Raising children in a day of billboards & commercials

Pastor Jimmy Bartz reflects on raising children with good values in a society where they are inundated with negative and inappropriate images
Parenting Advice | Raising children in an age of inappropriate images and influences
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Raising children in a day of billboards & commercials

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Sometimes people ask me how do you raise a spiritual child? Is it possible to raise a spiritual child in a climate of images that are provocative or destructive or dark or confusing or inappropriate for your child's developmental stage? And what I would say if I see parents making mistakes around that, it's parents trying to shield their child from what they're brushed with every day in the media, whether it's billboards or television commercials or television shows that they're watching. Dr. Brene Brown said that asking your child to not have some sense of what's going on in the world is like trying to teach your child to hold their breath in order to avoid air pollution. So the thing that I would really encourage parents to do, and that I encourage in my own life is just transparency. Living with transparency at a developmentally appropriate age level. So answering direct questions with honest, direct answers. Not trying to hide or be elusive around images. Oh, you've seen a provocative image. What does that look like? Well what does it look like to you? Oh, yeah. Well, that's interesting. I don't know if women's bodies really do look like that. Or I don't know if men really do engage in activities like that. I mean, you don't see dad do that, or you don't see mom do that. So if I'm really looking at raising a spiritual child within a climate of over exposure of images that might be confusing or challenging to that child, my primary work as a parent is honesty and transparency at a developmentally appropriate age level.

Pastor Jimmy Bartz reflects on raising children with good values in a society where they are inundated with negative and inappropriate images

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Jimmy Bartz

Priest

Jimmy serves as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Prior to coming to Jackson, he was the founder and priest at Thad’s, an emergent Episcopal Church in the Santa Monica, California, in the Diocese of Los Angeles. He has also served as the Campus Missioner at the University of Texas in Austin, at All Saints’ in Austin, Texas, and All Saints’ Parish in Beverly Hills, California. He is a graduate the University of Texas at Austin and Virginia Theological Seminary. Presently, he serves as the Chair of the Board of the Episcopal Evangelism Society, and in years past has worked with Red Bull High Performance teaching athletes spiritual disciplines, with Naval Special Warfare working to create systems for character development within special operations teams, and was a speaker at TEDx, Venice Beach.
Married to Cindy and dad to Jas and Jade, the Bartz family loves to spend time outside mountaineering, skiing, fly-fishing, hunting and surfing.  Jimmy is currently writing a book on the spirituality of risk.

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