Censorship and Kids

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Naked Eye : One Thread

I waver on this one ... do you guys think it's better to censor what your children read and watch or to "raise them well enough" to make value judgements about what's real and what's not and let them, more or less, make their own choices.

Whether it's the older one's Playboys hidden under the bed or the movies the younger one rents which seem full of sexual innuendo and swearing.

I swing towards the "raise themwell enough" theory working on the basis that they WILL definately see this stuff and experience it - I think I'd rather have them exerience it at home - where I can explain as necessary.

But I oscillate...

-- Catherine (catherine@cmjcom.com), October 03, 1999


Catherine - I am not surprised your daughter won that bet :))

Emma - I tell Alexander all the time, "you know those women aren't real - women really don't look like that." And he says, "Yeah, but they're pretty" - which they are. But I do think he understands about the marketing aspect of the whole PLayboy/Penthouse genre. They are welcome to read my books - which I have told them - all in all, it seems healthy enough - so far. Heh. Good points you make - wanna come and help me raise the little monsters? Heh.

Jonny - sounds to me like you have a good thing going with your kids. I think the key is communication -absolutley.

Catherine Who is going to bed now

-- Catherine (catherine@cmjcom.com), October 04, 1999.

Since my children are grown and one has a child of his own, I can say with authority that the only thing I know about raising children is that I don't know anything.

I neglected my own in much the way you describe Sam's mother doing for the four-plus years that I was divorced. I had just stopped doing that - pulled waaaaay back, dedicated myself to them alone - when I remarried. My own guilt has more to do with working long hours when they were very young and I was supporting the three of us - nothing takes the place of just sheer quantity (not quality) time, imo - especially with kids younger than teenagers. But to your question - one thing to consider is the tacit approval that comes with exposure to various kinds of objectional material seen in your presence and with what a kid might interpret as your blessing. I had a chat with my sons (it did no good whatever, see above) about the objectification of women that goes with the Playboy/Penthouse territory - there was much rolling of eyes. *sigh* They find their way, will-he nill-he, to their own values, I think. I do recall my younger daughter asking me, circa 1986, how AIDS was transmitted. She was 15. I gulped and answered her honestly, and was rewarded with a grin. "We had a bet no one's mom would tell the truth - I won, I bet you'd tell."

-- Catherine (hinesc@mindspring.com), October 03, 1999.

censoring seems to me to be a patch.

i believe that there are only a few early formative years through which parents can teach their children the basics of morality.

after that, they're pretty much on their own, censorship or not.

parents are _never_ able to censor 100% and by even attempting to do so at all, they create an atmosphere of non-trust, disrespect, and authoritativeness that makes a child instinctively pull away. consciously and unconsciously. physically and emotionally.

respect for all life, honesty, and love should be the moral foundation laid for children by their parent(s). standing on that platform almost *all* children would grow up to become loving, balanced adults capable of seeing through the crap of modern society. their moral judgement calls would be based on inner knowledge and a foundation that includes love. how could anyone go wrong?

as far as the playboys go, though, catherine, i would definately have a conversation with your son. i dont suggest taking them away but rather, providing him access to equality-based erotica. at this point, its too late. instead of reacting to him as a parent (censoring and scolding), i suggest treating him as an adult (possibly introducing him to porn/erotica that you have yourself enjoyed at some point - which i assume would be equality-based).

-- emma (goddess@worldnet.fr), October 03, 1999.

The subject of censorship is one I have struggled with intensely as being a father of three children-right now my oldest son Caleb Jon is away at college-he is 18-my other two children are at home-Josiah 17 and Bethany 15-I have struggled other this issue because I am a Christian-My position has been to teach my children the teachings of the Bible-my children were raised in the church-they were raised with a Christian ethic-my Position therefore has been to not restrict what they watch-movies-music-art-books etc. . . My wife and I have raised our kids to examine what is placed before them-to see the evil and the good-and hopefully to embace the good-We have raised our kids to share what they watch on TV-what they listen to-the books they are reading etc. . . My kids feel free to come to me or my wife to discuss any ethical issue-moral issue-intellectual issue-spiritual issue. I do not say my position is perfect-correct 100%-there are certain things we must protect our children from-we need to pray for our kids-give them to God and pray He protect them from the evil one.

-- Jonny Ray Keen (jonny@freenet.macatawa.org), October 03, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ