I guess we've let our TV turn into a baby-sitter, to keep our children quiet. They fight so much that it's just easier to let them keep watching it. Do you think this is wrong?


The question of how much television to let our children watch isn’t easy to answer–but if your television set has turned into a glorified baby-sitter, then you have probably gone too far.

Let me mention two questions I think you should ask yourself. First, what lessons will your children learn by watching television all the time? Some programs may be entertaining or educational–but what about the others? Will they grow up believing, for example, that violence is the best way to settle arguments? Will they decide glamour or fame or money are the most important things in life? They should get their values from you, not from what they see on television. Children learn by watching others, including those they see on TV.

Second, what are they learning about getting along with others? Yes, it’s tempting to let the TV keep them preoccupied–but they need to learn not to be selfish and to consider others. Will they learn this by sitting dumbly in front of a TV? I doubt it.

Most of all, let Christ guide you in everything–including the programs you and your children watch. The Bible says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).