~Choosing media with our kids~
I wasn’t sure if we were ready for STAR WARS. There’s a lot of fighting and some pretty gory stuff, not to mention a pretty complicated plot. We gave it a try anyway, and I’m so glad we did. Even my youngest was interested in these wonderful old movies. And Sarah… My Sarah loves these movies and especially Princess Leia. In fact, I heard her in her bed the other night, humming herself to sleep with the STAR WARS theme music. Crazy.
I tend to be pretty protective of my kids’ media exposure. While I don’t worry about the occasional questionable movie or program (we can always discuss it later), I do worry a lot about the programs that become favorites. Kids tend to study movies and programs, watching them again and again. I want my kids to have great heroes. I want them to learn good things.
So, is it crazy that I’m totally fine with the fact that my kids love movies like STAR WARS and old episodes of The Dukes of Hazard?
The fact is, my kids are not allowed to watch most children’s programming. ABC’s Saturday morning programming (mostly Disney) is strictly off limits. We don’t do Sponge Bob and we don’t do lots of other annoying shows (sorry to the Sponge Bob fans out there). I’m not a totally mean mom. We do watch a lot of the Disney movies and I don’t freak out if the kids watch a kids’ program I don’t approve of at someone else’s house.
I suppose I see it as being a lot like the food we eat. I want my kids’ diets to consist mostly of good, nutritious foods. Educational TV is great. And honestly, despite the violence, I would list STAR WARS in this category of great media. The main characters (male and female!) in the movies are good. They fight evil. They are smart, brave and courageous. They are heroes. I’m okay with movies that contain heroes and the fight of good versus evil, even if they do end with a bad guy getting cut into pieces with a light saber. And you know, my kids seem to do just fine with that, too.
I don’t freak out about my kids eating a bit of junk food from time to time. It’s life. I wouldn’t want my kids eating candy and drinking pop every day, though. I wouldn’t want them watching a lot of the shows on TV every day either, even if it is programming that is aimed at children. Shows that feature incompetent parents, teenagers and pre-teens who whine and/or spend their time trying to fool their parents, or characters who are rude… Well, we don’t watch those shows at our house. There just isn’t anything redeeming in those characters or in the plot lines. That kind of TV is junk. It serves no purpose and has no value.
It goes without saying that some TV and movies are just plain poison. I don’t watch much prime time television and have very little interest in most of the movies that are out in theater. You know the types of shows I’m talking about. I would be horrified if my kids were allowed to view media like that.
Just like choosing good foods for our kids, choosing media for our kids is hard. It would be so easy to go with the flow and let the Hannah Montanas and the the Sponge Bobs of the media world keep my kids busy. I could buy that Happy Meal with the cool but questionable toy and be the “best mom ever,” instead of insisting on a Sad Meal (dollar menu and a water).
I could do that.
Actually, I probably couldn’t. ;)
Anyway, all this makes me wonder.
What are your favorite kid’s movies/programs and why?
What are your “No we’re not going to watch that” movies/programs?
Which shows annoy you the most?
Have you ever seen your children picking up bad habits from the shows they enjoy?
What are your family’s rules about media?
Can’t wait to hear from you.
** By the way, these opinions about media are mine. You might share them, and you might not. Hope you don’t take it too personally if we don’t see eye to eye. ;) Hope you’ll share your views here, too. All respectful comments are appreciated, even if they are different from what I’ve expressed. It’s good to stand for what we believe in and share it with each other in respectful ways. It’s okay if you don’t agree with me. ;)