My almost 3 year old (Bella) loves watching cartoons...I know, TV shouldn't even exist to a tiny tot of this age...but, sometimes I need it! That's my cleaning or getting laundry done time, or nursing the baby time, or sitting and cuddling with her time, or just sit and relax while I shut my brain off for a minute time!
Anyway, there are TONS of not so good shows on, most of the time the commercials are rather inappropriate too! We literally have to turn the TV off during the breaks. TV has become a sort of "danger zone" in our home. It's really not a "relaxing" family time, we are constantly dodging blasphemies, other inappropriate language, and other inappropriate images. This is all during the designated "family viewing time"! Most of the time we just watch our videos or DVD's because we know they're safe. It's very sickening what we have allowed to be put on the air for our children's eyes to see! And, then society wonders why "today's children" have lost the innocence of "yesterday's children"! It's probably because we bombard them with disgusting, shameful, violent, inappropriate images...ALL DAY LONG!
So, what do we do? Well, we as parents, have become the "TV Police". We have 6 children all at different ages ranging from 10 months to 11 years. So, there is going to be a difference in interests. But, there is a rule you can go by, have the children ask themselves..."Does this please God?" If the answer is "No", then change the channel. Or, ask yourself..."Would I watch this show with my pastor?" If not, maybe you shouldn't be watching it. Do they do this with a happy heart and a smile on their face? Nope! But, we are supposed to protect them...and their innocence. God gifted us with a conscience that will pinch us in the heart if we're doing something we're not supposed to be doing. I want my children to feel that and follow that nudging. If we allow them to watch a little "not so bad" shows here and there, eventually their conscience will start to quiet down, and it will be hard to hear and hard to follow. Right now they are very sensitive to their conscience and it's nudging, as we get older we start becoming desensitized to the "inappropriateness" of the world.
Is it ok to watch a movie or show with no violence, swearing or sex, but has 10 blasphemies? Well, would you sit through a movie that used your mother's name or your name as a curse word? Probably not. Do you want your children saying, "Oh my G**!" If not, then they probably shouldn't watch anything that does. Shut it off, change the channel. It's not ok to use our Holy God's name, who gave us life and breath as a filthy, four letter curse word! Do we use Hitler's name or even satan's name in such a way?! Our children should cringe inside when they hear our Lord's name used in vain, just as they would if they heard someone use the "F" word. We should not let that become a norm for them to hear, and allow there hearts to become desensitized to it. It should hurt us too when we hear it.
Our older children are already saying things like, "Well, so-in-so gets to watch such-in-such, it's not bad, why can't we?" This is hard because we don't want to be the "bad guy" but we can't back down. We just explain that in different families houses there are different rules, and that particular show is not ok in our house. Then we have to go back to..."Would we watch this show with our Pastor, would we tell him all about it when we get to church, does this show honor or please God?" If the answers are no, then it's not a good show.
Meditate on these things,...Brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things...Philippians 4:8 NKJV
How do you explain this to a 2 year old? Well, Bella and I had a discussion recently about different shows. She wanted to watch Sponge Bob, and that little guy is pretty funny sometimes I have to admit...but not for a 2 year old! So, I had to think quickly on how to explain appropriateness and inappropriateness to her. I tried and tried...using big-ish words, using small-ish words...trying to explain glorifying God, and not glorifying God...making Jesus happy, not making Jesus happy...I was getting so flustered and even confusing myself. Then she looked up at me and asked in such a cute little voice, "Mama, Sponge Bob not love Jesus?" And, I just smiled and hugged her. She totally understood...and she was also totally ok with it. What a precious little angel! God, totally did the talking to her...because I was a blabbering monkey!
Now, I'm not saying Sponge Bob doesn't love Jesus...He might, I'm not sure...I'm just saying there's a lot of stuff in that show that's just not ok for young kids.
So, my husband and I are for sure the "TV Police". Most of the time our children are super-duper wonderful about all of this, and they often hit mute, change the channel, or say, "Oops, don't look...it's inappropriate!" They're turning into our little "TV Police Cadets". I hear from friends and family that our children will even ask to change the channel at their homes too, because something is "inappropriate and doesn't make God happy". And, I am so proud of them!
Bella asks now when she wants to watch a show if that character loves Jesus! So cute!
"Mama, I watch Dora...does Dora love Jesus?" (I totally think she does!)