Only On Six: The Age of Innocence - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Only On Six: The Age of Innocence

Today's generation is so consumed with the entertainment industry, that some children are influenced by some of the things they see on television.

Newschannel 6 reached out to two families to get their perspective on the industry, and to find out what changes they would like to see. 

"They talk about sex and that's not just in the high school level," said Dianna Taylor, a stay at home mom who spends a lot of time in Texoma schools.  

She said some of the conversations she hears, among children her son's age, are quite disturbing.

Her son Dalton, 10, is in the fifth grade.  He along with children, like 10-year-old, Abigail Terry look up to pop stars like Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber.

Abigail said she became a "Belieber," after her cousin introduced her to Justin Bieber's music.

"She told me all about him, and she showed me all his music," said Terry. "That's what got me to start liking him and we would dance to all of his music."

Dalton said he grew up watching the Disney Channel, where he discovered Miley Cyrus.  The pop singer was once the star actress in the Disney hit-show, "Hannah Montana." 

"I use to watch that show every Saturday morning," said Dalton. 

Both artists started out innocent, but their 'child star' images quickly faded.  Cyrus and Bieber are now considered a bad influence by parents of kids who grew up as fans. 

"The first downfall that's happening with the youth in the entertainment industry is a pure lack of respect," said Dianna.

She thinks the entertainment industry is one of the biggest influences on today's youth.

"The youth see what artists are doing, and from that point on they're like, 'if this person did that then I can get away with it too,'" said Dianna.

One example, elementary school girls are "twerking" at school.

"Twerking it's just a horrible thing," said Dianna. "They'll get out there and they'll talk about twerking."

It's a dance gyration involving physical motion of the buttocks. Singer Miley Cyrus attempted to twerk on singer Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Her performance caused a fire storm of controversy making headlines everywhere.  It even sparked a conversation between Susan Sayoun and her daughter. 

"For instance, Miley on the awards, when she did the whole twerking and stuff; Abigail (her daughter) and I looked at each other and made a face," said Susan.

When Abigail was asked if she ever tried twerking, she said "In front of my Mom, yes."

While she admits she tried the dance, she acknowledges that she knows some kids her age take it too far.

"A lot of girls do it in the halls at my school," said Abigail. "Teachers get on them about it, but they don't care."

Dianna said, "The youth see this and, from that point on, they think if you know this person did that, then I can get away with it too."

Despite the influence it has had on some children, Susan Sayoun does not believe her daughter will do the same. 

"She knows right from wrong," said Susan. "She knows what's appropriate, and not appropriate."

Despite the singers' troubling actions, Susan said they're still fans.

"We love Justin and we do love us some Miley," she said.

While they still listen to the artists' music, she does not think her daughter will follow in their footsteps. 

"She can be herself and no one can change her, and so if I want to like her I can like her.  But just because I like her and she's popular, it doesn't mean I have to do whatever she does," said Abigail.

Susan said she trusts her daughter will do the right things. She talks openly with her children, especially about controversial topics like Miley Cyrus twerking and Justin Bieber getting arrested.

"I'm very open with the kids.  Anything that comes forward about any situations like that, we just go for it. We talk about it," said Susan.

However, some parents believe re-occurring incidents, like Justin Bieber making headlines, puts more attention on the artist, making kids more likely to engage in these activities. 

"To me it's teaching our kids, hey, I can do whatever it takes to be a superstar.  No matter how immoral, how unethical, how trashy of a lifestyle I live, as long as I get up there to that status, they're going to talk about me no matter what," said Taylor. 

While a celebrity's deviant behavior may be catching the attention of some children, Taylor's son Dalton sees past it and wants to see a change.

"I think there are some things that just need to go away and more positive things," said Dalton. "Miley Cyrus is a bad influence to kids because she's doing wrong things on TV.  They're plastering it all over the news."

This has stirred Dalton away from watching television. 

"I'm not really watching TV anymore.  I'm giving up.  I want a good role model like Tim Tebow but instead, the media's tearing him down because of his Christianity."

Abigail Terry also feels the same. 

"They need to start realizing that every body's watching them," said Abigail.

"Yes, they should probably behave a little more, but you have to understand they're growing up as well," said Susan.  "So they have to make mistakes. We're looking at them. We want them to be a better influence, but they're going to mess up."

That's why Susan Sayoun believes parents must do their part to guide their children in the right direction.

"It's parenting. I'm teaching her right from wrong. We talk about it. It's an open discussion," she said. 

Dianna Taylor agreed and believes that's what is missing.

"What I notice too, is there is a lack of a parent involvement," said Dianna.

She still would like to see some changes.

"More positive.  Something that will give our children something real to aspire to.  Not somebody who did nothing to get in the spotlight," said Dianna.  

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6
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