Unfortunately, there are also commercials.
As a rule, when the commercials come on, I mute them. If I deem them "safe" for the kids to see, I don't worry about who is watching, or who isn't, but if they are in any way inappropriate for my kids to see, I shout "Don't look!"
And they don't look!
Yesterday I was watching college football by myself, commercials and all, when my 5-year-old daughter came into the room unexpectedly. I had already muted them, but she glanced at the screen as I shouted, "Don't look!" She quickly looked away, and reassured me, "Don't worry, Mommy, I didn't see any bad stuff, only the word murder." (Do CSI tv show previews freak out any other parents out there?)
Today, we watched football again. After I had shouted another warning not to look at a commercial, and they all ducked their heads, someone asked me if they could watch the commercials muted until there was another scary-looking one. I told her no, and explained again how some commercials are not scary, but are definitely inappropriate for them to be watching, listening to, or reading. (Cialis or Viagra, anyone? Or perhaps a nice highly sexualized tv show preview? Sheesh.) I reminded them of what happened yesterday, when my 5-year-old read the words on a commercial without intending to. They remembered, and were again content to stick with the rules as they are already set up.
"It's all right, Mommy," my 5-year-old told me. "I didn't really read the word 'murder'. It's just that when I saw it I recognized how it was spelled."
Whew. What a relief!