Tune in to What Kids Watch
Do your children listen to you? Are they obedient? Are they respectful? Do they understand the role and meaning of authority? Do they know their place in the family? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you might want to review what your children watch on TV. It could be one source of your problems.
People criticize television programming for the prevalence of violence and sexual material available to young and impressionable viewers. With some success, the TV ratings system and other mechanisms that enhance parental supervision and control have helped to restrict young people to age-appropriate channels. The presumption is that age-appropriate is just that.
But have you ever watched children’s TV programs? Often, what is called “suitable” for children is just as harmful (or even more harmful) than regular shows for grownups. Parents—as they are portrayed in sitcoms, cartoons, and commercials—are often set in opposition to their children and teens. This in itself is not bad; every family experiences conflict. The difficulty is that, more times than not, children and teens are characterized as wise beyond their years, responsible and—oddly—very parent like, while the parents are depicted as witless, irresponsible, and—strangely—like children.