I felt a little better about letting my sons watch so much TV when I came across this photo of my little sister and me with our eyes on the boob-tube quite a few years ago. Like my mom, I was pretty strict about what my kids could watch though.
I still endure much teasing about my "odd" and overly protective choices regarding what was on the "yes" list and what was not allowed at all. As a fear-filled church lady I did not approve of My Little Pony, The Smurfs, and even The Care Bears! They all included and promoted elements of magic, which I hated and they talked about secret inner invisible characters that sounded creepy to me.
But we were Ok with The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That could have come under the category of the dreaded Eastern Mystical beliefs because of their rat sensei who taught them the art of ninjutsu and his weird little instructions, but I liked them a lot. They fought evil and were full of witty one liners that were pretty entertaining.
When I was little I was not allowed to watch The Three Stooges because they were mean and violent to one another, The American Bandstand was a definite "No, no" in our house because dancing was looked upon as sinful, and the hardest of all, The Wonderful World of Disney had to be missed because it came on just as we were leaving for Sunday Night church services every week! It was so hard to turn the TV off just when the pretty fireworks and Tinkerbelle appeared!
Protecting our kids is a tough job no matter what decade you are wading through. I was adamant to my relatives about our "No toy guns" policy and then the boys created them out of legos, sticks and paper towel rolls. Now one son lives in the great state of Texas where guns are king and my other son loves guns of all kinds and has owned them. Oh well!
When I think back to my mom's rules and my rules, I see a lot of fear based choices. We do need to be wise, the easy availability of screens in front of our kids is frightening, but we also must trust that God is bigger than the outside forces from which we try to hide. A mom or a dad's prayer is the most powerful protection and safeguard we have.
I kind of miss the turtles, how else would my boys know the names of some really great Renaissance artists? Even if they did live in the New York sewer system.