Monday, December 16, 2013
TV in the Home
I was a young teen. Some meetings were being held at my non-denominational, non-confrontational, non-political, church. Strong, challenging words were not the norm from the pulpit. Yet a guest speaker had come through and was holding a Friday evening and Saturday morning service. The topic? I honestly can't remember. But what I do remember is this comment, " sometimes I think that all Christians just need to throw their TV's out the window!"
I was flabbergasted. I honestly had no clue as to why anyone would say that or what television had to do with Christianity. I was confused, what was wrong with TV? So of course, after the meeting I went right back to watching Full House and Saved By The Bell episodes day in and day out. Along with MTV, HBO and everything else cable had to offer back in those days.
Now I laugh because the extremist in me had gone both ways since I've lived on my own. In my first apartment, after college, my friends and I had no TV and I continued to live without one for several years. It was kind of a hippy, getting back to nature reasoning back then. Then when I got married we didn't have one at first but I think people felt sorry for us or something and thought we were deprived and kept trying to give us one. I guess they didn't understand that some people really do not want a TV in their home! (Which makes sense, I didn't understand it either at first).
Finally, my husband and I ended up accepting a TV but only watched the station with the rabbit ears. Over the next few years we went from small, to big, to no TV again, to only in the kid's playroom. It was a battle really. What do we do with this monster? Get rid of it completely, cut back on how much we watch or not really worry about it and go with the flow?
3 Ways To Keep TV Watching In Your Home To A Minimum
1- Set a Standard
Whether it is for the shows you watch, or the kids, have a set list of guidelines concerning what kind of shows you feel are appropriate in your home. I know some people who say they turn off any show, no matter how much they like it after they hear at least three swear words. Some might cut it off after one. My husband and I have agreed that if we wouldn't watch a show in front of the kids, then we don't watch it at all. This puts a limit on many things, but helps keep the atmosphere in the home more peaceful. As for children's shows, saying no to certain shows may be hard at first but after a while the kids get used to it. Now our kids generally know what they can and can't watch and will willing turn off anything that is against what we believe as Christians.
2- Family Screen Time
We've all seen the old movies where the families hovered around the old radios to tune into a radio program. Then TV's began to enter the home and it was the same idea. Only certain shows were aired at certain times and if you wanted to watch something, it was as a family. Our family has a few certain programs that we watch on Hulu, or several movies we enjoy on our TV that we will watch together in the evenings once in a while. It makes it more special when we are together as a family rather than having the adults in one room and the kids in the other watching whatever they want.
3- Try to Limit the Amount Per Day
There is actually one day in the week that we don't have the kids watch any programs at all and it's amazing how creative they can get in their playtime! They honestly don't seem to miss it. Then the other days, they have a limited time. But honestly, some days we don't even watch anything because there is so much to get done. I don't get rid of TV simply because I do use some programs for educational purposes and I don't want the children to grow up thinking it's entirely evil. Rather I want them to learn self-control when it comes to leisure activities. To learn how to balence work and play is a healthy skill.
What are your thoughts? How to do handle TV in your home?