Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Input, Output"

"what comes in must come out..." This was a song I remember as a kid. I don't remember who sang it, but it has to do with what we put into our bodies and mind is what would come out and how we need to be ever so selective with what we choose to put into our bodies and mind. And since my children are too young to make those choices for themselves, it is up to me to decide for them and to teach them how to make good choices on what to put into their bodies and minds.

Lately Owen has been saying to me after I tell him to do something "but please, please, mom, can we, can we, please, please please!" Now first of all this is not the correct response my children are to have when I instruct them to do something. I expect a "yes mommy" and that is something that we do practice during our training time and for the most part the kids will say "yes mommy" during the day. But just recently, Owen has been saying the "but please, please, mom, can we, can we, please, please, please!" and I just couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Then as I was watching one of Owen's favorite shows with him, the PBS show "Dinosaur Train" I hear Tiny (one of the 'kid' dinosaurs) say to his mom after mom said it was time to go "but please, please, mom, can we, can we, please, please, please!" and the mom says "okay, yes you can". OUCH! This show is teaching my son things that go against what I'm trying to teach him and the show is winning!

Here are some tips/suggestions I've thought about when it comes to media influences on our children and what you can do about it:
* First, always watch the show with your kid or even by yourself the first time to make sure the show is in fact reflecting the behavior and family virtues you are wanting your children to emulate. There are several shows that I will not let my kids watch. Basically if the show has behavior I don't want my kids to have (whining, disrespect to authority, talking back to parents, challenging parents instructions, not being kind to others...) then it's a show I don't want them watching.
* It's okay to say "no, we aren't watching that show anymore". And if your child is over 3 yrs of age, you need to explain the moral reason why you are saying we aren't to watch this show anymore. You are wanting to teach your children how to make the right choices for themselves on what shows are okay to watch and what shows aren't - this is why you explain the moral reason why.
* We tend to either watch DVD's that we have approved okay to watch or any shows on TV we tape with our DVR so I can fast forward through the commercials. Another at times very negative influence on our children. So try to minimize as best you can commercials your children see.
* Find other activities to do then watch TV. Yes, I know there are times that a show is good to have the kids sit down and watch and yes we do have a daily schedule of a show to watch. But I do find myself when tired or just not wanting to find things for my kids to do, it's just so easy to turn on the TV for them.
* Check out websites like which help give Christian reviews on current movies, TV shows and music. Needless to say, they don't have any PBS shows listed.
* Always be on the look out for books, videos, stories...that strengthen your moral training not break it down. It's hard enough to train your children to be moral, we don't need to be giving them negative influences that will work against our efforts. For those in the area, I love Bargain Bookstore, actually there is a online store too at, but they have lots of Christian based books at great prices. Just today I found the whole series on "A Children's Books About..." interrupting, being greedy, stealing, fighting, complaining...there were over 16 different topics and they were $1.99 each, but they were having a sale by 10 and get 10% off your total order.

I alway love when we do training time and then later one while we are reading a story or watching a show, Owen says "oh, mom just like in training time". It helps me see that he is actually getting it! As he gets older, I am hoping he will be able to realize that certain shows do and act ways that the Cook's don't act and that he is able to not fall to their influences and be strong in what we have trained him to be!

Do you have any further ideas or suggestions on how you control the media influences on your children? Are there any particular shows or books you like for your kids?

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