As far back as I can remember; parents have been debating the issue of what to let their kids watch on television. Seldom does everyone agree. In our family, my brother and I wanted to watch certain TV shows and my mom wanted us to watch something different. Her criteria generally revolved around the shows not containing swear words or too much blood. She even wanted us to watch educational shows. Not just watch them but also want to watch them, so we could learn something. It was a never-ending debate.
As a parent early on, I found myself wanting the same for my own kids. Why didn’t they want to watch educational television? They had plenty of reasons and were happy to inform me. These days as a parent coach I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many parents regarding their own criteria and how much of an argument they are willing to endure in the war on censoring their kid’s TV habits.
All kids are different, and all families are different, so how do you know the best approach for your child when there isn’t necessarily a standard? There are several things to consider when laying down the rules (if you do) of what is watched at home.
~ Is there consistency in their playing/watching habits? Do the video games they’re playing contain the same content you aren’t allowing them to watch on TV?
~ What are your beliefs regarding the content they watch? Do you truly believe they will be unduly influenced by what you see as negative content?
~ What is the maturity level of your child? Are they able to assimilate more mature content or are they frightened by it?
~ What message are you giving your kids with your own TV habits? Do you want your kids to believe negative message TV only affects people of a certain age?
~ Are you having a dialogue with your kids about how violent/negative content makes them feel after they watch it? Are they upset by it, have no reaction, or feel agitated? This conversation helps them tap into their Internal Guidance to determine if the content serves them.
~ What is your guidance saying to you as a parent? Do you forbid certain content because you feel you should or because it feels like the best thing for your child and why?
~ You have no control of your children’s TV habits at their friends or even on their own wireless device, (if they have one) so is it realistic to throw a blanket censorship on all objectionable content?
Regardless of what the television rules you have set in your family, it’s important to have an ongoing dialogue with your kids. How does the content they’re watching make them feel and why are they drawn to certain shows?
Encourage them to be diligent in listening to their internal selves. Share with your kids in a calm and loving way, the concerns you have regarding their TV choices and your reasons for having them.
Please feel free to comment.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.