Big Picture

Teach Kids to Recognize Media Values

Apr 12, 2021 | Teach Kids Articles

All kinds of digital screens are flashing worldly values in front of kids at a pace that feels impossible to keep up with. What can we do to combat media values?

Let’s start by getting a grip on the whole picture by breaking media values down into four categories and teaching kids to recognize them.

The first category is materialism, or in kid language, the love of things. Review Scripture passages that talk about greed and review Luke chapter 12 where the Bible talks about the things that life should consist of rather than possessions. Those things are obtaining eternal life, working for the kingdom of God here on earth, and laying up treasure in Heaven. Plan activities to help kids share their belongings. Adopt the saying, “they’re just things” to contrast stuff to the greater importance of people, relationships and service.

Another media value to help kids recognize is amoralism, or the absence of God’s law. Have kids list things the media portrays as good that God calls evil. Even PG rated shows have these. Some examples are worship of nature, witchcraft and sorcery, rebellion against parents and other authority, and inappropriate gender issues. Even though all individual people are equal, not all thoughts, values and cultures are equal. Some are much better than others based on the extent to which they respect God’s moral law.

A third media value to help kids recognize, is me-sim and self-centeredness, as if the world should revolve around me. Although confidence is good, there’s a “believe in yourself” philosophy that is about trusting in yourself rather than seeking God’s wisdom. The Bible says the human heart—that is the mind, will, and emotions, is deceitful and wicked, so no, don’t follow your heart, kids. It will lead you in the wrong direction! Philippians 2 tells us to focus on encouraging others, consider others more important than ourselves and consider their interests, not just ours.

A fourth media value is externalism or the worship of outward beauty. Teach kids that true attractiveness is the result of cleanliness, a cheerful face, friendliness, a positive attitude, thoughtful words and actions, and poise—knowing how to act in certain situations. Adults can model God’s emphasis on the heart by complementing these things instead of complementing clothing and the looks one was born with. Proverbs 11:12 has a great word picture.  “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.” In other words, you can take the prettiest girl but if when she opens her mouth, out comes complaining, unfriendliness, and rudeness, she is no longer attractive.

Often, worldly children’s programming will have a significant moral or selfless message to have it considered a family friendly show, but throw in one or more of the amoral elements. Since the good outweighs the bad we tolerate it and underestimate the influence. Do a debrief after shows and ask kids if they saw anything materialistic, amoral, self-centered, or elevating external beauty. Talk about what was good, too.

Provide kids with media that promotes godly values and ask them afterwards how they feel compared to the other type of show. There’s a part of the brain that will say “I really enjoyed that entertainment” while there’s an uneasy feeling for the darkness experienced. Explain that the more we ignore that uneasy feeling, the more we harden our heart towards the Holy Spirit to where we can’t hear him as well. Wholesome stories of Christian heroes, Bible heroes and songs can be found on the YouTube channel of CEF. Just go to youtube.com/unitekids. Several seasons of Good News Club TV, Good News Radio and other wholesome content helps kids learn God’s Word.

 

Media Values 1

To combat our kids being negatively influenced by media, we need to teach them to recognize worldly values. One of them is materialism, the love of things. Review Scripture passages that talk about greed and review Luke 12 where the Bible talks about the things life should consist of rather than possessions. Those things are obtaining eternal life, working for the kingdom of God here on earth, and laying up treasure in Heaven. Help kids share their belongings. Adopt the saying, “they’re just things” in contrast to the greater importance of people, relationships and service. For much more on the topic of media influence, go to the blog at cefonline.com.

 

Media Values 2

To combat our kids being negatively influenced by media, we need to teach them to recognize amoralism, or the absence of God’s law. Have kids list things the media portrays as good that God calls evil. Even PG rated shows have these. Some examples are worship of nature, witchcraft and sorcery, rebellion against parents and other authority, and inappropriate gender issues. Even though all individual people are equal, not all thoughts, values and cultures are equal. Some are much better than others based on the extent to which they respect God’s moral law. For much more on the topic of media influence, go to the blog at cefonline.com.

 

Media Values 3

A worldly media value to help kids recognize, is me-sim and self-centeredness, as if the world should revolve around me. Although confidence is good, there’s a “believe in yourself” philosophy that is about trusting in yourself, humanism, rather than seeking God’s wisdom. The Bible says the human heart—that is the mind, will, and emotions, is deceitful and wicked, so tell kids don’t follow your heart. It will lead you in the wrong direction! Philippians 2 tells you to focus on encouraging others, consider others more important than yourself and consider their interests, not just yours. For much more on the topic of media influence, go to the blog at cefonline.com.

 

Media Values 4

A worldly media value to help kids recognize, is externalism or the worship of outward beauty. Teach kids that true attractiveness is the result of cleanliness, a cheerful face, friendliness, positive attitude, kindness, and poise. Adults can model God’s emphasis on the heart by complementing these things instead of complementing clothing and the looks one was born with. Proverbs 11:12 has a great word picture. Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. My mother used to say, pretty is, as pretty does. 

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