I had to stop the kids watching a popular cartoon, not because of the same sex parenting, which totally caught me off guard… They were teaching such disrespect and encouraging immoral motivations. When I said something about morality as we watched together (something I cannot suggest more strongly), one of my children turned to me with what my imagination interpreted as a Children of the Corn/Village of the Damned expression to ask me: What is morality?😲
Later, Praise God, the same child said of another show I was going to grudgingly reward her with, Horrid Henry: I don’t know if I should be watching a show about being bad. I don’t think I should learn how to be bad. She’d been watching it, but had since decided that maybe it wasn’t good for her in a surprising Parent Win.
What are we teaching our children? What are they learning? I was writing about the classroom in which we drop off our children regularly and without a second thought – the living room or den…in front of the TV. Don’t get me wrong, there are Supermoms who do not allow TV or devices, especially during the school week. And there are awesome parents who allot specified screen time for their children. I want to state for the record: I think it’s possible to be a responsible parent to children who have all types of unsupervised screen time.
I just don’t think unsupervised TV and device viewing works for me or my kids.
But there’s a whole other, ‘nother blog post about that.
While I want to talk about what TV is teaching, because programmers and screenwriters are most definitely teaching anyone who watches what they produce; I’m really talking about all of the teachers we don’t recognize. The teachers we don’t think of when we hear the word, “teacher -” parents, for instance.
I remember the days when I was young mom…and everyone who saw me wanted to “Mom” me as I was learning to “Mom” our first baby (We have 4 now.) Sometimes I appreciated that. Now, I realize that other moms trying to “Mom” me is something I should appreciate and not not just because they know things I don’t; it’s wonderful for other people to show their caring by trying to help me, One. And, Two: It’s awesome to find that there are still ways that I can learn to be better in this incredible blessing – the role of Mom.
That’s why I find it ludicrous that homeschooling is frowned upon. Of course some parents aren’t qualified; some teachers don’t have what it takes. But, What is a parent, if not a teacher?
I think we teach our kids about the finality of commitment when they see us arguing and then see us make up or, hear that we meant what we said in our vows – if we said: “till death do us part,” or something along those lines. They learn from us when we apologize to them for messing up and when we admit that we are messed up – imperfect and failing (as humans in bodies that have yet to be redeemed, even after we accept Christ.) They learn when we listen to them…and when we don’t. They learn when we take the time to intentionally share what we have to give – even when we’re not sure what we have to give has any real value.
But of course what you have to give as a parent is valuable. It’s the devil who tries to convince us that we don’t have anything. Even our weakness is used to help our children when we open ourselves in complete vulnerability and transparency. We just have to do our best, and doing that means something to our children.