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No “Mother of the Year” award for me

By Sherry Kula TuckerIt’s official – I won’t be winning any “Mother of the Year” awards this year!  Not that I thought I was super mom before this incident but, it sure didn’t score me any points, and I don’t think I will ever live it down with my husband.

This wasn’t my first offense at slightly poor judgment, but it certainly was the most embarrassing, at least for me.  My husband thinks I’m making a bigger deal out of it than it is, and he is probably right.

I have been referred to as a bit over-protective at times, especially in the area of TV and movies.  As kids, my siblings (at least my sister) and I were limited on what and how much we could watch TV, and movies with an R rating were never allowed.  We looked forward to Saturday nights when we could watch two straight hours of TV – “The Love Boat” followed by “Fantasy Island.”   It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I came across a syndicated episode of “Three’s Company” and almost felt like I a rebel because I watched it!

I have never felt as though these limited viewing restrictions hurt me and have extended them on to my kids from the very beginning.   The amount of TV they watch is minimal by choice. so my efforts have been in the area of censoring what they can or cannot watch.

This is where it all fell apart.

Since I don’t watch much television, my restrictions tend to be based on what I hear from others, or according to the network.   Comedy Central and the “Family Guy” were off-limits, for example.

I thought I was doing well — until I watched this show my son kept talking about and nearly fell off my chair.  “Tosh.O” should have been on my restricted list along with “Two and a Half Men” and other shows I assumed would be okay since they were on during prime time.

If I was losing the battle with TV, at least I still had the movies.   The theater is easier because movies are rated. I was not going to budge — an R rating means you must be at least 17, and that is what I was sticking to… until Easter Sunday.

Yes, it was Easter Sunday that I came up with the great idea to take my kids to a movie.  I suggested we go see “21 Jump Street.”   I thought it was a TV show from back in my day, made into a movie.   The kids seemed to like the idea so we went.

As I was in line to get the tickets imagine my horror when I realized it was rated R.  Why hadn’t I checked?  I just assumed it was PG-13.  I tried to talk the kids into seeing something else, but it wasn’t working.  I asked the ticket girl why it was R and she said because of language.

Reluctantly I bought our tickets, and as we walked to our theater I gave them the friendly reminder that swearing is not cool and even if the movie made it look cool, it isn’t.  I’m sure they were rolling their eyes at me, but it made me feel a little better to give them that bit of advice.

As I slouched in my seat, I realized that as hard as I try (and I will keep trying), I can’t keep all the profanity and sexual innuendos from their lives.  It’s on TV; it’s in the movies – even PG-13 movies – and from what I understand, they see and hear it daily right at school.

Although I can’t protect them from every “adult situation” until they are legal adults, I can continue with my rules, knowing that they know right from wrong and will (hopefully) make good choices in their lives.

As uncomfortable at it was to sit in that movie with my teens, I guess it still wasn’t as bad as the time my husband watched part of a George Lopez stand-up comedy video with my son.  Who knew a comedy video with no restriction stickers, sitting on a shelf at Target, right next to a Jerry Seinfield video, could be so bad!

I guess it’s Disney channel and movies only, or I take a deep breath and continue learning by trial and error!

  • http://www.record-eagle.com Record-Eagle Webmaster

    Hi Gamewarden, you don’t have to wonder.  In 2007 one of our reporters was arrested for drunken driving. The news brief we ran is here: http://record-eagle.com/local/x75045522/News-In-Brief-12-11-2007.  I’m not sure your particular circumstances, but elected officials and public employees paid with taxpayer money are subject to higher scrutiny from the newspaper.

  • http://www.record-eagle.com Record-Eagle Webmaster

     Hi Gamewarden, you don’t have to wonder.  In 2007 one of our reporters
    was arrested for drunken driving. The news brief we ran is here: http://record-eagle.com/local/x75045522/News-In-Brief-12-11-2007. 
    I’m not sure your particular circumstances, but elected officials and
    public employees paid with taxpayer money are subject to higher scrutiny
    from the newspaper.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.senchuk Joe Senchuk

    Hey Sherry,  No person has the right to tell you how to raise your children and I truly do respect you very much.  However, in my time on this earth I have seen what happens to sheltered children… they either rebel at home or when they leave the home they tend to be much more wild because they have a tremendous need/desire to “do those thing which were forbidden”.  I am from the school that it is better to educate your children and be open.  We were very liberal with our son… he could do pretty much anything he wanted and could watch “almost” anything he wanted.  He knew the difference between right and wrong and he has grown up to be a true gentleman and a kind person who has continually demonstrated his higher level of maturity over others his age. Putting blinders and restrictions on your kids tends to suppress the individuality and maturity.  Do you actually think they will never watch those shows?  Really?  You can’t monitor what they do every waking second of the day and you certainly can’t monitor their friends.  Smothering your children can also lead to them being social outcasts and lead to other problems.

    Open communication, trust, love and allowing your kids to make the right decisions on their own is what worked for us.  

  • Pstych

    If you think the tv shows are junk……don’t watch music videos.  Most of them are disgusting, and are on at the breakfast table.  It is no wonder for most of our teens garbage in garbage out.  You are a good mom to censor!
     

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