MY BATTLE WITH KIDS AND TV
Lately I have been conflicted when it comes to kids and television. I love a good television show and usually, in the evenings, it’s how I wind down from the day. But when our children became toddlers, my husband and I had to evaluate how we would handle television access and viewing at home.
Most folks have cable, but at my house we have regular channels and a monthly subscription to Netflix. We decided that our approach would include a parental code on regular TV and access to the Netflix “Kid’s” section whenever they had some screen time to redeem. This worked fine when their favorite shows were “Phineas and Ferb” and “Wild Kratts.” I would regularly sit down with them to watch an episode or two and all was well.
As with most things, time brings change. The kids are older now. Their tastes are changing and they want to explore different shows. At first, I assumed that anything with a “Disney Channel” icon or kid-looking thumbnail would, most likely, be fine to watch. One day they tried out a new show and I overheard the dialog from the kitchen. I quickly realized that the content was inappropriate on a number of levels. I felt shock and anger that Netflix would allow such garbage to be included on the “Kid’s” profile.
Why was I shocked though? This world does not adhere to Christian standards, nor should it apart from the knowledge of and saving grace of Jesus Christ. I can’t assume that content marketed to kids from a worldview drastically different from my own would be good for consumption.
Where does this leave me as a parent? Responsible. I need to be involved and responsible for what my kids choose to ingest. Will I cut off every source of input from a secular worldview? No. Will I be more intentional about watching shows with my kids so that we can discuss themes and answer questions about opposing worldviews? Yes. Will I try to shield them from mature images and concepts that may harm them? You betcha. Will my choices seem limiting to my children and often frustrating to them? Probably. Will they see that we value God’s word and apply it to our lives? Hopefully. Will I make mistakes? Yes. Will there be disagreements? No doubt.
Will it be worth it?
I really think so.
If you are trying to disciple kids in your life, I pray that you will prayerfully consider the media inroads in your home. May the Lord guide you as you seek to serve him!
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