Thursday, December 19, 2013
There are MANY views on television in the Christian realm. My point in this post is not to "stir the pot" but to encourage moms out there that feel guilty like I did about how they are using the television as their babysitter...
I had a love/hate relationship with the television as of just a few months ago. Thank God my husband stepped in and said: "Enough is enough." He wasn't condemning or mean. He just hated watching our children sit in front of the t.v. for hours... he hated "watching brain cells die"... so did I... but not enough to turn the screen off.
I loved the t.v. because it distracted my children... it decreased my involvement... it fed my laziness as well as my children's... I hated it for all the same reasons. I knew that I was pushing my parenting responsibility on to an inanimate object... sick...
I want to mother in a way that I will have the least amount of regret later in life. I know I would regret plopping my kids in front of the television for hours a day. I know I would never look back and think: "man, I just wish my children would have watched more television!"
So, as of now, they are allowed to watch it only when Scott and I go over his sermon and what they can watch is pretty limited.
I know a couple who are very condemning toward Christians who let their children watch any television at all and yet they beat each other up (literally) in front of the children often. Let us not be like that! Look at the plank in your own eye before removing the splinter from your friend's. And please don't judge people who watch cable when you watch "only netflix". Don't think just because you watch movies that you are better than those who watch t.v. shows. And please don't say "We don't watch anything on the t.v., we only watch stuff on our computer." As if a smaller screen is more holy? The weird comparisons Christians come up with sometimes to make ourselves feel better about our decisions is astounding.
The thing that I have learned the most from all of this is: our children are often capable of much more than we think they are. I remember thinking often: "Johnny just can't play all day. He'll never be able to do that." Well, let me tell you, Johnny is MORE than able to play all day! Just tonight he entertained himself (by himself since Rhea and Ricky were already in bed) with a wrapping paper roll (the center tube) and a tiny ball for over an hour. We will never know what our kids are capable of if we don't take different forms of "entertainment" away. Children played for hundreds of years without a television, why can't they now?
Thankful for the direction our family is going in regards to television. Thankful for what God has been teaching me and doing in my own heart through all of this. Thankful to think that I won't regret this area in my life later...
I would like to conclude with some interesting and yet disturbing facts:
*The average American (including both adults & teenagers) watches over four hours of TV every day, which is over two months of uninterrupted watching per year. This means that – at current usage-rates, the average 65 year-old American will have spent 9 YEARS of his or her life idly sitting in front of a television!
*Over two-thirds of all American families with children watch television while eating dinner “together”.
*The average American child spends roughly 28 hours each week watching television. In contrast, the average American parent spends only roughly 5 MINUTES each week in meaningful conversation with those same children.
*TV is so tempting that over half of all 4-6 year olds polled preferred watching television to spending quality time with their fathers.
*Every activity a child engages in during his busy day refines some set of skills. Reading is practice; writing is practice; sports is practice; engaging in fantasy games is practice; and interacting with people is practice. All these activities in some way help prepare a child for the challenges of adult life. Television is also practice, but not for any activity. Television is practice for inactivity. When children watch television they are practicing sleeping while awake.