With the exception of the World Cup over the summer, we have been a TV-free family for quite a while.  We make very intentional decisions about what our kids watch through internet outlets like Hulu and Netflix, but aside from that, our kids watch very little media.

My husband has missed countless footballs games and soccer matches over the years, and can’t quite take it anymore…so we have cable once again.

It is amazing how the thing seems to have a magnetic draw, desperately wanting to be turned on.  So far, I’ve managed to mostly keep it at bay.  The kids have watched a Dora and Diego a few times, much to their delight.

One evening, while Pablo was working, I tried to find something decent to put on for the kids and me.  With nothing else on, I settled on figure skating.  Within a minute or so Abigail asked why the lady was half-nakey.

Even at their very young ages, I am teaching my girls the importance of modesty, of what we keep covered up and why.  Modesty is important at every age, but my hope that as the girls get older and begin to develop their own fashion sense, their sense of modesty will be just as strong today as it is then.

So when Abigail asked about the lady, and her outfit, I was stumped for a moment.  I grew up with the idea that this attire is normal.  Gymnasts also have a lack of clothing, but it is generally accepted as okay, normal, not immodest.  Under other circumstances, such attire would likely be seen as inappropriate.  When Abigail posed the question, I realized I had never thought about it before.

With cable back in the house, and after that question, my guard has gone up even more than usual.

Even on channels that are supposed to be child friendly, their is foul language, immodesty and materialism.  Am I willing to allow my child to see or hear any such thing?

If, in private, I teach them about modesty, about controlling our tongue, about proper and improper words – including blasphemy, which is rampant on TV – and about not loving the things of this world, what message am I sending them when I tune into a program that promotes such things?

‘Stupid’ is not a word we allow our children to say.  Occasionally I slip and call something stupid, and I am quickly reminded that, ‘I’m not allow to say that word.’  I smile with such reminders, knowing that my teaching is sticking.  So if I do not allow my child to say that word, then why would I allow them to watch a program that calls something or someone stupid?

So, I have been challenged on whether I am living consistently before my children. Does my entertainment line up with my claimed morals and values?  Or, for the sake of entertainment, do I relax my standards?

I have a narrow window here to either show myself true to my children, or reveal myself as a hypocrite, losing credibility before them.  Allowing even one program of questionable content may put into their minds a doubt about what mommy really believes.  I do not want to be a cause for their stumbling.  I would rather put a millstone around my neck then do something that might impede their love of Christ.

For the sake of my children and my relationship with my children, I think I’ll let the TV collect dust during the day.