Mothers' Hideaway Blog

has been moved to new address

Sorry for inconvenience...

Mothers' Hideaway: Are we over-sensitizing our kids?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Are we over-sensitizing our kids?

I wanted to take my two and a half year old son to see Toy Story 3 at the theaters today. I've been planning on it for a few days since our local theater has Mommy and Me Movies on Tuesday mornings. This was going to be his first trip to a movie theater and I wanted to make sure he had a blast! So...being the mother that I am I decided to look up the reviews made by other moms from this past weekend to see if it was appropriate for his age group. After reading a few I was petrified.

Apparently, according to these mom reviewers, Toy Story 3 was going to scar my child's retinas with burning flames and a pit of fire. They said the characters were too mean, the theme was too dark, the scenes too scary. They were positive that my child would have night terrors, horrible thoughts, and an imagination that would include, but not be limited to, psychotic toys coming to life to throw them into the fiery pits of hell as a maniacal monkey clashes his tambourines together as he sounds an alarm. My son would be scared of putting his toys in bins because suddenly he would think he's sending his beloved trucks and trains to jail. He would be over sexualized by the relationship between Barbie and Ken. He would mentally be broken from the underlying theme of growing up and throwing out the past. He would not survive! Ok, ok, the last sentence may be a wee bit of an exaggeration, but not much of one.

Regardless, I decided I was going to make the venture out to the theater. I wanted to take him, darnit, and I would! So I did. Hesitant that at any moment all hell would break lose and my son would scream and cry as he clutched to my bosom because heaven knows a G rated film should never be watched by a two year old. I waited and waited and waited. Sure, the monkey was a bit crazy looking and I admit it freaked me out a bit, but that may be due to my own hesitation of dressed up monkeys. Not once did my son get upset at the "scary" parts, and not once did he cry (except that he wanted out of his chair to walk in the row a bit). At the end of the movie, my son was there in my lap cuddling with me as he sucked his thumb (I know, I know, he shouldn't do'll ruin his teeth. You can scold me later.) and as the final credits came on I wiped tears from my eyes and my son said "Mommy! Watch again!"

No, Toy Story 3 did not scar my child.

I left the theater angry. I was mad I had ever doubted myself because of multiple other sites saying it was too violent a film. I started to think "Are we over-sensitizing our children?"

Let's think about it. Our children are not allowed to play "Cops and Robbers" anymore because they shouldn't have guns. They're definitely not playing "Cowboys and Indians" either because heaven knows that's not PC (even if one could argue it's historical reenactment). A child comes to the park with a squirt gun and the other moms are sure that he's going to join the "Future Criminals of Amercia" club when he's in high school. I mean, isn't that how they all started??
I remember the first movie I ever saw in the theater was with my mom, sister, and some friends. We saw Bambie. In case you don't remember, Bambie's mom is killed pretty early on. Shot dead by a hunter. Years later, I loved Lion King and in that movie the father is killed by his own brother as the son watches! And let's not forget Dumbo where the mother is holding her baby through the grills of her circus car jail. No one ever said I'd be screwed up from that, and in fact, besides a few mom issues...I'm totally fine.

I'll be the first to admit I am a bit overprotective. I won't go to a wood chip park because what if he fell and that woodchip landed in his eye? I bust out the suntan lotion because what if I didn't one day and he got skin cancer? Oh, and hand sanitizer...I love me some hand sanitizer. I will admit that I've had to learn to say "He's a kid, he'll get over it." I'm learning that I can't and shouldn't protect him from all the harsh realities of the world. Yes, we live in a world where there is good and evil. Yes, we live in a world where people are mean. Yes, we live in a world where the right thing isn't always the easy thing. Yes, we live in a world where we all grow older and things that were once important to us get left by the wayside.

Today's children are going to end up unable to handle any of these harsh realities if we continue to protect them from it. Toys get hurt, they get thrown away and broken. People get treated the same way (although metaphorically). Tomorrow's adults are going to be scared to stand up for themselves, of taking risks, or of being adventurous because we, as their parents, have handicapped them by over protecting them. Sure, there's something that is "age appropriate", but that age seems to be getting older for some things (harsh realities) and younger for others (sexualizing).

We're turning our children into adults that have no spine or gumption when it comes to life.

We're turning our children into...dare I say it....sissies.

Do you think we're over-sensitizing our kids? Tell us today at Mothers' Hideaway!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home