Thursday, July 6, 2017

Swayed by Swearing

For summertime, we are those crazy parents that set a limit on how much television/screen time our children get. They get 1 1/2 hours a day and can save up if they want for a bigger movie day, or veg out rainy day.

Our 11-year-old son has always been into documentaries, especially dangerous animals. He loves dangerous reptiles. On Netflix, he has watched just about every appropriate documentary available.

He was watching something a couple days ago and I came up behind him to ask him a question. He snapped at me. He can get testy sometimes, but this was a little strange. Later, he was watching another episode and his dad walked in. He snapped at his dad. I asked him what was wrong.

Of course, he said, "Nothing!"

I pointed out that he was only snapping at us when he was watching the show. I told him I wondered if there was something in it that was driving the spirit away. I left it at that and walked away. He has always been very trustworthy on his electronics. Plus, I can always check what he's watching in the netflix viewing log.

He wasn't watching anything that would cause me concern. 

A few hours later, he came to me and said:

"Mom, you know when I snapped at you while I was watching that show?"

Me: "Yes."

K: "Well, it said some cuss words and I was worried that if you heard the cuss words in it you would think it was bad. It was rated G."

M: "Oh. What did you decide to do?"

K: "Well, I figured if I was worried when you came in and didn't want you to see me watching it that I shouldn't watch it. I found another documentary that doesn't swear. I like the ones from the Smithsonian Channel. Those are always really interesting and don't have anything bad in them."

I had a peaceful feeling, like this was why I didn't worry about his choices in movies. I told him that this morning. I felt like he was very responsible in what he chose to watch. 

My kids have heard cuss words, LOTS. They are at school, the park, with friends........Not everyone we hang around keeps their language as clean as we expect our children to keep theirs. In fact, we have watched movies with the kids that have an occasional cuss word. The fact that he could recognize that his choice was making a difference in his spirit was wonderful.

It may seem that this is extreme, to worry about cuss words in movies when that is the norm now. This was NOT ME as a parent telling him to not watch something because of the language. We have taught him to use clean language and try to ignore or request others to use more respectful langauge if needed. HE was the one that figured out what the problem with the movie was that was affecting his thoughts and behavior. 

This kid has so much more understanding than I ever did at his age.