Sunday, March 04, 2007

Respect and Television

I love my children tremendously. I have lots and lots of things I could say to brag about them. I have many examples of how wonderful they are each and every day. However, today I will not be talking about the good things - no, I will not. My children are, afterall, human and they do not always behave 100%.

So my 7 year old. My 7 year old is struggling with a huge concept IMO. She as issues with respect. I am sometimes embarrassed by her lack of respect and I scratch my head and wonder how this happened? She really does sometimes believe and behave like she is the adult in the situation, which I think leads to some of her disrespectful behavior - not being disrespectful just to do it, but doing it because instead of acting like a child she is trying to act like an adult, and therefore failing at both. I cringe sometimes when she speaks to other adults. Granted, this does not happen all the time, not even half the time, but often enough that I am extremely concerned about it. When I feel she is being disrespectful, I pull her aside, I tell her she is not speaking respectfully and we discuss other ways she could have handled the situation, and punishments are handed out.
Unfortunately, I do not see any of this making a difference in our day-to-day life. Maybe I am not giving her enough time. Maybe she is not old enough to really get it. Maybe it's something she will outgrow. I am not sure I agree with any of those statements. And I'm not willing to sit back and wait for her to "get it" or "outgrow it" or just do nothing.
So, I've made a decision I've been thinking about for a while. I have told my children that they can not watch any television. It's not that television is the problem per se, but dh and I talked last night and in many of their favorite shows, the adults somehow usually end up as the idiots and the kids are the smart ones who save the day. I really feel that this is affecting my 7 year old a lot (on the other hand, I do not believe it is affecting my 4 year old at all). I remember when my oldest was younger there were shows I had to stop her from watching as she was repeating what she saw on them and somewhere along the way I stopped doing that and thought she was old enough to watch shows (however, I want to be very clear that I don't let her have free reign of what she watches nor do I let her watch adult shows or adult movies, etc, etc.) I guess my poing it is that I had some restrictions on the tv, but for her, not enough.
She wasn't oh-so-happy when she heard the news. In fact, she was down-right mad and upset.
Basically anything they watch on tv has to be approved 100% by dh or myself.
I told them they could still watch the diy shows they like to watch with me. However, a lot of their kids shows are now off limits.
I feel bad truth-be-told. I feel like I shouldn't have to tell them they can't watch children's shows! It's crazy really. But I do really think this is something that needs to be done for my oldest child and for our family.
I also need to figure out some ways to also help her understand and learn about respect - that I'm still not sure what to do. I do know what I am doing is not cutting it and not making an impact on her.
I surely hope we can figure this out and come out stronger on the other side.


Smoov said...

How was she disrespectful? What shows did she like?

I don't let Hayden watch "That's so Raven". Mainly because it is a stupid show and the characters have no depth. Actually, I don't like any of the shows on Disney and I discourage her from watching garbage like Hannah Montana and The Cheetah Girls! I don't really have a good explanation for it either, I just think the shows are garbage. Luckily, she doesn't care very much.

JennaG said...

We cancelled cable two years ago fo this very reason--we did not appreciate the way the shows made parents/adults look ridiculous. We also did not like our kids seeing all the commercials for prime time tv. We have a christian satellite service now that gives us hallmark, home and garden, and foxnews. We like it a lot. Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by. I'll be back!

Lori said...

I can totally relate. I have a 7-year-old who has issues with thinking she's smarter than the adults. She really is very smart, and just doesn't like to believe that anyone might know more than her. She's not blatantly disrespectful, but more passive agressively disobedient, and it drives me crazy.

I also agree with you about television. We DVR Christian kids' shows from TBN on Saturday mornings, and stuff like Saddle Club on Discovery Kids, and that's pretty much all they get to watch, besides the Food Channel.