By Trace Embry
Does the media influence your teen’s behavior? This is a question that today’s culture tends to try to sweep under the rug.
I once had an interview with a 21 year old man from a Middle Eastern country that highlights this topic well.
An Interview with a Foreigner Provides Proof
I interviewed him for a counseling position with troubled teens.
This young man had actually grown up in Afghanistan as a child of a missionary family.
When he was asked about the differences between teens in America and teens in Afghanistan, he didn’t hesitate to say “respect for authority!” Care to guess which country’s teens had more respect for authority? It’s almost ridiculous in the asking.
Does A Longer Leash = Better Behavior?
The ultra short leash most parents in Mid-Eastern nations give their teens has led to notorious human rights issues and abuses; which may discredit, to some degree, the idea that a shorter leash for teens is a good idea.
But, I wonder how many teens in Afghanistan are cutting themselves or are attempting suicide compared to the troubled teens in the United States. The U.S. has one of the highest teen-suicide rates on the planet.
And virtually everyone knows of an American troubled teen that is cutting them self, or causing self-harm.
Has the long leash and all the media choices that we give our kids in the United States really been that much of a benefit in the long run? Isn’t there a balance?
America’s Media Changes the World’s Behavior
This young man proceeded to say that he has seen, in his lifetime, American entertainment slowly creeping into the Afghan culture.
Along with it, he and his parents have noticed behavior and respect becoming more and more of an issue among the teen population in Afghanistan.
This is a practical example of how our so called “entertainment” today influences young people regardless of what culture they are from.
What are some examples you have experienced with your family in how media has influenced behavior?