Several years ago my family was advised to not watch R-Rated movies. Aside from the obvious mind pollution we have discovered some real wisdom behind this advice. This ‘rule’ applies to our children as well as to us as adults and parents.
One of the dangers of our children watching these movies, or being exposed to inappropriate behavior, is that as they see this behavior they accept it as normal. This applies to smoking, underage drinking, inappropriate relationships, disrespect, etc What they see are not movies but rather images of possible role-models.
Recently there was an incident at school where a student demonstrated that he/she possessed knowledge that was well beyond their years – and not in a positive manner. This has resulted in me thinking about the outside influences that may impact our families, and in particular children. When we hold ourselves to the same standards of behavior that we expect of our children we are much more familiar with acceptable, or normal behavior, based upon the influences around our kids. We can more easily recognize when their behavior has been influenced by outside forces that go beyond our limits. This can result in more easily identifying destructive behavior because it is behavior that we are not used to seeing in movies, etc.
When we subject ourselves to outside depictions of destructive behavior it joins our sub-conscience and disguises itself as acceptable. When we allow our children to see these outside depictions we are tacitly endorsing these behaviors.
While we sometimes feel that we are missing out on an exciting movie the benefits of being on the same page as our children far out weigh any loss we may feel. And what have we really lost? Nothing. Unless you have experienced something you can’t feel a sense of loss.