TV…What’s on Yours?

TV…What’s on Yours?

So. We are sitting here, again, watching a little television as a family.  This is an activity that is not as easy as it used to be.

We have a security block on our televisions.  If a show is rated “M”, we have to enter a code to see it.  We never had to enter it before 10PM, but now, at 8PM most shows are blocked.  What do you do with a 13 year old in the house – or younger?  You end up watching PBS, History or Disney Channel.

Tonight, we are watching a show called, So Random on Disney.  It seems to be a kid version of SNL.  It used to be a really funny show, called, Sonny with a Chance, until the star of that show went to rehab for some destructive behavior.  She is doing better now, and is pursuing a musical career. I miss her. Really.

Even Disney is not always family friendly anymore.  Now there’s even a show called My Babysitter is a Vampire.  It’s ridiculous.  Just about every show on Disney highlights stupid parents, really smart and good-looking kids, who are all dating, or consumed with the opposite sex.  Our family favorite is Good Luck Charlie.  The kids are usually lying about something, and the parents usually let them get away with it.  The mom always makes me laugh though and Charlie is adorable.  I do think about the kids that watch television  without any parental filters.  My prayer is that most parents are pro-active with their kids viewing habits.

Television is a hard call for Christian families these days.  We know that culture is wrong on so many levels.  We know that television is a huge influence on culture – and on people in general.  So what do you do?  Do you watch shows or movies that promote everything you know is wrong – biblically?  Man, it’s hard.

So, we just do our best.  We stay in God’s Word, and actually go days without even turning on the television. We have the “block” and we have a Clearplay DVD player. ( We discuss stuff that we do watch, and will compare culture with scripture when we need to. We do miss most of the popular shows and movies, which is sometimes frustrating.

There is a story I heard once, a long time ago, that goes like this:

Some kids came to their parents and asked if they could watch a movie that many of their friends had seen.  The kids said that it was not all bad, with only a little bit of profanity.  The parents said they would think about it and discuss it again the next day.  The next day came, and the parents set the kids down at the table in front of a big plate of brownies.  The kids were thrilled, and went to grab one.  The parents said, “wait, let us tell you what is in the brownies first”.  The parents then told the kids that the brownies were made with the best ingredients, and they even went and gathered some dog poop from the back yard and put in just a little bit for extra flavor.  They told the kids if they were OK with that, and could eat the brownies, then they could go to the movie.

Isn’t that the way it is?  The sad part about that story is that we have all been eating the brownies for so long, we don’t notice the poop and we don’t even care.

We are not a perfect family.  We have a hard time with the “Be in the world, not of the world” teaching from scripture.  So much so, we have an ongoing debate in our house.  I like to think that too much sports viewing is worse then TLC’s Sister Wives or Toddler’s & Tiaras.  My husband and son’s disagree. Either way, it’s all brain candy – and too much candy is not good for us, but it’s hard to resist.

So, what do you watch, with or without guilt?  How do you live out being “in” and not “of”?  I’ll let you think about that, while I go watch Sister Wives.  Really. Pray for me.

5 Responses »

  1. Jenn, thank you for posting this! Girlfriend, I totally agree! Gracie is 7 and she used to watch iCarly, which in the early days was way more mild. As the actors have gotten older the content has REALLY changed to the point it’s just not appropriate for a 7 year old. (or a 13 year old in my opinion!) Not much of anything on these days is appropriate for all the reasons you have sited. We have resorted to buying complete seasons of “Full House”, “The Brady Bunch” and “The Cosby Show”. This has turned out to be such a fun thing for our family in that we ALL love the shows and have fun watching them together without “worrying” what might be lurking content wise in the program. Gracie has even managed to convert some of her friends and they are hooked now. With your and Rob’s gifts I’m thinking you two should work on a pilot teen/tween show that is good clean fun. Millions would thank you…can y’all work on that in your spare time?

  2. Appreciate your honest and realistic view of finding the fine line between pop culture and living the Word. It is so hard and it is a relief to know the same things I grapple with everyday are not isolated. Thank you for opening my eyes once more. I got so disgusted with TV mediocrity 5 years ago and canceled out cable b/c I felt I was missing too much in life. Now, I admittedly will watch my own good dose of “cable” at friends’ houses OR through Netflix but find even my former “light” favorites (Glee, Extreme Makeover, etc.) have recently soured exploring too many issues and overwhelming the airwaves. I don’t have kids, but am an “aunt” to many and realize that even the “trendy faves” make me uncomfortable when I know I have a 7 year old or 3 year old even in the room. Best barometers in the world even for me as an ADULT! I have also taken to resorting to old 80s sitcoms and those 60s/70s faves – as corny as they may seem, at least I can walk out of the room while my nieces and nephews are safe w/o fear to watch. GOOD BLOG. Well done.

  3. Jen, I appreciate your thoughts on the subject. I think about the things my parents watched with me when I was a kid and the things that are on now and well . . . sometimes my parents let me see questionable stuff. . . but we watched it together. The parental filter was in place.
    We watch a lot of Disney Channel now (and I feel the same way about So Random– ugh — and Good Luck Charlie). I’ve gotten my daughter hooked on musicals and Disney movies (Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang, etc.) that I grew up with. We’ve also been watching children’s anime that’s been re-released by Disney. Totorro is awesome for little ones, a slow sweet story. Finally, I have a kid that loves science so we go watch How its Made and Mythbusters. Mythbusters is difficult, though, as it’s got some adult themes and language from time to time. I get worried until my daughter reminds ME that she shouldn’t use bad language. As long as I’m teaching her to self-edit/self-control and make good choices, I guess I’m doing my job. 🙂 She loves the show and she loves the idea of doing experiments, building things and she’s also learning a healthy dose of critical thinking (don’t believe all you hear). Yes, I may be justifying the choice, but it’s working for now. Hang in there baby!

  4. I’m here from Shameless Saturday on SCL. I have kids all the way from Disney princess stage to Saturday Night Live age. I watch with them to show them where they might need to draw the line. This world is full of poop. We have the job of helping them sort through it. i’m glad to see some moms talking about it openly.

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