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Simple rules make TV OK

By By Michelle Blaylock, Mom’s Corner
I love television. I’m a TV-aholic. I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing. I do try to keep it in perspective and not put watching television before getting work done. Well, most of the time. Nevertheless, that does not mean that I watch everything that is shown on TV, nor do my children.
I don’t presume to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t watch or what they should or shouldn’t allow their kids to watch. I truly believe that is each person’s choice or each parent’s choice.
My goal is to just look at the changes and give some general suggestions for helping with controlling the “boob tube.”
When I started thinking about the changes from say the 1950’s in what can be and can’t be shown on TV, it is almost overwhelming. Some of this seems silly now and in all actuality was probably fairly silly when it happened.
For example, how about married couples sleeping in twin beds? Somebody mentioned to me that it was amazing how couples had babies when the wife was never really shown pregnant and the word “pregnant” was seriously taboo.
Now TV programs not only show pregnant women, but the birth is usually shown as well. On some shows TV producers even show us how they got pregnant in the first place!
Can you imagine the sensors of the 1950’s viewing an episode of “Sex in the City?” The title itself would be enough to send the sensors into fits. As a side note, this is one of the shows that isn’t on in our house, As far as I’m concerned it falls under TMI — too much information.
The language that is allowed on televsion has certainly changed since the 1950s or even when I was a girl in the 1970s. How about that last sentence Rhett Butler utters as he leaves Scarlett? People thought that was just absolutely crude and unnecessary.
When I was a young girl, there was very little foul language. What about today? Is there anything totally off limits? I’m beginning to doubt it.
So many other things have changed. Issues that used to be considered taboo are now openly discussed. This like out-of-wedlock sex and pregnancy, openly having affairs, divorce, sexual violence, homosexuality, and many others.
I’m not saying all of this is necessarily bad, but I don’t always want these topics introduced to my children in the way the powers of the media do it.
I also find TV as a whole to be a lot cruder than when I was younger. I absolutely hate some of the “children’s” programming available. I remember people screaming about how violent Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes were. Those same people must be horrified over what children are watching now!
Here’s something else that has become such a big hit recently — Reality TV shows. Personally, I watch TV to escape reality. I’ve got all the reality I want — and some days more than I want!
How about news coverage? Things we see on our news today would never have been shown on TV 50 years ago. I want to give credit where credit is due. Many times that news coverage has saved lives, such as the advanced warning of hurricanes and tornadoes. Also with the increased news coverage, there are programs like Amber Alerts.
However, on that same vein I think our media gets carried away with the way they over expose other things.
That brings me to the kids issue. What should they watch?
Parents must decide what they are going to allow and how much of it. Here are some of my thoughts on it.
1) I own the TV, I pay the cable bill and it has this wonderful thing called an “off button.” If I don’t like what’s on I change the channel or turn it off.
As the children have gotten older we do have some premium channels so we can enjoy movies inexpensively. However, I do and can block some of those channels that have inappropriate material.
2) When you have children of various ages and maturity, it’s hard to say no to some and yes to others. My solution? My older ones have to learn to live with it. There are shows that I allow them to watch after the younger ones have gone to bed.
3) As mentioned before, we also block certain stations. It’s not that I don’t trust my kids not to watch a program that I’ve restricted, but I try to keep the temptation to a minimum.
4) What about going to friend’s houses? This is tough. First of all, I get to know what the friend’s parents allow. If they allow a show that I just can’t live with my child seeing at all, then I ask the parents not to let my child watch it while in their care. I have never had a parent have a problem with this. In fact, I’ve only had to do it twice and both times the parents were very understanding and we remained friends. I also tell my kids that they don’t have to watch a show or movie just because their friend is. They can always go play or read a book.
5) Lastly, I do try to keep an open mind and watch the program, but in the end it’s my decision.
Also keep in mind if all else fails and your child sees something on TV or in a movie that is inappropriate – it can always serve as a bad example.
If you have a question, comment or suggestion for Mom’s Corner please e-mail it to: moms-corner@juno.net.

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