I have a guilty conscience

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by shellyd67, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    For some time now husband and I have been at odds about what the kids view on TV and video games they play.

    I do not like difficult child to watch wrestling but husband says "all the kids watch it and it is something for him to socalize about"

    Last night it was on and one of the wrestlers was saying some really nasty things (most of it went over difficult child's head) and I was not a happy camper.

    husband also bought difficult child this video game called Black Ops and it says the F word ! I was doing laundry and heard it loud and clear. I asked difficult child to turn if off and of course he melted down.

    I just feel like too much junk is on TV (even on disney and nick) that is inappropriate.

    I would love to unplug and stop letting them be exposed to this all together.

    I don't watch much TV. I only watch The Walton's and House Hunter's and occasionally I will catch an episode of American Idol.

    How do you guys feel about TV today for kids ?

    I would love some feedback.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Why do YOU have a guilty conscience?

    I have watched more television in the last month than I have watched in the last year. I believe this stems from being grounded at age 14, but my Mom says I never watched much TV.

    I used to love the X-Files and Dawson's Creek, but as they're now off the air, I mainly watch the History Channel (Modern Marvels rocks), and Animal Planet (Pit Bulls and Parolees got me hooked there).

    Some of the garbage on Nick, Nick Teen, and even the Cartoon Network, is unbelieveable. And whatever happened to MTV being Music TeleVision? Music videos? Which were carefully censored.

    husband loves TV, but watches a lot of the same stuff I do. Plus the news and the Simpsons. (Ugh, but it's his thing.)

    You're not alone. I'd like to totally unplug - say a week? I can just imagine the explosion though.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    No way will my kids watch wrestling or play that game. I am very picky about that stuff. I really don't care if they see naked people as that is a natural part of life. I do insist that sex is presented in a married realtionship or we have lots of talks about it. I DO mind violence in a HUGE way. In a setting of the good guys solving the crime and busting the bad guys it is okay with age approp limits, but otherwise it just isn't happening.

    My husband gave me the "they won't be able to talk to the other kids fi they don't watch what everyone is watching" **** and I said that was a GOOD thing as they didn't need bad habits from the other kids (we were talking about specific kids in a specific very aggressive school environment at the time.) My kids, thankfully, all think wrestling is stupid (NOT meaning to offend, it is their words). I let them make some decisions, but if I say turn it off and get ANY static then it goes off for days or weeks.

    I have done this for a LONG time, since before thank you was born. If tv is so important, or a game is or whatever, that they have to have a fit when it has to be turned off due to not okay content or time limits (with warnings on tiem limits not just arbitraty turn it off now unless the content is inappropriate) then the tv has become FAR FAR FAR too important and their priorities need to be adjusted. This means that the tv and other screens are off until the withdrawal tantrums are over and they have had a week or two of not hassling us about it. I rarely have trouble with Jess or thank you anymore - they know it is just how it is.

    We also have invested in dvds instead of cable/satellite until about 2 yrs ago. It let us cut out most commercials (cuts down on the gimme's) and control content far more. All it will take is a tantrum and they ALL know that I will turn the screens off until I am good and ready to turn them on. Even Wiz got to the point where I had a day or three of grief and then very little by the time he was about 13 or 14. He slid at times, but mostly it wasn't a big deal. Cause he knew he would get a lecture and he hated them more than being unplugged - creative use of boring lectures by a mom - according to the therapist we were seeing, lol!

    Everything I have seen about Black Ops says it is rated M - and your son is 10. Why would your husband think it is okay for a ten yo child to play a game that violent? Have you discussed ratings with him so that you can come to an agreement of some sort as to what is and isn't okay for your son in line with your values as a family? Yeah, your son may like it, but is it appropriate? he would probably like to drive and drink beer but those are not age appropriate so they are nto allowed. I know there ar enot laws about game ratings, but they do present some guidelines. Of course it is a family decision, but does he have a reason other than "he likes it" and "the other kids play it" for letting your son play games rated for adults?

    Does he truly think your son is mature? If so, is he willing to put mature responsibilities onto your son and see that he carries them out - liek chores with-o fits, good grades, etc....? With privileges come responsibilities in every other aspect of life. Shouldn't it be so with this also?

    Does your son have any problems with being aggressive and/or violent in any situation? IF so , violent video games are proven to feed this problem. Now I have not ever seen the game played and it may be rated M for a few cuss words, but I doubt it from the reviews and ads I have seen. Does your child's therapist and/or psychiatrist have an opinion? This might help you and husband navigate this minefield.

    I don't follow ratings strictly - often I will watch or play something first (well, have husband play it and then aks him questions as I don't really enjoy most video games) and see if it fits in with our values and our child's needs/behavior/personality. thank you and JEss get a TON of things that Wiz did not get at the same age - but they do not show the violence and general gfgness that he displayed, and they are far more willing to do chores and be reasonable human beings for the most part. So, it is what it is.

    I guess I am saying first that you should NOT feel guilty. Second that you and husband need to sit and discuss your values and what you want for your son and how this game fits in. Is it important enough to husband to go against your strong feelings? Is it important enough to you to make a big deal about it? Does your husband realize that your son is only 10 and regardless of what he says and the kids say, a lot of them are NOT playing this game. Some are, but not all or likely even most. We went round and round with this and games with Wiz until he realized I had asked the other parents if their kids actually played it. The ones with parents who didn't much care what they did as long as they were quiet did end up playing because the games ketp them busy for hours. These families were in the vast minority and we were NOT NOT NOT in a school with really high expectations of kids. these kids in our school were the ones most likely to have parents who let them do most anything - and they still were not, are not, playing those games. The kids may SAY they are, but they are blowing smoke or sneaking around and have parents who put a stop to it.

    I will say my husband gave up arguing over games with me. I let him say if they were too adult for our kids UNTIL the point tha tI saw problems. Then I uninstalled them and lost the discs with-o telling anyone ahead of time. They didn't ask me before they installed them so after the second time we had a real problem from a game this was what was going to happen. husband started talking to me a LOT more about what he let the kids play and why, and if I saw behavior problems related to the games he understood that I was going to make them disappear. It was an agreement we worked out and may not work that way for your family.

    Anyway, can your husband tell you why an M rated game is appropriate for a 10yo? Can he then tell you what your child will have to look forward to as adult privileges if he gets all the M rated stuff now? What carrots will you have to use in the future? If it is okay for him to play violent M rated games, why can't he drive or drink beer? What incentives will he have to accept adult responsibilities like working hard at a job if he already has all of the adult rewards? Dads don't seem to see it from that angle a lot of the time. It was a major eye opening question for my husband and it really made him think.

    This is just my thoughts and what we have done. Your family has to figure out what works with all of this for you - whatever it is that you work out is fine as long as it is acceptable to both parents and doesn't cause behavior problems for your child or the family. I am sorry you have to fight this out - it sure isn't fun when you disagree like this with your husband on something that is important to you.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Step - if you have hulu plus you can watch every season of the Xfiles online!! It is a major reason we signed up for it. I LOVE Xfiles! (Plus Law and Order SVU and Ally McBeal which are also on hulu plus!)
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Thanks Susie!
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im probably going to be in the minority here...lol but then I often am. Or maybe Im just a more outspoken person.

    I never censored much of what my kids watched or played. We had all the Nintendo systems that came up the line when they were growing up. My Dad saw to that. Billy was our biggest gamer and still is today though Jamie is big into hunting games at his house. None of my kids are particularly violent...even Cory.

    Yes Cory swears like a sailor. So does Jamie but he learned that in the Marines. I never heard Jamie swear in front of me until he went into the Marines.

    Jamie and Cory could hardly sit still enough to watch much TV when they were really little. As they grew up they watched some stuff but back then we didnt have cable so it was all network stuff. They did like sci-fi and some horror movies. Billy was a huge horror movie fan and he and Tony would rent them and watch them together. I cant stand the things.

    Now with the grands? Well I dont have access to Hailie but Keyana? She adores her cartoons and the Hannah show and of course, Justin Bieber stuff but she also LOVES LOVES LOVES crime drama. I have no idea why. I will be watching it in my bedroom and if she comes in start to flip the stations and she will go NO! Lets watch it...I wanna see. Look...the bad guy is doing this...see...he is gonna do that and then they are gonna come do this...wait...see!

    She knows its a tv show and she knows it isnt real. Im talking about shows like law and order, Criminal Minds, NCIS. Then of course, she loves football and NASCAR. She really likes NASCAR and now has picked a driver - Kyle Busch because he drives the M&M car...lol. I have got to take her to a race.

    I dont know what to make about the fact that she likes crime shows. They dont scare her so I dont think I should forbid her from watching them because then she would think its bad. She doesnt act out the behaviors. Maybe she is just going to be a person who likes that sort of fiction. I do.
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Shelly - I made a unilateral decision when we started having kids that my kids would not be watching Cartoon Network or any of that junk. I also never allowed play swords or guns in our home (made summertime difficult - finally found Sesame Street characters and dinosaurs that squirted water, LOL). Didn't even know I'd have a difficult child - it was just something I really felt strong about. Kids watched PBS and Disney, period. Got no end of grief from thank you when everyone else was watching Power Rangers, LOL, but I stuck to my guns - and I have never regretted it. Not sure if it made any difference or not in the long run, but... it is what it is.

    My father gave thank you his first Gameboy around age 6. I was *not* crazy about Pokemon but allowed it because the characters don't die - they faint. I know, thin line, but that's how I rationalized it. I think Pokemon was the extent of his game collection. We also only went to G-rated movies. I just about had a stroke when he was in the psychiatric hospital around age 8 and they let the kids watch Jurassic Park - are you *kidding* me??? Of course, once he went to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), all my careful screening went right out the window with thank you, but I stuck to my guns with- the other kids.

    I do let oldest watch Sopranos (curse words just tickle him) and wrestling (again, he just howls with laughter), but then he's 22 now. I've relaxed quite a bit on video games with- Weeburt - he's a good kid, and I think has a decent head on his shoulders so I'm not terribly concerned about the games warping him at this stage of the game (he's 16, respectful, getting good grades in honors classes). Diva plays Sims and seems to enjoy building volcanoes in her towns, LOL, but that's the extent of her video gaming. She doesn't really watch TV much anymore, so that's a nonissue. I didn't let her have Brats dolls - self-explanatory there, LOL. I listen to her music but generally don't censor it. She has several P!nk CDs, and we talk about the lyrics. Heaven help me, she loves Keshia - we've talked a *lot* about how utterly useless some of her lyrics are. husband used to like The Simpsons - he had to bite the bullet when the kids were in the room. The last think I needed was Bart as a role model for any of them (husband included???? ROFL).

    I will share a funny - I love Law & Order, CSI, Bones, and Criminal Minds. We watch the reruns in the evening. Diva came home a couple of months ago and sat down in the living room while I was watching my usual crime show and was telling me that her teacher had used Sponge Bob as an example of something - Diva had to tell her that she'd never seen Sponge Bob. The teacher was incredulous. Then my very savvy daughter looked at the TV, looked at me, and said, "Something's wrong here, Mom. You won't let me watch Sponge Bob, but we watch crime shows every night?? Bones reruns every night?? Oh, yeah, Moooom, that's sooooo much better." :rofl: I hate it when the kids get smart.

    Don't feel guilty. I was lucky in that my husband just pretty much bowed to my wishes. I think maybe if you sit down with- husband and go over specifics - are curse words ok (and be specific)? Nudity? Rude attitude? Blood and gore? Drug use? Sex? Etc. On the rare occasion when my husband would pipe up, he would point out that we watched Saturday morning cartoons and had play guns (or used sticks) and we turned out okay. He may be right, probably is (though if you tell him, I'll deny it), but... it was just something I felt really strongly about so that's how it was.
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Kiddo's favorite Wii games are things like Endless Ocean: Blue World.
    When it was still shown on broadcast instead of cable, we did watch quite a bit of wrestling. I grew up watching it with my Dad (along with monster truck competitions and NASCAR, I was raised in the South!). We've also had a lot of discussions and shown her a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff on the wrestling and how much practice and dedication goes into what they do to minimize injuries and whatnot. I've also used it to open the door to talk to her about how easy it can be for some people to get hooked on painkillers and whatnot. I even took her to a live show about two years ago and it was the single best Mother's Day we've ever had.
    She is now getting squeamish about blood on TV or in movies even though she knows it's fake. She also still thinks kissing is gross, lol. She has no issues with the blood on shark and dinosaur documentaries though. Not sure how that works. There was an episode of The Middle on recently where one of the characters snuck into a R-rated movie, and I used that as an opportunity to discuss it with her, as she pretty well knows that an R rating can be for any number of things, including too many uses of bad language (which I don't censor her from unless it's sex related stuff) and too much violence. She loves comic-book based movies (as do I), and both Difficult Child and Marvel are pretty good at not pushing anything I consider objectionable irregardless of their rating (Frank Miller movies are something else, I like 'em but won't let her watch them outside of most of 300 - some scenes in that I skip when she's watching with me).
    So basically, I only censor her from sex stuff and on-screen drug use. Almost anything else is a teaching opportunity, mostly along the lines of how they did the special effects and stunts.
    Edit: I also send her out of the room during the autopsy/crime scene shots.
  9. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Thanks for all the advice ladies.

    The thing is I am the way stricter parent. I DO NOT allow any videos on TV and we have parental locks on everything. It is just this one particular game with foul language and the stupid wrestling but that is enough to set me off.

    The kids barely use the computer and if they do I am sitting close by and they have to ask permission always.

    I think husband wants difficult child to "fit in" but he is better off not fitting in in my humble opinion.

    This is really a problem that we need to sit down and discuss and then have a family meeting with some new rules and guidelines for games and tv.
  10. totiredtofight

    totiredtofight New Member

    this i can relate to .. husband used to be the "game tester" however he was letting things slide that i would not have .. now I test every game that comes into the house .. if i hear of a game difficult child 1 who is 15 is playing else where i look up game clips and call his gamer uncles to find out what they know .. i have played some of black ops and a few other popular games that are out there ... i have found that if i watch the shows and play the games its helpful to know what to keep away from them and what to let them have .. there is a show on nick that is locked in my house as soon as it comes on the cable box blocks it degrassi.. its aimed to preteens and teens but when an adult toy was being held by a child on this show that was enough i didn't have to watch another second of it ... its best to talk to husband about what is allowed or just help the stuff to get "lost" in the messy room... that works for our home .. doing the twist on a game that is inappropriate in the kitchen floor also helps with not getting the meltdown or blame .. a simple " its scratched and wont work .. SO sad not buying another one "
  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    When Miss KT was younger, we had only one TV, so we watched together. Mostly Disney, Nickelodeon, stuff like that, but she also LOVED the true crime stories. Got a call from school once because Miss KT was looking forward to Murder Night...didn't think to add that it was the true crime shows on TLC.

    She was never afraid of anything she saw on TV, even one night when she wandered into the living room while I was watching "Carrie." She was about 4, and just as the bucket hit, she asked, "What's that?" Me: "They say it's pig blood." Miss KT : "Oh. What is it really?" Me: "Maple syrup." Miss KT: "Oh. OK." And back she went to bed. Same thing with "The Shining," one of my very favorite all time movies.

    I always told her "If it's on TV, it's not real. Don't worry about it. Somebody just made it up." It worked for us.
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    As my Dad always told me, you can see worse on the evening news. The one thing I banned as soon as I learned I was pregnant? Barney. I tried to keep her away from Spongebob, but I failed miserably on that one.
  13. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    HaoZi - not only was Barney approved, we owned the entire collection on videotape.

    I love you, you love me.....

    Perhaps that explains so much about thank you, :rofl:
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'm of the "Raptors ate Barney" persuasion, lol. She adored Dora and Barbie movies and shows when she was younger, but now she feels she's "too old and they're for babies". The Dora stuff really annoyed me when she liked it, but now her hatred of it makes me sad.
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    You know if you feel that strongly about it? There is a box that you can get that will filter out inappropriate words. I think it is sold through Christian Broadcasting Company. A girl I used to work with had it hooked up to their television and her husband LOVED sports. They got only Christian chanels somehow in their home on tv. Okay so he puts on the sports chanels and paid for the S.C. Game to be broadcast and had friends over for the big rivalry game. Its the Clemson Tigers and the USC Gamecocks. Except everytime the announcer would say USC Gamecocks it would bleep out the USC name.

    This led to the kids in the room asking WHY - which to me was just even more horrid than anything I wanted to stick around to have explained.

    After that? I think they just sent the box back. So sometimes too much sensoring can be a bad thing.

    We let Dude have a PS2 - and he had a driving game. He didn't have it long because his sense of curiosity took the $300 thing apart to see how it worked. UGH. As far as TV? I hardly watch it, and when I do? I have a few fav. shows that are interesting, but it seems anymore unless you are interested in crime, court, death or reality? The choice is Holmes on Homes....I'm fine with that. lol.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    My older kids would throw major tantrums when Barney came on TV. When Weird Al Yankovich brought out his song "Barney's On Fire" they made sure it got loaded onto the iPod.

    Shelly, you do need to avoid the "good cop, bad cop" routine with your husband. You need to compromise with him. He with you, and/or you with him. If you're not on the same page, you will continue to have these hassles and your kids will see you as a killjoy, even if you are justified.

    I'm with you on the language - difficult child 3 is a lot older and I still object when I hear certain language coming from either his games or his mouth.

    On the subject of wrestling - I used to watch it on TV when I was a kid (Aussie TV back then was in its infancy, there were two networks only and they did not have much on). I found the wrestling far more entertaining and acceptable if I turned the sound right down and put classical music on - something fast-paced like Mozart of Bach. Handel's Water Music would also work well. Also, at 10 difficult child should be capable of accessing movie-making technology on te computer and taking a wrestling clip and synching it with music of his choice. Put in sound effects etc. Make it comical. THAT should boost his social opportunities with any kids who are wrestling fans.

    Or he could study other kinds of wrestling, like sumo. At least it is not contrived and made-up, like a lot of what we see on TV. Much of what is broadcast in conventional wrestling is scripted stunts, not genuine competition.

  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    OMG...Im roflmao over the censoring of the gamecocks...I think that is hilarious! Yes, that would lead to horrible explanations. Maybe you have to be from here to get what a huge game that is...lol. There go the Tigers...and now the BLEEPS have the ball...oh gosh Im dying here.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It really does come down to what is OK for your family and your kids. I couldn't allow Power Rangers and had to take a super hard line that one of my aunts did everything under the sun to undermine me on that issue (mostly because she is of the opinion that I have no right to set boundaries for my kids if she doesn't liek them - she is decades older and we had kids at the same time so she was always right - in her mind.). Her kids watched hours of it because her oldest would have a fit if they watched anything else. She finally backed off when I told her that if she gave my kid even 10 seconds of exposure or a book about them, then I would call her EVERY TIME he had a nightmare and she could come over to sit up until he went to sleep. As one episode of power rangers at her house gave my son over 2 WEEKS of nightmares in a row, she saw the light. I was totally 110% serious. If it was important enough to her that he have them (she used the argument that if he didn't have power rangers he wouldn;t ever have any friends) then I would allow it BUT she had to take responsibility for the effects of them.

    I never heard another blessed word about them from her. The reason we blocked a LOT of things was because Wiz would act them out. Even disney movies had to be cut out at some points. The whole Hyenas screaming "We'll kill you" was a fave of his, as were the various acts of Cruella De Ville and other villains. We didn't start out to ban then, it came after his behavior showed what he was watching or he got nightmares.

    the Home Alone movies made him cry and have nightmares when he was about 8 - the people were getting hurt. I couldn't argue or explain why it was funny because in real life it wouldn't be. These are the reasons we had some of the rules we did. I didn't mind Barney - no violence, very little rudeness, it gave me 30 mins to get something done which might be all I got in a day.

    Every child reacts differently and every parent has different values. We have to work with our spouse/partner to make sure that what happens is right for our kids. I do see a HUGE difference between a 10yo playing a mature game and a teen, even a 13yo teen, playing them. There is a LOT of difference in maturity in those years.
  19. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    We only got cable a couple of years ago. My kids all have their favorite shows - oldest boy and difficult child love the Military History and regular history channels, PC14 likes the how it's made type shows and baby boy likes anything science and nature oriented. daughter doesn't have a TV at college but she likes to watch Glee (she's in an a capella singng group and a girl band) on line.

    My favorite shows are NCIS, SVU, Good Wife and anything true crime and forensics. Ironically, I do not care for CSI or Criminal Minds. I love history channel as well and can tolerate Hitler's many bodyguard shows (difficult child once asked why Stalin didn't have any!) I also enjoy NY, NJ and Beverly Hills Housewives, I think because they made me feel so good about my parenting skills.

    As for video game systems, a few years ago, the 3 oldest boys pooled their $ and bought an X-box 360, Youngest boy saved his money and bought himself a used DS lite. He has pokemon, star wars and lego type games, nothing violent. I have not allowed my oldest boys to play Halo or the one where you get points for killing pedestrians. They do have Call to Duty and Medal of Honor and now Black Ops because at least there's some history in them. As for the foul language, oldest boy and PC14 curse too much, difficult child NEVER does and when his brothers do, he rolls his eyes and tells them that it's a sign of immaturity and of having a poor vocabulary.

    I have not bought a single game for any of them, other than Star Wars type games that I find OK.

    There are some shows that I try to keep away from them. Fortunately, they seem to have outgrown the Simpsons, which I despise but H lets them watch the one with the annoying talking dog (Family Guy?). We don't watch that much regular TV.
  20. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I don't do guilty ~ useless emotion when it comes to the tweedles. Saying that, I've always used television as respite; especially when I didn't have services in the house for kt & wm. Early on I used parental controls however after all the exposure kt & wm had in their various placements in phospital & Residential Treatment Center (RTC) it became increasingly useless. AND it wasn't a fight I took on unless it was a program of an extreme graphic nature.

    I monitored the games kt & wm played as well until I could no longer control what was played in other settings. I pray daily that the initial family values that husband & I attempted to instill in kt & wm will eventually out.

    Don't do the guilt thing ~ really not worth it.