Friday, May 11, 2012

Where has Parental Guidance gone?

I often wonder in our society what has happened to the role of parents as guides and protectors of their children!

Have we given this responsibility to others and just assume that our children are being cared for? Do we know the standards and goals of those to whom we trust to guide our children? Have we truly looked into how they interact and care for those in their care?
Are we so used to others telling us that 'it's OK,' it has been approved by such and such an organisation that we negate our own responsibility's to ensure that we provide ONLY the best for our children.

It is OUR responsibility as parents to be right on top of what our children are being exposed to, not only with books, movies and schooling but in the relationships that they have as young children.
It is our right and obligation that they are only exposed to the VERY BEST that life has to offer them as they are growing and learning in this society of ours.

We need to help them develop their gifts, talents and goals of who they are and the moral obligations we have to them can not be placed in others hands. WE need to constantly assess 'is this the right place or information for my child at this given stage in their development.'
For what is acceptable reading, movie watching and relationships for a three year old is quite different for a 6 year old or a 14year old etc. Therefore it is important to continue to develop close relationships with our children to help them deal with the world and all it would throw at them.

Recently I took some of our children to see the new Avengers Movie.
The children I took had been awaiting this release for some time. We had enjoyed a couple of related movies previously ~ Thor and Captain America and the children wanted to see Avengers as it had these characters in it.
Now I don't know much else about the other "Marvel' movies and we don't have the comics or anything but these stories appealed to us as a family.

We  have some fairly strict rules for movie watching in our home and some of the age limits that apply to these.
For instance Rogan who just turned 12 has only just started watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
This has been an event he has looked forward to as a almost coming of age to more 'grown up movies'
As part of our process of guiding and caring for our children we have either previewed  movies (and books) before hand or thoroughly researched it on IMBD and perhaps discussed it with others whom we trust have similar ideals as us. Even then we have a policy that if the move starts to go in directions we are not comfortable with we will stop the movie immediately, or the children leave the room as I fast forward to preview again.

While at the Avengers which is an M rated movie I was surprised to see very young children at this movie.
Our youngest to attend was Rogan and still our children wanted either me or their Dad to be at the movie with them. Not only because we enjoy sharing these experiences together but for the younger ones for the moral support we could give them if needed.
 I really was surprised to see that there were dads with their six year old sons walking in together and there were lots and lots of very young children present.
Now although I was very impressed with this movie I do think it is not for very young children.
It is full of action and violence and does have scary alien looking 'people' in it.

What I was astounded by was the fact that parents were not only bringing their young children (well some children were without adult/older sibling companionship) but that these children seemed quite immune to the violence and 'frightening scenes'.
One pair of dads who brought their little boys came quite late and seating was virtually gone. So they sent the little boys to sit alone together in another row by themselves while the dads sat together! Does this surprise you?
This was so shocking to me. What if one of them was frightened? Who could they gain comfort and reassurance from? Were they so attuned to this level of violence and story telling that they were quite comfortable with it? This idea in fact was to me was more upsetting than if they were scared.

For me what follows just goes to show that parents are not 'thinking in this vein very often at all.
The  trailers for this movies were Dark Shadows, Men in Black 3, Prometheus, Battleship and Snow White and The Huntsman, all of which were M rated trailers.
Now I truly dislike these types of movies intensely. The lines between good and evil are often muddied and the characters are often 'bad character who supposedly are misunderstood and really are good'

We have a standing policy at the movies that trailers we know nothing about are not to be watched. The children not only close their eyes but cover their ears as well to not let anything that is not 'pure, noble of uplifting' be entered into their minds.
Old fashioned perhaps, but certainly one to which I believe we should adhere in the total care of our children, not only physically but spiritually and morally too.

From my position I could not see any of the little children avoiding watching or listening to these trailers!
What were their parents thinking? These are very adult themed movies with not only violence but what I call adult content as well.
Does the innocence of children mean so little to most adults? Sadly I think that in our society it does. It seems that we don't protect the innocent from potential harm, either physically or emotionally either. It seem that it may be too much effort to go outside the norm of society and stand up for the protection and care of children.

So as to my initial question about where has all the parental guidance gone? I think many parents give it up willingly to those whom they are told are experts in the field of child development and thus know far more than they do about what is best for their children. Thus allowing those to be the ones filling children's minds with their own agenda and goals. This just makes me feel so sad and perhaps a little concerned for the future of our society.

In an effort to combat this plague overtaking our society I would entreat parents to know your own agenda. 
What is important in your own lives?
What are the goals for your family?
Are you willing to sacrifice to pass on the moral, spiritual and emotional guidelines to your very own children?
Do you value your children enough to be the primary caregiver of wisdom, understanding, and love that they may strive to be all that they are capable of?
I pray you do!

What more can you ask than to help develop the children of the future by loving, guiding and caring for the precious souls that are entrusted to our care?
There is on thing..............BE THANKFUL for that opportunity and do your very best to achieve it!

Blessings to you and your homes,



Unknown said...

I agree, I think most parents no longer use their brains and think about these things at all!

Erin said...

Some parents no longer think, and some do not have the courage to be different and encourage their children to be different. They complain and bemoan but are scared to say 'No' to their darlings.


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