I'm having a grumpy day. I don't know why my day is grumpy. I suspect it has something to do with the tough night I had. I didn't sleep well, but when I did, my dreams were riddled with horror. I had nightmares that wouldn't stop. It all started on a dark and stormy night... Not really, it was almost cloudless, but it was dark.
I am one of THOSE parents. You know the kind. The ones who won't let their kids do anything fun, like watch scary movies. But with a child who wouldn't watch anything with bad guys in it until she was ten, it has been hard to find suitable viewing for them. So they have been pretty sheltered. I don't mean the bad kind of sheltering where they don't have a clue about reality, either. I mean the kind of sheltered where they are not exposed to witchcraft and folklore. They never read Harry Potter or saw the movies. I think that sensationalism of the occult is dangerous, and Satan would love for us to teach our children that it is fun and exciting. But I also know that there is a wealth of wonderful literature out there that teaches them about the struggle between good and evil, so when the first Narnia movie came out, I introduced them to the Chronicles. We read them first. Actually, we listened to the first book on audio book, then we saw the movie. After that, I read them the whole series, which they loved.
Fast forward to the Spiderwick Chronicles. Having never read the books, I wasn't sure the kids should see the movie. I read the review put out by Focus on the Family, but it didn't give me much to help with the decision, so I still wasn't sure. At any rate, I figured that Hailey should read the books first, so that was the plan. She couldn't see the movie until she read the series. Hailey is a great reader, so she was down with it. She has read the first three.
But this week, one of the children's ministry assistants decided to have movie night on Wednesday. The movie of choice? The Spiderwick Chronicles. Shawn spoke to the man, stating his reluctance to have the kids watch something we haven't previewed, (oh, yes, we are THOSE parents, too) and he agreed to let us borrow it.
So after the kids went to bed last night, Shawn and I settled in with the DVD. It didn't take long to know that it wasn't going to happen. It was too intense, and I found it to be quite scary. We watched it in it's entirety, but completely agreed that it was inappropriate for our kids, and certainly not a movie night at church selection. It even gave me nightmares.
When I told the kids this morning, they were NOT happy. I have been called on going back on my promise. After all, I did say she could watch it if she read the books. They also voiced their dismay of being the ones whose parents said "No." They don't want to be "those" kids. But I figure that there will be many opportunities for us to be THOSE parents in the future, so they might as well get used to it.
Where do we draw the line? In a world where morality is going in the toilet, it would be nice to pack up our things, ditch the TV, and raise a herd of llamas in the mountains where our kids would be safe from the propaganda of global warming and having sexuality thrust in their faces every time we turn on the television, but that's not really practical. I want to preserve their innocence while not sheltering them to the point that they are weird. But, honestly, I think being weird in today's society would be better than being normal. Where do we decide that while we are called to be salt and light, and while we are called to be in the world and not of it, we need to be different, sanctified, set apart to the glory of God?