Thursday, April 18, 2013

Kids and Media

How much is too much information?

In a week of tragedies, parents are tuned into the news, staring and full of worry. On one hand, we want to be in the know so we can protect our kids...somehow it feels like being informed will let us do that. In the wake of this weeks horrific events, we can see that's not possible but we want to.

On the other hand, it's our job to protect our kids. Not just from invisible forces that might physically hurt them, but from all damage.

My son, a lover of horror (Stephen King is his very favorite author, not me) wanted to see the images coming out of Boston. Glancing at my cell phone, which I'd passed to my mother to give her an idea of what happened, I said, "No."

He didn't need to see that. You can't unsee that sort of thing.

My son is almost fourteen and there are those who might say he should have been able to see it if he wanted to.

I don't agree. I can't protect him from seeing something like that. I can't magically make the world a safe place and one day he might see worse up close and personal.

But he shouldn't have to if he doesn't have to.

I can't unsee the Twin Towers, or a man fluttering in the wind like a piece of paper as he fell to escape choking smoke and fire. I can't unsee the images from Boston, from West, from a growing list of horrible events.

If I can keep that kind of darkness from his imagination...
I can't protect him forever. But I consider myself the dragon at the gate, the last chance to stop the negative and the horrible and the heart wrenchingly sad from becoming embedded in his mind...

I will.

So I turn off the news, google what I need to know. Am I right? I don't know. My kids know what happened, have the numbers, know the horror...but they won't see the images if I can help it. Imagining something that awful is bad enough. Seeing it?

Well, seeing is believing and I'd rather fill their minds with as much beauty and grace as possible before they have to weigh that against real terror.

But, well, that's just me.

How much is too much for you?


  1. I'm with you! my kids are oblivious of the events of this week and it is my belief that is correct. Carry on, mom. You're doing just fine!