Conversations Through TV Shows and Movies, Part 2

Parents,

We’ve been discussing how to incorporate God-focused and healthy conversations with your kids through TV shows and the movies. This is a tough topic, but one that surrounds your kids.

Though there are many negative consequences from the media, not all television shows or movies are bad. Rather than seeing the TV as the devil, look for ways to use what is already in your child’s world for good. Here are a few tips for talking with your kids about media—whether on TV, in the movie theater, on their computer or on their phone.

Ask questions. When a show comes on that is questionable or that communicates something you disagree with, rather than telling your kids why you think it’s wrong and shutting the TV off, ask them what they think. Jesus was a great question-asker! Ask your child, “What do you think of how that kid talked to his sister?” or “That scene was pretty violent. How did it make you feel inside? Should we consider no longer watching that show as a family?”

Explore media together. Children should be encouraged to criticize and analyze what they see in the media. Parents can help children differentiate between fantasy and reality, especially when it comes to sex and violence. When a show is excellent, steer your child toward seeing why: Was the storyline powerful? Did the actors do a good job? Was the movie good without violent scenes or bad language? Would adding those things have made the show any better? If the show had themes you don’t agree with, ask your child what they think.

Agree on shows. Involve your child in creating a list of shows that are okay for the family to watch, but also have them make those decisions because they understand why.

Rather than saying “no” to shows, always go back to God’s best. This will answer the “why.” Explain how God knows better than even moms and dads how our minds operate. The Bible gives instruction on keeping our hearts and minds pure, so God must have a pretty good reason for not wanting us to fill our minds with bad images. Teach your child that being careful about what they watch is ultimately an act of trust—believing God for what He knows is best.

Partnering with you,

Mike Sheley

p.s. If you haven’t checked it out already, this post goes with the original found in our Online Parenting Class! (click text to go to link)

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