Building a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Home in a ‘Gossip Girl’ World

 

Have you ever seen the TV show, Gossip Girl? Well, I haven’t, which means that I went out on a limb a bit by mentioning it in the title of a presentation I am giving in a few weeks, “Building a Little House on the Prairie Home in a Gossip Girl World.” I thought it was a safe bet that the two shows present contrasting views of family life and fortunately my college-aged neighbor confirmed this fact.

 

I have no desire to live back in the 1800’s. Among other things, I am immeasurably fond of indoor plumbing. But I don’t accept that technological advances must go hand in hand with the loss of strong families and values. After all, the world of Ma and Pa Ingalls was technologically advanced compared to a hundred years earlier and while technology has (with a few exceptions) pretty much marched on throughout history, adherence to standards and morals seems to wax and wane.

 

Most parents in what I think of as the Gossip Girl world have little of substance to convey to their children. The idea of their passing on sage wisdom and life guidance as the Ingalls or more recently the Cleavers or even the Munsters did, is ludicrous. When you aren’t sure yourself whether being honest, self-reliant and faithful is laudable, it becomes difficult to transmit that message.

 

What if you do have strong principles and beliefs which you wish to share with your children, but the educational, entertainment, political and general society around clash with you on every point? Barring moving to the middle of the prairie with a few oxen, what can one do? That is what I hope to explore in a few weeks and I am highly interested to hear your insights and suggestions on the topic. Do use the comment box below to let me know your thoughts. Thank you.

 

 

 

15 thoughts on “Building a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Home in a ‘Gossip Girl’ World”

  1. While we readers continue to interact daily with the culture beyond our door through keeping informed, voting, contributing, etc, please continue showing us the wisdom and the way of creating a very real, insular, sustaining harbor of peace once our family crosses the threshhold of our doorway and enters our home.

  2. While we readers continue to interact daily with the culture beyond our door through keeping informed, voting, contributing, etc, please continue showing us the wisdom and the way of creating a very real, insular, sustaining harbor of peace once our family crosses the threshhold of our doorway and enters our home.

  3. Leslie Vasquez

    As a young mom, I feel the influence of fashion and style on my own desire to look good and feel good affects my daughters directly. I am their role model. I have to take that very seriously and hold myself to the standard that I will hold them to. It’s a full time job, because society is a total contradiction.

  4. Leslie Vasquez

    As a young mom, I feel the influence of fashion and style on my own desire to look good and feel good affects my daughters directly. I am their role model. I have to take that very seriously and hold myself to the standard that I will hold them to. It’s a full time job, because society is a total contradiction.

  5. One idea is to limit children’s exposure to TV: monitor what they do see, and discuss with them the good or bad examples. This is a lot simpler if children are raised by the parents, not a sitter. Simple may not be easy, but some families have two working parents just to support a large house or third car. Decide what is important, set priorities, think long-term. In 20 years the McMansion will need an expensive new roof and the cars will be forgotten. Will the children know the family stories and care about talking to each other and the parents whether it is a holiday or not? Or do they leave home never to look back until the will is read?

  6. One idea is to limit children’s exposure to TV: monitor what they do see, and discuss with them the good or bad examples. This is a lot simpler if children are raised by the parents, not a sitter. Simple may not be easy, but some families have two working parents just to support a large house or third car. Decide what is important, set priorities, think long-term. In 20 years the McMansion will need an expensive new roof and the cars will be forgotten. Will the children know the family stories and care about talking to each other and the parents whether it is a holiday or not? Or do they leave home never to look back until the will is read?

  7. no TV/cable (let’s in too much of the world’s influences, both in shows and in commercials)
    read Bible together daily and discuss it’s application
    live Bible daily without compromise
    do not have double standards for children and adults (if it is not appropriate for children, is probably against Torah principles and therefore not appropriate for adults)
    as they get older, allow them to make mistakes (great learning experience)(not saying set them up, but allow them to learn vs over protecting them to the extent that they can’t think for themselves- similar to your post about the girl on boat)
    parents love each other with selfless love
    teach children right and wrong in word and deed, don’t expect them to just catch it or know it
    show children respect as person
    Bottom line, teach in word and by example!

  8. no TV/cable (let’s in too much of the world’s influences, both in shows and in commercials)
    read Bible together daily and discuss it’s application
    live Bible daily without compromise
    do not have double standards for children and adults (if it is not appropriate for children, is probably against Torah principles and therefore not appropriate for adults)
    as they get older, allow them to make mistakes (great learning experience)(not saying set them up, but allow them to learn vs over protecting them to the extent that they can’t think for themselves- similar to your post about the girl on boat)
    parents love each other with selfless love
    teach children right and wrong in word and deed, don’t expect them to just catch it or know it
    show children respect as person
    Bottom line, teach in word and by example!

  9. I appreciate all of you who took the time to write and agree with what you say. I spoke at a homeschoolers conference this past Sunday and it was a reminder that there are many parents today who have realized how much hands-on involvement is needed today. Not surprisingly, had you polled that group you would have found almost no TV watching among their children.

  10. I appreciate all of you who took the time to write and agree with what you say. I spoke at a homeschoolers conference this past Sunday and it was a reminder that there are many parents today who have realized how much hands-on involvement is needed today. Not surprisingly, had you polled that group you would have found almost no TV watching among their children.

  11. Like the man said in Shawshank Redemption: “I’m the only guilty man in this prison.” I find it extremely difficult to compete with the culture of today and I don’t think that I’m always winning. My first 2 kids got through the teenage years okay. However, my 15 year old daughter is just bombarded by not only the media but the other kids at school. My conversations with her seem to get through but one never knows.

  12. Like the man said in Shawshank Redemption: “I’m the only guilty man in this prison.” I find it extremely difficult to compete with the culture of today and I don’t think that I’m always winning. My first 2 kids got through the teenage years okay. However, my 15 year old daughter is just bombarded by not only the media but the other kids at school. My conversations with her seem to get through but one never knows.

  13. My husband and I do not yet have any children [we were just married last year], but I have been spending some time reflecting on this. I had seen an episode of Gossip Girl when it first aired and I remember that it was not wholesome in any way.
    My father in faith, Kenneth Copeland, taught me that when studying anything, first find out what God commanded. So I found Leviticus 19:16 which says, “You shall not be a gossipmonger among your people, you shall not stand aside while your fellow’s blood is shed – I am Hashem.” This is from the Chumash and I noticed in particular Rambam’s comment: Gossipmongering is a great sin and has been the cause of much bloodshed. This is why the Torah follows up this commandment by warning against standing aside while someone’s blood is shed.
    Proverbs 26: 20-28 is wonderful concerning this, specifically verse 20: “Where no wood is, there the fire goes out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases.”
    I matched that up with what the Bible says in the Epistle of James, chapter 3, verse 16: “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”
    The themes of these two shows are evident in their titles. One puts family first and carries the attitude of treating everyone with love (which is our commandment), equality and sincerity. The other puts self first and carries the attitude of pride, accusations and back-biting, which only causes oneself harm.

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