Pg.2 • •
Invisible Children Money for China
Pg.4 • Calendar of Ideas
I know that it seems easy to point out all of the negative things that today’s generation is involved in. All we ever hear about on the news or read about in the paper seems to be highlighting the destructive decisions that teens and children are making. Although I believe it is important for parents to stay aware of what is happening in our I culture, I also believe that we should realize that not all teens are as bad as the media might lead us to believe. I have heard it said that “what gets recognized is what gets done”. If that is the case, it is important to take some time to point out and recognize the things that we love about this generation. This issue is dedicated to pointing out the good things we have noticed about children and teens. As you read this take the time to identify the things about your child or teen that inspire you, encourage you, or just makes you proud.
The Parent Source is Upside Down Ministries www.ud4christ.com Teen Culture Specialist Robert Smith P O Box 232 Lawton, Ok 73502 firstname.lastname@example.org
Contrary to what pop culture portrays about teens and their sex lives, everyone isn't doing it. An increasing amount of teens are openly taking a stance against premarital sex. Why you ask? Many teens across the country are taking this vow publicly with other committed teens in their church as a way of showing that they are choosing to follow Gods standard concerning sex. For some teens it is their religious beliefs that cause them to take this stance, but there are plenty of non-Christian teens who are also choosing abstinence simply because they believe it is the best choice to make.
Sex: Not Everyone is doing it
A positive example 54% of high school students are virgins Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Jonas Brothers were recently voted the top band at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. The band consist of three brothers Kevin 20, Joe 18, and Nick 15. Despite their growing popularity they are not your typical rock stars. Each member of this teen-pop sensation wear rings on their fingers to symbolize their purity commitment. As Joe put it on the Jonas Brothers website “ It’s a purity ring. A promise to myself and God to stay pure until marriage.” 1
Invisible Children In the spring of 2003, three young filmmakers traveled to Africa in search of a story. What started out as a filmmaking adventure transformed into much more when these boys from Southern California discovered a tragedy that disgusted and inspired them, a tragedy where children are both the weapons and the victims. After returning to the States, they created the documentary "Invisible Children: Rough Cut," a film that exposes the tragic realities of northern Ugandaâ€™s night commuters and child soldiers. The film was originally shown to friends and family, but has now been seen by millions of people. Shortly after this they formed the non-profit organization Invisible Children. Among other things, they give struggling mothers a job, raise awareness of the child soldier problems, and help build schools. Invisible Children started a campaign last year called â€œSchools for Schoolsâ€?. In this program schools here in America raise money to build school buildings in Africa where children would otherwise have no form of schooling. When American kids heard about this cause they jumped on it! A total of 1210 schools participated with 17,307 students raising money. Through talent shows, collecting old CDs to resell, making and selling necklaces, and much more these students were able to raise $1,543,860.99 and counting. They saw the need and would not stand by and let an injustice happen.
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More so than any generation before it, this group of young
people embrace diversity. It does not
matter what the color of a person’s skin is or what music they like or their style of clothing. Teenagers today have an ability to see a person for who they are. This character quality seems to come naturally to this generation. Most teens have a wide range of friends that would seem to have nothing in common. This cultural diversity is something that should be embraced. It is to be admired that many of today’s teenagers are so diverse that they can relate to people who are very differ- High School Musical is a ent from themselves. great example of race
3/4 of today’s children have friends who are of a different ethnic origin.—Ibid
being a non issue. Also the fact that a musical was so overwhelmingly popular with children and teens alike shows that their interests are as diverse as their friendships.
Today’s kids are extremely relational. The most important thing in their lives are people. It’s so easy to get caught up in money, jobs, and general everyday business. Most adults can’t say the people they care about are top priority for how their time is spent. But with kids and teens it’s the exact opposite. School and church are viewed as a social activities. And of course staying in contact with people through phone, myspace, and facebook takes up a lot of their time. The teenage world revolves around interacting with other people. While there are times this can be negative the truth isat the root of the matter young people care about people above all else.
What I love about my kids…
Remember what you love about your teen in August! Show them you care and spend time with them! Even if they protest at first they’ll eventually give in and have fun.
Take some time to make a list of all the things you LOVE about your teen. Too often we are disciplining or correcting our kids. And most of us are just trying to make it through another day of work, laundry, dinner, etc. We don’t always make time to notice and acknowledge the positive things they bring to our lives. 3
Play your child’s favorite video game with them. (even if your not good :) ) Not only can you be together you can check out what they are playing. 10
1 2 Let your child pick what you are having for dinner tonight. Anything they want whether eating out or their favorite home cooked meal.
9 Take advantage of the last few days of summer. Plan a family picnic! Go to a nearby park or even the back yard! Bring outdoor games and have a blast!
16 Movie Night! This can be a family event or a one on one date. Rent or go see a movie your child is interested in– even if you hate it! :) Go all out with popcorn & the works!
29 Surprise your kid by picking them up from school and taking them to get a soda. Use this time to tell them some of the things you love about them.
Find any point today to tell your teen something positive about them. Like you love their sense of humor or their funky hairstyle. Anything! 12 Tell your child you love them today. Not getting off the phone or at bedtime but a heartfelt moment where they know you really mean it.
17 18 Find a time today to attempt a conversation with your kid about an issue they might be dealing with. Do some research and have a cultural example to start things off.
Show some interest in your kid’s sports or hobbies. Watch them skateboard or kick the soccer ball with them today.
Buy your kid a CD today or download a song for them. If you are concerned about the artists they are into check out the web for Christian alternatives.
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes a humble place- becoming like this child-is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Kids are most times the greatest teachers. Look at these kid−like qualities and see what you can add to your life:
• Kids don't worry. They trust their parents to take care of them. • Kids love to have fun and play. • Kids are persistent. They never give up! • Kids are fearless. • Kids are always asking questions. • Kids are color-blind. Anyone they meet is a potential person to love. • Kids are honest. They will tell you exactly what is on their mind.
Take a closer look at your kids this week and see what qualities they are teaching you. Kids helping kids Starlight.org is a charity made up of actors wanting to use their starpower to brighten others lives. Kids like Corbin Bleu (High School Musical 2), Jennette McCurdy (iCarly), and Dominic Scott Kay (Charlotteʼs Web) use their fame from TV and movies to help lift the spirits of families of seriously ill children. This organization serves over 180,000 children each month by using their generosity to help inspire others.
www.justgive.org An 11 year old girl, Aubyn Burnside from North Carolina heard about a need in foster care and decided to make a difference. difference Many children in foster care carry their few belongings in garbage bags due to a lack of funds for a proper suitcase. Aubyn even at a young age was saddened by this and started getting the word out with posters and local speeches in her community. Six years later this idea has blossomed into a charity organization and they have collected over 25,000 suitcases for foster children. To read more about Aubyn and other children who are changing the world go to www.justgive.org
Parent Discussion questions: 1. How is your child doing in the area of abstinence? 2. What ways does your child help others? What ways do you wish they would help others and how can you encourage them to do so? 3. Do you feel your child embraces diversity? How so? 4. In what ways does your child show that relationships are important to them? 5. What qualities do you love about your kids? 6. Which ideas from the calendar are you going to try with your child or entire family? 7. What qualities of younger children do you think adults need? 8. What are other positive thoughts you can think of about this generation?