by Edwin L. Carpenter – Associate Editor, The Dove Foundation
A survival guide of sorts has just been released with the memorable title, “Raising a G-Rated Family in an X-Rated World.” The authors are a husband and wife team named Brent and Phelecia Hatch, who also co-created the well known “Hug Card.”
The following synopsis is given from the book itself:
- “From a concerned parent’s perspective, the world can be an ugly, dangerous place for kids. In the media—TV, movies, on the internet, in print—indecency is often the norm, sex and violence are rampant and glorified, and there is diminishing respect, self-discipline, community, and more. What was once scandalous and shocking is now accepted, embraced, and encouraged.
- But it doesn’t have to be that way in your family and your home. Raising a G-Rated family in an X-Rated World shows you how to control what comes into your life and how to teach your children to filter out the X-Rated and focus on the G-Rated. The Hatch’s simple tools, techniques, and philosophies –taking control of your home, organizing your family life, improving communication, and incorporating positive discipline—will help you combat the power of the media and, instead, use the power of love, hope and positive thinking to guide your children in the world.”
The explosion of the media in recent years makes it a challenge to raise a family who keep their values intact while being bombarded by non-traditional values or, in many cases, the lack of a value system at all. From an entertainment perspective, the Hatch’s have written an outstanding book about negative media influences, but also the hammering of “buy, buy, buy.” Many advertisers want kids to believe they need more material goods to be happy. The authors’ approach is to not leave children unattended or with unknown media, but to be involved and aware and during those occasional excessively busy times, to give children something that is known and safe to watch.
The authors, parents themselves of seven children, give many personal examples of family difficulties in which they correctly—and incorrectly—dealt with the problems. They center on remaining positive and encouraging children to share their feelings without the fear of being harshly dealt with. Although some readers may not agree with all of their disciplinary ideas, the core of this review is to examine their views on dealing with today’s entertainment, and they do a terrific job with that.
The Hatch’s do not believe in trying to keep children away from media, but they emphasize the need to set time limits on TV viewing, playing video games, and surfing the internet, and to notice changes in a child’s behavior as an indicator of a problem. They also concentrate on the need for discussion with children following viewing times of the aforementioned forms of media.
The book includes chapters on modeling behavior, giving praise, and the need for parents to still “date” and to take personal time to build their own relationship in order to effectively aid their children in every day living. One of the strongest points in the book is their encouragement for parents to share more personal time and activities with their children, including reading. The Hatch’s know that children will entertain themselves one way or another. Their suggestions promote the involvement of the family unit in these decisions, and The Dove Foundation highly recommends the reading of this book. The failures they list reveal them to be sympathetic and human, yet with a strong resolve. It is obvious the Hatch’s believe that parents can raise G-Rated kids in an X-Rated world. Their effort here is a valiant one.
For additional information about the book, please visit their official website at: http://www.howtobehave.com