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105: How to Talk About Violence on TV with Your Kid

By March 10, 2020November 9th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
How to Talk About Violence on TV with Your Kid

In this episode, I answer a listener’s question about parental censorship when it comes to what your kids watch on TV. I walk through a productive convo on this topic. Enjoy!

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About Randi Rubenstein

Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.

She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.

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0 (1s):
You’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode one Oh five,

1 (7s):
My name’s Randi Rubenstein. And welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast where we believe when your thoughts gro the conversation’s in your home flood.

0 (21s):
Well today’s episode. I want to answer a request from a listener who posed a problem to me. And it was really about how to talk about Violence on TV with our kids. And this is what she said. She said, I notice that my nine-year-old suddenly interested in the entertainment that feels inappropriate, violent, mean characters. We’re getting a handle on how time is spent with some of the success. I think that means that she’s like putting timer parameters around tech time. So she’s not letting them have unlimited tech time. She says, but content is another story. I’m conflicted between helping my kid make good choices that are healthy for his development and being a sensor who he won’t trust.

0 (1m 7s):
I don’t want him to feel he needs to sneak around to consume this stuff. Okay. So this is really what I said to her was I’ll talk about this on the podcast. And it’s really just the point. Have a productive conversation. When you have a productive conversation with your kids, you don’t necessarily go into it. Knowing what the solutions going to be. ’cause. The solution is always going to be collaborative. Like that’s the point have a productive conversation is that you’re not lecturing your kid’s or telling them how they shouldn’t live their lives per se, because of my classes, your, your working with them, your problem solving together.

0 (1m 49s):
You’re acting as a team and you’re coming up with solutions. There’s plenty of times I sit down with my kids and I have PRODUCTIVE conversations. Just did one recently with my son. Who’s 13, where I didn’t, I didn’t know how it was gonna turn out. I didn’t know the rules that we’re going to be coming up with. It was about a sleepovers and curfew and school nights versus weekend nights and, and sleepovers in a row and how much sleep needs. Like there was all these details that we have to cover. And I didn’t know exactly how it was going to turn out. We came up with that together. And when you involve your kids’ in being part of the problem solving process, well, then they don’t feel controlled and they actually own the solution and they start to manage and police themselves because you are not attempting to control them.

0 (2m 43s):
It doesn’t mean you can’t have your say, like, my kid was like, wait, I want to have two sleepovers in a room. And I’m like, yeah, that’s not happening. Your you, you need to give your body a chance to recover more than one sleep over a weekend is too much. We want family time and there’s no way you’ll be trashed by Sunday. And You, you’re not going to be ready to like, be rested and recharged for the week and do your best work in school. So no that’s off the table. So there are like, I, I will put down those parameters, but like, it’s a negotiation. I might put the perimeters on that, but then I give a little bit on something else. So it’s the same thing here.

0 (3m 24s):
So when you’re bringing it up, you are going to just start with seeing his perspective and you’re going to say, Hey, I notice that you really like, blah, blah, blah, show. And cause I’m sure there’s probably like one particular show. You really like, blah, blah, a show. And he’s going to say, yeah, you’re going to say, what did, what, what, what did, what draws you to it so much? Like it kind of, I mean, I walked by and seen it a few times. It kind of scares me. What do you love about it? Tell me, I don’t want to understand. So you get him talking. I like the seeing his perspective is just like, I noticed that you like such and such show and he’s like, yeah, like you’re standing the obvious.

0 (4m 6s):
Yeah. I like it. What do you like so much about it? I, you know, it kinda feels scary to me, but I can tell you’re really into it. Tell me like, what is it what’s drawing you to it? I don’t know. It’s just cool. You’re like, Oh, like cool characters. Or is it like more like you like the way? I don’t know. Cool costumes. Cool. No, not cool costumes. When we’re dealing with the nine-year-old boy Hear I, who knows what a cool costume’s like, what does it? I don’t know. I just like it, like, is it like, it seems like there’s a lot of fighting and like blood and like, I don’t know, angriness everybody, everybody, every time I walk by and see it, it, it seems like everybody’s so angry.

0 (4m 47s):
And he’s like, and he’s like, yeah. I like when they fight and you’re like, Oh, like, is it that it’s like the good guy you want the good guys. Are you rooting for the good guys or for the evil guys? Like tell me more, dig in, get curious, find out what it is that he’s liking so much. Okay. Find out what’s drawing him to it. And once you hear what it is, you just reflect back. What are, Oh, so you like, do you think so so-and-so is your favorite character high school? Yeah. He’s hilarious. Like what? I don’t know, mom, just, you got to see his personality. He’s hilarious. What about the fighting stuff? Do you like all that fighting stuff? No, it’s kind of scary.

0 (5m 28s):
You’re like, yeah. That’s what I was thinking. So you love his personality, but the fighting parts are kind of scary. Yeah. And you’re like, okay, that you all right. That makes sense. Yeah. I’ve shows like that. That sometimes are a little more, whatever risque than I like are, but I fall in love with a character. And so I’m willing to put up with the junkie stuff. ’cause I love the characters so much, you know, to find out what it is. You can’t know until you, until you extract it from ’em and you got to get curious. And when you move into the problem solving part, that’s when you’re like, okay. So

2 (6m 2s):

0 (6m 6s):
I’ll tell you. So I have some concerns because even though I know you’re a peaceful dude, even though I know you’re not going to like see something on TV and then all of a sudden, like go and, you know, smack your friend’s in a rage, ’cause you learn something on TV. I also know that TV and Violence and all of those stuff and all that, all the via, even violent language and songs, if it does get into your brain. And so like right now, I’m just thinking like, I want you to be able to watch things where you can relax in and you enjoy, and especially with your favorite characters, but I also don’t want all this Violence getting into your brain.

0 (6m 47s):
’cause I think that that is not healthy either. I’ve just, I’ve read a lot of things about this. And I know that even though it might not feel like it, it does get into your brain and it can just like change the way you think about things. And, and it might sound dramatic. I get it. But you know what, like you’re too important to me not to think about these things. Like your brain matters to me. It does a lot. And, and so I have to think about these things that guy’s has your mom, I got to protect your brain if that’s my job. And, and so if he’s like Oak, okay. Be like, OK. So is there, are there other shows that you like the characters just as much that aren’t as violent and, and, and then y’all just problem solve and it, and it might turn into the solution.

0 (7m 36s):
Is he fast forward through the fighting scenes? It might turn into when it starts to feel too scary. Like he’s going to ask you to sit next to him and maybe you all will decide together that this isn’t a good choice. Now let’s say let’s go to the other way, because I know some of you guys who, especially who have kids that live in that place of what I call defense zone, where they dig their heels in, especially if they think you’ve got an agenda, they’ll dig their heels in their lives. I like the fighting. The fighting is cool. Let’s say that you have a Kid that does that. And you’re like, okay, you like the fighting the fighting school. What about it? So cool. I don’t know.

0 (8m 16s):
It’s just cool boys like to fight. It’s just cool. They’re like, all right, I hear you. You like watching the fighting, the fighting seems cool. And I’m going to have to, I’m going to have to overrule this fighting thing. It doesn’t feel healthy to me, two to have all this Violence and fighting like, like as part of what you’re doing to chill out and relax. It doesn’t feel very relaxing to me. It doesn’t, it doesn’t feel healthy. So I’m going to have to decide that I we’re going to have find a different show.

0 (8m 57s):
This show’s not working for me. It doesn’t feel good. I don’t like I don’t like this. Focus on the fighting, the fighting as cool, the fighting, all that Violence really represents something that we’re not all about. As a family. We’re a family that really tries hard to use our words and not Violence to express ourselves for the You to then go watch television where it’s all about Violence and fighting to express them. The characters. It really is out of alignment with art, with our family, with our values, with who we are with our, with our family manifesto. So we are not doing that.

0 (9m 38s):
So here’s the deal. You’re going to need to find a different show, but this show is now off limits. So if I had a kid that was super digging his heels in and being like, yeah, fighting school, I’m like, yeah, we’re not doing that. We’re going to have to find a different show. If I had a kid that was more reasonable. And that was like, yeah, it is kinda scary. But I loved these characters. I be like, okay, lets figure this out together. Because if you figure this out together, chances are you’re Kid, you’ve now put it on their radar. They’re pretty sensible. And they’re going to lose interest in the show. And they’re going to all of a sudden, like find the shows were the characters are just funny and you can love the characters and they can be funny and you don’t have to like be scared and deal with all of that violence and negativity either.

0 (10m 21s):
So, and they’ll get to that on their own, which will be about choice and not control. And then they’ll totally buy into it. Right. They’ll totally buy into that. So that, so those are the two different ways I would say, just based on your kid, where they are their personality, there’s a couple of different ways, but if the Violence is truly like a deal breaker for you and you have a, Kid digging their heels in, or you can be like, yeah, a deal breaker. We’re not doing that. And if you have a kid it’s more kind of like sensible reasonable and can kind of get they’re on their own. I would guide them in there and support them and collaborate with them and not put that super hard rule down.

0 (11m 7s):
But as long as you’ve emphasized at as long as you’ve empathized first and really seen their perspective and really listened chances are you won’t have a child that shows up digging their heels in. Well, fighting’s cool. The fighting school and digging their heels in probably means that they can sense that you have an agenda. There’s been a lot of control on the scene. They don’t really believe that you see their perspective. And if you really wanted to give it some time, you could go back and just continue hearing them, seeing their perspective, mirroring and, and letting the process unfold and helping them to kind of get they’re on their own.

0 (11m 51s):
So that’s it, that’s the way I would have a productive conversation about that. And I hope it was helpful. You guys have a great week. Bye.

1 (12m 2s):
Are you ready to start having productive conversations? Have you been listening to the podcast for a while? And you hear me go through my three step PRODUCTIVE conversation process to solve any problem. And you’re thinking, how does she do that? Guess what? I made a really cool resource for you guys. I call it the problem solving one sheet, okay. It’s one sheet front and back. So, you know, take it with a grain of salt, but it will walk you through how to have productive conversations and you’ll practice. And before you know it, you will be having productive conversations all day, every day. It really is the solution to solve any problem. So you can download it at Mastermind Parenting dot com forward slash problem solving all one word that’s Mastermind Parenting dot com for slash problem solving all in one word.

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