After talking with several people and thinking through the question I asked yesterday, I thought it would be fun to expand a bit on the topic of protecting our kids from the images thrown at them from popular culture. (That’s right, I said FUN.)
This train of thought started with Tuesday night’s episode of Glee, which was a little over the top. It was Madonna night so I should have been prepared, but I was still taken aback as I watched “high schoolers” dance and sing about losing their virginity.
Now again, I will say that I do appreciate the ultimate message portrayed (even if it was watered down) that girls should take control of their bodies and not succomb to pressure, but the way the message was sent made me terribly uncomfortable and had me questioning whether or not I would want my kids watching such a show were they old enough to do so.
I tend to be a little conservative when it comes to what my kids watch and listen to. Sloan and I have already had conversations about this as there are several movies that he wants to watch that I simply won’t let him watch. The main reason is because I want him to learn what it means to guard his heart and his mind.
Remember the Twister fiasco? That was one instance in which I let my guard down and for several nights we dealt with the consequences. So he and I have talked about the fact that God doesn’t want us to be scared or worried or anxious and if we watch movies that make us feel that way, then we are not doing a good job of guarding our minds.
And I plan to continue to vigilantly guard the hearts and minds of my children as they grow older. Just as my parents did for me. When everyone I knew was watching Beverly Hills 90210, I was left in the dark. I didn’t know who the Walsh’s were or why Kelly and Donna were fighting. Because my parents were protecting my heart and mind from the bombardment of messages that did not line up with the way they were raising me. And you know what? I was no worse for the wear for missing that show.
(I did ultimately see many of the re-runs when I was in college and studying in Ukraine. Everyday when I got home from school, my brain was fried from speaking russian all day, and 90210 came on just as I got home. The translation was on enough of a delay that I could hear the English and for an hour didn’t have to try and translate in my head. So I got well acquainted with the show then and truly realized that I hadn’t miss much.)
It is a similar story with the show FRIENDS. While I don’t ever remember a specific time that my parents told me I could not watch that show (I believe it started airing my junior year of high school), I also don’t remember ever once seeing it until my later college years. There just wasn’t an emphasis on television in my home and while I watched it a little, there were certain shows that I simply knew they wouldn’t approve of, so I avoided them.
FRIENDS ultimately became one of my favorite TV shows, but I began watching it when I was older and better able to filter the messages through a more developed worldview and stronger sense of who I was and what I believed.
So, back to Glee. I don’t know that, after Tuesday’s episode alone, I would forever forbid my kids from watching the show. For the most part, while the show clearly holds rather loose values, I think it’s a fun, campy hour of television that does not take itself too seriously and, yeah – I think it would open the doors for a lot of conversations.
Now a show like Grey’s Anatomy, on the other hand, is hands down, no way, dont-even-think-about-asking if you can watch this show. I’ve even forbidden myself from watching that show anymore, it got so ridiculous. It went from once upon a time being about the characters and witty, quippy dialogue to some kind of political message wrapped up in preachy dialogue and completely inappropriate scenes that do not deserve to be on public television.
I realize that I may be more sensitive to this subject than others are. While I doubt we will ever swear off TV altogether (although I have no problem with that if the content of shows continue to spiral down the path they’re on now), but I take my job as mom very seriously. And, in the long run, I don’t think my kids will suffer irreperable damage if they aren’t able to watch the one show that all of their friends are watching. It won’t send them into counseling.
Oh no…there are plenty of other crazy mom neuroses that I can pull into play to make sure they end up laying on a counselor’s couch someday. Like, for instance, this insane notion I have that they should play outside instead of watch TV or play computer games all day long. Sloan literally moments ago stomped out of my room grumbling that I never let him do anything fun. “You always make me play outside and read books and stuff. That’s boring.”
I’m so mean…