Monitoring kids in moderation gives them headway to flourish

Monitoring kids in moderation gives them headway to flourish

Monitoring kids in moderation gives them headway to flourish
August 07
10:04 2018

Over censoring is a nasty, unnecessary little beast.

I firmly believe parents “over parent” their kids regarding the media they allow them to consume and don’t consider maybe their kids want to branch out and discover things on their own accord.

Look, I’m not trying to tell you how to parent your own kids or anything, but if you were offended by the statement I just made, maybe ask yourself why you think it applies to you. Are you over censoring your kids? If so, why?

I completely understand the need to protect your kids from the violent, cruel outside world and the evils within, but over censoring your kids on what they watch, play, read and do is not the answer to shielding them from harm. The bad things in the world are still going to be there no matter how closely you monitor your children.

Don’t just let your kids experience things for themselves, let them find things for themselves. Give them some freedom to explore what may interest them or what they already know interests them. Obviously there should be some restrictions in place — kids shouldn’t have total free reign. But if they find something new they think is interesting and it turns out they actually don’t like it as much as they thought, you know what? Good for them. At least they tried it and explored it for themselves.

You never know, they may end up finding the thing they are most passionate about through this solo exploration. It happened with me.

When I was seven years old, I was browsing Blockbuster with my dad (the good old days), and I stumbled upon a VHS copy of the 1984 classic “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” I always had an interest in horror movies even at such a young age, so I vehemently begged him to let me rent it because I had heard of Freddy Krueger at school and I wanted to watch the movie he was in. He was hesitant at first because he thought it might scare me too much, but after some incessant begging, he let me rent it with the warning that I’d better not get nightmares because of it.

Needless to say, after watching the film, I had a newfound admiration not only for the horror genre, but for films in general. We returned to the Blockbuster the next day to give back “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” which then sparked my interest in renting the 1973 classic “The Exorcist.” My dad was very hesitant about that one, but after more begging and the same warning from him, he let me rent it. Turns out “The Exorcist” added even more fuel to the fire of my admiration for horror and film. To this day, it remains my favorite film of all time.

If my dad would have sheltered me from those two movies, I do not think my passion for film would be as ferocious as it is today, nor do I think I would be in college pursuing a degree in that very field.

What I’m really trying to say here is if you let your kids explore potential and concrete interests, avoid over censoring them and really let them embrace these things on their own, they might just find an enriching passion that sticks with them for life.

Featured Illustration by Austin Banzon

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Spencer Kain

Spencer Kain

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