Wouldn’t You Agree?

I just completed a phone survey about kids and television. My blood is boiling. Forgive me for this rant, I have to unload somewhere. Prepare yourself.

We made the decision to get rid of television in our home 6 years ago. I find television news a passive approach to information and despise being spoon fed opinions on current events. I prefer to get my facts from the source rather than filtered down through various editor’s desks, being wrapped in makeup and lighting, and finally disseminated in the most politically correct way possible. Television news is a business. This kind of “news” is meant to garner ratings. Period. I find it pandering and insulting to my intelligence. How’s that for breaking news?

Besides news, the only reason we had television channels streaming into our home was so I could see the Seahawks crush opponents during the fall and winter. Now, I watch games at my sister’s house and enjoy family time in addition to bone crunching hits. I didn’t want our kids being raised in front of flashing pictures, regardless of how educational the program was. So we ousted TV. We kept Netflix and Hulu, but kicked those to the curb eventually as well.

I don’t think TV is good for brains. Whether we’re talking about adults or kids, television is doing nothing for your noggin. Books are where it’s at. Many studies back up my belief. Just Google “TV vs. reading studies”, you’ll see what I mean. However, all of my opinions on television are irrelevant to you and your kids. Throw them out the window. Why should you care? I am not their parent. You are. Nobody else is. This is the basis of my fury over the survey I just completed.

The entire tenor of the survey questions were aimed at taking responsibility away from parents, and dictating ratings and structure for all screens. I’m sure there’s a bill being shoved through the legislature somewhere to “protect” kids from the big bad television/iPad/Kindle/phone screens. Oooooh, they are so scary. Help! Run away before they destroy us all! It’s absurdity on the highest level. Here’s the one question I remember specifically from the survey, and my answer. This, after three questions about implementing restrictions and ratings for kids.

Q: Studies show that children spend up to 10 hours on various screens and devices in the home. Wouldn’t you agree that this is harmful to children?

A: I think parents should be in charge of their own children.

Q: I’m sorry, can you repeat that please? I asked, wouldn’t you agree that this is harmful to children?

A (slowly): I think PARENTS should be in charge of their own children.

The woman reading the questions responded with “Um, ok…thank you for your time.”, and hung up. How is it a shocking statement that parents should be responsible for their own kids??

Somehow, we’ve reached a place in our society of allowing, even expecting others to care for and make decisions about our kids. Guess what. It’s not the government’s job to take care of your kid. It isn’t your school teacher’s duty to shape and mold your child. Not their doctor or their grandparent’s responsibility. It. Is. Yours.

I’m so sick and tired of living in a nanny state, where decisions and choices are taken away from individuals and put in the hands of bureaucrats. Where limitations and restrictions that cripple parents, are applauded as pioneering safety measures. If others can tell you what you can and cannot do with your own children, what can’t they control? Seriously.

Stand up Moms and Dads. Don’t allow yourself to be lulled into the lie that someone else is more capable of caring for your children than you. Kids are the most precious, fleeing gift of this life. The immense privilege and responsibility of raising them should not ever be forgotten. Or passed on to others. Nobody understands what your children need better than you. Nobody. I don’t care how many degrees, years of experience or statistics they have behind them, “they” are not the parent. If you feel unequal to the task, welcome to the club. None of us really know what we are doing. Neither did our parents, or theirs. Going back thousands of years, we are all just doing the best that we can with the priceless treasure of our children. Hoping not to screw up too badly. Own it. Celebrate the responsibility. Cherish the messy crazy joy that is parenting. Don’t allow anyone to swoop in and rob you of that role. It is yours. You don’t need anyone’s permission to do what’s best what YOU decide is best for your children. Wouldn’t you agree?

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