Today’s kids are a different breed. Sure they face similar pressures to the ones we did, but let’s face it: Kids’ cultural influences are vastly different than ours were.
Andrew is a tech-savvy sixth-grader. His bedroom has Netflix and a computer. He blogs and emails daily. Andrew’s parents bought him an iPhone. He texts his friends on his phone constantly. He even taught his dad to program TiVo. And last week he visited his first pornographic website (on a dare). Andrew feels at home in front of screens, but he finds church irrelevant. “I love Jesus,” he says, “but church doesn’t help me much.”
Hannah enjoys video games, especially The Sims. She uses her phone camera to keeps a photo journal on Instagram. In her fourth-grade class, she mastered desktop publishing and Photoshop. She’s created dozens of visual masterpieces, including several with religious themes. Hannah reads Cosmogirl (a girl at church gave it to her) and is fashion-conscious. Hannah struggles with church and especially with modesty. “I don’t see the big deal,” she says, “about wearing my low-rider jeans.”
Bryan quotes lines from all the most recent movies. He admits he’s learned most swear words from movies, but says he won’t watch anything steamier than a kiss on screen. Bryan has overheard schoolyard conversations about oral sex but confesses he’s clueless. Bryan is also struggling in his faith. “I hope God is like the guy in Bruce Almighty,” he says, “but my Sunday school teacher doesn’t like that movie.”
Today’s kids are a different breed. Sure they face similar pressures to the ones we did, but let’s face it: Kids’ cultural influences are vastly different than ours were. It isn’t “family hour” anymore. Beaver has truly left the building. It’s not exactly 7th Heaven on network television, and Family Guy rules cable. In our culture, virtues seem like they’ve vanished without a trace.