Forget Barbie. Get Your Kid a Fandom.

What are we teaching our kids?

“close up photo of girls with face paint” by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

I know you have heard it all before. The lies in the media are teaching our sons and daughters that if they do not reach perfection they are not worthy of love and happiness.

For years the mantra was that the airbrushed pictures in magazines and advertising were teaching out girls to be sexual objects. Not much has changed. Look at the role models that are out there now for our children. Youtube has replaced magazines and television ads. It is the reality TV of this new generation. A virtual baby sitter for parents who are looking down at their own virtual reality instead of looking up at what their children are doing.

Listen up, Jeffy.

Your children are watching. They are taking everything in. You can sit by and idly scroll on your phone, hear your kids laughing and think, “They are fine.” When in reality they are watching inappropriate things or being influenced by outside forces that you allowed into your inner sanctum. Not just youtube but there is still television and other sources. Not evil in themselves, but are funnels that pour in information to our children.

Parents, we are the filters. You control what your children see and hear to an extent. Then to the extent that you are not there to control when they see and hear things away from you. For example, when they are at school. That is when you have to be diligent and discover what is happening inside the minds of your kids.

Being a parent is difficult, time-consuming and worth every bit of struggle and time you spend.

Teach them honesty and courage to stand up for what is right. Teach them to respect themselves. Teach them to know when something is not for them. Give them a moral compass that will serve them throughout their childhood and into their adult lives.

I can hear some of you now. “Sure whatever, I do that” as you look down at your phone. “What makes you qualified to tell me how to raise my kids? Are you a doctor or a child psychologist? Do you even have children?”

Let’s just say what I lack in professional training I have in experience. I am not an expert. I am by far a perfect parent. Yes, I have made many mistakes raising my daughter, she is now 31 with kids of her own. My love and I are raising three more girls (11, 13, 15) and co-parenting twin sons with his ex. We do all we can to watch over what they are bombarded with through social media and other sources.

One thing we have done is exposed to our children to Fandoms. I am a dedicated Whovian, my other half is a Marvel fan and we both love Star Wars. We use these fictional situations and characters to teach our kids real-life truths. We show them that good doesn’t always win, but it always tries to do what is right. Use your brain and think before you act. Also, that every day normal average people can be heroes and extraordinary. Say what you want about geek culture, it is full of life lessons and worthy role models. By using these lessons along with teaching them Biblical truths, we are setting them, hopefully, on a course to be good, caring, giving and courageous adults.

Moral of this story: Show your children the right way to live because if you don’t someone else will show them the wrong way.

~Lori O’Gara

Thank you for your time. You can see more of my writing here or sign up for the O’Gara Inner Circle here

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