This article on the Seven Deadly Sins of Kid Culture over at Creative Loafing.com (thanks be to Fark,) got me thinking about my little one and what she’s got going on, no doubt. Call me a hypersensitive dad, but kid culture, especially, it seems, for little girls, is horrific. This weekend I watched a television commercial in horror as some new incarnation of the Barbie, this one featuring micro minis and fishnet stockings, rendered both myself and my girlfriend speechless on a Saturday evening.
I can relate to the author. On the short list of things banned from my household are: “The Simpsons”, Entertainment Tonight, Barney the Freakin’ Purple Dinosaur (who I find… unsettling), most reality shows (since they sap your brain), and various “boy” cartoons, which my daughter doesn’t get into these days. Big on my short list are learning DVDs, Schoolhouse Rock (the presently and unfortunately misplaced old cartoons from the 70’s and 80’s), puzzles, the Discovery Channel, TLC and the Food Network.
Present day kid culture is shockingly banal. If I have to see another Bratz commercial on the Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon – watch out, the Bratz movie is coming to a theater near you – I’m probably going to scream, loud. Glad that I don’t have those channels anymore. Hey kids! Be sexy at the age of say, 6. Yep. That should turn out well.
Now, before you get all ballistic and talk about how I’m smothering or trying to shelter my daughter, forget it. Not so. The first movie that she saw when she was a baby had more to do with aliens than the Letter Factory; you should see my movie collection. I don’t eschew ALL facets of kid culture; presently, Grace is going through a princess phase, which is a facet of young kid culture that I can get behind, and that has lasted for about a year and a half, and she is only three.
Equally, living in the middle of a major metropolitan area tends to lend a kid to a few experiences outside of the soccer mom and suburban variety. You never forget stepping over your first drunk, I’m afraid.
But largely, popular culture tends to give kids exposure to a number of things that you really don’t want them to learn. In a lot of ways, this article nails it.
I still think that the two best things that you can do with your kids is pay attention, and follow that up with going outside.
I will still, however, still watch “Shrek” and “Happy Feet” on a rainy Saturday afternoon with my kid and laugh heartily. Let them be kids, and you enjoy being a big kid yourself. Here’s your chance to be young again.