Tips to Help You Avoid Age-Inappropriate Ads on Game Day

From CommonSenseMedia.org

With certain advertisers already promising more-risqué commercials this year, it’s important to understand what you can do to help filter the messages your kids might be hearing during the “Big Game” this Sunday:

  • Kids under 7 may not understand that an ad’s purpose is to sell them a product rather than entertain them. You can point out that the ads they see during the Big Game are really meant for grown-ups. Ask them what they think the ads are selling. Sometimes, they won’t even know. And hit the mute button for alcohol ads or spots with violent content. Neither is age appropriate.
  • Share some facts. The food and beverage industry spends more than $10 billion targeting children and youths through TV ads, coupons, contests, public relations promotions, and packaging. And 80 percent of the TV commercials are for fast food, candy, cereal and toys.
  • Give your kids some ad-proofing decoder tips: Ask them who they think created the ad and why they’re sending the messages they are. Who makes money from the ads? What tricks do your kids think the advertisers used to make them want to buy the products being promoted? Does an ad use a favorite celebrity? Does it have some feelings associated with the product—like happiness? What isn’t the ad telling them?
  • Distinguish fantasy from reality. How many calories are in that jumbo burger and soda and those extra-large fries?
  • If your kids are too young to understand the ad, hit the mute button. As a parent, you know best, so anything that feels uncomfortable, you may have to have a conversation you weren’t expecting. If your kids are old enough to talk about the issues, make sure that they’re learning about your perspective and values from you, not getting secondhand opinions from the media or kids on the playground.

We Fall Down…

Remember who catches us when we fall!
~ Garrett

Duct Tape–Not Just For “Duct-Work” Anymore!

Hey it’s Garrett from Shine Afternoons on the New Shine.FM.  If you usually have a supply of every mom and dad’s friend that has been disappearing quickly (that’s duct tape by the way), it might be your children who are using it. Duct tape creations are all the rage right now. In the last couple of week’s my 14-year old son, Jonah, has made a wallet and some fancy shoes to “slide” up and down the driveway (with my favorite roll of BLUE duct tape). What kind of duct tape creations have your kiddos made? Feel free to post a picture and show me! Oh…and YES…these are the shoes he made!!!

Four (Natural) Ways to Relieve Congestion

A stuffy nose is one of the most annoying side-effects of catching a cold. It can feel like it lasts for days, and let’s be honest, who has time for meds that cause drowsiness? If you’re stuck with a raw nose, here are four natural ways to help relieve congestion.

Good News: Special Pizza Delivery

Army National Guard Maj. Shawn Fulker is miles away serving in Afghanistan.  His wife’s birthday was approaching, and he wanted to do something super special.  His wife, Josephine, loves Mellow Mushroom pizza, so Shawn emailed their corporate website to see if they could deliver a pizza and a $50 gift card to her on her birthday.  Mellow Mushroom not only delivered the pizza (which they made heart-shaped), they stopped by to get flowers and balloons on the way and totally surprised Josephine (and her husband).  Read this inspirational story here!

Eat Your Vitamins

Multi-vitamin supplements are well and good, but eating your vitamins is a healthier way to get the stuff your body needs – especially in the winter!  From Vitamin D to B6, Lisa’s Home School lesson is packed with healthy thoughts!

Mini-Resolution No 31: Share Your Stories

Today is the last day of our mini-resolutions! For the past 30 days, we gave mini-resolutions to help you and your family start 2013 by making small differences in the lives of others.  Now, we want to hear your resolution stories.  Call us at 855-987-4463 or comment on our Facebook page.

Dealing With An Unplanned Pregnancy

Dear Dr. Bill,

I know a young, unmarried couple in their early 20s who have become pregnant.  They want to keep the baby, but they’re asking my advice about what they should do now.  I’ve encouraged them not to rush into marriage and not to live together.  There is good support from the young man’s family, but not from the young woman’s family.  What do you suggest they do?

–Christy

Dear Christy,

What a blessing it is to learn that this couple has decided to choose life and bring this precious little baby to term.  You’ve given them very wise counsel—they certainly shouldn’t rush into marriage, and living together will only complicate their situation.

During the coming months they will need to make some difficult decisions—first about their relationship and secondly whether to consider the very loving option of adoption.

I’d suggest they make an appointment with a counselor at a local pregnancy resource center in their area.  The counselor can help them explore their choices and provide them with resources and emotional support during the pregnancy.

It’s also important that the see a couples’ therapist in order to pursue premarital counseling.  They need to find out if they are well-suited for marriage, and if they will be able to provide their baby with a stable, two-parent home for his or her lifetime.

If they feel that God is leading them to place the baby for adoption, I’d recommend they contact Bethany Christian Services, a wonderful organization that will match them with caring, committed adoptive parents.  Their website is

Thanks for writing, Christy.  If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Click here for the audio version of this article.

Keeping It Simple

Sometimes you just have to keep it simple!

~ Garrett

How Are You Walking-It-Out so far in 2013?

It’s Garrett from Shine Afternoons and today is another “Walk-It-Out-Wednesday!”  So how have you been “walking-out” 2013?