How to Raise Kids - Child Safety in a Media Driven Society

"Give an inch and they take a mile!" We've all heard this before and if the daily actions of the many media moguls are any indication, America has lost much more than a mile. As advertisers become more aggressive in chasing down a dollar, the envelope gets ever closer to the edge. From barely there underwear to contraceptive commercials on television, to the graphically violent video games, it is just next to impossible to protect kids from these images. It makes you wonder how to raise kids to become well-adjusted without cutting them off from real life!
Even the many safe guards that are cropping up can only do so much. What can be done about our kids' friends whose parents may have a more "laid back" or even neglectful approach to parenting? No one wants to be policed 24 hours a day and who has time to do it? The last thing you want to do is become an overbearing parent. The point of parenting anyway is to provide our kids with the knowledge and guidance to make good decisions on their own.
It looks as though our society has just given way too many inches and now those inches have become miles. It will be difficult to get it back, but many family advocates have made steps in the right direction. We have to let advertisers and other consumer driven businesses know that these controversial things are not in the best interests of our youth. They are certainly no help as we struggle to understand how to raise kids.
Taking Action!
One of the most important lessons we can teach kids is to back up our words with definitive actions. This will demonstrate that we mean business in more ways that one. While it's unfortunate that it would come to this end, it really boils down to consumers being more proactive on a daily basis rather than having to take massive action after pulling our heads out of the sand a year or two down the line. I will readily shoulder my share of the blame. I knew when I raised an eyebrow at the Karmal Sutra ice cream a while back that I should have put it back on the shelf and picked up cookies and cream. It was my complacency that was part of the problem. Such complacency in large numbers means large profits for vendors, but not so great outcomes for parents wanting to do the right thing.
In essence, by buying that questionable product, I was condoning their questionable judgment. Who could really blame them when they simply wanted to make even more money and became even more aggressive in their tactics? The last thing we want to do is to rob kids of a happy childhood by eliminating everything that's fun.
If we proactively work at it on a daily basis, we can provide an environment that is not only safe and appropriate, but also fun and educational. Technology has afforded us some safeguards that can be our eyes when we can't be around to protect our kids.