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Clay Westfall
Clay Westfall
Clay Westfall, retired from the world's finest Navy, MBA, writer (the jury is still out), father of five, currently employed as a stay at home dad.


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Charlie Chaplin?

Aug. 21, 2014 8:41 am

Last night, after cleaning up from dinner and getting the kids homework done, I was finally able to sit down and watch a television program I had recorded the night before. As soon as I got comfortable, the boys came into the room and sat down, ready to watch whatever I was watching. At first I was annoyed, because I wanted to watch my show, but the show I was going to watch was a bit too 'late night' for them to watch. With all the violence and sexual content out there these days, there isn't much that is safe for kids to see.

After a few minutes of thought, I opened up Netflix and searched for 'Charlie Chaplin.' Now, I realize that these are not the shows that you would normally pick for your family to watch, but I was curious to see if my kids would enjoy the same shows that their great grandfather had watched when he was their age. Much to my surprise, the boys were soon rolling in the floor! These particular shows were recorded in 1914, so they were silent movies that occasionally have a text screen to read. The boys took turns reading these screen aloud, and didn't seem to mind that there was no sound, with the exception of the piano in the background.

I realize that many people today would probably think that we were not allowing our children to grow in today's world, and we were shielding them from the reality of everyday life. That is not at all the case. We just do it under our terms, not the worlds. When my oldest son had questions about sex, I was the one to explain it to him, not the television or his buddies at school. I really wasn't sure if her was ready to understand it all, but I knew if I didn't tell him in my own way, with my own Christian values, that he would hear about it in the locker room. Since then I have pulled him aside several times and reiterated the stronger points, like abstinence and birth control. This way I know without a doubt that when the time comes for him to make the decision, he has all the facts. Now, what he decided to do with that information is totally up to him... all we can do now is pray for wisdom.

You know, having a blog does not mean that I have all the answers. Sometimes, I get it wrong, and I realize that I too am learning. What I have learned about television and children is if your pre-record good, wholesome shows like my parents allowed me to watch when I was growing up, I can spare my children the constant bombardment of sex and bad choices that are so readily available today. Believe it or not, my kids favorite show to watch now is "Full House" (rated G) that I tape for them every day on Nick. Don't worry... every Friday night the boys have pizza and a movie night so they can watch the 'Avengers' and 'Transformers" or whatever else I have pre-screened for them.

Please, take the time to raise your children, or this world will do it for you. Who knows? Maybe your clan will like Charlie Chaplin as well. Have a wonderful and blessed weekend.

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