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Education Reporter

Book of the Month
The Media-Wise Family 
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The Media-Wise Family, Ted Baehr, Chariot Victor Publishing, 1998, 410 pps., $12.00

"What are your kids watching?" "Do you know the impact of their entertainment choices?" Author Ted Baehr poses these questions in The Media-Wise Family, and his helpful guide shows both parents and children how to make choices that are morally sound.

Media-Wise reflects Dr. Baehr's 20 years' experience as an award-winning producer, writer, director, radio personality, and scholar. He is currently chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission, a non-profit group dedicated to educating the general public and the entertainment industry about the impact the media has on audiences. He also publishes Movie Guide, a weekly entertainment guide based on biblical values.

Dr. Baehr notes that four of every five parents believe that popular culture such as music, television, and movies negatively affects their children. He writes that most parents are concerned about the entertainment industry's emphasis on sex, violence and obscenity, and worry that their children are conforming "in dress, actions and ideas to the images of Hollywood idols" rather than to "positive, moral images of virtuous men and women."

Although written from a Christian perspective, The Media-Wise Family doesn't simply tell readers to turn off their TV sets and pretend Hollywood doesn't exist. Rather, it offers common-sense advice on how to "use and enjoy the mass media" without allowing it to negatively influence the family.

The book offers practical tools parents can use to teach their children "discernment," which is the ability "to use the media for entertainment, information and even education without being conformed and addicted to it." Exercises are included at the end of the book for children of various ages to help them sharpen their "media-wise discernment" skills.

In The Media-Wise Family, Dr. Baehr examines the media's biases and uncovers a well-orchestrated plan to corrupt the moral and spiritual standards of Americans. His crisp, factual style helps parents understand the harm that the media can do to children at different stages of cognitive development.

Filled with facts and solid research, this book makes an excellent resource for every family library. Call 1/800-899-6684 or visit your local bookstore or Amazon.com.

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