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


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ISBN: 0060932244
Release Date: August, 1999
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Description: Saving Childhood offers parents and grandparents practical strategies to cope with a society that seems perversely determined to frighten and corrupt its young. Cultural critic and popular radio host Michael Medved and his wife, psychologist Diane Medved, argue that in a mistaken effort to curb problems plaguing its youth, our culture has changed from protecting childhood as a precious time of growth to hammering even the smallest youngsters with a grim, harsh, and menacing view of the world. The Medveds systematically present unassailable scientific evidence, moving anecdotes, and personal experiences of raising their three young children to explain the attack from four primary directions--media, schools, peers, and even well-intentioned parents themselves.In a unique analysis the Medveds define innocence not as ignorance but as the result of three components--security, a sense of wonder and optimism. They empower parents and all who care about childhood with concrete, easily accomplished means to fend off the assault, as well as advice for handling hurdles such as the Internet, television, peer pressure, and the plague of pessimism. Saving Childhood enables us to restore and maintain for our children imagination, confidence, and hope for the future.
Book Details
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0060932244
ISBN-13: 9780060932244
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Release Date:
Length: 336 Pages
Weight: 0.80 lbs.
Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.2 x 7.9 in.
Language: English
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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsA book every American parent ought to read
Posted by Anonymous on 10/24/2001
What a novel concept! Michael and Diane Medved have decided that parenting is not only important, but actually worth the time and effort required to rear happy, well-mannered progeny. While this book is rife with suggestions about issues such as schooling, vacationing, and the evening meal, perhaps no social convention is confronted so adamantly as the television. Supplying solid statistics and reasonable examples, the authors make a convincing argument in the idea of eliminating one's TV altogether.

But this book is not an attack on America's social system. It's a call to regain control of one's family by exercising wisdom, temperance, discipline, common sense, and optimism in an age when examples of such qualities seem to be difficult to find.

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsPromoting security and a sense of wonder!
Posted by Rebecca Johnson on 9/28/2000
Controversy is deliciously entertaining, violence is shocking and sensual content is titillating.....for most adults. But what is this doing to our children? The Media has so permeated our lives that it seems there is no way to protect "childhood innocence."

"Saving Childhood" offers parents hope and practical tips on how to encourage security, a sense of wonder and optimism in the life of a child. This book will empower parents and give them hope for the future.

The first part of the book has been written to make parents aware of the realities of the situation and explains the "Assault" on innocence. The second part is the "Defense." Michael and Diane explain that the Assault is coming from Media, Schools, Peers and Parents. They show how statistics have proved that the problems in our society are getting worse at a rapid pace and back this up with scientific evidence. They also explain many points with examples from the raising of their own three children.

The Medveds explain how we live in a land where sex education has failed to reduce teenage pregnancy, children feel guilty for existing, parents push their children to grow up too fast, children have a lack of moral values, and parents have taken a passive role.

So who is educating our children? It seems an inadequate school system and the TV!

Television is well known for programs which contain high levels of violence. I have long been a believer that TV violence causes aggression. Michael and Diane prove this point and I found it interesting to read about how the crime rates increased soon after the introduction of TV into various towns.

I grew up in South Africa for most of my childhood and remember very few people having TV's in the early years. TV was apparently banned until 1975. In fact, my father never purchased a TV and so I grew up basically TV-free! Perhaps that is why I can still enjoy a movie like "Runaway Bride." Most of my friends are so jaded, they can't appreciate movies which I find to be very enjoyable. In fact, most movies are new to me.

The Medveds also show how TV promotes impatience, self-pity, superficiality and gives us all a harsh view of the world. With all this negativity, how are we balancing our lives and promoting a positive view of the world?

There are now three books I consider "essential reading" for every American: "America's Real War," "The American Paradox," and "Saving Childhood." These three books are brilliantly conceived works which explain America's present predicament and give excellent solutions. After reading all three books, I am now convinced of our nations need for:

1. Responsibility to a Higher Power. (90 percent of Americans believe in God) 2. Renewed respect for life and authority. 3. The teaching of personal responsibility, patriotism and honesty. 4. Parents that stay together and live what they teach. 5. The teaching of moral values. 6. The reading of inspiring books instead of a diet of negative TV reinforcement. 7. A revamp of our Education System. 8. Holding our Media responsible for programming. 9. Teaching a sense of gratitude for life. 10. An all-out effort to protect the remaining innocence of our children.

In order to promote the efforts of parents, Michael and Diane devote chapter seven, eight and nine to explain how parents can promote "security," "a sense of wonder," and "optimism" in the lives of their children.

"Childhood is perhaps the only phase of life when innocence can flourish. But to allow this, parents and others responsible for children's minds need to construct a protective shelter against the painful and frightening facets of life. They need to stand guard at its door, to let the harsher truths of reality gradually unfold for the child, in a way and at a pace that allows the child to maintain a positive outlook. Honoring innocence is incompatible with assuming that the earlier children grasp all the worst aspects of the world, the better prepared they'll be to handle them." -- "Saving Childhood" page 195

To this I add one of my favorite poems for children:

May tree and plant and shrub be soundless through the night and stars and moon be dimmed to shut out all the light. So when you sleep in peace, no bird will move in flight, and angles guard your sleep. Goodnight, my love goodnight. ~James Neill Northe

~The Rebecca Review
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsEvery parent who thinks you're helping your child by introducing them to "reality" at 3 yoa NEEDS to read this
Posted by RJ on 11/8/2006
It's refreshing to hear someone finally espouse an idea that's been clear to me for a long time and that seems to have been completely lost in today's society:

Children need to be introduced APPROPRIATELY to "reality".

Does it make for easier parenting? Not by any stretch. It takes diligence and effort to make intelligent decisions about what to expose your child to.

The idiotic idea that it's somehow better for a 5 year old to "see how things really are" is borne of lazy parents, both intellectually and physically.

If you want easy, don't have kids.

Thank you to the Medveds for writing this book- I hope some of the people I see writing reviews here have the sense, for their children's sake, to heed some of the advice.
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsEssential reading for parents!!
Posted by Anonymous on 6/27/1999
Written with the meticulous research and keen insight for which Michael and Diane Medved are rightfully noted, this is an excellent book. Citing the many negative influences of our modern culture, the Medveds stress the importance of saving childhood innocence, something which we of the older generation possessed, but sadly, children of the present generation often do not. Loving and caring parents themselves, Michael and Diane give parents hope and practical information to enable the rearing of happy, independent, and emotionally healthy children.
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsSAVING CHILDHOOD is a must read!
Posted by k1818@bright.net on 2/16/1999
For all parents and those concerned about the effects of popular culture on the minds and hearts of their children, this is an essential book. The Medveds point out the perils of the "preparation" paradigm currently in vogue. According to this way of thinking, children must be prepared for the worst, in order to protect them. In realilty by telling children that the world is an evil place full of danger the "preparation" advocates are frightening them needlessly, destroying their innocence, and making them prematurely cynical. Sex education in kindergarten, distribution of condoms in junior high, debunking of religion in public schools, bad examples set by politicians including the president, are just a few of the topics which are explored in this timely and important book. SAVING CHILDHOOD succintly demonstrates that children's happiness depends upon optimism, innocence, and a sense of wonder The Medveds give practical tips and pointers on how to provide these three qualities for your children. I highly recommend this book..