Today is IWSG day, a monthly event Alex Cavanaugh started to get writers sharing about their insecurities and other things. On the first Wednesday of the month, a bunch of us gather on the blogosphere to share...First, I just want to thank some of you for the nice comments from my last post. Things are better now. Encountering negativity happens to the best of us. I am moving on....Now onto my post…
Recently, we introduced our children to Charles Schulz’s Peanuts cartoons. Although I loved the Peanuts comics as a child (as well as Garfield and Calvin & Hobbes), it actually has been years since I watched the Peanuts cartoons or holiday specials. I have vague recollections of Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, the gang enjoying toast and popcorn for Thanksgiving, and Charlie Brown getting a scrawny little Christmas tree…Recently, I was watching excerpts from a Peanuts cartoon with my son and I was reminded of how much more edgy vintage cartoons were compared to some of the sterile children’s cartoons today.
In a moment of parental insecurity, the one where I worry about whether my child would let something negative on TV rub off on them, I began commenting on the morality of the scenes. That’s awful that Charlie Brown missed the football and see… she made him hit his head! It’s not nice to call someone a “blockhead.” Ignoring my comments, my son continued to laugh at what he thought was funny.
Here’s the irony: Sometimes I get annoyed when I observe a parent criticizing the morality of what goes on in a kidlit/YA story. But here I was, doing pretty much that with a cartoon, and one I’d loved as a child at that. So I stopped talking and let my son watch the cartoon in peace.
On another day after that, I worked at my desk as my son watched another Peanuts cartoon by himself. In the middle of the episode, he called to me: “I heard someone say ‘stupid!’ They’re not supposed to say that. It’s a bad word.”
“Yes, it is a bad word,” I called back. “Glad you’re paying attention!”
I was pleased that my son was able to derive his opinion about what was right and wrong about a character’s behavior without my constant interjections.
That said, parental supervision isn’t a bad thing. Not at all. I think it’s perfectly fine to have conversations with our children about anything in a TV show, movie, song, or book that we feel should be addressed. But I feel we should also give our children space to figure some stuff out on their own too.
What do you think is the right amount of parental supervision children should have regarding their exposure to TV, movies, music, or books? Which cartoons or comics did you enjoy as a child?