Monday, January 24, 2011

Are You Watching What You're Watching?

Have you ever asked the question of your kids, “What are you watching?”, “What are you playing?” or “What are you listening to?”, only to receive a generic response. “It’s a good show…”, “Just a game (video)…” or “All the kids in my class listen to this.”

I am having a hard time keeping up with all of the music, movies and media that scream out at my kids everyday. With the plethora of choices bombarding our kids everyday, how can we keep tabs on what they are allowing to influence their minds?

We tend to live in a bubble of naïve thinking that wants to believe what they are listening to; watching on the TV or playing on their favorite video game is not affecting them. It is time that we take some responsibility for what we are allowing our children to feed their minds with. When you take a trip to the video store, do you really know what is on the movie or video game you are renting for your kids? When your child asks for the latest music CD do you know its content? It is time for us to take a serious look at what our children are asking us for instead of trying to placate their every request.

Instead of blindly saying yes to their suggestions for a rental, take the time to really look at what they will be viewing or listening to. Look for the rating symbols on the products and see if it is really something your child should have.

The real question in regards to the whole aspect of what you are watching, has very little to do with the media. The question is, “What are your Boundaries?” You need to know what your limits are and clearly communicate these to your children. Then they will know ahead of time whether the movie, music or video game is suitable for them.

What do I do as a parent when I don’t have a clue about half of the things they are listening to, playing and watching? I’m glad you asked. There are plenty of parent helps available online, and one of the best that I have found to date is This site is sponsored by Focus on the Family and provides a detailed breakdown of the content in the songs, background on the music group, the details of a movie including language content, sexual content, violent acts, as well as a review and more. This has been an invaluable site to me in the review of all forms of media, and allows me to be informed about what my children are watching as well as everything else that is out there.

The Bible tells us that what we take into our bodies, into our minds, directly corresponds to what comes out of our mouth, our minds. “Garbage in, Garbage out!!” It works the other way as well, “Good in, Good out!!”

As parents it is our duty to guard the hearts and minds of our children and to allow them to be just that, “children.” They will grow up fast enough with out all of the input of the world and the media around them. So ask yourself the question on a regular basis. Are you watching what you’re watching?