Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

When Sports Become God   Leave a comment

Posted September 15, 2011 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Marketing to Kids Gets More Sophisticated   Leave a comment


Isabella Sweet, 9, with her Webkinz stuffed animals on the floor in her Davis, Calif., home.

By Martin E. Klimek, for USA TODAY

Isabella Sweet, 9, with her Webkinz stuffed animals on the floor in her Davis, Calif., home.

Perhaps it’s because she’s a techie.

The fourth-grader from Davis, Calif., spends almost an hour a day on the Webkinz website. The site charms kids by linking Webkinz plush animals — of which she owns 18 — with online games that encourage kids to earn and spend virtual money so they can create elaborate rooms for virtual versions of their Webkinz pets.

The site does one more thing: It posts ads that reward kids with virtual currency when they click. Every time a kid clicks on an ad, there’s a virtual ka-ching at the other end for Ganz, which owns Webkinz.

At issue: With the use of new, kid-enchanting technologies, are savvy marketers gaining the upper hand on parents? Are toy marketers such as Ganz, food marketers such as McDonald’s and kid-coddling apparel retailers such as 77kids by American Eagle too eager to target kids?

At stake: $1.12 trillion. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted August 18, 2011 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Talking to Teens May Help Them Cut Back on Pot Smoking   Leave a comment

WEDNESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) — Brief, voluntary and non-judgmental conversations with teens about marijuana use may significantly reduce their use of the drug, according to a new study.

Researchers also found that a motivational approach to these discussions about marijuana was more effective than merely educating high school students on the health effects of the drug.

Marijuana is a common drug choice for teens around the world. In the United States alone, nearly one-third of high school students report smoking pot. Many of them do so because they don’t realize the health consequences of using the drug, according to researchers at the University of Washington.

“It’s not a risk-free drug,” Denise Walker, co-director of the University of Washington’s Innovative Programs Research Group, said in a university news release. “Lots of people who use it do so without problems. But there are others who use it regularly — almost daily — and want to stop but aren’t sure how.”

Complicating matters, the risks associated with marijuana use are greater for teenagers than adults, noted Walker. “Adolescence is a big developmental period for learning adult roles. Smoking marijuana regularly can impede development and school performance, and it sets kids up for other risky behaviors,” she added.

The researchers found, however, that marijuana use among teens could be reduced significantly through Read the rest of this entry »

Posted July 22, 2011 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Don't Try This At home   Leave a comment

We have a warning for parents. There’s now a risky new trend caught on camera: amateur stunt videos. Teens are risking their lives and posting it online…to get paid.


File it under: “don’t try this at home”…tackling a treadmill with a pogo stick…attempting to jump over a car…running into fire teens across the county trying to top each other with the ultimate daredevil dares…and there’s a name for this type of stupidity.

Andrea Canning, reporting: “What is a homegrown viral video stuntman?”

Seth Leach, makes stunt videos: “Get your mom’s video camera, dig it out from the closet, and just do a stunt in your back yard…get your friend filming it. I jumped off a tree onto a table, about 20 feet high, onto a bunch of mouse traps.”

If you’d rather watch than read:

What’s the incentive beyond getting a few laughs? Teens like Seth leach are actually cashing in…making up to $600 per video. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted July 19, 2011 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Too Sexy Too Soon   Leave a comment

They call it “Corporate Pedophilia.”

It’s when corporate America sells out by pimping material to our kids that they know is slowly destroying them.

This 8-minute ABC video is a must see. The video not only reminds us of the American Psychological Association’s research about the harmful effects of the sexualization of young girls, but it also shows you some great examples of this in the media today in tween role models like Miley, Katy, Ashley Tisdale, Amanda Bynes, etc.

Jaws dropped when she emerged from the dressing
room wearing a sheer black sheath with a single

“You look absolutely fabulous,” her mother said, then
gasped, after eyeing the stunning head-turner.

“She did look good in it … but it wasn’t age
appropriate,” recalled Diane Goldie, who nixed the
purchase for her 12-year-old daughter, Grace.

Billions of dollars are on the line in the fashion
industry which targets the 8-to-12 set known as
tweens. But it’s a line increasingly blurred between
cute and hot, adorable and sexual.

In addition to spending $30 billion of their own
money, American tweens hold sway over another
$150 billion spent by their parents each year. It was
just about a decade ago that the marketing and
advertising industries popularized the phrase “tween”
to sell 8- to 12-year-olds everything from
entertainment to clothing.

“You go into a juniors department, you have a rack of
clothing that is appropriate for an 11-year-old next
to a rack of clothing that isn’t,” said Alex Morris, who
recently reported on tweens and fashion for New York
magazine. “It’s certainly blurring the lines. … It’s
making it harder for parents to set boundaries.”

New research released by The American Psychological
Association earlier this year found that sexual
imagery aimed at younger girls is harmful to them
and increases the likelihood they will “experience
body dissatisfaction, depression and lower self-

The entertainment industry isn’t making it any easier.
A few years ago, Miley Cyrus played the sweet Hannah
Montana on the Disney Channel. Now she’s in black
leather hot pants. She’s 17. Other teen stars have
done similar things. Britney Spears’ bubblegum pop
image morphed into provocateur. Ashley Tisdale went
from “High School Musical” to “Cranking It Up.” And
Nickelodeon’s Amanda Bynes is now on the cover of

“The easiest way for a celebrity to transition from
being a child star to an adult star is the pathway
through their sexuality,” said Morris. “Children are
attracted to this kind of look, it’s what they see Mylie
Cyrus wearing, Demi Lovato wearing, Lindsay Lohan

It’s also what Gossip Girl’s Taylor Momsen is wearing
on the pink carpet as the face of Material Girl, the
newly unveiled clothing line created by Madonna and
her 14-year-old daughter Lourdes. Critics say the
line is perfect for a woman in her 20s but far too racy
for girls in elementary or middle school.

Says Momsen, “It’s very much about putting your own
look together to be yourself.”

While searching for their own look, tweens are
strongly influenced by the celebrities they idolize.
Grace, whose image is “something edgy, but also
looks high fashion, like urban chic,” was on a
shopping spree when she grabbed a chunky sweater
that exuded that aura. “It’s the one on the Glamour
cover! Like what Taylor Swift was wearing!” she

Fashion’s Sexualization of Tweens

Some fashion watchers say the pendulum is swinging
back, away from trashy 12 and closer to sweet 16.

“I think we are having a return to modesty,” said Ann
Shoket, editor of Seventeen magazine, the oracle of
fashion for teens and the tweens who follow them in
lock step.

“The girls that (teens and tweens) are looking up to,
Miranda Cosgrove (“iCarly”), Victoria Justice
(“Victorious”), Selena Gomez (“Wizards of Waverly
Place”), these are teen stars that are good girls. You
would never see them behaving badly or rolling out
of a club,” said Shoket.

Madonna and Diane Goldie agree it’s a mother’s
responsibility to guide a young daughter to make the
right choices.

“I don’t have to be her friend. I’m her parent,” said
Goldie. “We can be friends when (she is) 30, but for
now we do have the back and forth.”

Madonna told ABC News that a mother’s job is to “say
‘no!'” She added, “I’m very strict about the way my
daughter dresses. We have arguments about how
short the skirt is … is there cleavage?”

Lourdes said she pushes the envelope, knowing her
mother won’t hesitate to push back. “I mean obviously
I don’t agree with all of her decisions. I know it’s
coming. But I might as well try and see what

Seventeen’s Shoket says that attitude is only natural
for girls in a crucial stage of development. Said
Shoket, “They are starting to develop their own sense
of personality, and what feels right and it’s about
pushing boundaries.”

Posted July 8, 2011 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Parents, are you ready for FaceBook Video Chat?   Leave a comment

I’m not saying that the new FB video chat function is bad, good, or otherwise, but if our children are going to be using it, we as parents need to be aware of the upsides and downsides…

Let the Facebook video chat fear mongering begin!

By Helen A.S. Popkin

Less than 24 hours after Mark Zuckerberg’s “Awesome!” announcement — getting Skype all up in your Facebook — and we already know the many ways it may destroy your life, or worse, the life of your children! Won’t somebody please think of the children?!

From Facebook scams evolving into the video ripoff realm and humiliating new ways to get yourself Facebook fired, to the possibility of preteens video sexting, there’s plenty of speculation on how video calling right from your Facebook account could be bad bad bad!

Same old Facebook scams, new venue!
Agreed, nobody should have to tell you not to wire $1,000 to “friends” who contact you over the Internet, claiming to be trapped in a foreign country with no money or passport. Then again, nobody should have to tell you not to click on that Facebook link to a video that allegedly shows Justin Bieber punching a girl in the face. But if you’ve ever had your Facebook wall junked up with such spam scams, you know plenty of people do.

“Don’t let your guard down just because you’re video calling directly from Facebook, where you’re used to having fun,” writes Paul Ducklin on the Sophos blog Naked Security. “In particular, review who your friends are. And watch out for calls from hijacked accounts, or from borderline ‘friends,’ just as you ought to do via any other messaging service, including email.”

Ducklin predicts Stranded in [Foreign Location] and Fake Support Call scams will transfer nicely to this new Facebook service. Fuzzy videos with poor sound quality fit the drama of an unlucky friend or relative trapped overseas. And anyone who has trouble connecting with Facebook and Skype might not be surprised to receive a call from a Facebook or Skype “representative” calling from “the hacked account of a friend — unusual, of course, but this is an emergency! — to advise all the friends of that friend that they, too, may be compromised.” For $300, the rep will quickly make your problems go away!

What about the children?!
“In a time when sexting has become almost a prerequisite in teen dating, this easily available video integration is only going to cause more problems,” writes Danielle Sullivan on the Babble blog Strollerderby. True, video chat has long been available outside of Facebook, but it’s the new proximity Sullivan finds problematic. “Preteens and teens go on Facebook everyday and chat through text now daily, recapping their day, making plans, or just killing time. The video chats will no doubt be widely popular among teens, which means all these kids on video chat in their rooms, often late at night. It’s a recipe for disaster.”

While it’s arguable just how detrimental sexting is to curious teenagers, Sullivan does have a point. Kids do lie about their age when registering on Facebook to get past the 13-year-old minimum age requirement, and plenty of parents are cool with that. And Chatroulette isn’t the only place kids have been flashed by exhibitionist adults. SafetyWeb weaves a tale of Skype terror that occurred just last year:

September 1st marked the first day of school for a 10-year-old girl in Lake Forest, Illinois. That evening, she used Skype, a free video chat and instant messaging service, to talk to her friends about their first day and discuss homework assignments. Everything was going great until an unfamiliar screen name popped up and requested to chat with the girl. Thinking it was a neighborhood friend, she accepted the request, and what she saw next was extremely shocking.

The video revealed a naked, middle-aged man inappropriately touching himself and sending tasteless messages. The girl screamed for her mother who quickly notified the police. The incident is currently under investigation, and highlights how truly dangerous the Internet can be. As parents, we must continue to make online safety a priority, and do our best to keep our children out of harm’s way.

SafetyWeb’s tips for Skype safety transfer easily to any aspect of the Web, so check ’em out.

A new way to get yourself Facebook fired!
You have an imagination. Think about it. “The way I see it there are two audiences for video chat,” writes PC Magazine’s Dan Costa. “One is family members that want to see their kids.”

Now here’s the sticky part.

“The other audience is the Chatroulette crowd,” Costa writes. “I apologize if this shocks you, gentle reader, but people have been sharing naked pictures long before Congressman Anthony Weiner bought his first BlackBerry Curve. (Or was that a Bold?) Indeed compared to the sewer streams of pornography that flood out onto the Net each day, a one-on-one video chat between two consenting adults seems positively quaint. Although even here, I think the appeal is limited. Who wants to exchange sexy videos when your mom’s thumbnail is in the same Window. Not me.”

Me neither. But somebody does. And if that somebody is you, just don’t do it at work.

Posted July 8, 2011 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night"   Leave a comment

by Jonathan Mckee from the

Katy Perry is at it again, and as always, our kids are paying attention.

Katy’s new video for Last Friday Night is already #1 on iTunes and has millions of views on YouTube. This funny but racy video features plenty of popular cameos, drawing viewers of all ages. Like much of Katy’s work, the song and video are really well done, but they are also chock full of subtle lies that our kids are definitely consuming a gallon at a time.

Sadly, most kids will call this video “clean.” It doesn’t have any sex, nudity or cussing.

Clean… right? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted July 8, 2011 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Mission Trip   Leave a comment

Hi Friends,

There will be no new posts for a week. I will be taking the students in my ministry on a mission trip to Wilmore Kentucky. We will be taking care of God’s creation by helping to clean up trails in the Daniel Boone national forest and managing a recycling program for a three day music festival –

I invite you to follow us and view our pictures at




Posted June 10, 2011 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

3 Buttons Every Parent Should Use   Leave a comment

Parenting Media-saturated Teens and Tweens

by Jonathan McKee

“Don’t give up.”

That was my cry to a group of parents last night at one of my parenting workshops. When parents get a glimpse of the daunting reality of how much time the average 8-18-year-old kid spends each day saturating in entertainment media (7 hours and 38 minutes), they are often overwhelmed with thoughts of, “How can I compete with Eminem and Lady Gaga?” and “What good can my few minutes a day with my kids do?”

You’re not alone.

Today’s parents often wonder if they’re truly making a difference in the lives of their kids, or if they should just throw in the towel. I assure you, don’t give up. Research unanimously reveals that parents who care enough to spend time with their kids and help their kids make good choices are the parents who become the number one influence in their kids’ lives. (I cite numerous examples of this research in my book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent).

Many parents might not be so quick to throw up their hands and quit if they were just given a few tools to help them navigate this intimidating arena of 21st century parenting. In a world of Facebook, iPods and MTV, how can we connect with our media-saturated teens and tweens?

I’ve found it extremely helpful to use three buttons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 9, 2011 by sotpyouth in Family, Media, Music, Uncategorized

Letting teen drink under parent's watch backfires   Leave a comment


As prom night approaches and parents begin to worry about what might happen during after hour parties, some might be tempted to try to teach their high schoolers to drink responsibly – by allowing them to consume alcohol under supervision.

That approach, scientists now say, is dead wrong.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 4, 2011 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Facts & Dreams

"Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet." -Victor Hugo