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Saving Childhood: Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence
Release Date: August, 1999
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
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.
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A 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.
Promoting 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
SAVING CHILDHOOD is a must read!
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org 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..