Thursday, September 01, 2005

MTV and teenage lifestyle choices - are they related?

CPYU writes a revealing article about the current rash of "Reality TV" shows. This illustrates graphically some important lessons on what we should allow our children and teens to watch, how to understand why they are watching it, and how to help them make healthy media choices.
Required reading if you have a teen or child interested in these shows.
Some of the shows discussed include:
The Real World: San Diego
Rich Girls
Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica
'Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave
Room Raiders
In all of these programs, the relationships are built purely on the shallowest of criteria.

Tearaway has a great article about abstinence and some New Zealand statistics relating to teenage pre-marital sex.
Another article tells the stories of three young girls who became young mums.

Are these related in anyway? Is the huge upsurge in public(TV) displays of out of control behaviour (drinking, partying, short term physical relationships etc) which is generally contrived for the camera followed by lifestyle choices by teens that includes pre-marital sex at early ages, binge drinking and behaviour disorders including uncontrolled anger, poor work ethics and self discipline?
Why is that some kids make straight As, are athletic and motivated and others are lazy, with poor personal habits and a seeming prediliction to addictive activities and behaviours?

Obviously (to me anyway) parental and sibiling influence has a huge impact. How they learn discipline and good attitudes is largely connected to the attitudes of the parents, the language and behaviour used around the home, and the influence and connection with peers. Parents who make sure their kids do not associate with the "bad apples" are often lambasted by other parents, school teachers and the kids themselves. But the kids will thank them for it later in life!
Thanks Mum and Dad for daring to be different.