Rebecca Hagelin on Raising Kids in a Culture Gone Mad
- Tuesday, April 19, 2005
You're cuddling on the couch, enjoying a TV show with your 9-year-old daughter, when a character makes a scandalous joke. You grab for the remote, but it's too late. Later, you're surfing the web on the family computer when you discover your foreign exchange student has been visiting "adult" websites - and showing your middle school son the "best" links to visit. Then, your oldest walks in with a parental notification form informing you that her school will start offering a "comprehensive" sex-education program next year.
Parents can feel overwhelmed in their efforts to raise godly children in the midst of a culture determined to push the morality envelope. And the battle intensifies with the average American home now wired to the Internet and other forms of media. As a mother of three and vice president of the Heritage Foundation, Rebecca Hagelin understands the challenges today's culture poses to parents. In her new book Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture That's Gone Stark Raving Mad, Hagelin offers practical ways for parents to rise up and protect their homes.
Crosswalk: Could you talk a little about your book and why you felt inspired to write it at this time?
Hagelin: I've worked on family public policy issues for twenty years and I'm a mother of three teenagers. About five years ago I started writing a column for Townhall.com and WorldNetDaily.com where I examine social issues through the lens of a mother. In the past two or three years I've received tens of thousands of e-mails that reveal a growing tone of concern from today's parents that the world has gotten out of control and that parenting is harder and harder. They feel helpless and that the family is under attack -- and they don't know what to do. So that inspired me to take these twenty years of experience and put all that together in what I hope will be a positive message of hope to parents.
Crosswalk: There are a lot of people who think America is a pretty nice place to live! So what exactly do you mean when you say our culture has gone "stark raving mad?"
Hagelin: Well, if you look at last year's Gallup pole asking parents about the values in our country, it is interesting to note that 78% of Democrats and 82% of Republicans feel that America's values today are fair to downright poor. There is a universal understanding that our modern media world is out of control.
When you have the number one internet moneymaker as pornography; when you have the number one searched-for word on the internet as "sex"; when you have media outlets who 24/7 send a bad message about sexuality and morality to our kids; when you have children who are consuming 6.5 hours a day of media -- the latest figure by the Kaiser Family Foundation -- filled with sexualized programming, you've got a nation awash in cultural sewage.
Then you add that to the fact that the most popular music genre for today's kids is now hip-hop and rap music. If you stop and listen to the music you will see there is a huge problem there with the language. You know, I think we can see that there is a real problem, and as a mother of three teenagers, I fight the culture every day in my house.
Crosswalk: With so many well-intentioned parents out there, why do you think parents fail to stand up to negative cultural influences?
You know, over the email that I've read -- and this answer is really based on anecdotal stories from parents that I interact with on a daily basis -- I've pretty much boiled it down to three reasons:
Number one is that parents are either too tired, or too lazy to fight the culture. They feel overwhelmed. They feel helpless. And so my message to group number one is this: The mass marketers with their worldviews are never too tired to market to your children. They are never too lazy, and they will never give up.
Recently on Parenting
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content