One of the Snapshot family's Friday night routines is to meet Daddy Snapshot for dinner on his way home at one of two nearby restaurants -- Panera or Five Guys. The cholesterol-fearing parts of these over-35 parents feel like we should select the soup, salad and sandwich fare of Panera over the burgers and fries served at Five Guys, but the mouth-watering that the fried foods produce often trump that and cause us to want to throw caution to the wind. However, the kids almost always vote for Panera, so when we give them a choice, that's where we end up.
On a recent Friday night, I had reserved a movie at redbox.com for Terry and me to watch later, so the kids and I went to pick it up at the grocery store right beside Panera before heading to dinner. While we were eating Terry asked if I had gotten a movie.
I had, and apparently little eyes had been watching me.
"It's rated R," Amanda told him.
Standing at the vending machine, Kyle was pointing at all the movies that he wanted to get, but I told him that I was getting one for Daddy and me to watch. Amanda asked which one I was getting and I told her, "Michael Clayton." She apparently noticed the rating.
It seems that she's become a tween overnight. Just this week she's begun watching shows on Disney that she was never interested in--The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Hannah Montana, etc. I have no objections to her watching these shows, but I also didn't mind that until recently she was more interested in the Smurfs than the tweens and teens portrayed, however innocently, on those shows (although I admit that the Smurfs are pretty annoying).
I know that because of this heightened media awareness, I'm going to have to be on guard--both about what I'm seeing and listening to (as she's watching me), but also the way in which the media might be affecting her.
How do you monitor the influence of the media on your children (or yourself)?