Does what we watch influence our behavior? Does it change how we interact with the world, and more importantly, how our children interact with it? Kids can be so easily influenced and pick up on things, even if they don’t always understand the meaning and complexity behind it.
Up to the age of 25, the prefrontal cortex is still growing and developing in adults, indicating that our brains are evolving and expanding. We don’t always understand the consequences of things, including what we watch. Whatever we put in comes out, and that includes music as well.
‘As parents, we need to help our kids understand how to discern what they see and listen to,’ says Kate. ‘For those people with faith, we run it through that scripture in Philippians where it talks about whatever is good and pure.’
If we run everything through that filter, whatever goes into our hearts comes out. But if we don’t put those filters up, our children are just putting rubbish in and rubbish is going to come out. We may see their behaviour change, so it’s important that we monitor what they’re watching and listening to.
‘It’s a great opportunity to talk to kids and say, do you notice that you’re a little bit more grumpy or a little bit more aggressive?’ says Brett. ‘These are things that can actually be a springboard for learning. We’re not trying to spoil their fun, we’re just trying to make sure that they become the young woman or the young man that God wants them to be. ‘
Many of us have watched something we knew wasn’t appropriate. As parents, we need to make sure we are role modelling the right things for our children. There’s a great website called pluggedin.com that reviews movies, books and music and helps you decide if the content is appropriate.
‘Even books are becoming more risqué,’ says Brett. ‘As parents, we should teach our children more discernment of what they allow into their worlds, but we also need to be better informed. It’s part of our role and responsibility to help shape our young people’s character, to actually protect them in a way that’s going to help them.’
Making Wise Decisions
Often this will be countercultural. A lot of our kids’ friends will be watching and listening to things that we might deem inappropriate. We want to be teaching our children to make wise decisions for themselves, and as they become more self-aware, they become more discerning.
‘We have to take every thought under captivity,’ says Brett. ‘As soon as you’ve actually allowed a little seed to get there, it’s got your mind. That’s the reason we have to control our thoughts.’
‘I can I can dictate what goes on in my own home,’ says Kate. ‘And I want my home to have this beautiful spirit in it. I don’t want to pollute it with things that are not of God.’