Monday, July 21, 2008

THOSE parents

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?



HappyChristian said...

Ok, I have not seen the movie or books, but it sounds like soemthing we need to preview before our children see it. heck just the name scares me! (have I mentioned that I detest spiders?)
Please tell me that that's not what they are going to be watching this Wednesday evening?

Chris said...

I'll take being "those" parents any day over the alternative

rthling said...

Yes, this is supposed to be the movie of choice, but after I veto it, they will probably watch the Narnia movie. Still a bit intense for church, if you ask me, but at least not scary.

My Goodness said...

If we had more of 'those' parents, we'd have less of 'those' kids. Amen??

I admire you...

Lorrie said...

Okay, I'm chuckling at Kristin's comment about the spiders..
You aren't wierd that you want to parent your children. Because you are a parent, that's what parents do, they parent. Anyway, you are smart to preview anything you have concerns over, you know your children better than anyone. So kudos to you.

Joanna said...

I'm jumping in late but here goes.

I AM one of THOSE parents. We've had the attitude from our boys as well. I finally said that one day I'm going to stand before God and He's going to ask me 'why did you let them watch this when you didn't have any peace about it?' I said I'm not going to fry with God just because they think it's the thing to do. That stopped them cold.

Anytime someone has had nightmares it comes back to watching something they shouldn't have and that opened a door that we all end up repenting over.

We've told them that we are in the last days and there is such a hard pull to go to the darkside. They have cookies after all. :)

Satan didn't lie to Eve he deceived her. So on my watch we will serve the Lord. Peace is our umpire so that's what we are following.

Boys, however, are wired to want to beat up the bad guys. I've had to learn to give a bit on some things - they watched the Bourne movies. They liked it and it made them feel more grown up. However, I do pull the brakes if I see it affecting their behavior.

Hang in there and hope it helps!

Noodle said...

I think a parent should *always* know what her child is watching or reading, whether it's Christian or secular. I read all the books my son reads, whether I'm interested in them or not. And checking the Plugged In site is part of my regular routine for movies. It helps me decide whether I need to see it first or whether I'll chance watching all together.

We (as a family) enjoyed the Spiderwick movie, but it is intense. And I would not consider it appropriate for church either.

You draw the line where it is appropriate for YOUR family, and hang what the other people say. I feel as if we are out of step with the rest of the world most of the time, and that's perfectly fine with me.