Is TiVo the Enemy? Only if Your Kids Know How to Use it

Usually, I refer to TiVo as my friend. Before this brilliant contraption of technology, we were forced to record with VCRs. We set timers, used clunky VHS tapes and often missed shows all together. Then came TiVo, sweet little guy, with his ability to tape multiple programs in a single day… at the same time, no less.

Now, we never have to miss an episode of our favorite shows. My kids don’t have to surf channels and settle for something when TiVo offers us every episode of Little Einsteins or Phineas and Ferb. Best of all, I can put my children to bed at 8:30 and watch any show that started at 8:00 with no commercial interruptions.

It is because of my great love for TiVo that I must remind myself that what happened yesterday does not make my little friend evil; though I wish he were to blame. You see, the downfall of TiVo is that once your children know how to use it, they have access to all of your shows as well. Here's a perfect example: Last week, after much deliberation, I decided to watch Idol Gives Back with my 8-year-old son. My son, after no deliberation whatsoever, chose to show it to my 5-year-old daughter the next morning as I unwittingly slept. She, in turn, woke me at about 7 am to ask why so many babies in Africa are sick and don’t have mothers. Well, good morning to me.

Though I can’t blame my son or even my TiVo for the mishap, I feel awful about the images my daughter saw -- which were well out of her realm of comprehension. I’m certainly going to be responsible for her therapy. I've learned my lesson and now erase mature shows after I’ve seen them. I've also told my son that using TiVo is a responsibility and that in the future, all shows must be cleared by the TiVo police -- me. So TiVo, you are now my frenemy. Don’t worry, I’ll always be nice… I’ll just talk about you behind your back.

PLUS: Lesson Learned: Telethons Can Be Educational

How do you safeguard your TiVo? Chime in below!

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