Over the last couple of months, we've had some very open conversations with The Boy about media choices and why we've got to be careful about entertainment. A lot of this stemmed from the announcement that Disney's Good Luck Charlie would write a gay couple into an upcoming episode. In all honesty, The Boy doesn't watch that show and hasn't shown any interest in any non-animated kids shows. It would've been much easier to ignore it since it doesn't affect us right now.
Before I go any further, let me remind you that nothing I'm about to say should be all that surprising. I'm a Christian. That guides my worldview, my thoughts, my actions, and everything else about me. The Good Luck Charlie thing prompted some honest discussions about sin in our home. Here's the thing, we believe that homosexuality is a sin. Like it or not, it's in The Word. (Gosh, this is hard to write, just because I know how unpopular these words are.) With that said, we don't believe in hate, or making any sin the defining "factor," in our thoughts or actions toward someone. That's not what this is about though.
The Good Luck Charlie episode (which wouldn't have been viewed anyway) wasn't banned from our home, but we used it as a talking point. The discussion from all of this resulted in the difference in media that celebrates/encourages sin and media that teaches a lesson. Considering the fact that good versus bad is such a popular theme for books, movies, and TV, it's rare to find something with nothing bad, even for kids. The difference is that, while some celebrate choices we find destructive, some show them but also show the consequences of the choices. For example, we watch an episode of Rugrats almost every day. There is sin. Even if it's simply lying, it's still sin. Consider how every episode of Rugrats is pretty much mean ole Angelica versus the other babies. Angelica is bratty, manipulative, lying, and selfish. She's certainly everything none of us want our kids to be. Despite her manipulation though, she never wins. She always gets caught and good prevails.
The difference between Rugrats and Good Luck Charlie in this case is that one encourages sin and one doesn't. By encouraging, I mean that it is basically showing it as perfectly acceptable and that there's no message against it. The Boy understands this concept very well and has since voluntarily stopped watching something he felt was encouraging/celebrating sin. I'm so thankful that The Boy guards his heart and his mind. You would be amazed by how careful he is.
It really hit me though when I had to keep pausing when The Boy entered the room while I was watching Grey's Anatomy. I was terrified that he would hear something, or worse, view a very adult situation that he had no business viewing. I realized I had to say goodbye to Meredith, McDreamy, McSteamy, Christina, and the rest of the oh-so-interesting characters. The last episode I saw was the one where Lexie died. I was waiting patiently for the next season to show up on Netflix when I turned in my badge.
You see, I can't ask my kids to make smart media choices if I'm not willing to make the same choices. Grey's has some fantastically gripping storylines, but they're chock-full of sin. There's no reason to list them; while it may not always celebrate sin, the show definitely doesn't teach against it and if I can't let my child be in the room while it's on, I don't need it in my life. I've also given up Roseanne for that same reason. Overall, I still think the first couple of seasons are okay, but it's better quit cold-turkey. I've watched Roseanne for longer than I care to admit. I remember watching episodes when they originally aired. This was a huge deal,, perhaps bigger than Grey's since I've watched it for so long, but it had to happen. What kind of message would I be sending if I had chosen the "do as I say, not as I do" approach?
That leaves me watching a lot more Little House on the Prairie, 7th Heaven, Boy Meets World, and Meet the Browns. I'm okay with that though. I "left" Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital about two months ago and I think walking away was such a great move. I even talked to The Boy about it. He needed to know that I made that choice and why I made it. I'm sure there will be other things that need to be cut and I'll deal with that as it comes. Until then, I'm heading back to Walnut Grove.
There. I said it.