"My husband and I are in the process of making our family standard, and tonight for FHE we are going to ask the kids for ideas. We already are running into some difficulty though. My husband and I have different standards as far as media goes. I agree with him that whatever standard we set needs to be one we will both be willing to follow. I think the kids will be willing to give up more than he will in the media department. We are in agreement that R rated shows will never be watched in our home, but other shows he is more ambiguous about. How should we go about making the family standard? Should we just try to set one we can all agree on, even if it is a lowering of the standard for some of us? "
My husband used to have a different standard than I did as well. For some reason it was harder for him to give up some of his PG13 movies. I will tell you what I did. Each person and marriage is so different, I don't know if I can really tell you what to do on this one.
Mostly I was patient. But, the other thing that I did was I decided to live the standard that I wanted to live whether anyone else was using my standard or not. That means that if he wanted to watch a PG13 movie, I would say, "I have decided not to watch PG13 rated movies, can we pick something else?" If he still wanted to watch that movie, which he did a few times, then I would say, "That's OK, you watch it and I will do something else." No guilt of negative emotions attached. I didn't want to make it a battle, but I wasn't going to throw my standards out for a silly movie either.
The biggest thing that made my husband want to change his standard, was when he realized that he didn't want to have his children watch PG13 movies, so that meant that he was a hypocrit if he watched them. We decided that if our children couldn't watch them, then we couldn't either. This is our rating rule now.
Even if the show is PG, we preview the show to make sure the content is good. If we don't like the attitude problems or something else in the show, we tell the children that the movie didn't pass our inspection and that we won't be viewing it or getting it. We also decided that if the movie is offensive, we will not feel bad about turning the show off. We decided that if we can turn the show off, then we are in control of the show, not the other way around; and we want our freedom.
Our family viewing standard is probably more about the content and spirit of the movie than the actual rating. There are many PG movies we won't watch.
As far as other things, like music etc. go, I would make sure that all the stations in the car are set to YOUR stations every time you drive. This lets everyone know your standard without you having to make a pitch for it all the time. The very best thing to do is to always play music that improves the spirit of the family and stimulates the mind.
I did a music test with my family once. I rounded up different kinds of music and played little pieces of them to the family. After each piece of music we talked about how we felt and what impact the music had on our spirits. This was way fun for the family and all the foster youth who had music problems, we were able to see the difference a song really makes in how you feel. We didn't have a problem after that.
You definately should make a family standard that you both can agree upon. You may have to give in one place in exchange for him giving in another. If you change standards in the years to come, you can always change the standard again. It would be best if it didn't ever have to change, but you have to allow room for improvement too. :)
Hang in there and be patient. My husband did a 180 degree shift on media stuff all on his own. The only thing I offered was the example of my own personal standard. You can have a personal standard and a family standard too.