Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Man Cave: Combatting the Evil Media

Dads are incompetent idiots. Casual sex with multiple partners is OK. Murder is justified, as long as you are revenging another murder. Cheating on a partner is fine, as long as you think you are about to break up anyway.

At least that's what my television taught me.

I meet a lot of parents who are really concerned about movies, TV shows, video games, and pop music that promote the kinds of values listed above. In fact I was once more concerned w/ these types of movies than I am now. At some point I stopped worrying about it so much.

It's not that I don't care. I do. It's that I realized something: when parents are actively involved in their children's lives they have more influence over them than anything they might encounter on television, in the movies, or from peers. If you want your children to make proper choices, spend time with them. Take an interest in the things that interest them. Be an example to them. Seize the teaching moments. Teach them how to make correct choices, and you won't have to worry about what they might do when you aren't there.

I don't want to paint too much of a Pollyanna picture here. There will be bumps along the way. Kids learning to make good choices and parents learning to be good parents will both make mistakes. The beauty of investing in time with your kids is that when something goes askew you each will feel comfortable approaching the other about it.

My kids have walked out of movies...even when they were with friends and I wasn't there. My kids have refused alcohol and drugs, even when no one was there to stop them. They have come to Kathy and me with questions about values and choices, despite the ready-made answers in song lyrics and TV scripts.

And they don't think I'm an incompetent idiot.

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