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Cover Your Eyes


Published on: December 30, 2013

children41Cover your eyes and sing a little song!

This is what a friend of mine tells her kids to do when something inappropriate comes on the television. Funny? A sign of our times? A little bit of both?

While sitting around with a group of mom friends this week (we were sampling wine for an upcoming school fundraiser, if you must know the truth), the topic turned to the commercials that have been airing on television during the recent Seahawks games.

The commercial for the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie during the 10 a.m. game a couple of weeks ago? Yikes. That took more than eye covering and song singing to distract my kids. I couldn’t have leaped across the room quick enough to grab the remote control and click the pause button. I think I even set my cup of coffee down!

While we certainly don’t keep our kids (ages 8, 5 and 3) in a bubble, and I realize that yes, we are watching football, a game that features men who are fighting over a ball and crashing into each other, intentionally, I have a hard time justifying these commercials. After all, wasn’t it just a few years ago that Janet Jackson’s breast flashing across the screen for less than a second during a Super Bowl halftime show caused such a fuss?

How did we get from there to here? Did I miss something?

I’m still unclear about whose responsibility it is to regulate these commercials. The FCC? The network? The NFL? Me? (Don’t answer that last part.)

I did a lot of digging online and chased my tail around in different websites, including the FCC’s. As expected, the language is vague and full of phrases like “as measured by contemporary community standards.”

From what I can decipher through all of the legal head spinning, anything involving excretory organs is, in fact, deemed as indecent and THAT is not allowed during hours where children may be watching. It does not, unfortunately, speak specifically to insane serial killers wielding chainsaws.

From what I can tell, here are the basic rules of the FCC/the networks/the NFL/whoever is making this stuff up that is not me and obviously not a mother:

1. Puking on TV: Not OK.
2. Pooping on TV: Not OK.
3. Peeing on TV: Not OK.
4. “Accidental” boob flash on TV: Not OK.
5. Promos for movies that would even give those burly NFL players nightmares: TOTALLY OK.

While we don’t subscribe to the no-TV philosophy at our home, I admire families that do and we have fairly strict rules about what we do and do not let our kids watch. It’s not a free-for-all, channel-flipping TV-palooza, by any means. Well, except that one time over the holidays when I found my preschooler watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. But, let’s forget about that for the sake of my credibility.

I realize that the obvious solution is to not let my kids watch NFL games on TV. It’s either that, or take on the FCC, but honestly, I have a ton of laundry to fold and this underwear isn’t going to put itself away, so for us, I think that we’ll stick to the “cover and sing” method.

Does anyone have a copy of the new Justin Timberlake song we can borrow?

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