Vol. 5 Issue 25 | June 21, 2019

Vol. 5 Issue 25 | June 21, 2019

Three Things This Week

1. Denied Admission

What it is: Parkland shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv’s admittance to Harvard was rescinded when a series of racist comments in an old Google doc came to light.

Why we need a third way: While many of his fellow surviving students turned into gun-control activists, Kashuv became famous for going the opposite direction and amassing over 300,000 Twitter followers for his pro-gun platform. The comments in question were vile, yet Ben Shapiro lashed out at Harvard for creating standards “no one can possibly meet.” Sadly, the entire conversation is viewed through the binary lens of identity politics. For most adults, agreeing or disagreeing with Harvard’s decision has far more to do with political party allegiance than anything else. How can you help your kids transcend the futility of filtering every public conversation through partisanship? How should a Christian worldview offer a third way of seeing and engaging in such divisive public discourse deconstructing our dualism? Check out our Parent’s Guide to Civility for practical solutions! Ask your kids if they think Kashuv’s admission should have been revoked. Why or why not?

2. Sexting’s Slippery Slope?

What it is: A new national study found “youth who sext, compared to those who don’t, were more likely to have multiple sexual partners, experience anxiety and depression, and drink alcohol, take drugs, and smoke.” Yikes.

Why it’s maybe not what you think: Simply, if your child is willing to send and receive nude pictures, odds are they are more likely to participate in other risky behaviors. Sexting isn’t therefore the reason they are more likely to drink or experience depression, it’s just a manifestation of their inclination to experiment and test limits. Ultimately, these are heart issues rooted in and pouring forth from their desire to be loved, accepted, and valued. And sometimes—not always, but sometimes—our kids will deliberately engage in risky behaviors just to see if we notice, just to see if we care. The only way to know is to pay attention, be part of your kids’ lives, and be diligent in having conversations about tough topics.

3. Chevron Shake

What it is: Have your kids asked you to drive them to the nearest gas station for a milkshake? No? Just wait!

Why it’s kinda cute: Compelled by a trend on TikTok, teens all across the country are on a mission to find F’Real Milkshake Machines and post videos of themselves and their friends with them on social media. Sounds silly, but according to Dave Pell, “The apps most attractive (and addictive) to kids are the ones that get them off the couch and into the world for some harmless fun, gathering around a series of inside jokes, and leaving behind their own small mark.” If the craze hasn’t reached your neck of the woods yet, it’s probably coming. In this case, instead of technology and meme culture creating a barrier between you and your kids, go with them. Make a shake, get crazy, and actually drink it, instead of just posting a picture of it. Enjoy some harmless fun with your kids on a hot summer night and, for once, thank the internet for bringing you together!

Bonus! Sex Talk 2.0: We just dropped three brand new videos to help you talk about the birds and the bees. You can watch them all here for free! Once you’re done, can you do us a favor? Share the link with a friend. Every parent needs to watch these features, they are just that informative.

Juneteenth

On Wednesday, all but four U.S. states commemorated Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration of the end of American slavery. On June 19, 1865, a full two years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, TX and announced freedom to the remaining slaves in captivity. Since then, African-American communities have set apart this day to remember, lament, and celebrate their deliverance from chattel bondage. Yet unlike the Fourth of July or even D-Day, most white families are largely unaware of the holiday. Even though it’s summer, maybe it’s time for a history lesson with your kids.

As Christian parents who also just happen to be Americans, one of a myriad of conversations we must have with our kids is a truthful discussion about our national past, especially in an age of increased white nationalism. We do our children and our nation a disservice by continuing to perpetuate the myth of American exceptionalism and by glossing over America’s original sin: slavery. The truth is, like all nations, the US has a glorious and checkered past. Mixed in with the beautiful values of freedom and liberty is the pernicious paradox of white supremacy. If your teen’s school isn’t discussing the ongoing consequences of generational oppression, be bold enough to do so yourself. Here’s an engaging article on childhood slavery that might pique your teen’s interest in the discussion. In order to learn from the past we must know it, both the good and bad: “We are a product of our history—even the history we don’t like to think about.”

Here are just a few questions to ask over dinner to get the conversation started.

  1. How does our history of slavery and racism still influence society today?
  2. Why is it important to study both the virtuous and sinful parts of our national history?
  3. Congress is currently discussing the idea of racial reparations. What, if anything, should be done for descendants of slaves in America? How should we think through these issues as Christ-followers?

Keep the Faith!

The Axis Team

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