Worth Your Time 12/6/15

Each Friday I try to provide a few articles that are worth the time of parents and youth workers. These articles span a number of issues, and not all are written by Christians, but they are all “worth your time.” Here’s the latest edition:

The Rules Graham Stanton (Social Media rules, Facebook, Parenting)
“I’ve insisted that she remain friends with us, her parents, but have done so for supervision reasons, not so we can barge in on her social life. Much as I may dream of being ‘the cool dad’ that my teenage children and their friends love to have around, I am self aware enough to realise that this is a fantasy! We know how to be around as supervisors without intruding when our children have friends over to play – the Facebook equivalent is being friends but never posting on her wall, not tagging her in photos and not having our posts show up in her feed (if she doesn’t want them to). This is our rule for now.”

Hit Me Now… Hurt Me Later… What We’re Learning About Kids and Blows to the Head Walt Mueller (Concussions, Sports)
“As a Christian, there’s quite a bit that should drive our concerns here. I believe it’s time for us rethink how we parent, how we play, and how we spectate as this body of knowledge grows. Our rapidly growing understanding of the brain and how it develops should feed our concern and care. We are stewards of our God-given bodies. And, as parents, we are stewards of the bodies of our children. We need to protect them from harm, from poor decisions, and even from themselves and their misguided desires (‘I’m ok. Let me go back in the game.’). I’m going to be processing this more in coming days.”

Adolescent Research: Sleep is Key for Surviving Adolescence Jim Liebelt (Parenting, Adolescence, Sleep)
“A review of recent research involving teens and the sleep they get (or don’t get!) shows a fascinating connection between inadequate sleep and a broad range of issues many adolescents struggle with.”

Tablets and Smartphones May Affect Social and Emotional Development, Scientists Speculate Joanna Walters (Parenting, Technology, Child Development)
“Use of interactive screen time below three years of age could also impair a child’s development of the skills needed for maths and science, they found, although they also said some studies suggested benefits to toddlers’ use of mobile devices including in early literacy skills, or better academic engagement in students with autism.”

How I Almost Lost the Bible Gregory Alan Thornbury (Faith, Christian Colleges, Liberalism
“After high school, I attended a Christian liberal arts college. In the first semester of my freshman year, I signed up for a course with a brilliant, articulate, recently minted DPhil graduate of Oxford University. The textbook for our introduction to the Bible course was Jesus: A New Vision, by Marcus J. Borg, a prominent fellow of the Jesus Seminar. The scholarly project intended to discover “the historical Jesus” apart from creedal commitments or church teaching.

“In that volume, Borg coolly explained that Jesus had never claimed to be the Son of God and had never thought of himself as Savior. We learned that the Bible was a pastiche of traditions and sources, cobbled together mainly in the second century. Our task as biblical interpreters was to unravel what was “authentically Jesus” from mythology and church tradition.”

The Girl in the Tuxedo Jean Lloyd (Homosexuality, LGBTQ)
“I was that fifteen-year-old girl in the tuxedo, but my experience was very different from the one promoted by the social values of 2015. What ensued thereafter was a long and sometimes arduous and painful journey of becoming, working out my sexual identity from the cauldron of confusion that surrounded my development.”

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