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Published:February 19th, 2008 05:02 EST
Teens Need Positive Role Models

Teens Need Positive Role Models

By Tina Marie Holewinski (Mentor/Columnist)

There`s a whole rash of problems in the youth culture today.  Teen sex, porn, violent video games, and what can only be described as an epidemic of cutting " among our youth. 

These are all symptoms of the HORRIBLE affect our so-called harmless entertainment industry " has had on youth AROUND THE WORLD!  I have spoken in Africa, South America and other continents, and everywhere I go, I find the same situation.  People are hurting, people are confused and people - especially young adults - believe that the way to live life is by emulating and living out what they see on a daily basis in music videos, TV shows, magazine ads, the internet, you name it.  AND THIS SCARES ME!  It should scare you too, because we can see the devastating affects of this major issue of media influence.  It needs to be addressed.    

The PROBLEM is that our youth do NOT have stable, responsible role models in their homes, so they turn to other sources to provide the leadership they are so desperately craving.  Many teens tell me when I travel the world speaking that they would rather have parents that care and are aware and DO set standards for how they should live their lives (even if they don`t like all of what the parents would tell them to do) than parents who would let them run wild.  Many parents today want to be best friends " with their teens.  Or not be bothered by the challenges of parents those teens.  But then, 10 years later, those same parents end up on TV wondering what happened? " as their 25 year old son is sentenced to life in prison with no parole for killing two classmates.   

The SOLUTION:   Fundamentally, it`s the parent`s responsibility to raise children in a safe home and set standards and not just shelter their child from harmful content, but explain to them why they need to steer clear of the dangers that are out there.  They need to explain what the consequences could be if kids don`t follow a high standard for living their lives.  That way, when the child leaves the house, he or she will have a foundation for making wise decisions in life.  When I was in my teens, I often saw my friends suffering, having babies at 15.  Their lives were changed forever!  In other cases, boyfriends ended up in prison, or there were different dads for different children.  I knew that wasn`t what I wanted out of life.  Now there are many parents who DO CARE and DO THEIR BEST at raising their children and I commend you!  Teens also need to make wise choices in what they choose for entertainment, and this is why I do what I do.  I speak to teens around the country and around the world, and give them tools to challenge them to only engage in positive entertainment.  That what you put in your mind becomes who you are.  So we all need to carefully choose each and every day, in terms of what we expose our hearts and minds to so that we do not create a false perception of truth.   

Until next time, check out  And go out there and make a difference.