Monday, February 2, 2015

Why Watching the Super Bowl is a Family Learning Experience

Super Bowl 49 just ended. It was the first time in my adult years that I watched this game with just my family. I normally have my guest list confirmed a year ahead of time. That would be the names of every teenager in my youth group. (Yeah, it gets a little crowded, which is why we added a second TV this year.

But the the Snowpocalypse hit and we were stranded, left alone to celebrate the night together. 

We managed. 

We watched the game. We watched the commercials. We even tuned in to the halftime show, with one finger at the ready, just in case things got out of hand. But one might question why I might be alright exposing my kids to all the media had to throw at us tonight. Well, I have an answer. 

Watching the Super Bowl is a family earning experience. You tell me where else my kids are going to be exposed to the most expensive messages ($4 million is what I heard) while in the safety and proximity of their Bible-believing and discerning parents. Where and when else can questions be asked without fear of criticism? And questions were asked.

When the woman calls 911, pretending to order a pizza. Dad, what is domestic violence?
When the Snickers commercial came on. Dad, who is Marcia Brady?
When the car commercial came on. Dad, what's the blue pill all about? Thanks Fiat!

We engaged the media. They asked questions. I gave them answers. (In case you're wondering, I told them the blue pill was about sex and asked them if they really wanted more information than that. Because of how we are honest and open with them about the touchy subjects, they knew to trust me when I said they didn't really need more info.)

In a single night we talked about the value of a dollar, purity, teamwork and good sportsmanship. None of it would have been had if I had chosen to emulate the ostrich and stick my head in the sand. 

Yeah, some of the commercials made me uncomfortable with little eyes watching. We chose to pause and skip over a few. Some of the commercials made me sad for the state of our culture. Some of the commercials just made me shake my head and wonder aloud where all the funny writers went this year. Seriously! 

But we don't live in a world we wish were true. We live in reality. I teach my kids now how to engage with media so when they are having a Super Bowl party somewhere else, they will know how to respond. 

God came into our world to get messy. I believe it;s time for His followers to stop being afraid to do the same. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Missed the party this year Rick! Great Article, good thoughts!