Monday, April 25, 2011

The more children you have, the more lax you get...or perhaps why it's more fun not to be the oldest child...

  • This weekend I was joking with my sister about this...when we each had our first children, we did not allow them to play with anything resembling a weapon. One day Chris came home from a playdate with a plastic sword he'd borrowed from a friend, and I was horrified. Nadine & David were the same with their eldest son. Now both families allow plastic swords, bows and arrows, etc., and as she said, "guns if they are really tiny" (like for lego characters). We all draw the lines at realistic-looking guns...although my children recently acquired a cannon that makes machine-gun noises and shoots pellets, much to my chagrin!
  • Chris never saw a Disney movie until he was 3 or 4...and then the movies were carefully chosen. Kieran started seeing Disney at a younger age, and Nicholas even younger. They also saw PG movies at a younger age, as well as Harry Potter (for Kieran). And now Kieran is the first child in the family to see an R-rated film, "Billy Elliot." (Chris decided to see the play first and did not watch the film with us.) We are still protective about movies with a lot of violence (and sex, of course). The only thing R rated about Billy Elliot was the preponderance of f-bombs. Then there's the movie "Grease," which the younger ones have seen...and the adult themes (and smoking) in that movie, not to mention some of the provocative lyrics. 
  • Speaking of which, yesterday afternoon Chris was blaring his music and drumming along with it. Kieran suddenly ran through the house yelling "I just heard the f-word in one of Chris' songs!!!! I just heard the f-word!!!" Chris didn't even know the f-word at age 8. Kieran asked me what it was several months ago, and I told him (and made him swear to never say it). I suppose I should be thankful he's followed my directions. Chris, on the other hand, swears like a sailor on Facebook and with school friends. I could forbid him to do so, but would it really do me any good? I figure the least I can do is teach him to change his language based on his audience!
One area we continue to fairly strict on is violent videogames...but the older Chris gets, the more we allow him to watch. (Right now he is watching SouthPark on DVD.) At the rate we're going, we'll be allowing Kieran to watch Southpark at age 9! (Just kidding!)

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