Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Politically Incorrect ... According to mom.

I was flipping through TV channels a while ago and the movie Sixteen Candles was on cable. "Oh," I cried out, remembering how much I loved this movie. Of course, after a few minutes I was shocked. The sex, drinking, language, definitely far worse than I remember. And the movie . . . something I wouldn't dare allow my teens to watch.

Sometimes I forget how much has changed. I'm not talking about the media, but my life. Once I used to grab a beer or two (or . . .) with my friends on the weekends. Now I use every beer commercial to give my kids a moral lesson around why drinking is wrong. I had a boyfriend before my wisdom teeth came in (is that why I made so many bad choices?). Now I've "encouraged" my children not to date until they are emotionally ready to deal with romantic relationships in which they are giving away a piece of their hearts. (Because, I tell them thinking back to Bobby, Derick, and Blake . . . you never get that piece back.)

But what about Little House on the Prairie. Is that Politically Incorrect too, according to mom? I mean pigs get butchered and Laura (gasp!) gets spanked.

Here is an article I read on that. It's an opinion piece talking about this very thing. I has also got me thinking. Am I tooooo good at sanitizing my children's lives?


At Tuesday, 24 October, 2006, Blogger amyanne said...

Now that my kids are older (9 & 8), I started renting some movies I remember loving as a kid growing up in the 80's. We snuggled in on the couch and popped in Goonies. After about 15 minutes I popped it out horrified. I hadn't remembered all the drinking, cussing, meaness and cruelty in that movie. I was shocked that the sort of behavior depicted in Goonies and other movies from that era was accepted as entertainment for preteens and teens.

Drinking, smoking, cussing and disrespectful behavior is glorified rather than shown as the wrong way to act. It was cool to do those sort of things. There were no real consequences for their behavior. While, I cerainly don't want my children growing up sheltered and without street smarts, I cringe at that sort of "entertainment".

It makes me wonder if the entertainment we were brought up on led to the moral laxness we experience in our culture today? Did it lead to a disposable attitude about life. If it's not working, throw it away and get another (which is seen in everything from our relationships to appliances)? or are the attitudes shown in these "children's" movies just a reflection of the then current attitudes and trends?

I much prefer the entertainment of Little House on the Prarie with it's "real" life situations. When we do something wrong, there are consequences, when we need food, somebody, somewhere kills a living animal and we eat, and when we are selfish, disrespectful and/or cruel it hurts others and that hurt must be dealt with, not ignored.

At Wednesday, 25 October, 2006, Blogger Sherry B said...

I come from the "other side of the coin." I was raised in a 'sanitized' environment, which led to social and emotional inabilities. While I grew up going to public school, the school was a "higher standard" school so much of the misbehavior was either punished or hidden altogether. I withdrew from many activities because of a fear of "bad" people/behaviors. I had few friends and shunned many people who weren't of a 'standard' that I could handle. There were lots of missed opportunities for my parents to teach me because I became so withdrawn (to stay away from the bad) that I did hardly anything that was "bad." As a result, my thought pattern has very little grey area (everything is either wrong or right). Another big negative is the fact that, by sheltering me so much, my parents didn't teach me to make my own decisions. This led to MANY adulthood problems making bad decisions and difficulty making decisions!
While I'm not at all insulting my parents (they were doing what they thought was right), there is a distinct difference between me and my sister (who was raised after they had relaxed a little). She never seemed to have any of the social and decision-making problems that I have. My mother actually apologized, when I became an adult, for being too overprotective because she saw the problems that it caused me in life.
My childhood strongly affects how I raise my children. My oldest child was exposed to the "not so pretty" side of life at an early age, as we survived an abusive marriage and nasty divorce/custody battle. Although I shelter her, I also don't think that I overshelter her. I let her know that there is bad out there but she doesn't have to make that choice. I use those opportunities to teach her ways to deal with situations. "Bad" is much scarier when you don't know anything about it, so she's well aware that it's there and hopefully I've equipped her with skills to deal with it. We do not watch shows with excessive violence/sex/drugs/etc. but I do not expect that she won't ever see these things. Sadly, you can't even get away from these things on public TV (we don't even subscribe to cable)!
I'm rambling on to say: that what we don't know can hurt us! Although I STRONGLY disagree with exposing kids to inappropriate material, I STRONGLY believe that, as parents, these inevitable exposures to the "bad" things in life offer us invaluable education opportunities so that we can give our children the valuable life skills that they will need to make the right decisions and know why those decisions are right.
Only time will tell if we (parents) have done our job correctly, we just have to do the best we can with help from the Lord! And hopefully our kids will respond to that in a positive way! :)

At Sunday, 29 October, 2006, Blogger Jessica said...

No you are not sanitizing your children too much. Of course I'm not in your living room, but from what you are saying, it sounds right on target for protecting your children, guarding their hearts and minds while teaching them how to do it for themselves as they mature.


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