- Deportations come mostly from border, DHS chief says
- NATO sends surveillance planes to watch Ukraine
- Climate change not a top concern of Americans, poll shows
- GM faces federal investigation for slow recall that led to 13 deaths
- Iran president reaches out to Oman on friendship tour
- FAA’s pre-Malaysia flight warning: 777s have cracking, corrosion issues
- Facebook HQ locked down; employees searched as police field threat
- Glenn Ford free, after serving 30 years for murder he didn’t commit
- Congressman: McAuliffe victory means gun control a winning message
- Clinton aide admits soliciting disgraced D.C. fundraiser; says actions were legal
Mother arms parents for ‘culture battle’
Parents who feel outgunned, outmaneuvered and just plain defeated by today’s lightning-fast, multitasking, techno-wizardry world have an ally in Rebecca Hagelin.
The former vice president of the Heritage Foundation and married mother of three has written a book to “practically and concretely” help parents engage, protect and strengthen their families.
Her goal is simple: “Equip parents to fight the culture battle.”
“I’ve found that once you explain the cultural challenges to parents, they get it — and they want help,” Mrs. Hagelin says.
Her new book, “30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family,” is her answer to how parents can “start today” to upgrade their relationships with their children, open new lines of communication and teach them to decipher the manipulative messages of marketers.
The Information Age has totally changed the landscape for parenting, says Mrs. Hagelin, who writes a regular column at Townhall.com.
Today’s children “have never not known the Internet. They have never not known texting,” she said. Technology — instant messaging, iPods, video games, multitasking with media — is all second nature to them, she says with a laugh. “If I have a BlackBerry issue, I can hand it to my daughter and she can figure it out — without reading any instructions.”
Marketers, however, are also fully plugged in, and they are using the mass media to bypass parents and “weave their way into our kids’ pockets,” she says.
According to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), she says:
• Teens spend $159 billion a year, and children younger than 14 spend $40 billion a year.
• Children and teens are highly brand-conscious. Teens between 13 and 17 have 145 conversations a week about brands, about twice as many as adults.
• Companies spend about $17 billion a year marketing just to children. Children ages 2 to 11 see 25,000 advertisements annually on television — this doesn’t count ads that might be seen via the Internet, cell phones, MP3 players, video games, on school buses and in schools.
Marketers want a piece of all this kid-consumer action and they are not averse to using sexuality and other inappropriate messages to attract and keep the kids’ attentions, says Mrs. Hagelin, who steers parents to CCFC, Parents Television Council, National Institute on Media and the Family, and Salvo magazine, which she helps edit, for more information.
The chapters in “30 Ways” that Mrs. Hagelin thinks will be helpful to parents in general are the ones about writing a love letter to one’s child, painting a vision of adulthood for them and finding allies in the cultural battle.
Mrs. Hagelin even took her own advice — she stepped down from her perch at the nation’s largest conservative think tank to spend more time with her family.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.
Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- Stricter standards force abortion clinics to close; pro-lifers cheer shrinking numbers
- Public accommodations provision in Md. transgender rights bill draws outcry
- German home-school family can stay in U.S. indefinitely
- U.S. Supreme Court declines German home-school case
- Medical facility 'buffer-zone' law in court
Latest Blog Entries
- Gay therapy ban author seeks Calif. House seat
- Transgender 'bathroom law' gets 5,000 more signatures
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
TWT Video Picks
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- Inside the Beltway: A new interest in Rahm Emanuel for 2016?
- HURT: John Kerry The ridiculous face of a ridiculous U.S. diplomacy
- David Jolly wins in Florida, GOP keeps swing district seat
- Brennan: Russia 'absolutely' could invade eastern Ukraine
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Search for missing Malaysian airliner widens as mystery deepens
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Obamacare 3 million shy of target with 19 days left to sign up
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again