In January of this year, Kaiser Foundation’s “M2” Media Consumption report shocked parents when it was revealed that today’s 8-18 year-olds average 4 hours and 29 minutes of television programming each and every day. Kaiser, Nielson and others all agree, the television set still is the biggest media draw for kids, despite rumors that TV was dying.
The question is, just what are our kids watching?
If you asked a random selection of teenagers that question in the last 12 months, you’d probably hear the word “Glee” more than almost any other word. In just one year, Fox’s Glee has grown to be one of the most watched television shows by teenagers.
The Glee buzz has grown louder in the past few weeks, with the release of Season 1 on DVD and Blu-ray, and the premier for Season II this Tuesday, September 21.
So what should parents do with this show?
The short answer is: talk about it!
After weeks of researching the show and then even asking you all your two cents last week in my blog, I’ve posted my article about the show on TheSource4YM.com website as this week’s Youth Culture Window article… an article titled, “To Glee, or Not to Glee.”
Here’s just a snippet from the middle of the article:
So, what content are young viewers absorbing from this show?
Glee deals with real issues that teenagers face today, showing consequences and hurt. The writers tell it like it is, warts and all. Name it: teen pregnancy, bullying, self image, and equal rights. But at the same time, the show sends mixed messages. It’s often coarse, laced with sexual humor, and preachy in support of the homosexual lifestyle. (One of the show’s writer/creators, Ryan Murphy, is gay, several of the cast members are gay, and the show has a huge LGBT following.)
Christian parents always ask me: Should I let my kids watch Glee?
Even though I could possibly offer some guidance toward the answer to that question, I hesitate to answer it because my response would negate the purpose behind it.
Allow me to explain: The answer to that question is, Parents must help their kids figure out for themselves if they should watch the show. The process itself is much more important than the answer. In other words, if I or some other author or radio personality were to simply say, “No, don’t let your kids watch it,” I’d hate to think that parents would default to just answering, “Sorry, Jonathan says ‘no,’ so that means the show is bad.”
Parenting isn’t that simple. And I don’t mean to make a cliché with that phrase. Truly, parenting is anything but simple. The fact is, most teaching opportunities take time, effort, and thought. And if parents are truly living out that Deuteronomy 6 passage (Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up… Deuteronomy 6:5-7, NIV), then we’ll be dialoging constantly with our kids about the influences around them, the temptations they face, and the decisions they make. These conversations will require a lot of guidance with younger kids, slowly leading to more freedom as they get older. After all, when they’re 18…it’s really up to them, isn’t it?
This means that my 15-year-old and 17-year-old might be able to discern right and wrong in a situation better than my 13-year-old. Last month…