Pre-season hype last fall boasted that the major networks were going to push the envelope this television season with more profanity and more graphic sexual content. By and large, they have delivered on those promises. Here are a few strategies a conscientious family can use to gain control over television.
The NBC television network recently announced it will move away from family-oriented programming in favor of a more adult line-up. Showtime and Music Television (MTV) have announced they are considering a cable channel devoted entirely to the homosexual lifestyle. Pre-season hype last fall boasted that the major networks were going to push the envelope this television season with more profanity and more graphic sexual content.
large, they have delivered on their promises, especially in the area of homosexual
characters sexual activities.
In light of the trends, some parents are simply removing television from their homes. While that seems the logical solution, it does not protect their children from a culture saturated in televisions amoral programming. And many parents are not prepared to take such a drastic step. Still, there are strategies a conscientious family can use to gain control over television. Make a game of it.
1. Define the playing field. Parents who truly want to conquer TVs influence over their children should reduce the total number of operating TV sets in the home to one.
Then locate it in a place where parents can most easily monitor the childs TV habits. Some parents find that locating the television in a room thats not easily accessible discourages the whole family from watching much TV.
2. Have a game plan. Determine the amount of time you as a parent can spend watching TV each week. Then, sit down with the family and consult programming schedules to determine ahead of time what shows youll watch together during the coming week. Turn the TV on for those shows only, and for nothing else.
3. Have a coach present before the game begins. Children, including young teens, should not watch TV without a mature adult present. It is imperative that parents know exactly what their children are watching. Children, for the most part, have passively absorbed many of the medias values without adequate guidance to develop critical skills for evaluating what they see and hear.
4. Develop the skills of the game. Watching TV with their children, parents can raise issues and guide discussion about the shows content. During the program, make notes regarding questions to discuss. For example:
characters use language we dont approve of?
did characters do that showed their honesty or dishonesty?
were the consequences?
any character display selfishness?
was the end result?
there any activities that conflict with our Christian faith?
moral values were taught or implied?
Randall Murphree. "Parents v. Television - Seven Steps to Sure Victory." Agape Press (April, 2002).
This article reprinted with permission from Agape Press.
Randall Murphree is editor of AFA Journal, a monthly publication of the American Family Association.Copyright © 2002 Agape Press
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