Saturday, March 13, 2010

Early Exposure

Just because there's nostalgia attached to something, doesn't make it good. I learned this the hard way when I purchased the first season of The Brady Bunch. I loved that show as a child, along with Gilligan's Island, and Little House On The Prairie. My kids excitedly put the DVD in the player while I worked around the house. I can't tell you how many times I waltzed in and out of the T.V. room and caught the word, "stupid" or tried to show my distaste for the name-calling or to mention how much arguing and fighting I was hearing from the show. "We don't talk like that to each other, right, Guys?", I would suggest. Why did it take me so long to call the DVD "off-limits"? Because I think, I was hoping each minute would be the last time I would hear something "offensive" and they would be able to enjoy it as I did. That didn't happen.
I believe there's good lessons in some of the old shows but I was disappointed that the very qualities we're working on with our children, such as kindness, gentle words, controlled reactions, and no fighting, were not being taught in the show. Yes, the Brady kids always forgive and change their attitudes in the end, but I don't think we can afford the influence of their words and actions while their trying to figure it all out. When I am daily disciplining the inappropriate use of bathroom words, I don't need any more added in there! When children are still young enough to have bad dreams about the mature themes of even Little House On The Prairie, I, as a mother, have to always be a protector of their little minds.
Perhaps other families seem to be handling these influences well, but I'm learning that we must limit our exposure. How about you? Have you experienced the same issue? Do you think later exposure is better... or none at all? "There's different rules for different families", I tell my children. Any thoughts out there?
Photo by Meghan, 11 yrs.


JoAnn said...

I think it's great that you are protecting their minds. I find that there are times when I can't completely restrict what they are viewing, and in those cases it has helped to sit and talk with my kid about what is happening.
There was one time when a show was coming on the disney channel (MULAN) and I knew it would frighten my two year old. He asked if he could watch it, and I said, "Yes, but it is scary, and I don't think you will like it. There is a scary bird and a scary man". Right then the scary bird came on and he said "I don't like this, I don't want to watch it".
I'm trying to make it my son's choice as he gets older, and in things like Mulan I think he would survive if he decided to watch it. I was glad he made the right decision because I didn't want the consequence of constant talk about bad birds...but it would have taught him something. Be careful little eyes what you see!

Heather said...

Thank you so much for commenting. That's a very good perspective. If we train them, they will choose what is best eventually. This is my prayer. I have friends, who I highly respect, who have differing opinions from me. So glad to hear your point of view too!
Love, Heather

Pure Perseverance said...

Hmmm, have gone through this on several things. I think it started with Tom and Jerry a few years back. I just remembered laughing at it as a kid. We like Little House but I must see what the topic is about first. I was shocked from one episode when I caught on that a young girl had a very unfortunate thing happen to her. No, I believe that in protecting our young ones.I don't want to necessarily use the bad influence as the tool to teach. I have done this in allowing a show or two to play and it backfire on me. My oldest asked what's the big deal? We know its not real. Then later, when sisters are arguing, I hear the very phrases that was on the show. {CRINGE}Oooooo! She picked up on it wasn't real but she also picked up on something else. Now, I nip it in the bud. I do not want to expose them. They get enough of it in real life. Phil. 4:8 is a good measuring stick for us. Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Great perspective :)

Tracey said...

I'm so glad you shared this--or I would have bought the Brady Bunch DVD in a few years too!

I agree, limit their exposure. Our little ones are exposed to enough without our consent or knowledge (billboards, magazine covers at the check out, other kids.) It is our job to protect their sweet ears as best as we can.

Heather said...

Thank you so much, Ladies, for your wise and godly input. So glad we're all on this journey together!

Sisters said...

That anonymous was me ;)

Great perspective,
Great post,
Great photographer ;) (I mean as in you)
Great Mom,
Great teacher,
Great friend,
Great sister,
Great aunt,
Great uncle (no, just kidding :D)