06 April 2011

Times Have Changed

Yes, times have changed, but parenting hasn't.  Or, at least, it shouldn't have. 

Our kids are exposed to more violent and sexual images on tv and in video games, but we can still teach them that mimicking the behaviors they see is inappropriate and unacceptable.

The rule in our house is if I see any negative behavior that is remotely related to a tv program or video game, the program or game is immediately off limits in the house.

As I've said before, my boys get a lot of screen time.  As long as their behavior and actions are positive, they get to keep the privilege of screen time.  By modeling and positively acknowledging good behavior and actions, we usually don't have problems. 

I am frustrated when I see kids acting out and parents excusing the violent, inappropriate actions by blaming television and video games.  There's no reason for this.  As parents, we have to raise good citizens.  Kids are not going to learn empathy and manners from tv, we must teach them. 

Some people say that preschoolers are too young to learn manners.  That enforcing pleases and thank yous on them is artificial.  I say that is a cop out.  We show them how to appreciate things and teach them to show the appreciation.  We teach our children respect for others, empathy, and good manners, no one else will.  It is the same as when our grandparents were young.  They did not have the same electronic influences, they had the hooligans, but I am pretty sure that if they began to exhibit the behaviors they learned from "the bad element" their parents would teach them right from wrong, and so should we.


  1. Erin, great post. You put into words what I have been trying to convey to our 3yo. After watching the very funny movie, Despicable Me, he now loves to say, "kick in the butt." (The real line is, "he's going to kick your butt.) It drives me insane.

    What you've given me are the words to use to hold him accountable for what he says. I have tried time out, etc., but withholding screen time would have a huge impact. Thank you for helping me see things differently!

  2. Jill. I'm glad I could help! It's all in the follow through.
    Make it clear what the consequence will be. Warn, and then follow through.
    I did this with my three year old yesterday and ended up having to put him in time out until dinner was ready. The three minute time out has had no effect on him, but that one did! He's a feisty kid.
    Good luck.