It isn’t hard to convince most parents to enlist in the daily battle for the hearts and minds of their children—the evidence of cultural rot is all around. But many lack the practical tools they need to assure victory.

For those who doubt that we are, indeed, at war over our children, consider: They are the most marketed-to generation of kids in world history. They spend an estimated $150 billion to $200 billion a year on everything from music to clothes to high-tech gadgets. They enjoy more affluence and more toys than any generation before them. Yet they also suffer from depression, fractured families and self-absorption.

Mass marketers know how to get our teens to spend money: Feed their raging hormones and emotional roller coasters with adrenaline-pumping, non-stop messages of sex, violence and rebellion. So how do you shield them from the onslaught while instilling your own values?

The best place to start is your own home. In many cases, the American home has become a septic tank. Teens at school may share the Web addresses for pornographic sites, or dish about the wildest sex scenes on television, or recommend the latest violent video game, but it’s often in the privacy of their own bedrooms that they consume hour upon hour of sludge that is perverting their views of sexuality, relationships and life in general.

I believe that modern technology can be the great liberator of the American family, allowing more parents to work
at home. It also places the wonders of the world at our child’s fingertips, providing them with endless educational opportunities. But the Internet, cable television, etc., also can bring a lot of harmful images and messages into our homes. It’s up to parents to be pro-active and smart about making the most of the good and throwing out the bad.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take an act of Congress to reclaim your home. Here are three highly effective tools to keep your home from being pumped full of cultural sewage: