Monday, April 23, 2007

Charlie Go Watch T.V. or Something...

What are we letting our kids watch? I appreciate all parents that have the courage and stick-to-itiveness to raise such awesome creatures, but I’m always concerned with the media’s influence on youth. My mom couldn’t answer all of my questions and books weren’t all that helpful in some areas, so, like I said in a previous entry, I tried to find who I was in television and some kids still are. I’ve always been concerned with musical artist like 50-Cent and Eminem who constantly use the words fag, faggot, dyke, nigger, bitch, hoe, slut etc. in their music and videos. I can remember punishing my little brother for using one of those words and then blocking all of those channels from our television. It didn’t help much because his classmates at school used the words on the playground because either their parents were too busy to screen their shows or didn’t think it was much of a problem. In talking to people from my high school and elementary school, I found that the problem was that kids were starting to look up to these individuals and no matter how the parents protest, it’s fairly difficult to keep kids away from who they believe are their heroes, especially when peer pressures plays a role.

I was watching a movie the other day where a boy around eleven years was going around on a bike with a video camera filming girl’s butts saying he was making a “music video” like the rappers. He approached a girl around the same age about being in his video and she responded to the effect of, “you want me to wear a skimpy skirt and halter top” he responded, “no, you can wear a t-shirt as long as you don’t mind getting it wet!” This wouldn’t be as heart breaking if it didn’t display the attitudes of most youths who watch this sort of entertainment. We were all upset when the basketball player said that he was homophobic, but there are tons of kids and young adults going around being what I like to call “21st century male chauvinists.”

I get into debates with friends all the time who believe that this sort of music and entertainment isn’t harming and I feel (and still do) that this should be taken off the air or be made as difficult to buy as porn, which really isn’t difficult for a kid to get their hands on but might get the producers to be more sensible and the parents more involved.

Friends, I don’t know what really can be done or who to blame, as one really smart lady once wrote, if we knew the answers to those questions we’d be living in heaven rather than on earth. I might sound like Jasmine wishing for a whole new world but when you see the very apparent affects that this stuff –and many other societal issues- are having on the youth and the blindness and arrogance of the decision makers, you kind of wish you can take your kids and stick them in that new world until they’ve matured enough to be efficient and positive members of society.

Seek Peace

2 comments:

Teresa said...

jamie,

My take on this has always been to tell my kids "You can't control what anyone else does, and you shouldn't try to...but you can control what YOU do, and you can tell people what you think."

Also,

"If everybody agrees on a wrong thing...it's still a wrong thing."

If everybody agrees that it's OK to put someone down because of who they are, it doesn't make it right.

We can't change what's out there, but we can change how we respond to it. If there is bad stuff, I don't try to protect my kids from it, I try to arm them against it.

I let them watch stuff most parents would not let their kids watch, but I watch it with them, and I tell them what I think, and I ask them what they think, and ask questions about it that cause them to think about it more deeply.

This way, I hope to help them learn to select for themselves what they will choose to put in their heads and what they will let pass them by.

*Jamie* said...

I agree with most of what you say. I'm not a parent so I can't challenge your methods. Have you seen some of these videos? Yes, you can arm your children against such things, but many parents don't have the time or inclination to practice what you do on your kids. As the title suggests, a t.v. is a device to distract children while parents do what needs to be done.

We're in a time where kids find who they are in television, and really, that shouldn't be a bad thing. However, Stats show that kids are the #1 audience for these out of place programs and that's my argument.

I believe there needs to be more parents practicing what you're doing but I don't think that happens most of the time. Also, according to studies, it's the urban black and upper middle class white being affected by these videos. We can keep our kids away from the drug dealers but sometimes we have to go after the dealers.