One thing that my husband and I gave up soon after we were married was the TV. We realized that it was a big temptation for us simply to watch whatever was on even if there was nothing worth watching. We realized that we weren’t allowing God to talk to us concerning our free time, so we decided to get rid of the TV.
It wasn’t always easy living without a TV. We had to retrain ourselves on how to get along without it, but the sacrifice paid off as it ceased to be a driving force in our lives. Once we felt we had learned our lesson, we gradually reintroduced TV viewing into our home. Now we carefully choose what we watch and when to watch. My husband even learned that the remote control doesn’t belong to him, and that he could give up watching sports if it was stealing his time with the family.
I’m a firm believer in monitoring what my children spend their time watching, because all shows and movies teach a message. I believe it’s the devil’s ploy to degrade the human race, and he targets our young people because whatever they think about themselves now will often follow them into adulthood. You see, God says we are created in His image (Gen. 1:26). Of course, the devil hates the image of God, and so he’s trying to destroy it in any way he can.
I want my kids raised on the good stuff and not the bad because it influences their values and their attitudes. Just because a cartoon is aimed at children doesn’t mean that its content is good for children. In some cartoons which depict distorted and disfigured human characters there’s a disregard for the sanctity of human life. Values are distorted, and then we wonder why our kids are so negative and struggle with low self-esteem.
We need to be sensitive to what our kids are watching and have discussions about what they are learning. Sometimes my kids are not allowed to watch programs and movies that their friends are watching, but I try to avoid making them feel worse off for it. In some cases the restrictions were lifted once they were older. Whenever I’ve had to put my foot down, I’ve always explained to them why.
It’s important to have alternatives for our children. Over the years we’ve accumulated an extensive collection of children’s videos and DVDs. I want my kids to embrace our values so they can make good choices for themselves when I’m not there to monitor them. I know it’s working because once in a while they eagerly share how they make right choices when I’m not there. If they do break my rules when I’m not around, then it’s on their conscience instead of mine.
You can read my blog post When to Say "Yes" or "No" to TV Programs for more on this topic.
In the above photo, Amanda (at age 1) is watching a Disney Baby Einstein DVD.