Television Unfit?

Children love television they spend hours watching programming specifically targeting them. As parents we have an obligation to protect our children but are we doing enough? One parent has a few words of caution for parents everywhere.

After recently watching a good amount of television programming, I question whether a TV has a place in a home with children — unless it is heavily supervised, monitored, and controlled. That assumes parents are paying attention. If they’re not — then the TV needs to go, and so does the computer.

This may seem a little off-topic to a homeschool discussion. However, I believe that as homeschooling parents we must create an environment in our homes that supports the development of the human beings we are trying to raise. Think about that for a minute before you read on. What qualities and characteristics do you hope to encourage as your children grow? Make a list — and then use it as a guideline when trying to figure out what in your home supports the development of those qualities and traits — and what doesn’t.

Family programming

My husband and I were watching American Idol recently. (I admit it, I’m a complete sucker for that show). It’s billed as a “family” show. However, most of the contestants filmed during the “audition weeks” provide a glaring example of the detrimental influence of pop culture on young Americans. Most are clueless numbskulls with potty mouths.

If your children are watching this show, be very careful. Kids don’t have the same filters as adults. They may not understand that when a contestant says, “F#@%, Simon, he can kiss my a#@,” — even if the “bad” words are bleeped — it is not an appropriate response in a civilized society. (If you think it is, then God help us all.)

Take a break from commercials

But it’s not just the programming. On this particular night, I was paying attention to the commercials and was surprised by how graphic some of them are in sexual content, violence, and grisly murder scenes.

I’m no prude, but I don’t want my 6-year-old watching close-up, slobbery tongue-action and body-groping as a teaser for a television show. (And if your young children have watched girls-gone-wild video commercials – shame on you for allowing it.)

I’ve watched CSI and Criminal Minds — but I don’t think children should watch those shows. Parents are supposed to protect their children. What possible argument could you use to justify exposing kids to images of mutilated corpses and abhorrent, deviant criminal behavior? And don’t tell me it’s part of your child’s forensic science curriculum.

The degradation of women

I also question why the women scientists and FBI agents portrayed in these shows always go to work in blouses and t-shirts that expose their cleavage (to put it mildly). Isn’t this a direct contradiction to the national obsession with sexual harassment in the workplace? Does anyone remember the women’s rights movement? You think burka-wearing women in the Middle East have it bad? I think seeing women portrayed as breast-baring teases is worse. (And don’t get me started on the current fad of pole-dancing for exercise portrayed on TV. Maypole? Yes. Stripper’s pole? No.) Anyone have any idea what message this sends to our little girls and little boys?

A pill for everything

As if those trends in television weren’t bad enough, big pharma commercials plug every kind of drug imaginable for every weird malady on the planet — can there really be that many people suffering from “Restless Leg Syndrome”?

Not only that, the way people are depicted in commercials is troubling. We’re all-consuming dimwits who only care about feeling and looking good, getting stuff, and partying.

Middle-aged women have no dignity — they only care about botoxing their wrinkles away (and their facial expressions along with them), or trying to attract the attention of the “pool boy” via a slimmer bod — if we are to believe Kirstie Alley’s (age 55) Jenny Craig pitch!

The obsession with cars as a statement of success or even more unbelievably as a way to show your smug environmental awareness is just wrong on so many levels.

The idea that diamonds are the singular expression of love is particularly annoying. Your relationship is worthless unless you can flaunt it encased in gold and set with three full-carats. Do you really buy into that crap? Do you want your kids to think it’s true?

If I have to watch that cruise commercial one more time that suggests the whole reason the family went on the cruise was to get their bratty tween daughter to quit acting out and smile occasionally, I’m going to throw my shoe through the TV!

Commercials make universal assumptions about people based on research. If this is what our culture accepts and condones — why would thinking homeschool parents ever expose their kids to it? I’m serious.

All of these things were aired during prime time — when I know families with young children are watching. Kids are sponges and absorb everything in their environment — they are even sensitive to your reaction to what you see on TV. You may have desensitized yourself to commercials and television programming, but your children haven’t. If you don’t flinch or comment at the images and messages projected — what are they to think?

Taking control back

I know some of you are very careful about exposing your kids to television content. Some of you don’t even own a television. Some only watch pre-screened videos or PBS programs. Some of you have “TIVO” technology so you can fast-forward through the commercials. Some “mute” the TV during commercials. The technology is available to protect our children, but it still requires parental vigilance. If you’re not paying attention when the TV is on, then your kids are at risk.

My family never watched much TV. (Yeah, yeah, I know that’s what everyone says — but in our case it was true). Now that my sons are away at college, I have watched more television — and I’m sorry to say the messages haven’t improved. They have gotten much worse. I just hope for the children’ sake, you are monitoring very closely what they see on TV. The success of your parenting and homeschooling depends on it.

Diane Flynn Keith
Homefires Editor

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Benefits of Milk?

Raw Milk and Raw Eggs – – Can You Safely Eat Them?

The dairy association seems bent of getting out their message that everyone needs milk. The number of commercials extolling the benefits of milk are seemingly endless. After contemplating the growing number of choices available in dairy case at my local grocer, it appears the message is being heard loud and clear.

The choices seem limitless; from organic milk, low-fat milk, kefir milk, soymilk, goats milk and more. How’s a mother to choose?

Growing up near Shelby, Ohio I remember getting our milk fresh from the farm, in glass gallon jars, and skimming off the cream to make our own butter. I never gave a second thought in those days wondering where my milk came from.

Since my son came into the world, it’s been a different story. I’m constantly considering where our food and drink comes from in an attempt to provide him with healthy choices. Parents have a great deal to worry and the list gets longer each day. The more I learn, the more I come to realize just how little I know.

In fact, just last year I stumbled across information on raw milk. Never having heard the term, of course I was interested and took the time to investigate it. Little did I know that I had grown up drinking what is now referred to as “raw milk”. We certainly didn’t call it that when I was young; it was simply “milk”.

After learning more about raw milk many things became clear to me. For instance, when our family moved to Citrus Heights, I became painfully aware of the effects of asthma. Since no one in my family had a history of asthma, I had to learn how to live with it. I discovered that a growing percentage of people especially children develop asthma, who live in the California Valley.

The treatment for asthma starts with inhalers and normally graduates to breathing treatments. In most cases the use of inhalers becomes a lifelong ordeal. Knowing I did not want to end up tied to an inhaler my entire life; I avoided using it as much as possible and moved out of the valley as soon as we could. Of course, I kept reading.

After moving to the mountains fortunately my asthma cleared right up all on it’s own. I haven’t used an inhaler in about five years. I’m thankful I didn’t become dependent on an inhaler.

Many parents don’t have the option of moving their children to the mountains and out of the valley. But there is an alternative.

In his article entitled, “Keeping Your House Clean Puts Asthma Sufferers at Risk,” Dr. Mercola had this recommendation:

Replacing commercial milk with raw milk from grass-fed cows is also usually well tolerated and highly health promoting. There is simply no reason to ever drink or consume regular pasteurized milk products. They almost invariably will cause the asthma to worsen. The only acceptable milk products would be raw unpasteurized milk. That may seem impossible to get but there are two ways one can obtain it.

In another article titled, “Why You Don’t Want to Drink Pasteurized Milk,” Dr. Mercola had this to say:

There is no substitute for clean, raw milk as a food, so far as children are concerned. Science has not yet succeeded in providing, in the pasteurized variety, those essential qualities that are the only real foundation for a healthy child.

Unfortunately, many grossly distorted statements are current regarding our milk supply. If we are to believe the protagonists of the Pasteurization-of-all-milk-at-all costs Party, raw milk is as good, or rather as bad, as rat poison–although as the Minister of Agriculture recently stated, “the human race existed long before Pasteur was heard of.”

On Organic Pastures (where I get my milk) website I found…

Natural organic raw milk has in it vitally important living things. These include the following: beneficial bacteria, enzymes (including lipase, protease, and other), lactase forming bacteria, and many enzyme based pathogen-killing systems. The common practice of pasteurization inactivates or dramatically reduces the effects of these important active (living) elements. As a result, you may be lactose intolerant when drinking pasteurized milk, but not lactose intolerant when you drink raw milk. This is because lactase enzymes are being formed when you digest raw milk. That is why we say; “only living milk brings life.”

They go on answer an all-important question…

What happens to bacteria in pasteurized milk after pasteurization?

After pasteurization, bacteria found naturally in milk are killed. During the high temperature heating process, cell bodies of these bacteria are ruptured and their contents are spilled, releasing histamines. This causes many milk drinkers to suffer allergic reactions. Almost all of these same consumers can drink raw milk and not have allergies. The high levels of bacteria permitted in milk intended for pasteurization are still found in pasteurized milk; they are just dead and not removed by the process.

You will find a great deal of information and some very good reasons to provide only raw milk products for your family to drink on the Organic Pastures website.

If you haven’t heard of drinking raw milk or if someone in your family suffers from allergies, asthma, lactose intolerance, you owe it to your family members to get more information on the benefits of raw milk.

My husband and I who both suffer from lactose intolerance have both discovered that we don’t have any problem drinking raw milk and it tastes so much better than that fake stuff they are peddling on television.

Try some raw milk, then drop me a note and let me know what you think.

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