I participated in a workshop this week on "Pop Culture Issues with Teens", presented by Officer Paul LeBron of the Long Beach Police Department. His goal was to have the participants "wake up," and what an eye-opener! I was particularly surprised about the specific internet language that our kids are exposed to. Officer LeBron recommended googling text dictionary, and I will. This falls along the lines of knowing what our teens are into. Officer LeBron also talked about the "noise" or the interference that gets in the way of our teens hearing us. From an early age many of our teens have been exposed to the media. There are competing messages in the media that undermine our values at times. What conversations are they having on MySpace? What images are they seeing on Playstation? What music lyrics are they listening to? What are their friends into? To parent our teens effectively we have to open our eyes. Many of us are so busy attending to our lives or we fall prey to the notion that our teens can take care of themselves. But, they need us. They need our attention, our guidance, our understanding and our love. Let's deconstruct the media's influence on our families. This is pertinent if we are to create the kinds of relationships that we want with our teens.