11 October 2011

Television Filters and Sibling Relationships

After a rather chaotic 6 months of life, things were getting a little harried around here. Over the summer, I began to wonder if my children actually really liked each other anymore. There are lots of reasons for this breakdown in their friendship, and I realize that most people, sadly, even Christians, would just dismiss it as normal sibling rivalry, but we have chosen to address it rather than dismiss it as normal. We generally don't aim for normal in the McEvoy household (as if you haven't noticed this).

Moving to a new town took it's toll on our kids, though none of us regret this move. It isn't easy for kids to move and start their lives over. Everything was new, and that's just hard, isn't it? It's hard on adults who are more in control of our situations, so it must be harder on kids. We had other things going on during that 6 month time period that lent to this disconnect as well. One of the biggest culprits, I believe, was the television. Too much TV is never good, and we have noticed that most TV is filled with negative sibling relationships. In fact, have you noticed that most TV shows make the family look like a completely disfunctional, comedic landmine? It's ridiculous. No child needs to watch a TV show in which the children are given power over adults, treat their siblings and parents as if they are stupid or worth less than their friends and have little to no recognizable authority figures in their lives who they actually respect.

This has become a pet-peeve of mine. I get tired of parents saying that the programs they choose to allow their children to watch don't effect their children in any way. Bologna! The Bible is very clear when it says that we will become like those things with which we fill our minds. If your children are spending their down time watching television shows in which children have no respect for their parents and get away with it, then don't be surprised when they try the same thing with you. If the shows they watch show older siblings treating younger siblings like they are beneath them, then expect that same attitude to show up in the relationships of your own children.

This is obviously one topic that I am very passionate about. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we have watched this happen in our own home when we have allowed ourselves to be influenced by the television rules held in other households, and we have seen a definitive change in our children in the last 6 weeks when we have addressed this issue fervently. Sometimes, we Christians strive too hard to look like the outside world, to look worldly, to put it bluntly, and we use the excuse that we're trying to look attractive to non-believers. That is a topic that will eventually become a blog post of it's own, but it serves to support my point in this post as well. Our children don't need to watch the Disney Channel to be able to attract others to Christ. I challenge you not to walk this very fine and dangerous line with your children.

I will end this post with this. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4:8. Live this verse. Teach your children to live this verse. If the programs they are choosing to watch on television don't fit within the confines of this verse, then help them to learn to filter them out (if they are old enough). And be a good example. Filter your entertainment choices through the same filter. I promise that this will only benefit your family.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree! We have always limited what our girls watch - mainly, it's pre-approved DVDs, not anything on commercial TV - and I believe it's made a big difference in their attitudes compared to those of their friends -- both homeschooled and not - who watch more.