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.