Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why We Let Kids Watch Edgy Shows

Don't ask.

I like to consider myself a “hands-on” dad. What I mean by this is that when I do something, even something stupid, I am usually fully conscious of my decision. I don’t make excuses such as I was busy or on the phone, rather  my excuses center around having bohemian leanings, unusual upbringing or alien possession, the main point being it is impossible for me to judge what is considered generally acceptable.

More specifically, we let our kids watch such shows as “The Walking Dead” and “Family Guy.” I was reluctant about the former because of violence and the latter for sexual content. So if these are stupid decisions why do I continue to allow viewing of these programs?

The short answer: these are two really great shows and I don’t want to wait until after the kids have gone to sleep to view them.

The longer answer is that I trust my kids to be able to figure out the satire of “Family Guy”  and realize that there is no zombie apocalypse (even in the American South) so looting grocery stores and shooting everything in sight is not appropriate.

If the kids were showing anything but enjoyment from these shows I would end viewing privileges. In fact, “Dr. Who” was forbidden from being shown for a couple of years because the episode where the manikins came to life freaked out the younger kid. 

My kids do read books, see shows  other than the abovementioned, and generally compose their reality with a multi-faceted intake of concepts and images. I want this intake to be diverse as possible. 

At the end of the day I enjoy talking seriously about how I would behave in a zombie apocalypse or what made me laugh while watching family guy. If anything is disturbing to the kids I want it out in the open and discussed.

We have two great kids with unusual and excellent senses of humor, and (in theory) finely honed survival skills.

Works for me!

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