Instilling values in our children

This year, I actually watched the Super Bowl for the game, and not the commercials or half time show. My home team, the Baltimore Ravens were playing, and were also fortunate enough to walk away with a victory. For many people, Super Bowl parties are a great time to get together with friends, enjoy varieties of football food and marvel at the amount of money put into producing the best commercial ever. This year, there were some doozies.

One of the most repulsive, to me, was the Go Daddy commercial.

When the commercial began, I didn’t think it would be that bad, as I really like Danica Patrick. But quickly, the commercial progressed into a full assault not only on the eyes, but the ears. As I was live-tweeting during the Super Bowl, I commented and received quite a bit of feedback. Many friends definitely shared my sentiment of getting slightly nauseous at the exchange. Go Daddy fared well, as it turned out to be the biggest sales day in the company’s history.

The company provided Mashable with the following stats that illustrate a big increase over the comparable day in 2012:

  • Hosting sales jumped 45%
  • Dot-com domain sales rose 40%
  • New mobile customers increased by 35%
  • The company added 10,000 customers in total

beyonce raunchy super bowlAs the Super Bowl went on, we were treated to a pretty risqué Calvin Klein commercial, and an even more risqué halftime show. I read several comments and tweets from people who were still disappointed with Beyoncé’s lip-synced inauguration 2013 performance, so they had nothing nice to say. One comment in particular that I read expressed they felt Beyonce’s performance was “completely inappropriate.” As I reflected on this, I certainly agreed that it was nothing I’d want young children to watch, but was I disappointed? No, I can’t say that I was. Probably because it’s what I’ve come to expect from performers of today.

I learned my Super Bowl lesson in 2004 after Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. At the time, I was a youth leader for my church, and while the kids were as excited as everyone else, we decided to have a Super Bowl party just for them. We had all the delicious and generally unhealthy football foods but none of the language and alcohol soaked rants that sometimes accompany such sporting events. We thought we were safe in our insulated environment, and we incorrectly thought we would be able to control whether the kids were exposed to anything that we deemed inappropriate. We were wrong.

As we were watching the halftime show, the kids were of course enjoying the performance by Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, all of a sudden I heard, “Did I just see what I thought I saw?” We could only speculate at that point because we were two years out from the world of Twitter and live updates and reactions to everything happening in the universe. Later, we find out that the young man did indeed see what he thought he saw, as we saw a progression of FCC fines and a heated debate developing on the ability to censor such acts from occurring in the future.

It was clear to me then and even more abundantly clear to me now that we cannot expect cable television and the main stream media to adhere to the morals and values we uphold. Since the wardrobe malfunction incident, performances at such sporting events and awards shows have become increasingly sexual and striving to achieve the highest wow factor, which often translates into shock factor.

JackieLynn Wellfonder

JackieLynn Wellfonder is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @princy_lyn

My point is this, I was not disappointed or even offended by the commercials and the performance because I expected nothing less. It is clear to me that if I want to watch material that I feel is appropriate for my children, I need the ability to preview it in advance. I am not one that advocates censorship, as we already have a rampant big government administration that wants to control as much of our lives as possible. As someone who values the principles of liberty and freedom, for me, it was simply easy enough to make sure I never put children under my supervision in an environment where I was not controlling what was being watched.

When one looks to mega stars and music personalities as role models, you’re going to have problems, because they will simply not measure up. I personally feel it is our job as parents to be those role models for our children and to actually parent, and be actively involved in what they are watching and listening to.

The television and the iPod were never meant to instill values in our children — we were.

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  1. How in the world are you going to “make sure I never put children under my supervision in an environment where I was not controlling what was being watched.” Your children (and their friends) won’t always be in your presence and under your control. Your solution is not possible. It is a shame that we are no longer offended or shocked by this type of thing on television. This isn’t a show where you look for this stuff, this is the Super Bowl. We need to refuse to purchase products by advertisers that use this vulgar appeal to buyers. We need to gain control of the networks by having people in these institutions that refuse to show this garbage. We need to convince the NFL that this type of halftime show isn’t in its best interest for purposes of promoting its product. This is not censorship, it is responsible citizenship in a free country!

    • If children are under your supervision, why can’t you control what they are watching? If they’re right there, and you are supervising, where else would you be but with them — supervising? How is that difficult?

  2. Where you at all impacted by the the poor display of sportsmanship and lack of respect for authority by the players themselves?

  3. Ok, I’m just going to say it: I find Beyonce repulsive, and the godaddy ad nauseating.

    • Exactly, and it isn’t only Beyonce. But, one good thing today came out from the Grammy’s leadership as they sent email “clothing requirements” to the participants to “tighten up” on the clothing they wear on TV… no cleavance, no showing genital area (as Beyonce did with her camel toe), etc.. AND, we must fully investigate the behaviors of those in the public eye, especially our political and social leaders, for their abominable actions (e.g., the U.S. Senator travelling to Dominican Republic to have sex with under-age prostitutes). That in itself should be a criminal offense with full-public castigation – if not castration!

  4. abaworlock says:

    I still find it a little weird that they swear on the radio, cable one thing but you can block it.
    Not that I condone this kind of thing…….But! Constitutional rights bla bla bla. I don’t think its going to changes, it will probably get worse. As long as sales and rating go up. It really is going to be a parenting thing. We need to teach our kids right from wrong, whats acceptable and whats is not, to stand up for themselves. Now a days both parents work and we leave it up to the schools and others to teach our kids how they should be, but they teach our kids what is expected of them not to stand up for themselves even to bully’s, I think the right word is pacifists or victims waiting to be victimized. If you like it or not Its going to be up to us to teach our kids morels, right from wrong, pride in what they do a honer and to stand up for whats right.

    Sorry I kind of started to babble there, but this shit has been pissing me off from back when my kids where still in schools.

  5. ‘Agree, Jackie. Shock value seems to rule the airwaves, the standards are very low currently on TV.

  6. There’s no better instruction for parents to follow than God’s own directive, “train up a child in the way it should go and they will not depart from the way”. A clue for this to become reality in today’s environment is to help your child(ren) choose their friends wisely and not based on “popularity”. Children typically “follow the leader” in school and those types aren’t always make the best examples or friends. Never let your umbelical cord fully become detached from your child, or you will lose them to the world.

  7. I agree that we have a great deal of consumer power. It’s a shame we don’t use it and simply refuse to purchase products displaying offensive commericals, or products that support offensive programming. It’s too bad conservatives and Christians don’t “get” the power they have at check out.

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