Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Do As I Say. . . .

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 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)?


stephanie said...

I know mine are younger than yours, but one thing that we have done is drastically limit their amount of "real" TV that they watch. My two-year old is a Backyardigan fan and both big girls adore Dora, but every show they watch has been Tivo-ed by grandparents that have such high-fangled technology. :) We don't have those channels and so we are spared most of the commercialism and the ability for mommy to inadvertently (or not) leave the TV on for long period of time. :) Very, very occasionally do I let my 4 year old turn on PBS and have an afternoon of TV.

Anyway, that's one small way that I try to control it ... I'm not sure what will happen once she discovers Hannah Montana (although I doubt she'll still be around). :)

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

I know our girls are the same age, so I was surprised to see that Amanda just got into those Disney shows. CJ has been into them for a while. Actually, hubby & I can tell you about most of the episodes of Hannah, Suite Life, and Cory in the House! We watch those with her, since she doesn't have her own tv with cable. At least they're clean shows, which is more than I can say for shows that run on other networks that are supposed to be family-friendly. Other than that, she watches American Idol and the Food Network.

As for me, I was greatly convicted about 2 shows I watched, and stopped cold turkey. It was TOUGH at first, but now I don't miss them.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

We got rid of our tv last fall. I know! Shocking!! I've gotten so used to not having t.v. that I seldom think about it anymore. I had the "pleasure" of watching some of the shows you mentioned a couple of weeks ago and after a 6 month viewing hiatus have to say I was mildly shocked by some of the attitudes and relationships I saw portrayed by the characters. I am no longer de-sensitized to the sarcasm and whining so often protrayed on tv. And I think that's a good thing. = ) It also means my children are not being exposed (as often) to behaviors we don't allow or appreciate. And I think that's a good thing as well.

Org Junkie said...

Do you know what gets me fired up right now is the fact that I can't even bring my kids into the movie rental place anymore. The pictures and titles of some of the movies are so terrible that I don't want innocent eyes seeing those. Drives me crazy!

Katrina said...

We watch very little TV, particularly network TV. The few shows Chad or I like to watch, we TiVo and watch later. If we're watching TV when the kids are up and around, it's almost always Food Network or some kind of Discovery or History channel. Camden's favorite channel is still Boomerang and he has no interest in those Disney shows, but that could be in part because he's a boy? I don't know.

We do have that heightened awareness here too, though, and curiosity. "Why is that movie / TV show / music inappropriate?" It's good for me to have to define "inappropriate" -- and then to consider whether *I* should be watching or listening to it.

I'm trying to keep the conversation open and ongoing too -- hoping to help him learn to be discerning on his own, rather than just go along (or resent going along) with what we say.

Anonymous said...

I have been on a blogging Hiatus myself. It is great to be back and inform you---that you guys are just babies.

My two are now in FULL BLOWN TEENAGEHOOD! Run and hide. Everything you taught them when they were little is now ?'d. It is just like when my husband and I went to bed last night our 2 wonderful 14 and 15 year old went into a time machine and warped back to their challenging 2's. Now they both lap me in height and I can't pick them up and put them in their room when they are tantruming.

My son has his learners permit and the seat on the passenger side has brake marks in the carpet. He will be driving on his own in APRIL! Just in time for the other one to get her driver's permit and take drivers ed.

When my 2 were younger my mother told me--- you have to pick your battles. She meant battles like crossing the street by themselves or eating their veggies.

Now it is another ball game the battles are Drugs and Alcohol and curfew.

Thank the lord my teens trust a matter of fact all the TEENS trust me. We are the house where they all hang out. We rarely have food. We also don't have ANY choice. If they are going to hang here then we have water, Milk or juice.

The other night my hubby came to bed and said that we are having 12 teens spend the night? I looked at the clock and said it's 2:30 in the morning, we can't send them home now. He told me to relax and that he seperated the boys from the girls. Oh Goody. I couldn't go back to sleep---we don't have enough breakfast for 12 hungry teenagers!

The next morning I got up early and went out and spent an additional $50 for breakfast for
12. I had enlisted one of the boys to come help me go to the store. All the other boys knew we had left and were waiting in the kitchen when we got home. They just inhaled and half of the food was gone. I asked one of the boys to go wake the girls and inform them that breakfast was in the kitchen and the boys were already eating.

Girls got up ASAP and ran to the kitchen. I honestly wasn't prepared to make another $50 food run that morning.

Kitchen was clean in the next 20 minutes and we didn't have any leftovers!

I am still laughing. Happy that my own teenagers choose to hang at the house, Now I know exactly what is going on. I don't even have to peek over the fence.

Enjoy your kiddos now ladies because the best is yet to come....