Academic journal article TCA Journal

Saving Childhood: Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence

Academic journal article TCA Journal

Saving Childhood: Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence

Article excerpt

Medved, M. and Medved, D. (1998)

Saving Childhood: Protecting our Children from the National

Assault on Innocence

New York: Harper Collins, 324 pages.

In Saving Childhood: Protecting our Children from the National Assault on Innocence, authors Michael Medved and Diane Medved address issues relating to modern day child growth and development. The book is divided into two major sections-"The Assault" and "The Defense."

The Assault addresses the proposed demise of childhood innocence, which is caused by the media, school, peers and parents. The thrust of this first section attempts to show that the societal focus concerning childhood has changed from one of protection to one of preparation. The authors suggest that instead of instilling a belief that the world is worthwhile and full of wonder, today's society exposes children to stark reality and disturbing knowledge that children may not be ready to assimilate.

The authors cite television, movies, radio, magazines, the Internet, books by R. L. Stine and Judy Blume, and even The Junior Girl Scout Handbook, as purveyors of information that should be discussed between parents and children before the children are confronted with it in other situations. It is suggested that in addition to subjecting children to disturbing events, the media often portrays the family in turmoil and leads children to self-pity, impatience and superficiality. Other factors proposed to be causes of the loss of childhood innocence include: (a) schools which have incorporated self-esteem enhancement to the degree that nothing is wrong and almost anything goes; (b) abuse prevention programs along with sex and drug education, which have resulted in distrust by children of adults in general, and which may actually increase teen sex and drug experimentation; and (c) the increase in the importance of peer group pressure rather than a need for parental approval which occurs when parents do not take the time necessary to model acceptable morals, values and manners. …

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