Friday, March 03, 2006

The TV isn't a babysitter...

There is always going to be someone who does things the easy way.
But that should not stop you from doing things the right way.
It is your journey, young warrior. Only you decide when it ends.
-Chu-hui, Teen Titans
Ever since I was a kid there was this rising fear that television would spawn mass murderers, serial killers, etc. It was all due to this new mediums violent content. Things like Looney Tunes and Spiderman had gratuitous violence that would insight all who watched it to lash out!

Right. Amazing how simple it is to take a statement such as "This show contains violence, make sure your talking to your kids" and turn it into "I can't leave my kids watching TV and do something I want to do because the shows are too violent". Here's a new headline for the news agencies; The TV is not supposed to be the babysitter!

I just got finished reading this article over on CNN. It's not the first, and it wont be the last. I've seen them my entire cartoon addicted life. I like cartoons, I watch them. The kids know that for at least a few chunks of Saturday morning, Dad owns the TV. My kids are some of those watching Teen Titans, from which the quote above was taken.

Know what? I spend time teaching my kids, during the show and after, what is acceptable and why the Teen Titans is; First, a TV show not real life and Second, why in that context they do what they do. It's also one of the few shows I watch and really like on TV because it teaches Honor, a concept very foreign in our society.

Do my kids catch that? Who knows, but I keep pointing it out. Since my eldest is 6, she may be starting to see it - especially as she practices her Martial Arts. The story isn't about how violent our TV shows have become - they've always been that way - 3 Stooges, Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry - My generation was vicious. Before that? Superman? Comic Books? Actual *gasp* Novels? Try our legacy literature, it's also violent. Don't think so, go read the story of David and Goliath from the Bible.

You want our kids to know, to understand, proper usage or lack of usage; Stop using the TV as a babysitter and take responsibility for your children. It's not just the video games, or the TV shows, or their friends - its your lack of interest and involvement. You are the sanity check, and you should know when a game or show will push your child over the edge.

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