Thursday, 5 February 2015

Family Guy and Other 'Filth'

Photo: John Snape
My boy is leaving childish things behind, well some of the time anyway. He is still rather partial to sleeping with his muslin, 'Clothie' that has miraculously survived since babyhood.  He shamelessly snuggles up to Bart, his cuddly Yellowstone bison too.  When I peep at him in the Land of Nod he sometimes doesn't look too dissimilar to his innocent baby self.  Bless!

Yet things are changing, of course and sometimes not for the better.  He came home the other day and told me about a sexual act that he'd heard about in the playground.  Bejesus!  I didn't know about that kind of thing until at least my late teens.   It's not something I could possibly put down in writing without visibly reddening.  'Gee, Louis!'  I remonstrated. 'I'd have been embarrassed to talk to my mum about stuff like that.'  'I'm not' he replied matter of factly.  A few days later he proceeded to share with me a cartoon clip from 'Family Guy';  Now I've got a dirty sense of humour  and it was right up my street though not exactly age appropriate viewing for an eleven year old.

I've thought long and hard about how to deal with this in a world that is way different to the 1970's Britain that I grew up in.  One way would be to react angrily and give Lou a right royal telling off. But I'm a realist.   Even if I ignore the problem it's not going to go away.  So I've come to the conclusion that I prefer my son to share with me.  At least I know what he's being subjected to and can have my own say.  Some filters on electronic devices are handy too although not altogether fail-safe or, in my experience practicable.

One of the things that I'm trying to instill in Lou is why it's important to be selective about what he watches or listens to.  Once images of extreme violence or pornography have been viewed, I'm warning him that they might stick around as unpleasant memories for a very long time adversely affecting his behaviour and interactions with other people.  Best not look in the first place is my maxim which I'm repeating quite regularly.  We adults need to take this seriously too.   I got cross with someone who watched the video of  the ISIS hostage  Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burned in a cage.  Just imagining human suffering and degradation is enough.  We do not need to experience things first hand that are likely to mess with our heads if we don't have to.

8 comments:

  1. The students learn so much more these days in school in PSHE. I meanwhile learnt how babies were made in two biology lessons and never not how to make babies!
    Arilx

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are very sensible in your approach. I was born in 1945 and my parents never told me a thing about the" birds and the bees". We had a film at my girls' grammar school when we were around 14/15 I think. Mother did manage to hand me a leaflet about periods when I was about 12 but that was it. I am still learning even now.....the things some people get up to !!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's great that your son feels confident to talk to you about such things. I remember sniggering when my mum tried to tell my younger sister, she wasn't having any of it. I agree with steering him away from the gruesome pictures coming out at the moment. They can damage young minds.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are quite right in you approach with Louis and also in you attitude of 'best not to see it in the first place if it's going to mess with my head'. If this was a more widely held idea, terrorists and the like would have less of the publicity on which they feed.

    ReplyDelete
  5. there are 2 programmes I will warn you about that the teen seem to watch here. The Valleys and Geordie shores. the morals are so low they arent any. it is quite scary. Be ready for those to be talked about.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have young adult kids and a young teen. In a decade, between teen agers, the rise of "in your face" sex and violence seems raised to the 10th degree. I agree, open conversations but sharing your honest feedback on why this stuff is unhealthy without shaming the curious nature is positive. ugg middle school years are tough on kids.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really agree with you about not needing to see images of the terrorist atrocities. I was disappointed to see that a number of people that it ok to post stills from the latest video on FB. Some social responsibility needed here.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for all these guys. Phew! Glad others singing from similar hymn sheet x

    ReplyDelete