If you’re a mom who’s tired of trying to counter the negative messages stars are sending your kids, you may want to think about pushing them off of center stage in your home. Here are 4 ways to do that:
1. Reduce media time. The more hours each day the television and internet are blaring away, the more hours your kids are being exposed to the values and agendas of the entertainment industry and its stars. Less time absorbing those messages means less devotion to any one celebrity or their ideas.
2. Truth, beauty and goodness. Want your kids to learn to recognize inappropriate entertainment on their own? Then teach them what good art or expression looks like using the truth, beauty, and goodness test. (Hey, if it was good enough for Aristotle…) Teach them to ask
- Is the message this star is giving me true?
- Is their form of expression beautiful?
- Is it essentially good, and does it encourage me to think about and do good things?
If a performance fails on one or more of these fronts, it doesn’t deserve your kids as an audience.
3. Teach them to esteem people of integrity and purpose. Do you get excited about the news story on the scientist who made a major health discovery this week? Or do you have more to say about the singer who’s on her way to rehab—again? The things you give attention, conversation, and focus to in your home will influence what your children view as relevant or important. Don’t just cut out the cotton candy celebrities—replace them with folks who are doing things that actually matter.
4. Beware of kid-friendly entertainment. Cable networks that cater specifically to kids may seem like a safe bet, but…they heavily promote their stars as kid celebrities, training your child to notice and follow them throughout their careers. And as we’ve seen repeatedly, the kid star who gains your child as a fan during the squeaky-clean phase of her career may radically depart from that in young adulthood, setting an example that isn’t acceptable in any way.