I believe that we should allow our children as many choices as possible. Many do not agree. Taliesin and Nathanael have never had a bedtime. They have always chosen what they like to eat. They have always chosen their own clothes. They choose what toys they like to play with. They choose to learn in ways that work for them. But what happens when something that they do not have a choice on happens? Are they prepared? What about those things that parents are not willing or able to compromise on? I discovered the answer this weekend.
I mentioned in my "2010" post that we had rung in the new year with cheese curls, flavored water, and the movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. After a couple of times of watching this movie and paying close attention to what was actually being said and done; I decided that this was not the type of movie that I wanted Taliesin and Nathanael seeing. There are way too many inappropriate scenes, imho. Now, mind you, I can take a lot from a movie. Some do question the movies that we watch together. For instance, over Thanksgiving, we watched G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. There was some bad language and some - okay, quite a bit of - violence in the movie. But those were things that we could talk through as a family. But, for me, Transformers just went way too far. If you have seen the movie, you may know what I mean. What made taking the movie away that much harder is that Taliesin and Nathanael spent their Buyer's Guide money on this movie. What was I to do? I discussed my concerns with Taliesin and Nathanael. I explained that I do not think there is anything wrong with Transformer toys; but there were a lot of things in the movie that I feel are wrong. They asked me what. We discussed some of the scenes. I told them that I did not want to watch the movie anymore. They understood. We decided to put the movie away until they are older. There were no arguments. There were no disagreements. Taliesin and Nathanael understood. I explained to them that we usually give them a lot of choices. They agreed. I told them that this is one thing I cannot offer a choice on. In fact, they understood so well, that Kelsey and I decided that we would pay for the Transformer movie and that they could have their money back to spend on something else.
Perhaps - just perhaps - it is because Taliesin and Nathanael understand the importance of making good choices that they did not object to this rare moment of me taking something away that they valued. Maybe this just goes to show that when we allow our children to make choices - both good and bad choices - that when something comes along that they are not allowed a choice in, they understand that they usually do have that choice. This must be something that we cannot compromise on.
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