Do you shift in your seat? Mumble during commercials? Or, do you just act--in plain silence? Pretty hard figuring out what to do. But one thing parents seemingly don't want to do is let the government do the explaining.
Tough as it may be talking to one's kids--even with explanation-fumbling and verbal potholes--parent-child discussions are a lot better than having the government do the dirty work for you. With this in mind, raising kids always seems more like training for running a marathon: lots of discomfort for long periods of time.
This sentiment more or less comes from recent research from the organization called TV Watch (No, not this column. It's the TV Watch that is a bipartisan lobby promoting parental controls in reference to objectionable TV programming. TV Watch opposes giving the government the reins in making parental decisions.)
If TV Watch has its way, the next time Janet Jackson reveals her left breast on TV, during the 2011 Super Bowl, parents will be on their own figuring out what to say to children--like, "this stuff on TV is just silly," "they are just playing," or "it's not real, and if it was it would be wrong."
Depending on the age of the children watching, this could be tough going. But that's just the way it should be. There's spillage in life; it's how you do cleaning that matters.
During the Super Bowl two years ago, my friend took great pride in the fact that his five-year-old daughter came to what he considered was the right conclusion after viewing Justin Timberlake-Janet Jackson's half-time, full-breast nude scene.
She said, "Daddy, I didn't like what that man did."
"What did you say to her?" I asked him.
"I wasn't watching it with her. I was at the gym. She was with her mother."
"Did you talk with her about what she saw?"
Coward. Make that lazy coward.
Television isn't life or death--but you have to know when to put it in its place.