Parentage is a very important profession, but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children. – George Bernard Shaw
I am a movie buff and I love going to the movies and sitting in the dark watching a good story on a huge screen. It has been hard to do lately because Hollywood seems to have a creativity blockage. Still, I enjoy going to the movies. During the summer of 2013, I remember two movie experiences in particular, Monsters University and Man of Steel. Monsters University as you may be aware, is an animated Pixar film. There were probably about 10 children in that movie theatre at the most. At the showing of Man of Steel, an extremely violent film full of explosions and deaths, there were definitely more than 30. Both theaters were jam packed. Do you see anything wrong with this picture? Over and over, I go to R, PG-13, and other films depicting violence and sexual situations, and there are children in the audience.
There are conflicting research results saying that media violence affect the young by making them violent in their own life. Some say that the research does not account for variables such as mental health and family life. There have even been documentaries such as Bowling for Columbine that state that not one single factor is the cause of so much violence in the United States, but all factors as a whole. It might be true that that is the case, but it is also true that there is a diminished quality of parenting.
The world has changed enormously from the world that the now parents lived in. There is easier access to information on the Internet, TV is more relaxed on the use of language, violence, sex, and nudity. The music that we listen to today has foul language and the pop stars are very questionable as role models. Some people cry for censorship, while others would like, rightly so, in my opinion, to have freedom of access to everything we choose to have access to. The responsibility should not lie on our government, rather, there should be a shared responsibility on the media and parents, with parents having about 90% of the shared responsibility.
The media’s responsibility is to offer programming that has less violence and sex for the kids and not dressing up inadequate material as children and family programming. Still, the parents should do more research on the TV, movie, video game, web site, book, song, etc. that the child is been exposed to. There is the option of blocking several channels and movies that have certain ratings, and there is, of course, common sense of not watching or listening to this material in front of them. Kids are kids, yet we think of them as little adults. It is very important for us, as adults, to let them live their childhood and not making them grow up so quickly.
Parents need to do more parenting. Period. The TV was invented as an entertainment device, not as a nanny. Dining tables were invented for sitting down at them and eating as a family. Sometimes, as a parent, one should sacrifice the movie theater too for a cozy night watching a DVD while the child grows up. Even better as a part of a healthy relationship and for one’s own enjoyment would be a decision to leave the kids with a sitter or family member every now and then and do the adult things without them, it might be more enjoyable anyway.
If you signed up willingly or not for life as a parent, you took on a responsibility to look after another being’s life and future. There is no better person to do it than you, so choose wisely.