Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cue the Lynch Mobs

Quick, someone call CPS.  I did a horrible thing last night!
I let my child watch an R-rated movie!

Okay, so not so dramatic, but that is the reaction some parents these days might take.  I understand that there are certain things that children shouldn't see before a certain age, but that mentality was more acceptable in the early 90s.  Now, there isn't much you can hide from children.  They are not stupid and they notice a lot more than they lead on.  And besides, even watching any regular TV exposes them to the harsh reality of life in the 21st century.  If you shield them completely from these things, they will grow up helpless and vulnerable.

Let me make it clear that, despite the things I allow my children to watch, I draw the line in certain scenarios.  I will not let them watch movies with sex in it, and I am choosy when it comes to movies with violence.  The movie they watched last night was full of violence, but it wasn't zombies-eating-my-brain violent.  It wasn't cadavers being ripped apart or guts flying everywhere.

The movie was Terminator 2: Judgement Day.  I believe I was about my oldest daughter's age when I first saw the movie and I didn't grow up to be a crazy psycho killer.  It just happened to be on TV and I let my 7 year old daughter and her 4 year old sister sit with me and watch it.  It had an interesting effect.  Like most children their age, they provided commentary all the way through the movie.  Asking questions allowed me to give explanations for some of what they were seeing and to help them understand that it was only a movie and not real life.  I also got to see them making commentary stating that "the bad cop is doing very mean things" and "thats not nice" and "thats so sad".  My kids have compassion and common sense and for that I am grateful.  Some movies like this provide a very good lesson:  There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.  If you don't want bad things to happen, you have to work to prevent them.

We all know the outcome of the Terminator movies, but they haven't seen the third one.  I think that one is still a little too high on the violence scale for them, and I don't want to have to explain to them what a nuclear holocaust is.  I'm not out to scare them about the world, I want them to understand that the world is a cruel place, but you do not have to be cruel to live and survive in it.

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