Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Parenting 102: Censorship is good!

I am reminded today of a day many years ago when my now 25 year old daughter was about 4 or 5 years old.  My mom bought her the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit".  Typical grandmother...buying her grands all the latest in movies, toys etc.  My daughter loved watching Roger Rabbit and I loved it too; knowing she would be occupied for a hour and a half and I could  devote my total attention on her baby sister.  So, almost daily I would gladly pop in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" immediately upon her request.  I, myself had never really bothered to sit down and watch it all the way through, so I assumed it was an innocent cute little cartoon with human incorporated. 
Until one day...

One moring I was dressing her for kindergarten and she told me she didn't want to wear panties anymore.  Of course I was stunned by this sudden "decision" she made and told her that she has to wear panties.  "Everybody wears panties." is what I said.  Her reply: "Jessica doesn't wear panties."  Now, I'm truly puzzled because I thought she was talking about her little friend Jessica from school.  I replied:  "I'm sure Jessica's mommy doesn't allow her to come to school without any panties on."   My daughter looked at me as if I were the dumbest mommy on earth and says "Not Jessica Shirley, JESSICA RABBIT!"   It took a minute, but I realized she was talking about the character from her favorite movie! 

At that point I was almost ready to cry!  My little girl's mind was already curiously dealing with sexuality.  My mind raced as I funbled with words that this 4 yeear old mind would understand.  I couldn't just say "because I said so" I knew that wouldn't work with her and shuddered to think of her thoughts on the matter as her body would inevitable develop.  So I said, "Mommy always wears panties; they're a part of your outfit.  See how mommy matches her underwear with her outer clothes?"  I figured that might work because she was already a fashionista.  I added that "we wear underwear because we don't want people to see our private parts.  Just like mommy always tells you don't ever let anybody touch your private parts, we don't want people looking at our private parts either. ok?"  She sayed ok and seemed satisfied with my answer.  Thankfully that conversation never took place again, but from then on, when we shopped for outfits, she always had to get matching underwear.  Thank goodnes for those little pantie and mini undershirts they had for little girls!

Later that day I sat down and watched the entire movie and realized what she meant.  Although Jessica Rabbit was a cartoon character, she was full of sex appeal and built like a brick house.  The clothes that were "painted on her" left no doubt that "Jessica doesn't wear any underwear."

I learned a valuable lesson that day and from then on I always watched tv shows and movies with my girls.  I would censor what they watched up till their teenage years.  Even then I let them know what shows I didn't like and why, but at some point, you have to allow them to begin making their own decisions and choices.

Oh yeah...that "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" movie got all messed up and the tape inside the video somehow popped. 



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