Raising children in a day of billboards & commercials

Pastor Jimmy Bartz reflects on raising children with good values in a society where they are inundated with negative and inappropriate images
Parenting Advice | Raising children in an age of inappropriate images and influences
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Raising children in a day of billboards & commercials

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Sometimes people ask me how do you raise a spiritual child? Is it possible to raise a spiritual child in a climate of images that are provocative or destructive or dark or confusing or inappropriate for your child's developmental stage? And what I would say if I see parents making mistakes around that, it's parents trying to shield their child from what they're brushed with every day in the media, whether it's billboards or television commercials or television shows that they're watching. Dr. Brene Brown said that asking your child to not have some sense of what's going on in the world is like trying to teach your child to hold their breath in order to avoid air pollution. So the thing that I would really encourage parents to do, and that I encourage in my own life is just transparency. Living with transparency at a developmentally appropriate age level. So answering direct questions with honest, direct answers. Not trying to hide or be elusive around images. Oh, you've seen a provocative image. What does that look like? Well what does it look like to you? Oh, yeah. Well, that's interesting. I don't know if women's bodies really do look like that. Or I don't know if men really do engage in activities like that. I mean, you don't see dad do that, or you don't see mom do that. So if I'm really looking at raising a spiritual child within a climate of over exposure of images that might be confusing or challenging to that child, my primary work as a parent is honesty and transparency at a developmentally appropriate age level.

Pastor Jimmy Bartz reflects on raising children with good values in a society where they are inundated with negative and inappropriate images

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Jimmy Bartz

Priest

Jimmy is the founder and convener of Thad’s—a spiritual community meeting on Sunday mornings in The Writer’s Bootcamp in Santa Monica. An ordained Episcopal priest, Jimmy has spent most of his professional life leading communities in the work of making a love-spreading difference in the world that surrounds them.

His recent work includes studying the relationship between the outdoors and positive, psycho-spiritual health. When not in the office, he can be found in the ocean or in the mountains, usually with his wife, Cindy, or his two children, Jas and Jade.

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