Just for the record, I am not the helicopter parent. I have good kids that pretty much can manage themselves. We have raised them to be self-sufficient and independent. They make their lunches, do chores, get up by themselves. I let them fail and let them try new things. But, that being said, they still need guidance, love, supervision and sometimes the word “no”.
So when my 12-year-old daughter asked to go see Jaws at the water park the answer was “no”. Seeing as we live by the ocean, Jaws is definitely a no.
There are so many scary movies that shaped my fears as a child and I don’t want that for my kids. My parents, who were laid-back, let me see what ever movie came out, regardless of age or maturity. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were awesome, it was just the parenting style of the 1970’s. (See my blog about generations). For instance, Jaws came out in 1975, the year I was born, and I swear I saw it in the movie theater as a baby and repeatedly as a child. Then Clash of the Titans, 1981, added to my fear of sea creatures. I still have apprehensions getting into the ocean as an adult even though rationally I know I am more likely to get killed in a car.
Poltergeist, 1982. Ok, I’m 7 now. That movie forever made me scared of TV static, clown dolls, and tall skinny old men in suits singing.
Halloween, 1978. Seriously? I hear the music and just cringe. And then followed by Friday the 13th, 1980. Now I am scared of the woods and scary masks. Then comes Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984. Now, I am afraid to sleep and the mask fear keeps building.
The Shining, 1980. I had no clue what was going on in the movie but I will forever fear lipstick on mirrors.
Gremlins, 1984. They were cute but now I am afraid that little gerbils will turn into monsters if you feed them after midnight.
Then there were the highly inappropriate movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 1982, Sixteen Candles, 1984, Breakfast Club, 1985, National Lampoon’s Vacation, 1983, About Last Night, 1986, that really are not for a 8-10 year old to see. Nevertheless, I saw all of them, and my friends at the time did too. Which makes me wonder, what were our parents thinking?
I am not blaming my parents, obviously I can carry on in society without debilitating fears. I just want my children to hold onto innocence a little longer. As much as I hated watching Barney, Dora and Caillou and now the older shows for kids, I appreciate that these shows are age appropriate, won’t scar them or cause them to be fearful. They already have enough to fear like getting bullied, failing a test, vomiting in school or loosing a parent.
Even though our jobs as parents is to teach our kids to be independent adults and to teach them about the life, they still need some protection for the “scary” world. Remember, it’s ok to say no. Our job as parents are to raise up our children right, loving the Lord and disciplining them appropriately. A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother. Proverbs 29:15.