This I Believe

Matthew - Wilton, New York
Entered on September 25, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in being a little overprotective. I have 2 boys (10 and 8) and daughter who is four. I want them to feel safe and I want them to face things when they’re ready – not when society says it’s ok. Now I’m not naïve – I know kids pick up stuff earlier and earlier these days. But I believe there are ways to delay such things. They will have plenty of time to see the scary and the bad when they’re older, but not now. I’ve been called too strict at times and frankly that sits just fine with me.

I also believe in baseball.

You may not think protecting my kids and our national pastime would present a conflict – but when baseball is televised – it does.

We only have one television in the house. It’s upstairs in our bedroom and not accessible to our three kids. The positive things about not watching TV have rubbed off on our children. They’re imaginative; they love to read – all the good stuff about having the TV off. Sports however is another story. I love sports and I love to watch it on TV. I never thought much about the actual broadcasts until I became a parent. The games themselves are fun to watch, teach teamwork and provide a relaxed atmosphere for father/son bonding and together time. It’s the commercials that are frightening. The amount of sex and violence is appalling. How am I supposed to enjoy watching a David Wright homerun with my kids when the next moment the screen shows a shooting or a woman with not nearly enough clothes on? What’s a father to do?

I believe the answer is the real estate channel. It’s cable TV’s gift to parents. For us, Channel 7 is an oasis of family appropriate content in the midst of a sea of R rated material. In our house as soon as the third out is made we’re deciding between a three bedroom ranch with 4 acres priced at $259,000 and a traditional colonial with four bedrooms but less land at a similar price. It’s a great way to shelter the kids from unhealthy images and influences for just a little longer. Besides when they’re ready to buy their own homes someday they’ll know a good price when they see it – and they’ll know where to put the TV.