My child acts out because of the things that are on TV, or because of video games. But then the question becomes who let him watch that TV program or play that video game?
Teenagers are hard to police. Even older children it can be tough. We don’t really know what they are getting into when they are at a friend’s house or even at school. This is where a good base of open communication comes into play though. Something that you have established with your child hopefully from infancy.
My mind is blown away when someone blames TV for the words that come out of her 3 year old’s mouth though when the TV is on in her own home. Especially when it’s on a program that’s on at 8 p.m. and my kids are already in bed, well my little ones are. Even if it weren’t after 8 or you just have a later bed time for your kids if I found something to be inappropriate for my children to watch I would turn it off.
I’m Not A TV Natzi or Anything
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not super uptight about what my kids watch on TV. My husband watches Steven Seagal movies with our 5 year old son all the time. He loves them. Okay, confession, I let my kids (except the baby) watch the movie Ted. My 5 year old found it hysterical. Well, they all did. Completely inappropriate and yes I knew the movie was rated R and we watched it with them anyways. My children have not repeated anything that was said or tried to reenact anything.
I was hesitant about letting them watch Ted for obvious reasons. It was one of those family movie night things where the one we got for the family ended up being a flop and the one we got for after the kids went to bed was something they had seen in previews and wanted to see. But if things got to be too much we absolutely would have turned it off.
I Have No One To Blame But Myself
I made that choice to let them watch it knowing it wasn’t a movie for children. So I have no one to blame but myself for any behavior that followed. If things got bad I would have talked to my children and explained why it was inappropriate. If there was something that I put on and didn’t expect it to be inappropriate, but found out it was I would have turned it off and explained this is for adults. I would not have left it on and then allowed my child to go around acting inappropriately and then say it’s medias fault.
Because I know my children best. And I know I cannot expect all media to be geared towards young children. I never expect television at 8 or later to be completely appropriate for young children. I remember when I was a preteen or maybe even a teenager the cartoon The Simpsons came out. It was on at 8 at night and a cartoon to boot. Something all kids wanted to see, but probably not something I would necessarily think is appropriate for an elementary school child or younger. The programs that are on after 8 tend to have more adult content to them. So if I allow my children to watch it any reaction they have is completely on me.
It is not the fault of Hollywood. It is not the fault of media. It’s all on me. And I just wish more people would take that kind of responsibility for things. Same is true of video games. If you aren’t going to monitor your child’s screen time and address any issues as they come up, then you might have a problem on your hands.
So stop blaming television and video games for why our children are the way they are. Pay attention and parent. Talk to them about what they are seeing. And if it gets to be too much then just turn it off. There is nothing so important that you can’t watch it after the kids are in bed. And with all of the technology today with DVRs it’s really easy to watch things later without all those annoying commercials to boot.
Do you think television is to blame for children’s behavior today or do you think more hands on parenting could resolve these problems and less blaming?