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Category : Teen Issues

When parents send their children off on a yellow bus everyday, there’s an assumption that the children will be kept safe by the public school system. Recent reports of sexual abuse in the schools, however, have caused that trust to be questioned. Many families debate over whether or not to home school their children. It’s a serious commitment, often requiring sacrifice from every family member. In some places, like California, home schooling is highly restricted, so the stakes are even higher. This article is by no means the only ten reasons, or even the top ten reasons to home school. Rather, it’s a collection of facts taken from news headlines that remind us all of the dangers inherent in public school, which will hopefully help families make a wise choice.

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After over a year of hard work, Child Refuge is publishing its first book, a novel entitled "The Glimpse". I wrote it as a fictional account of what our nation and world would look like if Christian youth continue to leave the church in droves. However, the story is based on a real dream my wife, Nikki, had in 2007. The dream was so powerful that it changed the direction of our lives, and played a part in the birth of Child Refuge. We pray that the story will be equally as powerful to those who read it. 

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They always say that the new generation of kids lack the right kind of behavior compared to those who were born many years before. Though it might sound as a universal issue where every child of this generation is included, child behavioral problems are actually diverse and can be seen in one child and absent in another.

For the sake of comparison though, we still can extract and learn the most common behavior related issues concerning our children. But remember that these problems do not necessarily reflect on every child since some may possess all of them while others may only show a couple.

The first behavioral issue is whining. This kind of behavioral attitude can be annoying and irritating for parents if frequently done. A child whines in order to complain about a lack of attention or to simply emphasize self-pity. In this case, the child should never be allowed or tolerated to do the same thing whenever they want to. As parent, the most effective way of eliminating this behavior is talking to your children about it. Tell them that you will never respond to them whenever they try to do it again. If that doesn’t work, always ignore the behavior and by the time they realize it isn’t grabbing your attention, they will stop.

The next problem is dealing with bedtime battle. It is agreeable that majority of children don’t like the idea of sleeping. This is symbolized by your continuous battle with them when it comes to bedtime. Though there are so many ways where you can convince them to go to bed, the process usually requires a lot of time, effort, and not to mention, patience. But bedtime battles can be avoided by doing the right techniques. Emphasize to your kids that going to bed early and settling in without any excuses signifies that they are good kids. When they become good, they get rewards or treats for their good deed. By the time they get your promised treat or reward, they start to realize how important it is for them to go to be without any more of those silly excuses and delays.

Parents may not know it, but pampering and indulging your kids with all you got will actually not help them. Children are way too immature and insensitive that when you begin to give in to anything they want, they become spoiled brats. Providing your children with anything is a symbol of your love for them, but you have to emphasize to them that there are certain limits for their desires. Instead of giving them what they always want, you can perhaps make them earn it. Tell them to be good all the time for you to buy the toys they want or perhaps perform their chores to gain rewards and treats. In this way, they will realize in no time that not every desire is for free.

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Because of the increasing influence of media stereotyping about being thin and slim, most American teens today focus their attention on keeping themselves thinner and slimmer day by day. The situation is worst for young and teenage girls. As they look at the mirror, all they see is an ugly girl who desperately needs to do something to eliminate that extra belly fat.

Body shape and image is one of the greatest obsessions of teenagers. Whenever they see models in TV ads, magazines, and billboards donning very tight and slim bodies, they tend to create envy out of it. Girls are the most vulnerable when it comes to this type of mentality. As soon as you realize that your kid has a weight obsession, you must be able to monitor closely how they eat and nourish themselves, or if they ever eat at all.

Teens and healthy food are two things most parents fail to reconcile. Sometimes, it is pretty hard to convince kids to eat the right kind of food for them. This scenario is worsened whenever they begin to skip meals due to weight obsession. By the time they begin to make steps towards stripping weight, the very first thing they will do is avoid eating. Of course, as a parent, that’s unacceptable. You cannot just sit there and watch them starve themselves.

Therefore, the best thing to do is promote (not coerce) healthy eating. You need to research about various meal and diet plans that allow less quantity eating but guarantee the needed nutrients for them to grow well and healthy. Remember that your teenage child may be experiencing a severe state of insecurity about his/her weight. Thus, you must avoid commenting or poking fun at their eating habits, their looks, or their weight in general.

While some parents think that this is just an isolated issue, they still cannot afford to do nothing and just wait for their kids to incur health consequences due to unsupervised dieting and starvation.

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Teenagers who face the troubling consequences of pregnancy are subjected to various health risks that can threaten not only their lives, but also of their unborn child. It is for good reason that marriage and pregnancy should be reserved for people who pass the age of 20. A teen’s body and maturity is not sufficient for them to hold and carry the responsibility of being a mother.

While some of these health risks come as a natural consequence because of the mother’s young age, others are attributed to the kind of behavioral response and choices made by the pregnant teen. Because of the stress and pressure brought by the unwanted experience, it is highly possible that they tend to destroy themselves and the baby they carry with them.

The earliest risk is denial. When teens begin to show signs of pregnancy, the initial response is to deny it. They tell themselves, “it’s not possible!” or “how could it happen?” Whenever they feel this way, they will never feel the need to put extra care on themselves. We all know that being pregnant is coupled with the responsibility of nourishing yourself and your child. Thus, if the teen continuously denies the onset of pregnancy, she will never intend to take vitamins, get prenatal care, or nourish herself with food needed for the growth of the unborn child.

Another risk is incurring high blood pressure or hypertension. Teens that become pregnant are likely to be depressed and pressured. The fear of humiliation, embarrassment, and further consequences can lead to the increase in blood pressure levels. Additionally, the existence of swelling and protein in the urine can result to preeclampsia, which is a serious condition both for the mother and the unborn child.

Aside from stress, the feeling of guilt, uncertain future, and shattered dreams can also contribute to severe cases of hypertension even for young teenage girls. The emotional and psychological effect of the mistake may lead to desperation and for some, suicidal tendencies.

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Teen pregnancy, no matter where you are in the world, is always a sensitive issue. But in the United States, the numbers tell us that most people do not really think of it as something to worry about. Each year, there are one million teen pregnancy cases in this country. This reality is so distressing considering that the people are predominantly Christian. While a significant part of this number is unplanned and unwanted, it still doesn’t deny the fact that American teens aren’t really afraid of the consequences of teen and premarital sex.

As soon as pregnancy hits your teenage girl, problems start to surface. Since a young girl’s body isn’t mature enough to maintain a normal pregnancy, she should be given extra care. But the problem is, most soon-to-be mother teens aren’t willing to proceed on carrying the responsibility. While family and friends offer support and assistance, the pregnant teen may not have the same interest in taking care of herself and the baby.

Aside from unwillingness, another problem concerning teen pregnancy is the alcohol and drug abuse. A lot of cases involve young teenage girls who become pregnant while at the same time consuming a significant amount of alcohol and drugs. The addiction may be attributed to the pressure and depression of getting pregnant. However, there are also instances when the teen mother may have already been using drugs, smoking, or drinking prior to the pregnancy.

The unfortunate thing about teen pregnancy is that most young girls who experience it cannot survive the ordeal, shame, or humiliation of the experience. They usually end up destroying their future because of the mistake they made. But then again, they may not be aware that being in that situation does not mean that it’s the end. The parents on this aspect must play the most important role of supporting and providing care and assistance both for the mother and the baby. No one can expect the teenage father to face his responsibilities since he may just be as confused as the pregnant teen.

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Facebook Depression

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Did you know that using Facebook is now a form of obsession? While most parents think that their children are becoming addicted to it, doctors contend that the likelihood of children and teens being obsessed with it is more alarming. The social media guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics revealed that a new form of social media effects has emerged together with the dramatic increase of the popularity of Facebook. Doctors call it “Facebook depression.”

When teens and even young children become obsessed with this popular social media, they tend to develop a sense of dependency and modeling on it. While adults feast on the convenience it provides especially in communication, young people on the other hand become a lot more depressed by what they might possibly see inside. For instance, kids and teens with low confidence and self-esteem look down on themselves more often as they see other kids being happy, confident, well-established, and smart while viewing different profiles in Facebook. They may even see the most popular kids in school and envy how they live wonderful, rich, and confident lives as shown in their walls or photos.

Since social media is free for all, children and teenagers are also likely to encounter negative stuff like pornographic material, violence, and online bullying. These kinds of stuff may cause them severe depression and as they continue to log in, they also become constant targets of people who aim at exploiting or abusing them.

Finally, Facebook, just like other social networking sites, is more like a popularity contest. Those who grab the attention of others and obtain their jealousy are the ones who win while those that are bullied, poked fun at, and exploited are the losers. Unfortunately for many teens and kids, they are more likely to become the losers of this contest.

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Everyone knows how a negative body image can result to unfavorable health conditions for teenagers. Therefore, parents must embrace the task of promoting a healthier body image for their teens so as to keep them away from a wrongful physical impression on themselves. While most teenagers these days are continuously showered with impressions that their body and figure are unattractive, parents still possess the most powerful tool to combat those impressions and lead their kids to reality.

Media Exposure Should be Limited

It’s almost impossible to control the kind of content your child sees in TV. It means that the best that you can do is control his/her viewing time. Television and other types of media are major sources of negative content like those that show violent and aggressive behavior. If there is excessive exposure to media, chances are your teenager will be pretty much influenced by it.

Interpret and Let Your Child Understand Media in A Positive Way

If you come upon your teen viewing harmful or deceiving messages in the media, you have to be there to construe it for him/her. For instance, magazines that show women with perfect figures and bodies should be understood in the context of reality. Talk to your child about it and emphasize that those models are digitally enhanced just to portray a perfect image for viewers. As long as you are there to tell him/her what to and what not to believe, he/she will be safer.

Be the Role Model

You cannot expect your child to be smart in interpreting media content if you yourself aren’t capable in doing so. Make sure you are able to express contentment towards your own body and figure so that your child will understand that there is no need to follow and be obsessed with the body image stereotyping TV and advertisements show. Demonstrate to him/her how happy and confident you are even though you do not possess a slim figure like that of a model or actress.

Remember that there are lots of ways where you can ensure your child’s confidence towards his/her self image. The most crucial thing for you to do is making sure that you apply those ways before it’s too late.

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Numbers don’t lie. If we talk about negative body image as a trend for teens, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has some facts to validate the existence of this growing concern:

- There are about 10 million women and young girls that suffer from different kinds of eating disorders, which in turn can lead to serious health consequences. The two most common cases are anorexia and bulimia.

- Almost 80% of girls who have not even reached puberty have engaged in diets at least twice in a year.

- Among a group of students who perceived themselves as overweight, 1/3 are actually not.

- More than 50% of American women (including teens) feel discontented with their bodies and how they look.

If we examine the statistics above, there is only one way to explain it – teens nowadays are pressured to look better. Because of this, they become more dissatisfied on how they look and also become very concerned on monitoring their weight and figure. For young girls especially, having to look differently from the models and actresses they see in TV and ads may result to serious anxiety and health disorders. Overall, we refer to this problem as negative self image.

Teens are unfortunate victims of this wrong portrayal. As soon as they begin to get pressured by how they should look physically, they tend to engage in drastic and sometimes unhealthy ways just to get rid of a body that they dislike very much. When girls think they are overweight and do not have the same figure with that of a famous model or actress, they start to blame their eating habits. The result would be serious and even deadly health effects. The media can get most of the blame but parents also take much of the responsibility of ensuring that their children will not be consumed by it.

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The media isn’t really concerned about putting up the right body image for teens. For them, the priority is projecting a standard where society becomes pretty infatuated with being slim and thin. The most obvious representations are magazine models, film stars, and athletes. These people, or at least those that pay them, kind of portray the ideal body and image that make them attractive. But does this portrayal help teens?

This kind of trend does nothing but harm to many teens. Setting up a thin and slim body image can frequently lead to health consequences like eating disorders and anxiety issues. For parents, it is important not to strengthen this type of media influence and instead, promote a rather healthy body image in order to ensure that their kids obtain a balanced and healthier lifestyle.

When your daughter seems to be obsessed with getting thinner to extent of starving herself, you have to find ways in order to stop her wrong perception of body image. In order to do that, you have to understand first what the main sources of body image are. In general, there are actually three – media, parents, and other people.

Again, media may become the most influential factor in shaping your child’s behavior and that corresponds to a negative body image. The internet, television, print ads, and movies encourage being underweight and thin as attractive. Because of this, children and teens that are constantly exposed to them are also bombarded with the influence of needing to be thin.

A parent’s influence towards the child’s body image can offset the negative effect of the media. Parents should be able to tell and teach their kids to accept and be contented with their image. As long as they are healthy, there is really no need to slim down to the point of incurring health consequences. Positive image building must start from them since children look at them as their model for shaping behavior and personality.

The last source of body image is other people. One can never avoid other people from complementing or criticizing how a person looks from the outside. This is reason why some teens become aloof, lacks self-confidence, and tend to be antisocial, since other teens from school or the neighborhood usually pick and make fun of anyone who’s not pretty or fat. The kind of stuff other people say about a teen may in one way or another influence his/her behavior and personality.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics laid out guidelines on the time spent by children watching television. It issued a recommendation stating that kids should watch one or two hours of television only in one day. It also emphasized that the kind of content they get from TV should also be child-friendly, educational, and wholesome. This means that there is no sense if children are given limited hours watching but is not monitored closely by the parents.

Obviously, those guidelines aren’t followed by most American homes. According to the survey conducted by the Annenburg Public Policy Center, the average American kid can spend almost thirty hours per week in front of the TV. If we go by the numbers, it tangibly exceeds the recommendation provided by the AAP. But as parents, you might be wondering why there is a need to limit viewing time over the television.

If you are not aware that TV and other media are the most influential factors in molding a child’s behavior and personality, then you’re probably not from this world! For many years now, there have been numerous studies and research conducted that validated the harmful and negative effect of television to the behavior and health of children. It’s not that TV in general isn’t good for them, but what’s true is that it somehow supplies more bad and unhealthy material than good stuff. It’s perfectly fine if your kid is only watching TV shows and programs that are safe like educational cartoons. But what if they become interested in movies, news, and other programs intended for adults? How can you tell them that they aren’t supposed to watch those kinds of content?

Anyone can attest to the fact that movies, talk shows, series, and news contain some explicit content and profane language, not to mention the demonstration of violence and aggressive behavior. Because of this, the constant and excessive exposure of children can eventually lead to modeled behavior. Kids do not have the ability to tell right from wrong, or at least most of them. Though some children are aware who the good and bad guy is in the movie, you cannot guarantee that they refrain from doing the same things the bad guy did. There is what we call as superficial following of what they often see in TV. Though they seem to be unaware of it, but kids actually begin to behave and be influenced by what they repeatedly see in television.

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All of us should keep in mind that parents and the family should be the most powerful tool in influencing a child’s behavior, and not the media. There are several ways that can be used in order to make sure that your kids aren’t overwhelmed by what they see in TV, print ads, or the internet. But put in mind that this isn’t really an advocacy against media as a whole. Instead, this is a set of tips that can help parents limit the negative influence of too much exposure.

Guidance and Talk Combo – Media access is a necessity for children. This means that you cannot deny them of their right to use the television or the internet. What’s crucial though is your ability to guide, control, and monitor their use. When your child watches television, you should be there to accompany him. By doing this, you’re initiating a two-fold purpose. First is you are ensuring he is not getting any violent or sexual content or material from it. Second, he is flattered by the attention you are giving him. Talking to him and projecting interest in the program both of you is watching is very helpful and effective in making sure he is getting good and positive information and content from the television.

Being Cautious Is Crucial – Being cautious means you are able to warn your child in advance of the potential danger of another media tool called the internet. We all know how harmful the web can be. It houses all sorts of negative material, not to mention, perverted and abusive people like online predators and pedophiles. Taking precautionary measures like installing parental and filtering software, limiting period of computer access, and placing the computer where you can monitor your child’s use are just some of the essential steps you must take without really denying him of  his right to enjoy the advantages of the internet.

Emphasize Limitation – Teach your child the traditional idea that “whatever’s in excess is always bad.” As soon as he learns the essence of too much exposure to media, he will realize later that what you’re telling him is actually true. Eventually, he learns to limit his use of the television and the internet. In the long run, he gets to embrace the habit of spending much of his time in more productive activities rather than stick to stagnant and oftentimes negative effects of media exposure.

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Did you know that teens today are becoming more concerned on how they appear to be seen and viewed by other people around them, and that this perception is making them feel less confident about themselves?

Low self esteem in teens is becoming a serious issue in the United States nowadays. The reason for this is that the media is creating a body and self image that makes most of our teens realize that they aren’t as good, sexy, and beautiful as those seen on television, print ads, movies, and the internet. Being insecure on how they should look and behave is like building an image stereotype that’s separating them from reality.

And what’s very distressing about this trend is that those teens who have lower self-esteem and confidence are also the likely ones who tend to behave in destructive and aggressive behavior. This manifests the fact that they view themselves as inferiors in society and the only way to cover it is to show aggressiveness and assertiveness towards others. For instance, girls and boys with low self-esteem are associated with doing activities such as drinking, smoking, taking drugs, or even harming others in the hope of forgetting their inferiority or perhaps covering the bad perception they have on their selves.

Additionally, having a significantly low self confidence can lead to suicidal tendencies. This includes children and young teens that are bullied at school or online. Because other children poke fun at them, they can’t help themselves but feel bad and unworthy to be in this world. Of course, there’s a very big chance in there for putting an end to one’s life.

While this problem seems to increase by the number each day, it does not mean that it cannot be prevented. Parents must play the biggest role in molding their children into individuals who are confident and assured of themselves. Parents need to emphasize to their kids that the image portrayed and standardized by the media is not necessarily the kind they should envy.

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Common perception tells us that the most troubling consequence of media exposure for kids is the promotion and influence of aggressive behavior. In simple terms, it can transform our children into violent and aggressive individuals. However, there is more to excessive media exposure than just the encouragement of violence and force.

According to the Pediatrics journal, children and even young teens are spending a very significant amount of time in their daily lives facing several types of media. In fact, such time is equal to the amount spent in sleeping and more than the time allotted in school. And because of this, a new study conducted in the University of New Mexico found out that the overexposure has led to serious health effects and deterioration for children.

Additionally, the study led by Dr. Strasburger emphasized the following alarming behavioral and negative health tendencies:

- Kids learn to smoke and consume alcohol because they see it as a normal scenario in television, movies, music videos, and the internet. If they are not guided accordingly in viewing media especially television, they tend to follow the stuff they see in it and that becomes a problem if what they choose to tag along is something that’s bad for their health.

- The presence of deceiving and false advertisements with regards to unhealthy food like junk and preserve foods can result to children being obese or malnourished. These ads are very interesting for them and kids can’t help themselves but consume them.

- The excessive exposure can as well contribute to problems in the senses. Children start to neglect and ignore the importance of other activities like going to school, playing physical games, or doing house chores.

- There is a great possibility of obtaining eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. This is chiefly caused by a self-image of being slim and thin promoted by the media.

We have to understand that the media is supposed to be tool to educate and provide knowledge and information to children. However, the constant and unguided use of TV, internet, movies, mobile phones, and print ads can inflict significant health damage to them instead. So what happens when our children are exposed too much in media? Simple – they become unhealthy.

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Though the media and the environment have a huge influence towards children, there’s no denying that a parent’s guidance is still the most effective way of upholding confidence and self-esteem in them. When television, internet, music, and print ads promote a self-image that put down the self confidence in our kids, we still have enough ways to counteract it. Listed here are helpful methods of making sure our children are not consumed by what they see in the media.

Encouraging Talents and Passions as Well as Commending Your Child’s Accomplishments

The best way to offset the negative effect of media on your child’s confidence is paying attention on what she does best and letting her know how proud you are. Kids have varying talents and abilities. What you need to do as a parent is look out for them and ensure that you are there to give her the support she needs to develop her talents. Being able to acknowledge her provides a big boost for her confidence and self-esteem.

Let Your Child Face Reality

Be certain that you get to talk to your child about facts related to media stereotyping. With an open discussion, she will realize that there is really no need to get thinner, force diet and exercise, and do other things just to attain a good body and figure. Each and every one of us is unique and distinct to each other. Consequently, everyone is imperfect. And as soon as you are able to emphasize this to your daughter, it’s easier for her to acquiesce to the reality.

Put an Emphasis on Healthy Lifestyle

One of the most troubling effects of self image and media stereotyping is incurring an eating disorder. Getting into a diet does not necessarily mean you become healthy. While persons who are overweight obviously need to cut their food intake, young girls and teens who wish to slim down may not need to do the same. Tell your daughter that avoiding food in general can cause serious problems such as anorexia and bulimia. A young person’s body needs proper nutrients to grow. What you need to do is tell her to avoid unhealthy foods like junk and artificial ones.

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How do Britney Spears, Megan Fox, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift affect our lives? Though most of us see them as merely movie and music icons that provide entertainment, they actually have a deeper impact and influence in the lives of children and teens.

We get to see these people from a revolutionary tool called the media. The media in turn is the instrument of pop culture. As young people grow, much of their personality, behavior, and attitude are patterned after what they see in television, movies, print ads, and the internet. The kind of impact those tools have for our children are currently leaning towards the negative side.

Because your daughter idolizes Taylor Swift, she thinks she can as well be like her, particularly on the physical aspect. But I like to emphasize that there’s really nothing wrong in getting inspiration and idolizing a pop icon or a movie actor. It’s just that children and teens don’t really know the limit and boundary of their envies.

A survey conducted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute found out that almost 50% of respondents (girls aged 9-10) have confessed to using different ways to lose weight. This is very alarming because why would a 10 year old girl want to lose weight? There is really no sense in it. Furthermore, we cannot deny the fact that majority of television viewers are children and teens. They often see models, celebrities, and movie stars who are very slim and thin. They love these people and they easily feel the need to be like them. This is the reason why they choose to go on an ill-advised diet or any kind of venture that will enable them to lose weight.

Unfortunately, pushing oneself to lose weight even if it’s not necessary can lead to serious health complications. In the end, more and more young girls suffer from eating disorders coupled with low self esteem and depression. In fact, the Center for Mental Health Services confirmed that ninety percent of Americans who suffer from eating disorders are girls and young women between the ages of 12 and 25.  As a result, serious health conditions such as anorexia and bulemia will eventually consume them and at that point, it’s becomes too hard to accept the fate of being exposed and influenced heavily by the negative image shown by the media.

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Girls are always a lot more conscious when it comes to their appearance and figure, especially young ones such as teenagers and young adults. If compared to boys, they live their lives with the constant objective of having to look good always. Who can blame them? After all, they are the epitome of beauty and attraction.

But how far can they go just to make sure that they look good in the eyes of other people? Here we try to examine the negative effect of media and advertising on the perception of young girls towards themselves.

What’s The Issue?

If you are a normal person who gets to see media like television, internet, and print ads in a daily basis, then you’re familiar with advertising. The products we use and the services we get every day are advertised in order to grab the attention of potential buyers. Advertising companies employ models to promote their products and services.

Most of these models we usually see in television and print ads are young, slim, and very pretty women. They symbolize an image that being beautiful is a manifestation of being famous and known. On the part of the advertiser, portraying this kind of image is a very effective method of luring consumers.

So how does this really work?

Again, if you try to see the advertising trend, most if not all models and actors seen in the media are slim and underweight. Majority of them are women. The problem with this is that the portrayal is somewhat very different and erroneous when compared to the average body and figure girls and women have in reality. For instance, bikini and underwear models are very skinny while those who pose for beauty products have a very outrageous and almost unattainable fair and smooth skin. Obviously, the purpose of it is to give the audience and viewers a kind of inspiration that they too can become like the models if they choose to avail of those products advertised.

Sadly though, instead of providing inspiration, young girls are led to believe that they need to look the same way, whether they like it or not. If they cannot attain the physical look and figure of the models they envy in the media, they become depressed and pressured. Additionally, they become displeased and disappointed on how they look. When this happens to young girls, they will eventually lose self-esteem and confidence and avoid communicating with other people. Furthermore, there have been hundreds of reported cases where teens acquire illnesses and health issues due to eating disorders, which in turn are caused primarily of the objective of not eating just to attain a slimmer and thinner body figure.

In the end, media advertising may be guilty of projecting a kind of image that’s negatively perceived by young girls. However, they are not solely responsible for it since they are simply doing everything to market their products and services. Nonetheless, they still have to come up with a more innovative and wholesome approach that will positively affect a girl’s perception towards herself.

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Without any doubt, we can all agree that media is a very strong driving force in shaping the kind of society we live in. All people, young and old, men and women, and rich or poor, are in one way or another influenced by the kind of image portrayed by the media.

When it comes to upbringing and defining the behavior, thinking, and attitude of a young individual, two factors are involved – heredity and environment. The former includes the genes and traits passed on by the parents of a child that in turn shape his/her physical look and personality. The latter on the other hand are the external forces that may or may not contribute or influence his behavior and perception as an individual. Of those external factors, the media is the most popular.

So as a person grows up, he/she reacts to the world based primarily on what is seen in the media. However, the substantial and crucial role it plays in the defining youth culture is somewhat beginning to concern many. But what’s wrong with it?

The thing is media is like the fuel of the youth. Without it, the term itself would not be known in society in the first place. It is the one that gave us the idea of young people being active, full of promise, and the carriers of hope for the future. However, current trends are deviating from this good image. As of now, the media has been leaning towards portraying a type of image for the youth that is characterized primarily by violence, aggressive behavior, and rebelliousness.

Violence is often seen in movies, music lyrics and videos, songs, and video games. Consequently, it is quite unfortunate to know that companies that produce these entertainment tools are targeting the largest market out there – the youth. It becomes natural for young individuals like children and teens to become a lot more vulnerable of being influenced by them. As a result, the culture of the youth is now overshadowed and consumed by the belief that being aggressive and violent is the kind of image they have to project to the society. Why? - Because that’s what the media is telling them.

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Violence in the media has never been more widespread than it is now. People have shown concern over its portrayal in the media as early as fifty years ago. The sad fact is children and the youth population is the most affected group. And what sort of influence does media violence have in them? Simple, it molds them to become violent individuals as well.

About four or five decades ago, the only major form of media was television. This meant that the degree of negative influence provided by the media to the youth was not that high because not everyone had constant access to television. Furthermore, what’s shown on TV during those times were filtered or scrutinized in order to ensure that information delivered is wholesome for the viewing public. However, the situation this time around is very different.

New types of media are replacing the role TV has played for almost a century. The internet, movies and motion picture, print and advertising, video games, and others are responsible for making youth what and who they are today. This means that among the several factors that can influence an individual as he grows up, media is the most dominant. Children and teens listen and follow what they see in the internet or television more often than their parents’ advice and suggestion.

Wilson (1997) and Roberts (1998) highlighted in their research the dominance of media in American households. Because of this, the access of the youth population in them has increased the likelihood of behaving violently in the real world and this notion is attributed to the growing trend of portraying violence and aggressive behavior in the media.
Though much can be said on the benefits and advantages brought and provided by the internet, television, print ads, and other forms of media, it cannot be denied that they too are greatly accountable for making society accept and acquiesce to violence as a normal aspect of behavior. And the worst of all, it is the younger generation who’s being targeted. Since children, teens, and young adults comprise the majority of the media viewing population, they likewise become the most popular customers of the influence of violence in the media.

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Did you know that the media is largely responsible for influencing teenagers in a rather negative way? For many of us, television, print ads, billboards, radio, and the internet are all but the same – they provide information, communication, and entertainment for the entire society. But same with other facts of life, excess use and exposure to it can lead to unfavorable consequences.

Have you heard of fad diet? For sure, many American teenagers (mostly girls) have encountered it at least once. A fad diet is a marketing scheme and strategy portrayed in the media where a product or procedure promises the viewer and potential customer the chance to lose weight instantly. For many teenagers, it is their best way out of obesity and being out of shape.

But why do young people need to lose weight and stay in shape? Of course, it’s part of being healthy. But in reality, it is actually more than that. The media is trying to build a kind of perfect image for a typical American teen. In order for one to be “in”, he/she has to be perfect in body shape and figure. This perception and trend is validated by the constant parading of very young girls and boys donning sexy bodies and even sexier clothes in advertising channels such as TV commercials, magazine covers, and billboards.

So what’s wrong with it? Because of the persistent showing of the media that teenagers need to be like the models they showcase in advertisements and entertainment, these young individuals feel the pressure and begin to do things that can sometimes be harmful to them, with the hope of losing weight and getting that perfect figure.

One of them is embracing fad diets. This type of diet is very dangerous for teens because it forces them to engage in a daily meal plan without the proper advice of a doctor or medical expert. In the process, they may lack the essential nutrients and fluid they need to function normally. Eventually, it can result to illness, malnutrition, weak immune system, and even death for some.

This entails that when teens become deceived of the marketing campaign of the media, they become vulnerable to a point that they even risk their own health and life just to become someone who has a good figure and body. And that’s very alarming!

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Comments

Deborrah Cooper said,
  Jill Watson, you sound delusional. You also sound very defensive, like a pimp at  
Jeannie said,
  how do I find out if my niece is lieing about being molested by my husband? What  
Bruce Nelson said,
  How about publishing it in epub format - readable on many other ereaders? Why?  

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