The Teen Code–A Wake Up Call for Parents

Bookstore shelves abound with titles offering advice for parents. Various psychologists, self-appointed “experts,” and medical doctors offer advice on a range of topics, reflecting an ever broader array of worldviews. Books on parenting adolescents have been a special growth industry for some time, with puzzled and harried parents often trying to figure out what is going on in the minds of their teenagers. A new offering in this field, The Teen Code, now offers advice on parenting teens with a unique twist–the book was written by a 17-year-old boy.

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Is the School Library Safe?

A roiling controversy in Arkansas may serve to awaken many parents to the reality of what is found in many public school libraries–explicitly sexual material. This controversy centers in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where Laurie Taylor, a mother of two young teenage girls, complained to the local board of education about three library books that contained explicit descriptions and depictions of sexual activity. Predictably, national library associations and anti-censorship groups quickly jumped into the fray, charging Mrs. Taylor with launching a crusade to take the Arkansas public schools back to the dark ages.

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Nature-Deficit Disorder–Have Children Forgotten How to Play Outdoors?

Author Richard Louv believes that America’s children are now suffering from a syndrome he identifies as “nature-deficit disorder.” In his new book, Last Child in the Woods, Louv suggests that the current generation of American children knows the Discovery Channel better than their own backyards–and that this loss of contact with nature leads to impoverished lives and stunted imagination.

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Video Games–The New “Playgrounds of the Self?”

Just a couple of years ago, I was talking to a group of college students–mostly young men–about pressures, temptations, and challenges that come with living in our postmodern world. Predictably, many of these students mentioned challenges related to technology, such as the availability of internet pornography. What took me by surprise was their near-unanimous judgment that video games represent a persistent pattern of temptation they often find very hard to resist.

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