I stopped watching the evening news ages ago. Not for the reasons you would think. No, I stopped because every time I turned on the news I saw a parent of a client being hauled off to jail or accused of committing some heinous crime. It requires a lot of government mandated paperwork on my part. So, ignorance is bliss. I don’t watch the nightly news.
I do keep up on current affairs. I check into MSNBC at least once a day. I browse the headlines of the local paper – online only of course – and read the articles that interest me. I know what’s going on in the world and in my little part of it.
For a multitude of reasons we monitor very closely what we watch on television around here. The fewer times the boys hear cuss words the less often I have to roll my eyes and correct. If I spout off something they happen to repeat then I have no one to blame but myself. If the TV gives them new ideas??? Well, I still have myself to blame but I also have to blame the crazy people who think it’s ok for young children to hear that nonsense.
We’ve been watching a lot of Olympic coverage. By a lot, I mean that our TV has a favorites button that has all of the channels that are covering the Olympics tuned into it. We are busy searching through all of them and watching whatever happens to strike our fancy at the moment. A lot of soccer, some fencing, some table tennis, some tennis, a bit of cycling (cuz’ really how much of watching someone from behind pedaling can one person take?), a bit of boxing, some volleyball, some swimming… Ok you get the idea. We are fanatic and have the TV upstairs and downstairs tuned to keep us informed.
We had dinner with friends last night. They had the Olympics going when we arrived. We swam in their pool and ate on the patio. Still we checked in with the Olympics off and on. When dinner was over the adults remained on the patio sharing humor and libations. The boys went in to get away from the bugs and to play with the dog. After a few moments Eli came out saying someone on TV got stabbed.
We started to get up but our friend said he would look into it. He went into the house and came back a moment later stating that some crazy lady had stabbed her donkey in the eye and the local NBC affiliate was showing it on the evening news. He said it was incredibly graphic. Eli was very upset by the sight that he’d seen. We were able to redirect him with a promise of another swim in the pool. Still I was disturbed by the thought of what he had seen.
When we got home that night Eli asked if we were safe where we lived. We told him we do our best to make sure he stays safe. He shared that he couldn’t get out of his head what he’d seen on TV that night. He also was sharing that he saw on the news when he was at nana and papa’s that some guy shot a bunch of people at a Batman movie – and it wasn’t just 3D freaking people out. They really died… How can I go to a movie if people are shooting each other?
I walk a fine line between sheltering my children from the big bad world and teaching them the harsh realities. This was a reality that I would have prefered to shelter them from for quite some time. We enjoy going to movies as a family. I have a child with an anxiety disorder. Add in people getting shot a the movies and he is likely never to enter a theater again – at least not without being petrified and asking me if I can promise that something like that won’t happen when we go. I can’t promise that. I can’t.
So the hope and promise of the Olympic games remains on our television. We take an occasional break for Pokemon or one of our favorite movies. We turn the TV off when the news is on. We make sure the boys know the lessons that will hopefully help to keep them safe in the community they live in. We cross our fingers that the uncontrollable harsh realities don’t seep in too deeply and take over.