Lady of Virtue has an excellent post with guidelines for helping us to discern what kinds of things are being communicated in books, movies, music. You know questions to ask ourselves about it.
Her post got me thinking about how we learn to discern what is good, or rather what is excellent. There are lots of good things out there that we can spend our time on but with our time at a premium I like to try for those things which are the best use of my time.
I have always preread books that I was going to give to my children to read. This allowed me to discuss it with them and to be able to ask good questions to see what they were comprehending. It also helped me when someone gave a series of books to one of my daughters when she was twelve. They were popular books, and this persons daughter had loved them. The mom was so thrilled her daughter was reading for pleasure. But as I read them, I was embarrassed at the adult themes and discussions in the books and amazed that this was popular youth literature. I talked to the mom who was shocked! She had not read them and felt awful that her daughter had!
Now many would say 'well, our children are exposed to much worse at school, or work etc...' but I ask you, does that make it ok? What should our measuring guide be? This isn't as bad as that, so it is alright?
This is a real challenge as our children get older...much of what my girls read, I have already read. They are getting to an age where my husband says that they must choose for themselves what they are going to allow into their minds, through music, books, movies, television. He's right. They are adults or nearly adults and we aren't always going to be able to preview everything. So how do we go about helping our young adults and children learn to be discerning?
One thing we do is talk - a lot! When we watch stuff we ask questions from the time that they are young - "what was that movie about?" "what world view were they teaching?" "Was that dad protecting his family?" "were they showing love to one another? What was the result?" These kinds of questions help our children to view media with a discerning eye.
What kinds of guidelines or things do you use in your families to help you to be discerning with media? I love to learn from you all.