On our trip to Colorado and New Mexico, we had more time in front of a television than we have had in a long time. So did our children. At our hotel while getting ready I turned on a cartoon for Peanut and thought, "Hey why not? He never watches cable." This happened three different times, and three times I wished I hadn't turned it on.
Show number one: Disney Channel. Turned on a cartoon that was in half english, half spanish. The ENTIRE episode was about water conservation and saving the environment. The show used some pretty extreme fear tactics including have a character move out of her home because she couldn't water her garden anymore. I'm not against water conservation. I'm not against doing things that help our environment. But the truth is, my two year old son really doesn't need to learn that from the cartoon on TV. Can't we just keep it to a cute story about sharing or using your manners? I'll teach my son how to turn off the water when he is brushing his teeth without making him fear that he will go thirsty for the rest of his life if he doesn't. And I'll do it in English.
Show number two: Disney Channel (again). A "family" show about siblings. One of the brothers is trying to master his wizard skills. WIZARD SKILLS! Seriously, I don't remember this stupid stuff when I was growing up. Not only do I have a problem with the moral aspects of wizards, witchcraft and all such things, but also with the fact that Disney tries to make it look cool and normal for kids to go around with sticks and manipulate their environment however they see fit without ANY mention of God. It's not in the context of imaginative play, but in the context of reality. Now I wasn't expecting Disney to mention God, but I was expecting a little something more like Mickey Mouse or the Mighty Ducks.
Show number three: The Cartoon Network gets turned on for Peanut at my parents house. A nearly pornographic commercial of Lady GaGa comes on in between cartoons. What in the world do cartoon watching aged kids have to do with Lady GaGa? Am I missing something? The commercial showed her in barely a bra and underwear doing extremely sexual dance moves! On Cartoon Network!
I know some parents say they monitor very well what their children watch. And I believe that. But I don't trust the television industry enough to let them anywhere near my home. We only get one shot at innocence, and to have it taken away in the snap of a finger on a TV station that was supposed to be "kid friendly" is not going to happen in this house. The truth is, we don't know when little boys start viewing women sexually, or when little girls start thinking that they should look just like that model on TV. I am not willing to take the risk of assuming my kids "don't get it" only to find out they were negatively influenced by the shows I put on for them. I know my kids will come in contact with some of the scenarios on TV in their everyday lives, and I'm not trying to put them in a bubble to shelter them from that forever. But I am not willing to let cable television form the way my children think and respond to those situations. I will decide when things are "age appropriate" and explain things in the context of our faith, not in the context of a television show.