Many parents in today’s world pride themselves on what they filter. It’s become a topic to boast and shove in other parent’s faces. It’s something that fuels arrogant pride and vicious mom-war battles online and even at playdate tables.
“My sweet Jimmy only watches wholesome shows from the 1960’s.”
“Oh really? well MY dear Janie only sees shows about Jesus and the alphabet! She’s ready for first grade reading and she’s only 4 years old!”
“Oh that’s nice, but I’ve raised my darling Samantha on nothing but classical music, we don’t even watch TV because, as you know, it’s bad for their brain development.”
Ugh. Gross, right?
I’m going to be the one to stand up here – I’ll raise my hand and I’ll be honest; I hate filtering.
There. I said it. I HATE FILTERING. It’s time consuming, it’s frustrating, it’s annoying. I’d really just rather not. I do it because I have to, not because it makes me look like a good mom. Those “good moms” full of all their judgement and ego-based parenting can shove it.
I hate that I HAVE to filter in order to allow my children to be part of almost any experience. The fact there is so much crap my kids can be exposed to that filtering is a necessity is frustrating beyond belief. Monitoring every single little thing, 24/7, on every single form of media just to make sure we stay within the realm of age-appropriate content…. It’s exhausting and irritating for ANY parent, but I think it’s especially so for a geek mom. Why? Because deep down, we want to share this world with our children and we have to hold ourselves back on a constant and daily basis. It’s me against the “shiny” and my better judgement against the “long term effects” consequences of allowing some experiences too early. The conflict is maddening.
*This post is full of Star Wars spoilers for everything from Episode 1 thru The Force Awakens.
The time comes in every child’s life when they are officially initiated into the world of Star Wars. For some it’s as early as birth but for others, like in our family.. you must be ready to receive and ask for it of your own free will. Until then, the truth is shrouded in secrecy.
If you know anything about me, you know I am a fierce protector of storyline when it comes to any film or book series. Maintaining that secrecy for those who have not seen/read them yet is important to me, especially when it comes to my children and Star Wars. It becomes a secret much like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy – something you keep safe until the time is right.
Some of you may remember the decision we made to hold off on allowing our children to see any of the Star Wars stories/cartoons or short films that gave away those secrets out of context. You may also remember last January when we unknowingly walked into a 20 minute show that gave away every secret of the entire series and I was LIIIIVVVVIIID because there was zero signage to warn people. You can read about that here if you want.
Well, we’ve moved forward and now is the time.
Okay, so apparently I’m not done talking about this. Here’s the thing, guys… It’s not just about Deadpool. It’s about the bigger picture and what geek (and every other kind of) parents are doing to their kids for their own amusement, giving little thought to the tiny minds they are shaping.
I touched on this a bit at Halloween when I opened up the conversation in another article about child-appropriate costumes and how children are all too often these days, little more than dress-up dolls for their parents to reflect THEIR OWN lives and lifestyles with NO care whatsoever to the hearts and minds of that child.
This article I’m writing today started as my reply to someone’s comments left on my most recent article. In that article, I openly chastised parents for being open to sharing the Deadpool franchise with their young children. This came in response to one bold mother who created a petition asking FOX to create an edited version of the Deadpool film wherein all the sex and potty mouth is omitted so her elementary school age child could watch it. The response I received was from a reader who asked, basically, “why the big deal over something that isn’t even going to make it through petition stage to become reality?”. Well, I’ve given that a great deal of thought in the last few weeks and I realized my answer is an issue that absolutely must be talked about.
Here’s my answer to his question. Sorry it’s a long one, but it’s important. Continue reading
If you read my column consistently, you know we take our children everywhere and conventions are no exception. We enjoy sharing these experiences with our children and believe they are instrumental to their development in many ways, providing both fun and education and plan to continue to share these experiences with them for the duration of their childhood.
Some parents want to take their entire families to a convention, but have obligations like attending panels, networking, hosting events, interviewing attendees, or sitting through celebrity events on the exhibit floor and taking children along for these types of events can be arduous at best and down right miserable, leading to impossible at worst. Hours upon hours of standing in lines and fighting vicious crowds to get the shot you need, the interview you need, the exclusive action figure you need… it can be brutal.
ComicCon has your solution and before you immediately raise your hand against the notion of ever allowing your child to leave your side in this type of atmosphere, let me just tell you about this place.
We are now two weeks into June and for most of us in the SoCal region, this means one thing; San Diego Comic-Con is coming!
We are gathering our costume pieces and working out the final kinks in our uniforms, robes, warrior garb, prosthetic and various other attachments we will be sporting for the 4 days of insanity. In just about one month, the San Diego Convention Center will erupt in an H-Bomb of geekery. Chaos will flood the streets in the form of zombies, mages, elves, Uruk-hai, inhabitants of Krypton and everyone from Rainbow Bright to Batman will be there. There will be Wonder Women and Phoenix’s, Catwomen and every rendition of Harley Quinn oozing out of every street lamp in the Gaslamp District and more skin than should be legal in a public place, all in the name of costuming and the love of geek culture. Continue reading