Nicky Cruz’s 5 myths: Myth # 1: • "I can trust my child to stay away from violent & pornographic information on the Internet.“ Fact: • 82% of teens said they used the Internet for e-mail, chat rooms and visiting web sites. • 44% had visited x-rated sites or those with sexual content. • 62% said their parents knew little or nothing about web sites they visited. • 43% of teens' parents have no rules whatsoever about how their teens use the Internet. What parents should do: . Use filters available through various servers. • Monitor use of the Internet in your home. • Limit the time your child or teens spends on the Internet. • Limit e-mail to an approved list. • Put your computer in a very public place where the screen can be easily seen. • Monitor Internet use by reviewing e-mail and scanning web sites visited. • Teach your teens to ignore and delete junk e-mail • Educate them on the pros and cons of the internet
Myth # 2: "My child is not affected by the violence & other bad examples they see on TV.“ Fact: • An average of 9.5 violent acts per hour appeared on prime time TV • Saturday morning network programming featured twenty violent acts per hour: both figures are over 10 years old. What is it now? • By the age of 18, a typical child has witnessed an estimated 200,000 acts of violence, including 25,000 murders on TV. • Most researchers believe TV violence results in desensitization to violence, encourages aggressive behavior and creates fearful attitudes in children and teens. What parents should do: • Begin teaching discernment at the earliest age possible. • Decide what violence you will condone in your home. • Screen all programs and movies and have the courage to turn the TV off if anything objectionable comes on. • Know what videos your children are watching as well as what their friends are watching. • Don't allow the media to dominate family relationship time. • Model good viewing habits.
Myth # 3: "My child can discern the difference between fantasy and reality............................. …………….any movie they see is just entertainment.“ Fact: • Movies are becoming more and more violent as production companies compete for their share of the very lucrative teen market. • Evidence points to the fact that several of the shooters in recent school tragedies were greatly influenced and even modeled their behavior after violent "mainstream" movies. • Parents cannot trust ratings alone to determine whether or not a movie is appropriate for their child or teenager to watch. • Psychological research reveals that "visual violence" can have these effects on children and teens: copycat violence, desensitizes them to real-life violence, and stimulates them to commit impulsive, aggressive acts. What parents should do: . • Watch the ratings, read the reviews and listen to what is being said about movies before you allow your child or teen to attend. • If a movie is questionable, preview the movie or go with your child and be prepared to leave with them if the content is objectionable. • Always be a good example - do not attend or rent any movie that you would not want your children to see. Know what videos your kids (and what videos their friends) are renting. "
Myth # 4: Violent games are a harmless and innocent release of energy and aggression.“ Oh really? "There's an eerie likelihood that violent movies and violent games amplify one another - the film and television images placing thoughts of carnage into the psyche while the games condition the trigger finger to act on those impulses.“- Sep/Oct 1999, The Saturday Evening Post“ The murderer had never shot a handgun in his life," Thompson says. "Yet, as a fourteen-year-old obsessed with point-and-shoot video games, Michael Carneal walked into his school and opened fire. He fired eight shots; all shots found their mark. Five were head shots, the other three were upper torso shots. This is phenomenal marksmanship.“ - July '99, American Spectator Fact: • Interactive video and computer games are the most popular forms of entertainment for teens. • American kids with video games play them an average of 90 minutes each day. • Violent games have progressed beyond the simple shooting of space ships and video creatures to virtual reality in which realistic people are targeted. • Arkansas State University psychologist David Grossman states that "point and shoot" video games have the same effect as military strategies used to break down a soldier's aversion to killing. • Far from simply providing a way to have fun and release tension, today's video games invite young people to become virtual, killing sociopaths. What parents should do: • Play the games your teens are playing. • Find out what games they are playing with their friends. • Eliminate games that are violent. • Limit time spent playing games. • Look for hidden violence and other related themes, such as the occult.
Myth # 5: "Music & the accompanying pop culture is not influencing my child." Fact: • Teens often spend as much as four to six hours a day listening to music. • Music today is markedly more violent than ever before. • Researchers state that music can influence young people as much as Television or movies. • 80% of older teens watch MTV, a network that provides a visual image of violent lyrics. • Violent and profane lyrics desensitize young people and glamorize murder, rape and abuse. What parents should do: • Monitor and listen to music your teens are listening to. • Read the lyrics of songs. • Watch music videos with them. • Educate yourself on the backgrounds of your teen's favorite music groups. • Discuss objectionable songs and set limits for your teen. • Encourage your teen to listen to Christian music. • Know what your teen's friends are listening to. • Pay attention to posters, notebooks, Web sites, tattoos, fan clubs and apparel.