Kids (4-12)

5 Signs Your Show Is Not Family-Friendly


A remarkable number of moms and dads watch—and allow their children to watch—the latest reality shows. These shows make outrageous displays of some of the most important areas of life like marriage and family relationships or finding the right spouse.

Americans spend a great deal of time watching television, either on a traditional set, a computer, or a handheld device. However, for parents who care about the messages their children absorb from the media they take in, finding shows that entertain without introducing something questionable is increasingly difficult. Here are some gray areas to look out for:

1. Language, Violence, and Nudity. These are the obvious offenders that most parents look out for, and for good reason. The more children are exposed to profanity, violence, and sexual promiscuity, the more desensitized they become to it.

2. Themes That Contradict Your Theology. A show might be completely G-rated with regard to the things in #1, but put forth views that undermine the way you’re training your children to understand God and seek a relationship with him. Listen closely to the things you watch, and you may be surprised to see how much under-the-radar push-back exists to the Christian faith.

3. Themes That Contradict Your Values. The entertainment industry is extremely adept at taking a lifestyle choice or other decision that contradicts the values of many Americans, and slowly disarming us by getting us to laugh at it or with it. Make sure the characters in the programming you allow your children to watch are making good choices. And if they’re not, make it a “teachable moment” by discussing why this particular choice doesn’t line up with your family values.

4. Themes That Promote a Lack of Wisdom and Civility. Reality TV, in particular, has made a fortune by letting America gawk at those whose only achievements are in the areas of self-centeredness, tackiness, and poor choices. If your children are taking in these shows, even as entertainment, they’ll undoubtedly become desensitized to the tantrum-throwing and self-promotion on display. Beware.

5. Major Materialism. We live in a more-is-more consumer culture, and the shows your children watch can contribute greatly to their expectations with regard to possessions. Make sure their programming isn’t feeding an unhealthy fire and shaping their values in a way you’ll regret.

© 2012 iMOM. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.



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