Friday, February 18, 2005

Lady, your babysitter is teaching the kids bad habits

As I was driving to work this morning, I passed a car that had a screen hanging from the headrests of both front seats. The small kids in the back seat were placidly riding to the daycare or babysitters so mom could go to work. It was just a brief moment or two as we passed each other a few times on the bypass between the lights.
I think technology is great. I think it is wonderful that we have phones wherever we go, and TV's in cars to entertain kids on long drives or over the road trips. It just got me to thinking about how many parents, when they have something to do, plop their kids down in front of the TV and wander off to do whatever it is that they have to do. The 'babysitter' never complains about the long days or late hours. It never worries about overtime or how many kids there are. It just does it's job ... Or does it ?

While you are in the kitchen preparing a fine meal for the family, the babysitter is in the room with the kids and showing them violence and sexuality. If you think there isn't violence and sex in morning cartoons, you aren't watching. Even the most innocent of cartoons has overlain sexual innuendos in it. You can say that the small kids aren't getting it, but they are. They may not understand it fully, but they are curious because the babysitter says it is okay.

One of the cartoons that Kyle (9) watches in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It has changed a lot since I watched it with my kids. There is one thing that drives Tammy and I nuts about it too. They are always saying, "What the shell ?" or Let's get the shell outta here." It is borderline and we are not alarmists. It is a clever cute way to preprogram (not saying that is the intent, but it is the result) your kids for profanity. If it is the intent, it doesn't matter. My job as a parent is to deal with the results. Kids these days have the foulest potty mouths I have ever seen. They think nothing of lashing out with a string of obscenities, regardless of who is in earshot, and are unapologetic, even if called on it. BECAUSE the babysitter says it is ok.

Is that an over simplification ? Possibly. However, we, as parents, need to be more aware of what the babysitter is doing when we are not watching. We would never stand for a babysitter that cursed or used sexual innuendo in front of our kids, but, here we are, plopping them done in front of the TV night after night. I do not allow my kids to spend the night at anyone's house until I have met them and know they are safe. How much more do I need to be careful about who I allow to come into my house, via TV, and influence my kids.
Mom, the babysitter is cussing !

1 comment:

TammyJ said...

Honey.. you know how much I agree with you on much of this.. but.. does this mean we won't be getting cable???? Just kidding.. (sorta)... Hey .. guess what .. I love you...