I’m starting a new series called “Conversations with my Daughter.” Follow my blog so you don’t miss them: soliloquiesonlove.wordpress.com
My daughter was in tears after a conversation we had about television, why we don’t have one and why I’m so strict about letting her watch movies in friend’s houses.
I asked her. “Who raises children? Robots? Nannies?” She responded “parents do.” And I said, is that a good thing? She said “yes” (still crying). “But you know.. it’s rare actually. Most children are raised by childcare these days and even if they’re not, chances are they’re raised by television. I think this is bad. You know why?” I asked her.
She shook her head as she wiped tears off her face. “It’s because I want you to be you and they want you to be them”.
I knew this wasn’t making sense to her so I made an analogy:
“See, remember that experiment you did in science class where you’d place flowers into a tinted liquid and the flower would become that color?” Her tears started to subside as she nodded. “Well … each person is like a unique flower. Some people are roses, some people are tulips, some are dandelions and each of them come in a variety of colors. When you watch television it’s like all the flowers of the world are placed in blue ink and made to all look the same. Is that the kind of world you want?”
Her eyes suddenly understood me and she said “No, that would be boring.” “exactly!” I said. My goal as a parent is to keep that blue ink away from you so that you can grow up to be the beautiful person that only you can become. Not to become someone else’s plaything. Or a member of somebody else’s “team.”
Suddenly she loved me again and we hugged and cuddled for a long while. I told her “You can watch movies, I just want to see them first so I know what you’re watching.”