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#1 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a wonderful 11 yr old DS. We get along well much of the time, but when we have issues it is often over TV.

DS wants to watch anything he wants. I do not want him to watch shows I think are inappropriate due to adult content - such as CSI, Prison Break, Family Guy, etc.

He also wants to go to inappropriate internet sites, but that is less of an issue due to the fact they are quick for me to check out.

He badgers me, on a daily basis, to watch these shows. He thinks I am too "strict", etc. Honestly, it feels like verbal harassment. I am tired of saying "no' over and over and over again. He wants me to "check out" shows before I judge them - but seriously, I do not want to spend my scant free time watching violents, icky shows. After all, I do not ask him to watch Steel Magnolias and the like.

I have tried being strong and just saying "no" but he is wearing me down, and I come across as a big old meanie.

So I have a plan.... We have satelitte TV with 5 theme packs (plus basic)...I am thinking of going down to just basic. I am hoping it will lessen the constant baragement. OTOH, he is a good kid, he is genuinely interested in TV...is this removing an interest?

I know life would be easier if I just gave in, but I genuinely do not think he needs to learn about the dark side of humanity from TV shows. UGH!:

Kathy
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#2 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 12:33 AM
 
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I'd let him watch what he wants. If his behavior changes and he seems to be picking up "bad habits" from the things he's seen then you might have a reason to restrict his viewing. Otherwise, who is it hurting?

My dd (almost five) watches our shows with us . . . she enjoys them and they aren't hurting her. My parents also let me watch what I wanted as a kid, and it didn't change me into a hellion. I think kids who have that sort of thing restricted too severely become obsessed with it -- the whole forbidden fruit thing.

Maybe you could let him pick one or two of the shows to follow, as a compromise? Or allow him a certain number of hours per week to choose whatever he wants to view?

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#3 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 12:37 AM
 
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If you don't want him to watch those shows, then don't let him watch. If he keeps badgering you, I'd limit his TV time or choices even furthur to teach him that badgering me is NOT the way to go about getting what he wants.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#4 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 12:38 AM
 
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I'd let him watch what he wants. If his behavior changes and he seems to be picking up "bad habits" from the things he's seen then you might have a reason to restrict his viewing. Otherwise, who is it hurting?

My dd (almost five) watches our shows with us . . . she enjoys them and they aren't hurting her. My parents also let me watch what I wanted as a kid, and it didn't change me into a hellion. I think kids who have that sort of thing restricted too severely become obsessed with it -- the whole forbidden fruit thing.

Maybe you could let him pick one or two of the shows to follow, as a compromise? Or allow him a certain number of hours per week to choose whatever he wants to view?
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#5 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 12:42 AM
 
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We have basic cable (12 channels or so) and we still get Family Guy. So, getting rid of all your programming might not do much, unless you can be assured of only getting Noggin (gack) . I thinkiFG is dumb, but my 13 & 18 yr olds crack up at it. The baby on that show *is* hilarious, I admit. I know peep here (MDC-here) do not know my boys, and I could be lying and the could be felons serving time. But really, they are very sweet, mature, intelligent & thougtful human beings.

So, I really don't care what they watch. I know, I suck as an MDC mother. I just really need to hand in my Good & Crunchy Parent card. DH, too, because he is even less concerned. He was a little kid in Southern Europe watching dubbed reruns of John Wayne killing injuns, and he turned into a pacifiist scientist geekola. And I when I say Geek-O-La, I mean Geek-O-La. I have to dress him some mornings. Oy. "Honey-- do *not* wear those pants with that shirt unless you want the other researchers to steal your lunch money".
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#6 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I do not worry about his behaviour changing, so much as I worry about protecting his spirit.

A lot of the shows he wants to watch are graphic, and have mature content. Some of it discusses things I am not sure he is ready to learn about (Family Guy mentionned partial birth abortion, for example), and, well, I just don't like the tone. I do not beleive violence is entertaining, so why do they make shows that focus on it? And why do they continually push the envelope on graphic violence, gore and general darkness?

I rember watching a show on PBS years ago in which Dr. Northrup (I think) said she does not beieve in watching too much news - she did not beleive in letting that much negativity into the pysche. I feel the same way about violent TV shows.

I have a lot of reasons for being displeased with TV at this moment in time, I don't want to support such shows....I have strong opinions on the matter.

None-the-less, I have been s-l-o-w-l-y loosening the rules about what can and cannot be watched, and he watches stuff I do not think is appropriate in the name of compromise, but it changes little. He does not appreciate all he gets to watch, only thinks of what he is not allowed to watch, and does not listen to the word "no" on the matter, which gets very tiring. Quite honestly, I feel verbally harassed about the issue from my DS.

Kathy
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#7 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 12:56 AM
 
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Your reasons are sound. Stand firm, and don't let him wear you down. You are doing the best thing for him. And I would probably downgrade the satellite package.

We are six: Me : Dh : Ds1('00) Dd('02) Ds2('05) Ds3('08) and, wow! Soon to be seven, Dd2 due 4/23.
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#8 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 12:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I do not worry about his behaviour changing, so much as I worry about protecting his spirit.

A lot of the shows he wants to watch are graphic, and have mature content. Some of it discusses things I am not sure he is ready to learn about (Family Guy mentionned partial birth abortion, for example), and, well, I just don't like the tone. I do not beleive violence is entertaining, so why do they make shows that focus on it? And why do they continually push the envelope on graphic violence, gore and general darkness?

I rember watching a show on PBS years ago in which Dr. Northrup (I think) said she does not beieve in watching too much news - she did not beleive in letting that much negativity into the pysche. I feel the same way about violent TV shows.

I have a lot of reasons for being displeased with TV at this moment in time, I don't want to support such shows....I have strong opinions on the matter.

None-the-less, I have been s-l-o-w-l-y loosening the rules about what can and cannot be watched, and he watches stuff I do not think is appropriate in the name of compromise, but it changes little. He does not appreciate all he gets to watch, only thinks of what he is not allowed to watch, and does not listen to the word "no" on the matter, which gets very tiring. Quite honestly, I feel verbally harassed about the issue from my DS.

Kathy

What would happen if he watched what he wanted for while? What would happen if he heard 'jokes' about partial birth abortion? Do you think his personality would change? Would he think parital birth abortion is a joke? Take it to the next level...what would happen if he had more control over his viewing?

Of course, easy for me to say, as we don't get 12 zillion channels, so I know most of the progaming choices revolve around urging people to buy The Magic Bullet, and the newest butt lifter. I also get some crazy show with Mrs Brady about living well in your old age. Absolutely riviting.
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#9 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, you all chimed in while I was writing my second post. You rock, MDC'ers.

I do believe none of you turned into serial killers: It is nice to be reminded of that.

When it comes right down to it, I think it is a respect issue. He is not being respectful of my boundaries around TV, and I am not being very respectful about his desire for more TV freedom (although...my home is not a democracy. At 11 I do beleive I have the obligation to make some decisions for him) This issue has been going on for so long (at least a year) that sometimes I tune him out. I am so weary of it, it is a self presevation technique.

I don't like the fact that I am tuning him out, and that there does not seem to be a resolution to the issue, so I am hoping by going down to basic I am removing some of the impetous for the disrespect.

I have threattened to turn the TV into an art object (it's just a joke - sort-of)

Ugh. Advice still neded. Anyone BTDT?

Kathy
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#10 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 01:00 AM
 
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Talk about a kid testing his limits! Do not give in. If you have to, remove the TV from the house. Get serious about it. If he complains, shove a book in his hand. I went for three years growing up at that age without a TV. I suffered no ill consequences, except that I acquired an expensive book habit! Pull the plug on what you deem to be inappropriate. It's called parenting, and far too few people are doing it now-a-days.
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#11 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 01:05 AM
 
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EDITED. My kids hate when I post certain info, so I edtied due to TMI.

I would say, talk to him, hear him out. Communication is key to good relationships. You are his parent, but he is also a person with his own thoughts and ideas.

Just go slow, and keep things open.
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#12 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 01:16 AM
 
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#13 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 01:24 AM
 
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We love TV and we have no limits on it in our household. I do not personally enjoy watching or hearing really violent or scary things. My kids watch more of that than I do so they watch those things in another room if possible. Having more than one TV in the house has been really helpful for us with that.

The shows you listed that you don't allow are some favorites around here! We encourage each kid to pay attention to their own comfort level and personal boundaries, and we try to respect each other's limits as well. I don't think that has to mean that I need to control what everyone is watching though. If I have concerns over something in a show I share them in a casual way. We've discussed the reasons parents tend to freak out over this stuff. More often than not "questionable content" has been great food for discussing things with each other.

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#14 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 01:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Morganfyre View Post
Talk about a kid testing his limits! Do not give in. If you have to, remove the TV from the house. Get serious about it. If he complains, shove a book in his hand. I went for three years growing up at that age without a TV. I suffered no ill consequences, except that I acquired an expensive book habit! Pull the plug on what you deem to be inappropriate. It's called parenting, and far too few people are doing it now-a-days.

While I respect your right to view TV the way you do, I think your last sentence is a little bit snarky. Does this mean that families with no restrictions on TV are not parenting?

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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#15 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 02:01 AM
 
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I'm in the minority again it seems. I am right with you on restricting his viewing of violent tv shows. I agree with your point about not watching much news myself.

My dd1 is 11. There is no way I'd let her watch CSI - as much as I think it is a good show for adults, or even mature teens.

Reducing your cable to basic is probably good for the budget as well as ds issues. But we have basic and get CSI and Family Guy (never heard of that other one that you mentioned). So I'm not sure that would help with those.

I'd explain to him how frustrated you are about being nagged over his desire to watch adult programming (which is what it is). You aren't the mean mom who thinks he should watch Barney; you are making choices to protect him emotionally from things that (in your opinion for your child - and mine for mine as well) are just not appropriate for him yet.

My dd seems to do better when I remind her that the day will come that she gets to (whatever it is). Nagging me isn't going to get your ears pierced before your 12th birthday, but it will put me in a grumpy mood.

She also did a lot of nagging about her desire to buy clothes I thought were too mature for her - at a current favorite clothing store. There were some things there that we both agreed on, and plenty that weren't ok with me. The fighting over what was appropriate and what wasn't was really annoying. I am her mother; I am the adult. She gets lots of choices over her clothes, but some things are not ok with me. Much like the tv show issue. I explained to her how problematic the bickering was, and how we didn't have that problem at the Gap. She wanted to stay and shop in the new store, so she has really quit asking for things that are too old for her.

With tv, I'd explain to him why you don't want him to watch those shows, then restrict tv if he can't respect your very reasonable rules. What I wouldn't do is let him nag you into watching things that aren't age appropriate.

However, my kids get to listen to any music they want - so I guess my "age appropriateness" doesn't apply to that in my house.
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#16 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 02:47 AM
 
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I fully agree that you should go to basic. It's your house, it's your TV. Just explain that you are tired of this debate and that he is free to watch those shows when he's old enough to get his own space and pay for his own cable. The rights come with the responsibility. If he can figure out a way to do that (without begging money from grandparents or something...) then let him watch the shows.

In our family, we all watched the same things. The same will be with my daughter. I think television watching should be a family activity.

However, it's easy to do that from the start. A bit harder (heh, to say the least) with an eleven-year-old.

Good luck!

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#17 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 05:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I do not worry about his behaviour changing, so much as I worry about protecting his spirit.

A lot of the shows he wants to watch are graphic, and have mature content.
This is why I don't let me soon-to-be 11 yr old watch these type of shows either. Or movies like "Scary Movie" or video games like "Grand Theft Auto". Even though "all his friends" do. So what? I'm his parent, not theirs!


Hey, I even felt the need to do my own bit of editing during some of the "Ugly Betty" episodes last season. He heard a few, "close your eyes" or "cover your ears" from me.

Kim , mom to Amanda (16):, William (13), and Annie (5)
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#18 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 05:36 AM
 
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I think there's a difference between "what would you do in this situation" and "what do you suggest I do in this situation."

Lots of people here wouldn't restrict the TV as much as the OP. That's a legitimate option, but it doesn't work with KathyMuggle's values.

What I picked up on is the fact that she's setting limits, he's ignoring them, and she's slowly giving up on her ideals because of the child's nagging. And IMO that is NOT OK. If mom's rules are unreasonable, then let's sit down and discuss them- maybe the child is ready for more freedom and the rules could be changed.

But nagging is just the opposite- not a respectful discussion of the rules and the reasons behind them, but just a disrespectful way of trying to get what he wants. Even if the show IS appropriate, I wouldn't want to let my child watch after being pestered about TV watching. If he's not respecting the limits placed on the TV, or appreciating the compromises being made, then I'd limit the TV further. He needs to learn to treat his mother respectfully- which won't happen if he "gets what he wants" by being disrespectful.

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#19 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 09:16 AM
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Talk about a kid testing his limits! Do not give in. If you have to, remove the TV from the house. Get serious about it. If he complains, shove a book in his hand. I went for three years growing up at that age without a TV. I suffered no ill consequences, except that I acquired an expensive book habit! Pull the plug on what you deem to be inappropriate. It's called parenting, and far too few people are doing it now-a-days.
Excellent.

Even as an adult , I find excessive violence can leave me very upset. I've had to censor myself. THere is some things that children cannot decide for themselves and mature adults have to help them.
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#20 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK...sevral people have said the word "nagging" - which is exactly what it is! I guess I will have to be more careful when I want housework done, know that I know how it feels!

I came to realisation last night after writing all this - what is going on is a power struggle. For the most part, children do not put an end to power struggles - parents do.

I either have to lighten up on the TV control or draw a firm line in the sand around TV and nagging. Given my own (and DH) concerns around TV, it will be the latter.

I also appreciate those who said "keep the lines of communication open". For example: I think part of the cause of this situation is he wants more freedom. We have been trying to meet this need in other areas, but he is focusing on his lack of freedom in this area (perhaps that is natural for an 11 yr old- and I need to accept that 11 yr olds want what they do not have? As an adult I am much more into appreciating what you have, but maybe that comes with time?). I have diffiuclty keeping the lines of communication open in this area, as we have rehashed the info so many times - we simply disagree. Quite frankly, I need a complete hiatus on the subject, and he seems to need to talk about it daily In some ways, the breakdown of communication is scarier, and less healthy, than the TV issue.

OK I am rambling. Please send me strength (we need a strength smilie of some sort) to do what I need to do in the most respectful way possible.

Kathy
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#21 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 09:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
When it comes right down to it, I think it is a respect issue. He is not being respectful of my boundaries around TV, and I am not being very respectful about his desire for more TV freedom (although...my home is not a democracy. At 11 I do beleive I have the obligation to make some decisions for him) This issue has been going on for so long (at least a year) that sometimes I tune him out. I am so weary of it, it is a self presevation technique.
You're right, it is a respect issue on both ends. I don't think what he's asking for is too out of line.
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He wants me to "check out" shows before I judge them - but seriously, I do not want to spend my scant free time watching violents, icky shows.
He has a very good point. Otherwise you're just going on hear-say and what the commercials show. If you did check them out, and told him exactly why you don't agree with him watching each how, that shows a higher level of respect for him than "do it because I say so". KWIM?
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#22 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 11:09 AM
 
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While we do restrict some stuff we dont do forbidden fruit, the more you restric those shows the more cool you r son is goint to think they are.
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#23 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 01:24 PM
 
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I have only one clear-cut, non-negotiable subject in my home, and I just repeated as often as was necessary "I know that all your friends are doing this, but it goes against my values. Please respect my wishes on this." My son knows I gave the issue serious thought and knows I didn't just make up some random rule.

As far as television goes, I have never restricted television or books. We watch most television together, and discuss it in depth. Nine times out of ten they would rather draw or read a book.
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#24 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 02:19 PM
 
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Wow, I am so in the minority. I restrict TV on a regular basis, including hours watched per day. I feel there are so many other more productive things they could be doing instead of sitting in front of the TV: reading, playing with each other or friends, drawing, listening to music, and being outside on bikes, scooters, etc (weather permitting).

I have explained it this way: some shows are for children and some for adults. If I don't want them watching a certain show I say so and explain why (language, violence). It is the same reason I restrict internet access. Our "family" computer is in an open, common area so there is no unsupervised computer time. The same is true for the TV.
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#25 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 02:42 PM
 
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#26 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KermitMissesJim View Post
Your reasons are sound. Stand firm, and don't let him wear you down. You are doing the best thing for him. And I would probably downgrade the satellite package.
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Reducing your cable to basic is probably good for the budget as well as ds issues. But we have basic and get CSI and Family Guy (never heard of that other one that you mentioned). So I'm not sure that would help with those.
I fail to understand how downgrading your package will help if all of these shows are on network TV and therefor available over the air with rabbit ears.

CSI and Prison Break are favorites in our house. DD watches all three of them. It is what sparked her interest in wanting to be a doctor. First she wanted to be a CSI. Then a coroner, then a surgeon, now she is not sure what type of doctor but she wants to go to Medical School.

I don't watch Prison Break but she watches it with dad.. and well no one in our house watches the family guy.. but it is my understanding that that is also on network TV.

Another part of the problem may be other kids. This might be why he wont let up on this issue. Everyone is probably talking about what happened on CSI, the Family Guy, Prison Break at school. Because you don't allow him to watch these shows, he can't participate in the conversation and feels left out. Maybe made fun of. Just something to think about.
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#27 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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as a aprent you deside what you elt him wathc,
My older DS is alsmot 12 and his is gifted nad read books above his grade levle. He like to watch law and Order with me stometim. and Waht Not To Wear. Ia m OK with it.
We let hima dn his yougner brother wathc Simpson and Futurama, but we do it togehter and tlak about things
CSI si way too grpahic and Fmaily Guy...well thing can be taken a wrong way, so, theya re ntoa llowed to wathc it
as fas as INternet, he work on my laptop in the living room so Ic an see where he goes. We said NO to Warcraft
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#28 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 05:08 PM
 
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At 11, I was very sensitive, and although I would have watched something like CSI and probably enjoyed it at the time, I would have been very disturbed by what I saw later -- a couple of episodes of that show have disturbed me even as an adult. I'm glad that my mom understood my sensitive nature and protected me from viewing such subjects when I was young, and I'll do the same for my kids.

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#29 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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I think helping them stay safe from things they feel they aren't ready for is important too. I just think it can be done without prohibition and banning and me deciding for them, esp at that age.

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#30 of 127 Old 08-28-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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I prefer that my 13 year old not watch television shows with adult themes. He does like "Scrubs" but we limit that show. I think Family Guy is completely inappropriate for an 11 year old.

We did only have the basic cable package (basically just the local channels with Discovery and PBS) for almost a year. It really did cure the TV watching drones my kids had become.

We have the upgraded cable package now but they still really prefer Discovery and Nickelodeon.
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