Friday, November 11, 2005

"I Need More Violence!"

Sometimes the peer pressure thing rears its ugly head in the most rational child. Not that mine are. Rational, I mean. Not all the time, anyway.

So today, as it is Veteran's Day, the young had the day off, and YG went to my current favorite cafe with me. Somehow, on the way back, we got into movies that were, or were not, appropriate for her to see. My first prejudice is in favor of letting the kids watch whatever they want, on the theory that it will all shake out--but I have been proved wrong enough times to know that this isn't an entirely sound policy. It's one thing to let your 10-year-old daughter watch Shakespeare in Love with a shawl to pull over her head during the sex scenes (this practice gave rise to the term "blankie moments" to describe scenes of sex or violence that the watcher decides not to participate in. It's another for the same kid to watch Titanic and get monumentally disturbed by the emotional violence of the mother trying to force her daughter to marry (ick) Billy Zane. Or the character he's playing, for that matter. So I have become more restrictive as the years have gone on. I'm still, by my husband's lights, too easy-going, which causes some interesting, um, conversations chez moi.

YG went from protesting the fact that sometimes at the Boys and Girls' Club they show movies which in her judgment (and mine, too) are inappropriate for an audience that ranges from 6 to 13, to the fact that a lot of the kids she knows get to see movies we haven't let her see yet. I'm trying to talk to her about appropriateness in terms of story and thematic complexity; she's talking about language and violence. So I find myself walking down the street with an angry nine-year-old who is declaiming, "I need more violence! Everyone else gets to see movies with lots of violence! I want to see The Matrix Reloaded!" All my attempts to explain to her that we hadn't shown her The Matrix Reloaded, not because of the violence, but because it's a crappy movie, were as naught.

"I Need More Violence! I need to be like everyone else! You're ruining my life."

Sigh. Probably won't be the last time, either.


Blogger Jonquil said...

Ah, yes. Just remember, you're doing the right thing: it is your job to ruin her life.

And, no, she won't thank you for it later.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Gregory Feeley said...

"That's okay, dear; my mother ruined mine, and I'm still here."

5:14 PM  

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