No Television ? Are You Crazy ?

Boy, did I open up a can of worms yesterday when I mentioned that I don't let my kids have unsupervised access to the computer and we don't have traditional tv in our house...!! It was as if i said I lock my kids in a cave in the dark!! One response suggested my children were being "abused" because they won't know what the "real" world is since they can't watch the news...another said that they won't be prepared for life in a world where everything is digital and electronic...more than one person called me a hypocrite since radio can also be trash talk, and because I'm on insulted my faith and asked if a "pastor" had told me what I could and could not do...I was asked how do I possibly relate to people on the radio since I don't participate in "pop culture"? But MOST comments were extremely supportive and a lot were from other parents who don't have regular tv in their homes either!

To clear a few things up...we have a tv screen, we use it to watch movies. We have a computer, but kids' access is limited and monitored ( except for my two daughters who are graduating seniors this year who have their own laptops and are very responsible with them) I have 7 kids still at home, and I work in the evenings so I can not possibly control what tv they would be watching. Parental controls?! Are you kidding me!?! My Zack could probably figure out how to break into the Pentagon... hacking parental controls is a piece of cake for him!

Someone said if I had raised them "right" and taught them morals from birth, I could trust them with their decisions as pre-teens ...I didn't raise most of my kids from birth. I adopted most of them, long past birth...(BUT the one who needs the MOST supervision is my bio son Zack, who is extremely hard-headed and brilliantly sneaky...reminds me of someone in his lineage that used to stuff a bed with pillows and sneak out the window as a teen...)

As for my kids not being able to function in the "real" world without tv access...really? Five of my children came from a refugee camp where there was no access to fresh water, where rape was an every day occurrence.... they were hungry every day of their life and had to fight to survive... of those five, three have chronic illnesses; Sammy has passed away from his. Three more were adopted out of our state foster care system; all three had been emotionally, physically and sexually abused by care givers. One still has scars on his back, 20 years later, from being whipped with a plug-in. One child has permanent disabilities from being smashed into a wall as a baby and being exposed to alcohol in the womb...Five of my children have birth moms who were younger than 16 when they delivered. Ten of my kids have suffered racial slurs, discrimination or harassment. The "n" word has been hurled at them more than once.

As for being unable to relate to the "real world" once they are grown?... My oldest son is a police officer, protects and serves folks in very "real" situations every day. My three teenage daughters have spent the past three summers volunteering in Africa, working with orphaned and neglected kids. My oldest daughter is a producer for my show, avid gardiner, free lance photographer, and a wonderful parent to her daughter....

My kids read books, play cards, climb trees and argue with each other when they get home from school. Some go to youth group, choir practice, gymnastics, or martial arts classes. They all have library cards and a constant stack of books to take back. They know how to repair a bike, cut and stack wood, cook and do laundry. Three are singers and active in the performing arts. One is a seamstress, two know how to knit. All are artistic. My 9
year old has already written a short book and a few dozen songs.

My kids know the digital world, they are well informed and can navigate electronics far better than I can.

From a recent Newsweek article, "The headline of Nielsen’s report on Thursday called Americans 'voracious media viewers.'. The 'average American' watches nearly five hours of media each day, 98 percent of which they watch on a traditional TV set,” the report states. “Although this ratio is less than it was just a few years ago, and continues to change, the fact remains that Americans are not turning off."

Five hours per day. I have 10 people living in my home. That would average 50 hours of media PER DAY if we were the "average American family"...350 hours per week....or 18,250 Hours per year! 18,250 precious, priceless hours that my we could never reclaim...18,250 hours that my family and I could spend swimming, talking, biking, walking, gardening, skating, learning, hiking, playing cards, reading books, sharing meals, doing chores, teaching, preaching, sweeping floors, dancing, singing, exploring new shores... painting, drawing, crafting, planting, laughing, crying, jumping, camping, running, sliding, climbing trees, boating, baking,skinning knees, floating, fishing, acting, writing, praying, playing, high kite flying, volunteering, holding a child, visiting grandparents, sharing a smile, visiting an old friend, walking the dogs, petting the cats, sharing a cup of tea, sharing a peanut buster parfait, sharing a dream, sharing God's sweet love...I would give anything to have one more day with my son, even one more hour. I'm glad I spent the time I did have with him

To those who said I was "abusive" for not allowing my children to watch traditional TV, I beg to differ. I think it would be far worse to deny them all the wonderful opportunities and activities they get to do each day with the five hours that the "average American" spends sitting in front of the TV set.