhealthy: The way we hang our heads to stare at our phones isn’t just a physical problem; it’s causing both emotional and social issues as well. The next time you’re in Starbucks, look around and see if anybody else is “really there with you” or if they are immersed in their own digital worlds. “To treat the person standing in front of you as secondary to your phone” is not only rude, it’s honestly sinful. It’s a degradation of their status as an image-bearer. When was the last time your child begged for your attention while you finished one more email? Is it any wonder they do the same thing to us? Try this: When you come home from work tonight, leave your phone in the car. Walk in all in. Give your kids the best gift you can possibly give them: your full presence.
Top 10: The Grammys
Due to the Winter Olympics, The Grammys are taking place this Sunday instead of during their usual February time slot. But for generations, one thing has remained the same: Music is the heartbeat of teen culture. “Music appeals to many teens who discover that the words in popular songs often express their own feelings and experience.” Here are 10 things to help you start conversations with your teen as you watch music’s biggest night of the year.
- Record of the Year: Look for Jay-Z’s “The Story of OJ,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble,” or Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” to win the coveted award.
- First Grammy: Although he’s been touring for years, country music star Kenny Chesney has yet to win a Grammy. That may change on Sunday night.
- Live Performers: Cardi B, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, and Elton John join a cast of characters hoping to capture teens’ imaginations like Beyonce did last year.
- The Host: James Corden returns for his second year on the mic. Look for some version of “Carpool Karaoke” as a part of his schtick.
- White Roses: Several attendees will be wearing white roses in support of the “Time’s Up” campaign to end sexual harassment and sexual assault in the entertainment industry.
- The Rise of Hip-Hop: #GrammysSoWhite is old news. Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar have eight and six nominations respectively. In fact, there are no white male solo artists nominated for best album.
- New York, New York: Start spreading the news, the Grammys return to the Big Apple for the first time since 2003! Also, look for a few nostalgic Broadway tribute performances by Ben Platt and Patti LuPone.
- 1-800-273-8255: Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid are performing their inspirational suicide prevention lifeline hit, nominated for Song of the Year. Use this performance as an opening to talk with your son/daughter about suicide, depression, and anxiety.
- Kesha: The embattled star will make her Grammy debut, and her performance will reportedly be one of several opportunities Sunday night to shed even more light on the #MeToo movement.
- Where’s Tay Tay?: Although Swift has reportedly confirmed she’ll be boycotting the 60th annual awards show, it’s hard to imagine the brand-driven diva missing out on the publicity opportunity the night provides. Should we look for a surprise appearance or will she and buddy Ed Sheeran be watching from home? Oh, the drama!
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