Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Family Friendly?

One more thing; am I the only one a little put off by the entertainment on last night’s show?

DWTS is the one show a week I allow my children to watch. Remember, we do the “No TV Monday through Thursday” rule at our house. No cartoons, no Disney channel, no movies, no DVDs, no PBS, no Nick at Night, for God’s SAKE no prime time; nothing. And yes, I realize breaking that rule just so **I** can watch DWTS is cheating, in a totally convenient, self-serving sort of way. Whatever.

I convince myself that it is ok, because we all enjoy the show, we spend our time together, watching it, and talking and laughing, and I count it as “quality family time”. My kids get a big kick out of the fact they get to stay up “late”, and last night I smeared peanut butter on bananas (gag) for them as a snack at 9pm, and they really thought they were living large. Simply put, it’s a fun way for our family to spend our evening together. (Bogus, I know, but I really love this show and will go to great lengths to justify my obsession.)

I’ve also felt it was an appropriate show to allow my children to watch because it’s family friendly --- no cursing, no violence, no sex (unless you count the unfortunate McStiffy comment, and the “juggling balls” statements which were cracking me up and left my kids with quizzical looks on their faces, asking me “What’s so funny, Mom?”) It’s just a good, clean show, and for someone like me who is pretty anal about what her kids watch on TV, I was happy with it and thought it was ok.

But last night’s “Save A Horse, Ride a Cowboy” performance? Completely inappropriate for children, in my opinion. Entertaining, yes. I enjoyed it immensely. But not OK for my kids. Not only the suggestive nature of the words of the song, but the dancing as well. It just wasn’t essential for my 7-yr old to see that. Not wanting to make a big deal of it and perhaps make them even more curious, I tried casually muting it so they couldn’t hear the singing. But damn that public service closed-captioning!! {shaking fist at the tv} They could still read all the words. Damn that public school system, for teaching them how to read!! {shaking both fists now}

I could have gotten over that, but What. On. Earth. is up with the previews for Grays’ Anatomy and Desperate Housewives????? The naked people in bed, the kissing, the no-so-subtle innuendo, the heaving bosoms? Are those previews SERIOUSLY considered appropriate for 9pm television? It goes without saying we don't watch the shows .... but even the previews were over-the top and inappropriate. And here on the East Coast, prime-time doesn't even BEGIN until 8pm, so those previews are on during the very first house of prime time, which I think is way too soon. If you live in CST, you get prime time starting at 7pm. I know of very few 10-yr olds who are in bed before 7pm. Even my kids had some reactions:

Kendrie: “What on earth are they doing?”

Brayden: “Um, THAT was inappropriate!”

Kellen: “Gross”

And before any of you suggest that I TiVo it and fast-forward through the commercials, no thanks. Don’t own one, have no intention of buying one. We watch one tv show a week, and this is it. I’m not buying a DVR just for that one show. And no, *owning* the DVR won’t be the greatest thing I’ve ever done, because I just don’t watch TV. It would be the second biggest waste of money, since I bought that clothes rack/treadmill in my bedroom.

(Yes, I know, I’m all snobby and superior about how I don’t waste my higher-quality brain cells on television, with its inferior and lowly entertainment qualities …. But you try and take my computer away from me and I will rip your arm out of its socket and beat you about the head with it. Right after I read People magazine online, and then download some porn for my kids to watch tonight, since Dancing With The Stars doesn’t come on again until next Monday and I guess they need something to watch in the meantime.)

40 comments:

Leeann said...

ROFL!! I hear you. I am so sick of inappropriate stuff on TV. Not only that, let me jump on your soapbox about the previews in kids' movies at the theater. Some of those are outrageous too. By the time we watch the ten minutes of commercials (when did that happen??) and the inappropriate previews, I am usually getting pretty steamed.
And oh, since I love you and know how much you hate it when we don't tell you about typos, you wrote the word "house" instead of hours in your post. Now you can't say no one told you!
Hugs,

lar said...

Sadly, the Desperate Housewives commercials aren't even the worst--try watching ESPN's Sportscenter with your kids in the room when a commercial for a slasher movie comes on.

Movie commercials are the most violent, offensive things on TV, and if I could find a way to block them altogether, I would do so in a heartbeat. They are the reason I wait until shows are half over, then play them back on my DVR so I can fast-forward when necessary.

Anonymous said...

Some of us watch Grey's WITH our children and think that it is fine. You really should not judge a show on one preview.

Anonymous said...

Shelly in MN
I don't even have kids and I agree with you!!

Anonymous said...

I agree. Most TV is not child appropriate if you want to keep your kids innocent and decent. Some of my kids friends tell them about the inappropriate things they get to watch.
My four, almost five year old thought calling parents by their first name is using a bad word. We really aren't that bad about censoring and don't break out the whips but I'd rather not have my kids grow up too fast. I want them to enjoy childhood a little longer.

Donna said...

You think it's bad on ABC? I recorded the new BBC version of Robin Hood thinking the 7-year-old might like it. I watched the first episode alone to make sure--no serious hay-rolling, some bad guy violence, but nothing I thought he couldn't handle. But I forgot to pay attention to the commercials (since I fast-forwarded through them). We sat down to watch it and I had to get up for whatever reason and when I came back there was a lovely commercial on for Footballers' Wives, which actually is as dirty as it sounds and the promos have Grey's beat all to heck. Sooooo, no watching that show without mommy or daddy around to censor the commercials!

I wish they would tone down the evening commercials too. It's like they forget that kids watch TV at all.

Briana said...

I had to go to a MIDDLE SCHOOL parent information meeting for Madison last night, so I missed the "ride a cowboy" entertainment. But, we also watch DWTS and I let the kids stay up so they can see Billy Ray dance.

While I have to agree that the previews show way more than they used to, I must confess that I have left Madison watch some of Grey's Anatomy with me because I didn't want to miss any of it and I hadn't sent her to bed yet (we still "put" the kids to bed by going to their room with them, covering them up, giving them a kiss and turning the lights out). Unfortunatley, now she wants to stay up and watch it. NO way! She may be off to middle school next year, but there are some things she's not meant to see just yet.

Anonymous said...

maybe you should get off of your high horse!

Anna in IL said...

Yep, we grow up pretty fast here in Central Time Zone, watching the "late night" stuff an hour earlier. :P

I'm thinking that DWTS needs to define itself either as a "family-friendly" show or an "adults only" show. Because even without the commercials, some of the dances are...umm...mating rituals. And I wouldn't want my child demonstrating them on the playground to his/her friends. Plus the (lack of) costumes on the female dancers!

It's a shame, because it wouldn't take much tweaking for it to be family-friendly viewing. :(

Anna in IL

PS - Not to invade your privacy, but hope that everything is going well for Blaine this week.

Anonymous said...

If you don't want a DVR, you should look into a DVD recorder. It's a lot like a VCR, but records stuff using a blank DVD. It also allows you to edit the movie where you can delete commercials. I buy the DVD-RWs for the player and use it just like a blank VCR tape--it can even be deleted and reused.

It's relatively cheap too. I bought mine for about $125 after Christmas. It's the next best thing to censoring, especially if you don't want to see the commercials--like me. :)

Anonymous said...

I've been trying to post this since yesterday and it wasn't working, so forgive me. I'm commenting on your last two entries....

I love Edyta (John's partner). I saw DWTS live in Greensboro in January. It was AWESOME and I really enjoy her.

Well, we finally disagree on something. :0) The Edyta thing and the whole 'I don't watch tv' thing that I choose to ignore. :0) I agree that some commercials probably aren't appropriate, but we don't watch them because we have a DVR. Like you love your computer, I love my tv. Having a DVR cuts down the time I actually watch it dramatically. :0) I watch a lot of shows, but it is my release at night to just be able to veg in front of a good show.

Like you, I enjoyed the 'Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy' routine (loved it 2 years ago when Drew did it then - LOVE HIM). My kids don't watch this who with me, so I don't have to worry about them seeing anything. That being said, my kids listen to country music with my husband and that includes Big and Rich. They know the words to that song. (*Ducking*)

Kristin in NC (my password has suddenly stopped working)

Crystal said...

I don't mean to be callous, as I'm not a parent yet, so I probably don't get to have a say on this, but I have two thoughts....

Thought 1---
As a 5th grade teacher (10/11 year olds) I can tell you that for the most part, it goes over their heads. We get the innuendo, but that's because we *get* it. I sang "I'm so excited" and "rapsberry beret" for YEARS without comprehending one thing I was saying...in fact I think I was 20 something when I did a double take and was shocked that I'd known those lyrics so young.

Kids accomodate and move on, shrugging off whatever they don't understand.

Thought 2---
I'm also east coast and I'm pretty sure that the 8pm is the family hour and the 9pm hour has always been identified as the start of more grown up programming. I remember that I wasn't allowed to watch tv that came on after 9 until I was in middle school. If I recall, Full House and Cosby were in the 8pm slot and Friends and such were in the 9 hour.

I am, of course, saying this assumign DWTS comes on at 9...I confess I don't watch it. I could be making an ass of myself.

I acknowledge though, that it's a lot easier to take a side here because I don't have kids yet. My responsibilities end at 2pm, and I stick to G and PG stuff when I show the occasional movie.

Anonymous said...

I missed the dance last night. I too, watched it on DVR and fast forwarded until I saw who was going to be kicked off! I love my Greys Anatomy, but no way will my children ever watch it!! Several of the anonymous comments are just cracking me up - lighten up people!! :) Kristie - You still have not told us how you went from infertility to surrogate. I'm a little too interested - don't let it scare you!
Tammy
Birmingham, AL
(The dreaded Central Time Zone)

Anonymous said...

I remember when I was young...(do I sound like my mother?) TV didn't allow the word "hell" on it. Now, they say every word in the book and show everything possible!! And people wonder what is wrong with this world!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you about the commercials for "housewives". My 9 year daughter was like what?? I also ask why can't the costumes be a little less revealing...I know they are trying to get men to watch but really??? We love watching it as a family and talking about the voting but ABC help us out a little!

liz in sumner said...

Kristi - I love Grey's....and (hanging head in abject shame) I also loved Sex in the City, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and Rome. I know, I know...but the stories were/are totally engaging, the characters were fascinating, the writing was (mostly!) tight and well done, and I couldn't help myself. Having said that, I don't let me 13 year old son Jake watch any of those shows. However, I can say that no matter how careful I am with his viewing habits - there's always his school! This year (7th grade, public school), he has a single, 30-something teacher for social studies and language arts that's driving me bananas...she likes to share little tidbits of her personal life with her classes - like, how she and her boyfriend live together, etc., etc. Of course, she has no children, and therefore probably just doesn't get it if some parents literally cringe when their child comes home and relays this information. On the other hand, it's given me many "teachable" moments and chances to have some meaningful discussions with my son about lifestyle choices, what we as a family believe and why we believe it. So, in a way, I can thank her. As for my sordid TV viewing habits - I'm not proud of them. But I hope that sometime when you're in Seattle (is Blaine here now?? Is he okay??), that maybe I can still steal 10 minutes away from your time here, buy you a latte, and give you a big hug of thanks??!!! And for those (thankfully!!!) very FEW posts that choose to seem offended - lighten up! I applaud Kristi and Blaine's diligence in preserving their children's innocense - too much knowledge of the adult world at too young of an age is too much of a burden for kids. So, I for one just want to say thanks for inspiring me to work harder at doing the same for my child. You may have even inspired me into watching this dancing show of yours - what night is it on again??!!

liz in sumner said...

I think I spelled "innocense" wrong....innosence...innocence...innosense....I give up....

Chris Myrah said...

Okay, because this is just my warped sense of humor, when "anonymous" wrote: "maybe you should get off of your high horse!" Am I the only one that wanted to tell 'anonymous' to ride a cowboy and shut up? Hee, hee, hee....
Okay, maybe it isn't funny. Maybe it is just that it is almost midnight here in Minnesota, it is SNOWING, I have what I think is the beginning of Influenza (I get it every year), and I have at least 2 more hours of work left before I can go to bed. All that = warped sense of humor time for me.

kim said...

Hey Kristie! I've stayed silent on the DWTS stuff since I don't watch it. And it's darn-near killed me since silence and I don't generally go hand-in-hand. So I'm almost glad someone said to get off your high horse so I can join in again. I say you can be on your high horse, your low horse and even your medium horse, and you can talk about all those horses as much as you want because this is your blog. And if someone doesn't like your horse of choice, they should not stay at the rodeo. I'm completely with Chris and, maybe it's a Minnesota thing, but I find what she wrote really funny, too, and I went to bed early. See, this is what happens when I don't give my opinion for two days :). Plus, I watch every disgusting show there is, I enjoy them, and I'm not ashamed. BUT when my grandchildren visit...um, NO.

So, it all goes back to this, Kristie. YOU ROCK. :)

Sue said...

Luckily for me, my 8 year old daughter doesn't know about DWTS yet! Here in the Central time zone, it comes on at 7:00 - during the hectic bath/brush teeth/bed hour for her and piano practice for the older one. The little one loves to watch the PBS ballroom dance show, so I'm sure she would be glued to the TV if she knew that DWTS existed. After she finishes getting ready for bed (while her sister starts her bedtime routine), little daughter watches Food Network (her choice). Older daughter really doesn't watch TV at all - she's always reading instead.

I agree with Leeann's comment about movie previews. Who is approving these previews for all audiences when they are clearly too violent or suggestive for kids?

Anonymous said...

I just have to comment on the rude annonymous comments...first of all, nobody is forcing you to read this blog. Get your own blog if you don't like what's in this one. Second of all, what goes around comes around. I wouldn't be surprised if your kids end up making some very poor choices if they are getting their ideas about right & wrong from some of these shows. Lastly, if you are not mature enought to even leave a name, why do you even post a comment? It's easy to judge when nobody knows who you are!
Stacie from MN

Anonymous said...

Dont stay at the rodeo, HA! THAT was super hilarious!!

Kim
Ladera Ranch, CA
www.caringbridge.org/ca/andrew

Anonymous said...

I have always watched DWTS. I am just surprised that it has taken you this long to realize it isn't a "family show". The raunchy, seductive dancing combined with the skimpy skimpy costumes isn't something I would want my children emulating. Thank God I don't have this problem as my children are all grown now.

Come to think of it... maybe the reason "I" am not a good dancer is because I 'm wearing too many clothes! Evidently the less you wear the better you can dance! Ha ha... off to try that...

S in Alabama

Tara said...

Lurker who enjoys your blog. I found your post interesting. I am also a mom - and I, of course, would not want to expose my children to anything that would be inappropriate for their age level/maturity. Generally, my children are still young enough that they go to bed well before we turn on the "primetime" tv in our house, so we don't have to concern ourselves with finding programs that are completely "family friendly" and air in prime time. While I understand and respect that we need more programs that are designated as family friendly, as a television viewer (and I LOVE my tv) I do not necessarily want to watch tv that has been sanitized to be appropriate for a seven year old. I want to watch television that is fun, sometimes thought provoking and even sometimes a little provocative. If my shows and the commercials for those shows were all cleaned up to be suitable for our youngsters, well, I would be a little bored. (Don't I watch enough Noggin and Dora the Explorer during the day? )

I think it is an interesting balancing act. My view has always been that you as the viewer and parent have the ability to change the channel or as you did, mute the sound, to control what your children watch. I do not need or want the television stations to change their programming to fit my parental and/or personal beliefs.

Anyhoo - sorry so long, I just thought your post was interesting and certainly it provoked alot of interesting discussion. Thanks for writing!

Anonymous said...

I know everyone is talking about DWTS - however, can I complain about American Idol here?! Their "results" show was ONE HOUR LONG last night and it could have been done in 5 minutes - I don't care about the other filler stuff - just tell me who is leaving!!
Now about DWTS...I can NOT believe some of the outfits the women wear especially Edtya. I cringe with every leg lift she does as I know the fabric is about to fall to the floor!
Anyway - I bet John goes next week!

And - one more thing- I agree with "Don't stay at the Rodeo". No one is forced to visit this blog, however I do regularly because its hilarious! 99.9% of the time, I know exactly what Kristie is talking about!! It's just like my house (but I have 4 kids).
So basically if you don't like the subject matter or the comments made, don't revisit the blog.
Willing to sign my name..
Kristina
OHIO

Amy said...

You sure did stir things up!!!!! It's always a treat coming to this site. :) Keep up the excellent work. Amy
I went in the sauna again today after a little hiatus and nobody asked me when I was due. Oh happy day....

Lisa said...

Hi Kristie - I used to be a 'let the kids see it all' sort of person because I believed that children needed to be exposed to real life and not mollicoddled or protected. Now I'm older, hopefully a little wiser and I've decided that a lot of what is on tv isn't suitable for consenting adults let alone children. The media seem to have turned sex into the bee all and end all and its thrown at us, the public, at every opportunity. Maybe I'm turning into a prude but I don't like it for me, let alone if I had children. Think the catholic upbringing is catching up with me ha ha. Praying for Blaine. X

Anonymous said...

Well, I have to agree that this time kiristie you are on a bit of a high horse, you want people to be honest, so people were! As for the upset ones over the annonymous comments, putting your name and state is not really much better than annoymous!
Kathy in MN
p.s. Gray's Rocks and I cannot wait for next Thursday!

Anonymous said...

OK--Please keep in mind Kristie said these rules apply in HER house and with HER children. Who are we to assume she wants our input/comments on what she and her husband decided that was best for THEIR family? I, for one, very much enjoy all the blogs and Kristie's humor just makes me laugh out loud! But, I'm sure she wouldn't approve of some ways I raise my son but you know what...I'm not asking anyone!!

Meg in Americus

kim said...

Again, if the high horse is not to your liking, DON'T STAY AT THE FREAKIN' RODEO. Now, here I am, yelling on someone else's rodeo...HAHAHA! Shall we not be so pissy? I've just gotta say, at the risk of starting a brouhaha...gotta love that word...how is putting your name and state practically the same as NOT putting your name and state? If a person stays anonymous, that would be NO information. Right? Or did I miss something? My personal opinion--and not endorsed by the high horse woman of the rodeo, to my knowledge--is that "anonymous" means you're a big chicken who is scared to own your own opinions. Putting your name and state means you're not a scaredy-cat. And if you use a fake name and state--well, I don't know. But let me think about it. HAHAHAHA! I JUST LOVE THIS--it makes up for not posting a comment yesterday. I might have to watch this stupid show just to see what-all goes on there! Pulchritude, to be sure. Yeah, baby! HAHAHA!

D said...

Kristie- You hit the nail on the head!!!! Right square in the middle and obviously touched some nerves in the process. I couldn't agree with you more. My daughter is allowed to watch very little t.v., all of which is monitored by me. It's disgusting the way that sex and materialism is so infused in our culture, and people are oblivious to the fact that their children are losing their innocence. The way I see it is, my daughter has but one childhood, and I'll be darned if anyone or anything will steal it away from her.

liz in sumner said...

Wow - okay, Kristie - just a suggestion....your next post should be about religion and/or politics....that will calm things down a little!! Seriously, tho - any news on your husband (and partner-in-crime, so to speak), and Kendrie's latest checkups? She sure looks healthy and happy in your pictures. I hope she stays so healthy that someday, she won't even remember that she was sick....ditto for Blaine!

Sandie from MN said...

Kristie! I love to read your posts and am shocked and horrified by your lack of Tivo. Okay, "horrified" might be too harsh.... :)
What I love about your posts is that you are so sincere and real. We could all sit and debate TV, soda, blah blah blah but it is much more fun to read your (hysterically funny) opinion and realize that thought I don't totally agree with everything, who the hell cares? You make me laugh and you stick to your guns too (is that another cowboy tie in or what??)
The fact you don't watch Grey's Anatomy.. well, I'll save that for another day.

Amy Finkler said...

Well, I for one let me kids pretty much watch anything as long as I'm with them. That being said, I still thought the blog was funny and find it interesting how other families spend their evenings. Ignore the rude "anonymous" posts. If they didn't like what they were reading, they should have clicked on the red "x" at the top of their screen instead of the comments link!

Anonymous said...

Kristie - you could be my TV sister - I watched the SAME stuff as a kid - and I'm from the Milwaukee Area, so Laverne and Shirley and Happy Days felt like my relatives - and watched the same stuff into adulthood (and yes, my husband and I ate TV at the coffee table in front of the TV until we had kids) although I still watch way too much now - luckily, my kids are still little and snug in bed by 8pm! By the way - I am a fellow cancer-mom, and came upon your site by way of ALL-kids and your Caringbridge site. You crack me up on a regular basis - and finally had to comment regarding our paralell (is that spelled right?) TV lives. If you tell me you visited your grandparents and they made you watch Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and Lawrence Welk, then perhaps we were separated at birth.

jadine said...

Kristie,

Oh, pleasepleaseplease let the mean comments stay up long enough for me to read them! I LOVE that there are dweebs out there that bother to read and then comment upon things they don't like! OMG! "Get off your high horse"?! Maybe because I know you and all, but that is hysterical!

(chuckling to myself....)

Mama Erin said...

Kristie - I am right there with you. We watch Planets Funniest Videos at night around here. I have a big problem with preview commercials. They show clips for upcoming shows that are scary, or graphic, or otherwise inappropriate. I am always sitting their with the remote in hand ready to shut it off at any given moment when one of these things comes on. I am glad that you posted about this. Sometimes I think I am over vigilant in this area. I have a several close friends who do little sensoring of what their kids watch, and I just dont get that. I dont want my kids to see sexual situations, or see graphic scenes (CSI commercials etc). They have enough to deal with in their little minds. I dont think we can shelter them forever, but little people shouldnt (in my opinion) be exposed to that kind of thing. Funny you mention the song Save a horse, ride a cowboy. That came on in the car today (probably being played more often today after the DWTS episode). I was uncomfortable as I watched my oldest in the rear view mirror. His wheels were turning. I was hoping he wasnt about to ask me what they were singing about. All I could come up with was telling him they were saying save a horse "buy" a cowboy. (whatever that means!) Luckily he didnt ask and I changed the song. (I love that song!!) Your kids are lucky to have you.

Anonymous said...

Hello Kristie,

Sadly your journal has now lost it's international appeal (I'm sure you couldn't care less as you yourself admit that you are just rambling on with any and everything that pops into your head!!) as I don't understand much of what you are talking about not having ever seen any of the programmes you make reference to!!
Take care
love Angela

Lauren said...

I was about to leave a comment to the extent of "I'm single without kids, but I agree that some of these commercials are pretty inappropriate" and then I remembered getting so freaked out over a freaking CAR COMMERCIAL last week that I had a nightmare that night. Rotten Volvo, wanting me to worry about people hiding in my car at night...

anyway, my parents did the same when I was little. I can remember loving to watch "The Wonder Years" every week and then my parents forbid me and my sister to watch it one week. I overheard Mom telling my aunt, "No, they can't watch it, this week it's about Paul losing his virginity!" I was... 10, maybe? and I had no clue in the world what she was talking about or why I couldn't watch it.

And in response to Liz in Sumner's comment about her son's teacher giving "too much information" ... I teach middle school as well, and the KIDS are the ones begging me for information about my personal life! The students know I'm not married but pretty much every week at least one kid asks me, "Do you have a boyfriend yet? Don't you want somebody to kiss?" I get very tired of deflecting their interest in my lack of a love life!

Judy said...

Mental High Five!!!