4 ways to raise discerning children in an entertainment-crazed culture

4 ways to raise discerning children in an entertainment-crazed culture

It never was a good idea to let children watch television without some parental input or supervision, but more and more, it’s becoming a downright bad one.

The series Andi Mack in October became the first Disney Channel series to feature an openly gay main character when Cyrus – a 13-year-old male character – confided that he has romantic feelings for boys. It was but the latest “gay moment” for the Disney Channel, which in June aired an episode of The Lodge in which a minor character came out as gay.

It’s not just the gay issue, though, that should concern parents.

A 2016 study by the Parents Television Council found that since 1997, G-rated primetime television programs had been virtually eliminated and TV-PG programs had decreased by 38 percent – with the number of TV-14 programs skyrocketing. Meanwhile, weapon-related violence increased by 17 percent from 2011 to 2014 and nudity (real or pixelated) jumped 93 percent during the same time frame. No doubt, foul language is on the rise, too.

But we don’t need studies to confirm what parents already know: TV content rottener than ever. Who among us hasn’t dove for the remote when an offensive commercial aired in the middle of an innocent program, or when a promising television show suddenly turned raunchy?

One option is to toss the TV set in the trash can. But if that’s too extreme, here are a few more ideas: Continue reading

‘Finding Dory’: 4 incredible lessons for children AND parents

‘Finding Dory’: 4 incredible lessons for children AND parents

Kids once learned lessons about life through books. That’s still the case for many children, but for the rest of them, movies have helped fill the gap.

That can be scary thought when you consider what Hollywood is putting in theaters, but for families who watched Finding Dory – which set an opening-weekend box office record for an animated movie – it’s a good thing.

The Disney/Pixar flick is full of positive life lessons for both children and adults, as I discovered when I took my 8-year-old son to it on opening night. As we drove home, he and I discussed what we could take away from a film that, yes, was both entertaining and hilarious but that also had a great message.

Here are four lessons for families: Continue reading