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Recipe for talking about the tough stuff Pg.2

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Pornography Relationships

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Drugs & Alcohol Self Image

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Entertainment Divorce

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Snap Shots: Culture at a glance

The Parent Source is composed by: Upside Down Ministries www.ud4christ.com Teen Culture Specialist Robert Smith P O Box 232 Lawton, Ok 73502 robert@ud4christ.com

Has anyone else noticed that trying to talk to teenagers about life’s difficult subjects (sex, drugs, body image, etc…) can be a little uncomfortable? In fact, this discomfort keeps many adults and parents away from talking to their teens about the tough issues all together. When this happens, teens are left to figure out the answers on their own. Lack of parental advice without a knowledge of God’s standard is a recipe for disaster. In this issue, we are going to provide you with the ingredients necessary to have the tough conversations without feeling so awkward. As we all know, Hollywood isn't afraid to address the difficult topics of today’s culture. Many popular stars are idolized by the younger generation, or at the very least your teen is familiar with the faces of modern entertainment. Due to their popularity, teens (and adults) are fascinated with star’s thoughts and opinions. Although it may seem awkward for you to start a conversation out of the blue with your teen about pornography, for example, it is not near as awkward if you have an excuse to start that conversation. Perhaps it’s a song lyric, movie clip, or quote from a magazine that you use to get the conversation started. This edition of The Parent Source provides you with several quotes on some of the toughest teen issues to discuss. Some quotes are positive while others are negative and hypocritical. Either way these quotes can start a conversation about agreeing or disagreeing with the thoughts and ideas these popular idols have. Along with each quote are scripture verses to talk about God’s standard on these topics, as well as suggested starter questions to use with your teen. This may not happen as easy as it sounds but I use this technique with the teen in my house. By using a quote from Kanye West about poruff nography, I was able to ough st t e h t have a meaningful converabout to talk ent w o H sation with my teen about em tal Involv • Paren porn as a temptation and rd Standa • God’s ion what God’s standard is on Conversat • Open n with your mples xa mmunicatio this subject. co f Culture e o as well y op a P hw • eir thoughts your n the hig th pe e o ar to sh is put teen to The idea Parenting isn’t easy but it allow your and believe. Try not to ely n Be sure to . k ui in n en th ge te u u does have to be intentional w them yo em what yo e as telling th fense right away. Sho g out truths along th tin and it is worth it. de in e po th le on hi kw teen thin what they care about way.

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Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Matthew 5:27-29, Job 31:1

“Obviously, sex can have a dark side. When I finally got a computer, I discovered this limitless world of pornography. And I recognized the feeling that I was having was like the feeling that I used to get when I’d score drugs. I actually had to make a commitment to myself to stop.” - Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Anthony Kiedis, Blender,

“We believe also that it's not what God has intended for us. Pornography is accessible to kids, whether through a magazine or the Internet, but with the rise of Internet pornography, American homes have a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week porn pipeline coming in. And those most affected by that are young people.”

March 2007, p. 86.

Craig Gross, co-creator of the xxxchurch.com ABCNews.com, December 3, 2004.

1. Why do you think pornography is so addictive? 2. What do you think he means by “sex can have a dark side”?

1. Is pornography a temptation for you? 2. Why is porn not what God intended for us? 3. How can I help you to keep from looking at pornography?

“I like porno, I ain’t going to hide the truth. I could stay in for a good two days with my stash. Can you love porn and be a good Christian? If you’re a normal person you have needs.” Kanye West (famous Rapper) The Britian’s The Sun Newspaper Dec 8 2007

1. Do you think you can love porn and be a good Christian? 2. What do you think he means by “needs”? 3. What do you think God’s standard is on our sexual “needs”?

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. Song of Solomon 8:4b Do not stir up or awaken love until the time is right. 2 Corinthians 6:14, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, Psalm 119:9-11

 “I’ve only hooked up “I tend to be a bit prudwith one person I ish. I’m a make-out king— I’ll kiss anybody—but as met because they liked far as going further than my band, and it was terrible. I would never that, I wanna keep my number down. I don’t do it again. You’re wanna tell my future searching for a fix, a surrogate for basic humanity. I had to wife, ‘Yeah, I’ve been with, like, 50 realize that I couldn’t find it in drugs, people.’” Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz describing his and I couldn’t find it in hooking up taste in sex, Blender, March 2007, p. 160. with people.” 1. What does prudish mean? Can you Max Bemis of emo band Say Anthing, Spin, April 2006, p. 32. be prudish AND a make out king? 1. What does it mean to “hook up” 2. What’s harmful about kissing so with someone? many people? 3. Is sex the only thing that’s going too 2. What does he mean by “he was searching for a fix”? far? 3. Why do you think hooking up didn’t fulfill him?

“I’m not totally innocent, and I do date. But as a young woman, I also demand respect and I strongly believe in abstinence. Sex before marriage—it’s not right.” “My beliefs are founded upon religion and a very strict sense of morality. It’s the way I was brought up.” Singer Ciara (Ciara Princess Harris), Blender, May 2005, p. 92.

1. How do you know you are being respected in a relationship? 2. Why do you think God intended for us to wait until marriage to have sex?

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1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Thessalonians 5:7-8, James 1:14-15, 1Corinthians 10:13, Titus 2:11-12

“Part of the reason a lot of people do drugs is to hide feeling bad. For me, though, it wasn’t about escaping family issues or boy problems—I’ve always had really close relationships with my family. And I’ve been careful to never let boys cause trouble for me—I was a virgin until I fell in love at 19, because I never wanted to give anyone a reason to start rumors about me. So I guess I just started partying to change things up. To get out of feeling anything.” Nicole Richie (TV’s “The Simple Plan”), CosmoGirl, May 2005, p. 121.

1. Why do you think people at your school party?

“As I got older, I started trying drugs. I did everything. And it didn’t make me feel happy, it didn’t make me feel sad—it just made me feel nothing. I loved it because I didn’t care about anything or anyone, It would just kill all the mental pain.”- Actor/singer Kelly Osbourne, Seventeen, August 2005, p. 204.

“I got sober and I realized how I abused my body and how I was horrible to other people. And that alone makes you realize life could be so much better without (drugs).”-Kelly Osbourne (Ozzy’s daughter),

“When I got sober, my first priority was trying to not want to kill myself. After that I was aware that drugs and alcohol had not only taken away my soul but also took away my love for music.” Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, Rolling Stone, November 17, 2005, p. 42.

1. Why do you think he wanted to kill himself? 2. How do you think drugs or alcohol can take someone’s “soul” or love for things?

Reuters, May 31, 2005

1. 2.

Why would a teen want to feel “nothing”? Do you think drugs or alcohol really help with problems? 1 Peter 3:3-4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. Ephesians 2:10, 1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“I’ve got a butt, I’m “Growing up, I felt like Greek—I can’t help the only way I could be “When there’s that. And I think it’s happy with myself was something that’s good for people to see if someone else loved not at peace inside normal. I think today me. I’ve always atit comes out in anwith all the technoltached myself to peoother way. Girls ogy, we are preple because that’s need to know that sented with images of people who where I found my love. I’ve got a lot they can be sexy without showare perfect, but they’re not.” of insecurities about the way I look. ing skin.” American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, CosThat’s why I work out so much. And - Actress Jessica Alba, CosmoGirl, FebrumoGirl, August 2007, p. 133. ary 2008, p. 72. I’m always comparing myself to other people, wondering if I’m good 1. How do you think it comes out in 1. Why do you think TV, magazines, enough.” another way if something’s not at movies, etc. don’t show what peo- Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger, Vibe, May peace on the inside? ple really look like? (Why do they 2007, p. 36. 2. Does Jessica Alba show her skin to airbrush pictures, make ac1. Why is it dangerous to attach be sexy? (Yes) Why would she contor/actresses diet, plastic surgery, yourself to someone to find happitradict herself like that? etc?) ness? 2. Are you happy with your body? 2. Why is it unhealthy to compare Why or why not? ourselves to other people? 3


Colossians 3:5,8 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Ephesians 5:3-4, Philippians 4:8

“Right now, rappers are glorifying their hell…We were the problem of our communities, but we never bragged about it. We kept moving on about life. But right now, these hiphoppers are stuck on one thing. They’re stuck on sex and violence and drugs and partying. Life is way more than that.” Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, Spin, May 2007, p. 65.

“Its my way of saying , “It’s bull---- that guns “People, stop taking it so in video games cause seriously– not everything murders. The last thing rappers say is true to I would ever do is hurt life.” It’s entertainment, another person, too. If you can watch a and online I probably movie and see Denzel as a kill 200 guys a day.” Actor Zac Efron (Disney Channel’s High School character, you should be able to do the Musical), Time, August 27, 2007, pp. 60-61. same when you’re listening to rappers. I know we’re always saying, “keep it real.” 1. Do you think its ok to play violent video But for the most part – it’s not true!” Jay-z blender December 07

1. Why do you think most hip hop music is 1. Why do you think Rappers say they about violence, drugs, and sex? “keep it real” when they sing about 2. Do you think those things are somethings that aren’t true for them? thing we should be listening to? Why 2. Do you agree with what he says about or why not? it being “just entertainment”?

games? Why or why not? 2. How do you think killing people on a game could affect us?

Matthew 5:37 Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Genesis 2:24, Luke 16:18, Matthew 5:32

“Nowadays, it’s not like you’re weird if you’re the only kid on your block who has divorced parents—you’re weird if your parents live together.” Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, Spin, May 2003, p. 74. 1. At your school, are there more kids whose parents are divorced or together? 2. How do you feel about the way your family is? Do you think it’s good, bad, etc?

“Everything is fixable. Nothing in life is ever set in stone. At the end of the day, there’s no reason to panic. If you take the wrong job, you can always quit. If you marry the wrong guy, you can always divorce him.” Actress Christina Ricci, Seventeen magazine, July 2002, p. 118.

“It made all of us— my mom and my sister and me—more spiritual too. We got down on our knees to pray for opportunities. Not for money or success. Just for opportunities.”

1. Do you think what she is saying is right? 2. Why do you think so many people get divorced? 3. How could more marriages stay together?

1. How can dealing with divorce or other hard times make us more spiritual? 2. What do you think God’s standard is on divorce?

Singer/actress Christina Milian speaking about her parent’s divorce, CosmoGirl, April 2005, p. 161.

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SNAP SHOTS: Culture at a Glance Documentary gives eye opening look at Teens and Spirituality. This compelling movie provides an overview of the most comprehensive study of teenagers and religion in America conducted by the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) that was reported in the book "Soul Searching" by Christian Smith, Oxford Univ. Press. Every Soul Searching book and parent of teens and pre-teens, youth documentary by Christian workers, and religious leaders should Smith see this film. The movie traces the lives of several teenagers and their families from a variety of religious perspectives and interviews the principal researchers who discuss the major findings of the research in light of the lives of real teenagers. One of the major findings here is that teens are rarely asked to talk about their religious beliefs and practices. Parents and interested adults may find watching this film with teens a great way to start a conversation about religious and spiritual matters.

Great Idea: Host a parent or youth workers movie night where you screen the documentary and discuss the film afterward.

In a future edition of The Parent Source we would like to address questions or issues you are dealing with involving teens. Each family and church have a different set of teens with their own troubles, fears, and drama. We would love to be able to talk about the topics that most affect you and answer any questions we might have answers to. Our goal is to help you as you influence this generation. Please email us at Robert@ud4christ.com.

Website Informs Teens About Sex We have recently discovered a new website aimed at teens: www.midwestteensexshow.com This site discusses any and all sexual topics from a teen’s perspective. On the site a young woman addresses teens through video, giving them advice and so called truths about sex. The tone is a mix of sarcasm with a matter of fact outlook on experimenting with various sexual ideas. Some topics include male or female masturbation, the first time, porn, and STD’s. One particular video tells teens to not rule out anal sex. The host proceeds to explain to teens that anal sex is pleasurable to many people and should be tried before it is ruled out. She then gives practical tips for how to properly pursue anal sex. Also in this video they use food products as a crude example of how anal sex works. Parents should be aware of this site. Your teen may not have even heard of this site. However the issues the site tackles are issues your teen may have questions about. Along with sites like these, media and other entertainment fields are more than willing to inform your teen of sexual rights and wrongs. There are many forms of sex that teens hear about and are possibly curious about. It’s important teen’s hear the truth on sexual issues. As a mature adult you may want to view this site to have a better understanding of some of the sexual issues and temptations teen’s are faced with. 5


Parent Discussion questions: Page 1. 1. What holds you back the most from talking to your teen about tough issues? 2. How have conversations with your teen been in the past? Page 2. 3. What methods have you used to talk to your teen about pornography? Relationships? 3. What guidelines do you have set up for pornography in your family? Relationships? Page 3. 5. What methods have you used to talk to your teen about Drugs and Alcohol? Self Image? 6. How do you think you can protect your teen from drugs and alcohol? 7. How have you encouraged your teen to have a healthy self image? Page 4. 6. What methods have you used to talk to your teen about entertainment? Divorce? 7. What entertainment guidelines do you have for your family? 8. How has divorce affected your teen, if at all? Page 5. 8. What question or issue would you like to see in The Parent Source?

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