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A son, his folks, and a new era page 3
Time for middle school, and what a can of worms that could be

RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 8/20/2006

By RICHARD AMRHINE

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Similar rules apply for any surfing he does on the Internet, with some help from parental controls. For now we seem to be on the same page with this, but I know he's going to want to test the limits, and we've got to be ready to extend them as he matures and shows he's ready.

I still keep the remote control close at hand whenever the television is on. Broadcasters love to espouse their good intentions on program content and timing, but they are hollow promises. The networks, for example, love to run graphic promos during NFL games showing violent and sexually oriented scenes from their prime-time programing. Certainly they know that kids are watching those games.

The pervasiveness of unseemly messages makes the "Just Say No" mantra as ridiculous as a beer train that brings a snowstorm. Tell a kid "No," and he is more likely to say "Why?" than "OK."

They are curious, smart, and more savvy than you might think.

As our son becomes more aware of--and enticed by--the bad influences swirling around him, we hope he'll put them in the proper perspective, given the values we've tried to instill in him. He'll always be encouraged to talk things over with us.

I know that my wife and I will continue to help guide him through the media maze because we are committed to that. Parents are their kids' gatekeepers, and those who ignore that role are copping out at their kids' expense.

RICHARD AMRHINE is a writer and editor with The Free Lance-Star.


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