Monday, September 12, 2011

Old Fashioned or Out of Touch?

I want to preface this post by saying that I am in no position to tell anyone how to raise their child. God knows I am not a perfect parent (far from it!) What I want to write about here is what I feel is a culture difference between myself and most other parents I know.

I wrote the other week about Shannyns book week costume , OK, so it wasn't going to win any awards for effort, but if you read on- and I hope you do :-)  - you will discover why I am concerned.

My mother takes Shannyn to kinder two days a week, and when the teacher spoke to the parents about book week she asked specifically that they dress as a book character - no Ben 10's, etc. I must admit I was not surprised when we walked into the playground that day to be confronted by not only a Ben 10, but 5 Buzz Lightyears, 3 Tinkerbells, and even a Super Mario.

Do you own a Super Mario book in your house? (Image credit)

I understand that many parents have little time to prepare anything, children know these characters and want to dress like them. Now I'm not saying my kids don't know who these characters are, or that they never watch cartoons. My issue is more with the fact that there are so many great childrens books out there, and yet these characters are what we are choosing to present to our children.

My suspicions that I am out of touch were further put to the test last week at my hairdressers. "Does Shannyn like Lady Ga-Ga?" was the question, "I'm sick of Georgie* singing her stuff all the time"  I stumbled over my answer, "Um, she wouldn't know who that was, we don't listen to a lot of radio.." was my reply. My hairdresser followed with "She keeps asking me what the words mean and I kind of just make something up."

Appropriate music for a 5 year old? (Image credit)
Understandably, if you listen to any 'pop' radio station, that is the kind of music that children will be exposed to - my kids can sing all of the Wiggles stuff and quite a bit of the Play School back catalogue, but ask them who Beyonce is and they will stare blankly back at you.

My question is this; Am I denying my children subject matter to be able to talk to their peers about? My kids don't play computer games, they would rather watch a cartoon than a Disney movie, and would rather play play dough than Bratz.

With Shannyn starting Prep next year, will she have the 'language' to relate to other kids without being able to join in a conversation about Shrek, Toy Story, Lady Gaga or Pokemon. I remember in primary school, if you didn't have a Cabbage Patch Doll, you were on the outer - will it be the same because Shannyn doesn't own a DS.?

I am probably over reacting I know, but it makes me wonder, should I be trying to be a more 'modern' parent? Am I trying to play by the rules a little much, and accept that whatever the kids wore that day, the point was to have fun - and I'm sure they all did.

* Not child's real name.

1 comment:

  1. Well, my kids are slightly younger, but I think they would get on very well with Shannyn. We very rarely listen to the radio with the kids in the car (usually listen to kids' CDs, or talk). If we do have the radio on it is ABC local radio. I would hardly know any Lady Gaga songs myself, let alone my kids!

    And we love "Dear Zoo", and I don't think my kids would know any of the characters you mentioned except maybe Buzz Lightyear (they saw part of Toy Story once, but not sure if they would remember).


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