Keeping up Appearances
Some time ago my daughters danced with glee while watching a Barbie movie. I do not like Barbie, and was hesitant about letting them watch the silly thing at all. As I watched them get excited, and dance along with the characters on the screen, and get anxious and nervous as the tension rose, I was reminded why I don’t like movies in general. So many movies and stories these days are intended to be emotional manipulators. They want to pull us into the excitement and into the emotional ups and downs so that we become enthralled with the fantasy they are selling.
Needless to say I don’t really want my girls to watch the wretched movie again. My husband sees it as a harmless, romantic, story that the girls enjoy watching. I see it as a marketing ploy, that is striving to make me and my girls feel certain feelings, and to strive to continue to experience those ups mostly by way of, as one would assume, buying their product and reliving their fantasy. A dancing beauty, with a tiny waist, perfect voice, graceful dance steps, who ALWAYS wins just the perfect man, and they live weathy, “perfect” lives full of pleasure, and endless happiness.
Why do we want to fill our daughters heads with such trivial nonsense? Am I suggesting giving our children depressing, serious, and boring stories to watch and read that will give them the hard realities of life with no fantasy at all. No, our children need to build their imagination, but in today’s culture with so many silly marketing ploys vieing for our attention, maybe a break from silliness is in order.
When we look at the world around us we see many countries who are making tremendous strides both in education as well as in areas of technology. It seems like America is slipping further and further behind. I believe it has to do with our being sucked into the belief that our lives should be one of comfort and ease. The belief that our lives shouldn’t be much work at all. I want to teach my daughters that using the brain that God gave them to create and explore is the best way to entertain themselves.
I know that I probably allow my kids to watch too much TV. Yet, I believe that we can still choose to guard what things our children watch and to really evaluate whether or not those shows are truly edifying for our children.
This leads into my next point, if as parents we are being careful about guarding what our children watch then perhaps we need to be even more careful about what shows we are watching. Perhaps we should find something else to do besides watching a TV show. If our children see us reading, working at a hobby, or even working around the house instead of soaking up all the TV shows we can, maybe that is an even better example.
When do our children have time to simply play, and imagine what might be in their own heads for a change instead of someone telling them what to put there?
I do feel there is a place for television and movies. Yet I do not like most shows thay are aimed at our girls. The things that are being taught today is just not what I want to teach my children.
How do you filter the media that comes into your home?