My end goal for parenting is to have happy, independent, helpful, productive adults. And I’m pretty sure the way to achieve that is by having happy, independent, helpful, productive children.
I don’t mean full blown adult versions of these attributes. I mean the appropriate child-age versions of them. So, this means that I begin to look for opportunities to expose my children to opportunities to learn these types of attributes. Read the rest of this entry →
There has been a lot of hype over today’s release of The Hunger Games, a movie based on the book by Suzanne Collins. I read The Hunger Games book last year and found it enthralling. I will be reading the second book, fairly soon.
Here’s the thing I’m wondering about: Who is this movie targeting as it’s audience?
Many of the Hunger Games readers were in their early teens, and I’m certain that many young teens want to see the film. It’s rated PG-13. Which means if you’re under 13 an adult must attend the movie with you.
I don’t want to give too much about the book away, but it’s no secret that story is about kids killing kids. There are 24 kids a the start of the competition, and it’s a fight to the death with only one winner. You do the math, that means that 23 kids are slain in the course of the story.
Is this a concept that we want to become jaded to? Do we want to use the slaying of children as entertainment. I know that the characters are actors and no one is killed for real in the making of the movie…but. People generally are sent to jail for killing people. In this story the characters are put into the situation by the government and then it is televised, reality television style. And now, we’ve made it into a movie. Does this glorify killing?
As an adult I know that I can deal with the disconnect between reality and the premise of this story. How young is too young for a child to watch this movie? I’m not really sure. I do know, however, that when we read a book our imagination will only take us so far, but when we see graphic violence on a screen, we are inflicted with the directors imagination brought to life before us.
Once we see something, we can’t “un-see” it. How much is too much? Please, let me know what you think.
We had this conversation at lunch time today, my kids and I: What should you do when your friend asks you not to tell about something they’ve done?
My advice: Tell your Mom. It’s helpful of course to invoke the “don’t get mad” spell before beginning the story. Let’s face it, if your friends have told you not to tell your parents something, clearly they’ve done something they’ll get in trouble for and they know it. Wouldn’t you rather know the kinds of things your kids and their friends are finding themselves involved in before it’s too late to counsel them about it or help out in some way?
I know I would.
We discussed how some people have kids who are causing trouble and doing bad things when the parents aren’t around. I told them that, likely, their parents probably have no idea that these “things” have happened and believe that their kids are ”perfect angels,” with not a clue about the danger or the wrong doing that might have transpired.
Wouldn’t it be better if their parents knew?
I guess it depends on the parents. If they’re going to dole out unreasonable punishment and not discuss the issues with their children, then maybe it’s better that they don’t know. But, if they’re good parents, it would be better if they did.
I gave my boys the example that if they were older and were drag racing (for example) on the main street during busy traffic, I would love to know about it and not hear it third hand. I joked to my kids “honestly, then I could at least suggest to you that you do the drag racing in the factory district on the weekend.”
They laughed. But seriously, my kids are entering the age where they are going to be put on the spot with peers who don’t want parents to know their business. It’s not my job to parent those other children, but I do want to keep mine safe and arm them with strategies for dealing with avoiding trouble and danger. In all seriousness, I won’t advise them of a safer drag strip, but I might suggest that they take up speed racing as a sport and learn how to do it safely. We’ve got a motorway just up the highway.
When it comes to kid stuff, parents can get a little uptight.
Don’t climb up there, you’ll fall! Don’t balance on that high fence, you might get hurt. Don’t jump from that, it’s too high.
The fact is that as adults we might get hurt if we fell from those spots, the bigger you are the harder you fall. But for the most part, kids can take a tumble and keep on trucking. This isn’t to say that you should let them jump out of 2nd story windows, or let your toddler climb on the kitchen counter top. That would be bad parenting. But, for the most part let kids be kids.
Let them jump on and off of things, if they fall, they’ll learn to tumble. Let them balance on things, balance is an important developmental skill. Let them wrestle, it teaches them coordination and builds strength. It’s important to encourage movement and activity. Kids especially thrive on being active. Take them to the playground, bring them swimming, teach them that moving their body is rejuvenating. Don’t give them a fear of getting hurt.
If you let your kids develop strength and agility at a young age, they will know their bodies well and be able to adapt to different circumstances with ease.
When you were a kid how many trees did you climb, how many skinned knees did you have and how many bruises did you get? For me, it was too many to count.
Chaos, entropy, gravity…all of these things are pretty good at bringing things down. But bringing them up, that takes work and effort. It doesn’t always have to be hard work, or too much effort. But if we are going to show our children the way to become strong, contributing, happy adults it’s up to us to set the rules and enforce them.
Bring your children up. Raise them.
Give them rules to follow, enforce them with pertinent consequences.
Show them the importance of making good moral choices, owning up to mistakes, making amends for hurt feelings, being truthful. Show them. Don’t just instruct them.
If you’ve snapped at your children, apologize. If you’ve made a mistake, admit it. Don’t lie to them. Not about anything. It’s ok to tell them that you’d rather not discuss something, or that it’s a private grown up matter if you feel the issue is to delicate for them to know about, but don’t lie to protect their innocence.