Chasing Contentment

Friday, May 20

I'm a big fan of personal responsibility. It's my most recent pet peeve/soapbox issue. I think we should all accept our own actions and the good or bad that comes from those actions. I think parents should accept the responsibility that comes with children.

Whenever people talk about putting more regulations on cable television, it annoys me. I pay for cable. It's something we choose to have in our home. There is plenty on cable that I don't find entertaining or uplifting. I don't watch those things. I am fully capable of making the decisions about what to watch myself and don't want to turn over that right to someone else. Mike and I also accept the responsibility of monitoring viewing habits for our children. Eliza's still young enough that she doesn't watch more than a few seconds, so we don't so much worry about her yet. But we take very specific steps to make sure we know what Griff is watching and that he knows what we find to be acceptable.

When he asks to watch a new show that kids at school are talking about, we all sit down and watch it together to see if we deem it fit for a six-year-old. Sometimes, the all-sitting-together takes a minute and a half for us to turn the show off and pronounce it unacceptable. And sometimes, we sit and find a show that we all find funny and enjoyable.

He and his after school sitters know that he is only allowed to watch PBS shows in the afternoons and that homework has to be done before "Cyberchase." When we got the new television, we programmed into the 'favorites' button kid-approved channels, so that when Griff's watching and flipping channels, he only uses that button, so we're sure that the majority of what he will see will be appropriate. We took these steps ourselves because it's our job as his parents to monitor the shows he watches.

We also help him select books at the library, and we read them with him. We know the parents of the children to whose homes he goes to play. These are our responsibilities as his parents.

My children were God's children long before Mike and I ever considered either of them. They were God's children as I carried them in my belly, and they were God's children before they ever entered our home. They are God's children now, before they are ours. He has graciously entrusted them to Mike and me for safe keeping, and that is an awesome responsibility, one that we take very seriously.

If I give over the decision-making role to someone else - be it friends or family or this group or that organization or the censors or the church leaders or the government - then I am not fully engaging in this responsibility God gave me to rear these children according to His wishes and His ways. And I'm not comfortable doing that. I suppose I figure that the mistakes I make along the way - and unfortunately for Griff and Eliza, there will be mistakes made - will at the very least by my mistakes. And I know that those mistakes will be made in love and that my children will be carried by their first Father even when they are accidentally dropped by their earthly father and mother. It's nice to know that we are all carried in the same Hand, that we share that first Father and His unending love and protection.

[  posted by Chel on Friday, May 20, 2005  ]


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