Worth the Wait

I have recently been lamenting the introduction of literature, movies–everything it seems–just a little too soon. Or sometimes way too soon.

I see preschoolers who know everything about star wars, though many of them have not seen any of the movies yet. The problem with this is that they know what happens! “Darth Vader is really Luke’s father” is common knowledge. I remember when that was an amazing revelation. Such a shocker. These kids will not get that when they finally are old enough to watch the movies.

I was amazed a few years back when kids started playing Indiana Jones at Chrysalis. Surely these parents were not showing them Harrison Ford and Nazis and snakes and lots of amazing fight scenes….then I found out there was a lego version. A lego Indiana Jones that they could watch on the computer. Why?

Are there not enough great stories for young kids? I am not always a huge Disney fan, but some of those movies deal with lots of great drama and problem solving mixed in with wit and excitement. And there are certainly great books.

My daughter came home from babysitting a 7 year old and told us how she was way into the Harry Potter stories. It made me sad. When my kids were 9 and 11 we bought three copies of the new Harry Potter book so that we could all read them simultaneously. My kids read them over and over.

There are great chapter books for young children. The OZ books by L Frank Baum make wonderful read-aloud stories for bedtime. Winnie the Pooh has some delightful characters that stick with us.

I feel like we can save some things for when our children are older. Just like “You can get your ears pierced when you are 10 (or 13 or 16)” To be able to take a child to Star Wars on the big screen when they are old enough to get it and not be terrified would be such a satisfying experience.

Of course we all have different ideas about when something is age-appropriate. But I have had parents straight-faced tell me “It is fine. It is PG 13.” And their child is 4.

I am not anti-movie or media but I do wish that children can experiences some of the great stuff when they are ready to appreciate it, not before.

1 comment so far

  1. colleen strohm on

    I want to reiterate that I don’t think it ruins the kids or causes problems because they are too young and it messes with their minds. I just wish they could experience good stories when they are at the right age for it. Joan said she knew a teacher once who lamented that children were being read Winnie the Pooh and so they would not have the experience of reading it themselves. So I guess everyone has different standards!

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