As parents who want to seek the things of God more than the things of this world, it’s tough to know what to say “yes” to in media.
My husband grew up without a television. It broke when they were little. His parents saw their children were outside playing with their friends more, so they just never replaced it.
I grew up watching T.V. with boundaries on what was allowed and not allowed. There were some shows that were completely off limits…like “The Smurfs”. (I had a friend who wasn’t allowed to watch “The Flintstones” because ‘Fred was selfish’.) On Thursday nights as a family we sat and laughed together at “The Cosby Show”. We loved going to movies as a family. My parents did a great job of teaching me how to evaluate a movie after we watched it to see how it lined up with our Christian worldview.
For our own little family we had to decide how we would handle media. We own a T.V. We have cable. We even have Netflix through our Xbox. How do we decide what is acceptable and what is unacceptable to watch?
We like to use the rule of “good, better, best”.
A show may not have anything morally wrong with it (like “Yo Gabba Gabba”) but is it the better choice of the shows offered? Is it the best choice?
We try to limit how much time our kids watch T.V. So if they only have an hour or so to watch T.V. in a day, I would rather what they chose to be the “best” choice. I try to give them the tools to decide that for themselves.
You will often hear my 2-year-old ask if a show is “PG” or “scary”. We feel that a “better” or “best” show doesn’t use potty talk or words we don’t allow our kids to use. We try to make sure the behavior being modeled follows the rules of our house (Obey, Honor, Be Responsible).
Do my kids still use potty talk? Of course. Have they seen some shows that may not be the “best” choice? Yes. In using the “good, better, best” system we attempt to minimize exposure to the behaviors we don’t want our children to emulate.
For some families the “best” choice is no T.V. at all. For others it may be no cable. I think the key is defining for your family what your “good, better, & best” choices are. Being intentional about how you handle media exposure and attempting to spend a majority of time in the “best” choices.
How do you handle media exposure in your home? Do you have set time limits or times of day they watch T.V.? Do you decide what shows they can watch? Do you discuss why you don’t watch certain shows?
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
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