Little Children and Television, What is a parent to do?

Recently I was speaking with some Kindergarten students in a secular setting. Meaning talking directly about God was off the table.  With kindergarteners sometimes you just can’t help it, God comes up.  I have learned from a friend that you just go with it on their level. The catch is you have to be careful to stay on their level educationally and spiritually. stay within their beliefs do not try to impose yours.  Even when the subject of homosexuality comes up in a classroom as a substitute teacher you have stay neutral. I have been in a classroom when it was mentioned, I just let the students do all the talking. But I really want to get back to this kindergarten class. The subject was people who help.  One of the cards had a police officer.  One of the first things that I heard was a child regurgitating his parents attitude.  He said they are dirty rotten son’s of …I cut him off before he could finish.  I said I can understand with all the news coverage police shooting innocent people why you would think like that.  I did have another educator say that they may have had a parent arrested in front of them.  I thought well if that is the case, then that police officer was a dirty rotten  scoundrel. No child should witness a parent being arrested. There is absolutely no reason why the arrest can not be done out of the sight of children. Let us loop back to the classroom.  I told them that the media has been covering lots of police shootings some legitimate others are questionable.  Just because we see some police officers misbehaving does not mean that they are all bad.  Most police officers are there to help.  One of the children asked how can you tell the difference?  Well I said a bad cop has his gun pulled as soon as he walks up to you. I know that there have been many police shot in the line of duty; these are five-year olds.  And unfortunately they have seen on TV police officers walking up to vehicle with little children, guns already to shoot. Imagine that from the mind of a 5-year-old. Combine it with media coverage and you have children that are terrified that police are out to kill people. They are 5 remember?  If this had been a Christian school I would have gone into how Peter overreacted when they came to arrest Jesus, he took out his sword and cut a man’s ear off of his head.  Jesus rebuked Peter gently and Jesus put the ear back.  But I imagine that the Roman soldiers were envisioned much the same way as 5 year olds envision police officers today as someone who would rather just kill them.  Because if they are dead, then they don’t have to deal with them. Instead I told them that there are bad people in every profession. Policemen, firemen, bakers, waitress, you name it.  Several job titles were shouted out, kindergarteners know to raise their hands but are not exactly good at it. One said my brother is a burger flipper at Burger King, he says his supervisor picks burgers up off the floor, that is a bad guy right? I said yes that is a perfect example of a bad guy.  You know why?  a little girl said because they do not care about our health and I am never eating at Burger King again that is just gross.  This brought a lot of laughter from the class.  When they quieted down I said Not every Burger King employee is gross and pulls stuff off of the floor, just like every police officer is not bad.  There is one bad example of a BBK employee and many examples of poor police work on TV.  What have you seen that is good?  Someone told how the police officer helped their mommy out of the car after a truck hit their car. One said the police officer came when my mom’s boyfriend was hitting her that was good. The policeman helped us find my little brother when he got lost at the fair. I let them continue for a few minutes. then concluded with see not all policemen are bad. Many of you have had good experiences with policemen.  Then a little girl piped up and said the news is bad.  They only show us the bad stuff and none of the good stuff.  I think she hit the nail on the head. We have to let the good stuff show through.  TV is bad it shows sex being okay when you are not married. It shows violence is okay especially if someone else was bad first. It dresses young girls up as if they were adults. If you lived in Colorado, you remember Jonbenet Ramsey.  The little girl who was made to look ten years older.  A five-year old covered in make up. In today’s world on television there are gay superheros. There is a gay Catholics.  There are heroes that indiscriminately kill people. Oh and don’t forget that one movie about all the ways to have sex. It is no wonder children are afraid. There is so much to cause fear.  It is our responsibility as parents to monitor our children. Their Television, their music (have you heard some of those lyrics of that so-called music), their video games many games work hard to earn lower than what they should have ratings. Politicians making fun of each other. We have to be careful about what is allowed in the classroom.  Yes it means that sometimes you should spot visit your children’s classroom – yes even if it is high school. I know the language that some of those teenagers use, it is awful. How else can you teach them that Dallas is a bad show if you don’t watch it yourself at least once? Yes it means that you may have to watch Modern Family or Two Broke Girls.  Watch it so you can know what your children are watching.  Watch and listen so you know when to say NO.  Otherwise all they see is the bad cops shooting unarmed people and pulling people out of their cars and hitting them. All they see is the gay Catholic guy. There is still wholesome stuff out there it is not all within the church doors. Although inside the church is not always good some have become accepting of many of societies new norms. Yet even with churches looking the other way, when a deacon or pastor has an affair. Some look away when a parishioner is being beat up by her husband NO WHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT SAY MAN BEAT UP YOUR WIFE. IT SAYS MAN SHOULD TREAT THEIR WIVES AS THEIR OWN BODIES.  Some churches look away when someone loses their job and their home.  There are still good churches and there are still places and television shows that hold to good wholesome values. Not sure about the news or the politicians, but there are some shows that it is okay to watch, besides Little House on the Prairie. There is still music that every other word is not the “F” word. There are good family things to do with your children. There are places which frown on drugs and public or premarital sex, even if it is no longer our schools. The thing is as parents we need to monitor our children and ourselves.

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