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Monday, September 20, 2010

To Glee Or Not To Glee? That Is The Question.

With apologies to William Shakespeare, that's the question that's floating around my house right now, because the new season is upon us.

My girls (and, yes, me, too) got hooked on the show mid-season last year at the urging of some friends--all of whom kept telling me how much we'd love it because we're all fans of old-fashioned musicals.

They were right. It's a fun show and the music gives me hope that muscials will eventually make a come back to the big screen. (Think: Oklahoma! and Gypsy.)

So what's the issue?

Have you ever watched that show with a couple of pre-teen girls sitting by you on the couch?!?

Some of the messages coming across in the show are not acceptable viewing for my girls.

For example: Did you see the Madonna episode last season? We're 42 minutes into a show that is just fine, then we get to the 3-way scene where everyone is grinding to "Like a Virgin"... including a couple high school girls who have boys in their bedrooms. Did we really need that visual?

I thought, based on the descriptions of this show by friends (who, by the way, are either kid-less or have tots) was this was a fun kid-friendly show. Well, let me tell you, if you haven't experienced it, internal alarm bells will go off in your head as you watch by simply adding the presence of a young, impressionable minor.

This isn't the first time I've experienced this...

Case in point: When was the last time you watched Grease? Have you watched it with a 9-year-old next to you? How do you respond when she asks you to clarify the words to "Greased Lightnin'"??? Have YOU heard the words? It was a real shocker to me! Of course, I remember seeing it (and checking out the--WARNING: About to show my age here--LP {that's a vinyl record for you whipper-snappers} out of the library a dozen times until I could sing the entire score) when I was only about 12 myself without any lasting mental damage. (Ok, that might be debatable.) Admittedly, much of the detail slipped through the cracks in my kid-brain.

But, things are different when YOU are the MOM!! Trust me!!

Oh for the days when I worried if the girls had normal diaper habits or would ever learn to count correctly...

Now, fast-forward to 2010 and I'm trying to figure out if I'm being hyper-sensitive, and if I don't make a big deal, the randy ways of the cast of Glee will pass right over the heads of my daughters. Or, if I'm passively endorsing early, risky sexual behaviors by allowing it to be watched at home, then I'll have no one to blame but myself if I end up a grandma before I'm 50!! We are a Christian home and I want to make sure my girls are getting the right perspective on high school life.

So, after much thought, here's The Compromise I came up with (don't laugh, because my kid did!): Since I need to be using teachable moments to impart our family's values on my children, (I should blog about the realization I had this summer of just what I haven't taught my daughters yet!) I announced that the girls may watch it with me, but only if we discuss any inappropriate behaviors and what the correct choices would be a the nearest commerical break.

Yeah, that went over like a lead balloon.

Little D actually gave me the Pre-Teen Sigh-Eye Roll (you know the one that makes you want to take her head off with one swift swipe of the hand). That's when she announced, "never mind, I don't like it that much anyway."

Baby D wasn't so easy. So, we may be trying out this interactive TV viewing for a week or two and see how it goes. My other option is: Record the shows until I can view it and decide if it's appropriate or not for kid TV. We've done this on one particular crime show Baby D likes, but is not always kid-friendly.

If the makers of Glee would be more consistent in their content--some of their episodes are just fine--it would make my life easier. I just don't understand why we need the extra crap-ola in a show that's marketed directly to teens and tweens!

Maybe we should stick to reruns of Mayberry...


  1. I think you are RIGHT ON. I am not a parent of a pre-teen yet (I laughed at your diaper habits and ABCs because that truly is what I'm worried about right now!) but my students are preteens! I take the same approach with them. Some of them were reading Twilight, so I read it (and got hooked) so I could discuss it with them.

    It's impossible to shelter your kids from all of that, so the best thing to do is TALK about it. TALK about how it's a bad decision, etc. etc.

    Good job, Big D!

  2. I AGREE - talk talk talk!
    It is so much easier for me to talk to my 14 year old now because we started at a young age with appropriate subjects but being open and so now it is easy to discuss the tougher subjects!
    Unlike my Mom who tried to tell my sister and me about the birds and bees and we giggled she got mad walked away and we learned about it on the bus!!!!!

  3. Oh and don't get me started on the eye rolling!!!!

  4. I admit to liking Glee but I can see how some parts of the show are not kid appropriate. As for Grease, I started watching it when I was about 5 and knew all the words but not really what they meant till I got older. Kids grow up fast, so it's best to keep them innocent as long as you can.

  5. I hate it when shows "misrepresent" themselves or others misrepresent them! Yeah I knew about Grease, but I don't think I knew it or understood it back in the day. OYE! Is nothing sacred? ;-) I vote DVR!

  6. Good for you that you're even thinking of these things and how impressionable your girls are. So many parents just leave the TV viewing choices up to the kids. The things allowed in our homes through the TV are just shocking. Would we want our kids to have actual live friends who behaved and talked that way? If not, they also don't belong on the other side of the screen. We need to protect our children from a Godless world and help them, also, be 'transformed by the renewing of their minds.'

  7. We watch Glee around here but, now that you mention it, I've never really thought about what it would be like if my kids were old enough to be watching it with us (we always DVR it and then watch it after they're asleep - and without commercials)! I don't even want to picture my girls as tweens and teens someday - yikes!

    Thanks for stopping by, have a great rest of your week!

  8. too funny! we watch ALOT of the "andy grippin" show (as my 5 year old calls it)! i've watched a couple episodes of "glee" and i have to agree with you. most of the's fine. i still have a few years before i am faced with this dilemna though. right now we're on a standoff over whether or not "phineus and ferb" is appropriate. i say no because of the word "shut up". i'm such a mean mommy!

    love your blog and you made me laugh.....following you back from the blog hop!

  9. My teenage niece just informed me (via facebook) she is having an entire glee party tonight!! Good luck.

    (I would suggest using the DVR while you take a nice bubble bath and then watch it alone after they go to bed :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Following back.

  10. Thank you for posting - I am having this exact same internal debate. I allowed my 9 year old to watch the first few episodes as I was thinking HSM. It started off not too bad - a bit more mature than I wanted to get with her but like you said, no real visuals so I was happy. That was, until the second half of the first season began and the two cheerleaders were trying to talk (I'm bad with names) the football guy into losing the BIG V!!! Now, I'm not sure my daughter even knew what they were talking about, but that was the end of Glee for the rest of that season. Lucky for her, I did PVR and I allowed her to watch a few here and there as well as E1, S2. I bought her the first 1/2 of season 1 on DVD when it came out, now she wants the 2nd so she can watch in her room. I am really hesitant, but wondering if I'm making too big a deal out of it. I remember watching soap operas with my mom from the time I was born... is Glee that much different than Days of our Lives? Will listening to them talk about sex make her run out and have it the first chance she gets? I hope not... but...??? It adds to the curiosity maybe. Sorry I'm rambling, but I really don't know where to go with this. With the new season now here she counts down to Tuesday (for me its Thursday and Vampire Diaries, which I do let the kids watch! Much less likely to feed off someone and turn vamp than to have sex and get pregnant - is that wrong??) My other dilemna... I allow (or my husband allows more accurately) the kids to watch every superhero movie out there and they haven't staked, killed, shot or swung from roofs. Am I over doing by sending the kids out of the room at the first sign of kissing? HELP!!!!

  11. I agree. I think a lot of primetime TV is inappropriate for kids. We DVR a lot of stuff and then watch it after the kids go to bed. And I think your plan was a great one. Too bad she didn't want to go along with it. And have you ever noticed how many shows start out with a sex or violent crime scene. It is like you don't even have time to pause or change the channel before something you do NOT want your kids to see is on the screen.