Tag: #social media

Real Answers – Parents & Children & Social Media – 2/07/24

Real Answers – Parents & Children & Social Media – 2/07/24

“Start early. Monitor closely your children’s online activities. Be consistent with enforcement of online rules you as a parent set in place.”

Parents have more authority over what shows on their children’s video screens than social media titans do.

So says Christian counselor Christopher Anderson.

Last week, in a captivating day of Capitol Hill testimony, Congress and the general public heard from the CEOs of the five largest social media companies in the nation.

This week, Family Life’s “Real Answers” podcast gives you Anderson’s take on how video games and social media affect children and teens. He also gives you encouragement on how your family can reduce the downsides — of online content and on online time.

Inside Out – Pressures on today’s girls – 01/10/24

Inside Out – Pressures on today’s girls – 01/10/24

Little Girls, Adult Pressures 

Even the youngest girls feel the pressure to be sexy.

Adult pressures on girls begin early. Dr. Danny Huerta talks about ways parents can help their daughters know that their value is deeper than their appearance. Huerta is a father, a licensed clinical social worker, and the vice president of Parenting for Focus on the Family.  “I’ve worked with a lot of young girls that have been in this culture that tells them that one of the most important things that they can do as a teen girl is to be sexy,” says Dr. Danny Huerta, licensed clinical social worker and the vice president of Parenting for Focus on the Family.

He is also the father of a teenaged daughter.  “And what I’ve seen with my daughter is her wrestling match with what culture’s saying, what friends are saying in the way they dress and in the way they act and in what they’re talking about, and in what we’re talking about in the home and in what we’re talking about within the church,” he says. 

 Parents can help their daughters know that they do not need to be sexual to be loved. Their value is deeper than their appearance. “When you give them feedback on who they are, there’s a tendency for a lot of people to say, ‘Oh, man, you’re so beautiful. Look how beautiful you look.’ And that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person if you’ve done that or that you’ve damaged a young girl, but what you can do is expand that and say, ‘Man, I love that thought,’” he says. “Love a variety of things and show that excitement of what you’re discovering in who they are.”

 Play our entire conversation (from the player above) to learn about helping girls see themselves not as commodities to be consumed, but as people valued by God with gifts and talents to contribute to the world.   

 Connect with Focus on the Family’s parenting articles and videos here

 Learn more about Dr. Danny Huerta here

Protecting your children from trafficking – 12/20/23

Protecting your children from trafficking – 12/20/23

Inside Out” — the Family Life news feature

Sex trafficking may be the farthest thing from your mind this Christmas. But during the coming school vacation, parents actually have a chance to stand in the way of human traffickers. How? By paying attention to the very same thing traffickers focus on: how your children use the internet. School vacations not only scramble our schedules and give children more time on social media,  the time away from friends can also leave kids feeling lonely for companionship.  

“Anytime there’s an increase in unsupervised time for kids and teens, the vulnerability to trafficking increases,” says Deb Kuehner, executive director of The Potter’s Hands Foundation, a Western New York residential treatment program helping exploited women. “Covid was a perfect example of this for adults and kids. Traffickers took advantage of the global crisis, capitalizing on people’s loss of income and the increased amount of time children and adults were spending online.”   

 “For many individuals, the holidays are a very stressful time and people are hungry for community,” she says. “Vulnerable individuals will often look online to fill relationship gaps—they’re so hungry for someone to pay attention to them and to love them, that they’ll open themselves up to strangers who may not be safe.” 

Parents can monitor how their children use the internet—but they need to know what to look for. They need to know what apps they have on their phones, and what those apps are used for.” Some messaging apps, called “secret” or “hidden” apps, are disguised to look like games or calculators to hide their function from anyone monitoring the way the child’s using the internet.   “I just encourage parents to Google information online on how to be educated about different apps, and what their kids are using. It’s so important that they do.”   

This is true even if you think of your children as good kids. “I also need to say that parents who think that their children would never do something like this, need to check anyway. Because I can’t tell you the number of parents that have come to me and said, ‘I never expected my child to do something like this,’” she says. “No parent expects it. Kids can get in over their heads so quickly that they don’t even know how it happens.” 


Hit the “play” icon above to hear from Deb Kuehner about the expansiveness of sex trafficking, and how you can help women who’ve been exploited. 

 Learn more about The Potter’s Hands Foundation here



Family Life Interview – Too much screentime – Cleveland Clinic – 09/14/23

Family Life Interview – Too much screentime – Cleveland Clinic – 09/14/23

A Cleveland Clinic pediatric psychologist cautions parents that too much time on social media and video games can harm children.

Dr. Michael Manos says teens can experience multiple harmful consequences if screentime overtakes their life

  • they often lose sleep, if they take their phones to their bedroom
  • they lose the ability to empathize with real people, because in-person interactions are more complex than online connections
  • creativity drops off, because video games are scripted and pre-programmed without real-life spontaneity

The staff psychologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health says the implications apply to everyone of every age. He also quotes some challenging recommendations from national pediatricians’ groups: Children under age 5 should have no more than one hour of screentime per day, and toddlers under age 3 should never have phones or tablets.

He also says adults’ own interactions with devices matter, for themselves and as role models for their families. In this Family Life interview, Dr. Manos also offers his advice about what should happen with televisions in your family’s sleeping areas.


Special Feature – Safety, Social Media, and Child Trafficking

Special Feature – Safety, Social Media, and Child Trafficking

“the Dark Side of social media”

It goes without saying: parents would not intentionally toss their children into a swimming pool filled with sharks.  The presenters at an upcoming seminar, though, say that is essentially what we are doing when we allow children and teens access to much of social media.

Lisa Hansen(from Power over Predators) and Joseph Sweeney (from the Asservo Project) invite families to their workshop this October. On our Monday Noon Report, Terese Main shares important insights from Lisa Hansen who delves into the dark side of social media, discussing the physical dangers and potential exploitation. The United States has 500,000 online sexual predators — half a million people who are a potential danger to your children and their friends.


“Lisa believes our children are our most vulnerable and valuable treasure—begging to be cherished and protected. She is convinced that every life matters, and every story deserves the chance for a happy ending.”

This is important information for parents, grandparents, teachers, church leaders and law enforcement personnel to have. It is important motivation for all of us to have.

Further resources :

The Dark Side of Social Media Seminar

Feature: Marketing Messages vs. Consumer Power – 08/15/23

Feature: Marketing Messages vs. Consumer Power – 08/15/23

Advertisers have often “pushed the envelope” to gather attention, promote causes, and seek market share.

Recently, several major corporations have adopted policies in their stores and in their marketing that resulted in consumer push-back. For example, Bud Light lost a major portion of its revenue so far in 2023, after an online promotional campaign which featured a “transgender influencer.” Many consumers stopped buying from that company.  (By the way, our guest today says that after Bud Light reversed course and focused on traditional advertising, some of their new customers who liked the Dylan Mulvaney promotion also boycotted the brewer because they had backtracked.)

Dr. Rich Kocur teaches management and marketing at Grove City College, a Christian university in Grove City, Pennsylvania. The professor offers us history into “cause campaigns”, some behind-the-scenes insights into how advertising shapes its message, and the impact of two-way communication online. He says social media makes it easier for consumers to complain and to band together. Listen for this expanded conversation on how corporate advertisers are pushing limits, and how their customers often are pushing back.

  • For further information: Dr. Kocur also discusses this issue in this online article for the Institute for Faith and Freedom. Read about his insights on advertising and consumer research, as well as his own professional experience with marketing dilemmas which companies can face.
Real Answers – Bonus Content – Social Media Health Warning

Real Answers – Bonus Content – Social Media Health Warning

Bonus content: Family Life also asked our frequent News Feature guest for local reaction about this week’s updated news that the U.S. Surgeon General has issued a warning about the social, emotional and physical effects which come from young people being on social media.  In his private practice, Christoper Anderson says the device addiction is real. He offers this guidance to parents and families in the Family Life listening area.

He says, simply, “children don’t need smart phones.”


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