February 16, 2009

Effect of External Influences

Topic: External Influences

I am currently working on a project for my third grade daughter’s class formatting and editing stories that will be bound for an authors tea at the end of the year. The content was somewhat alarming to me until I stood back and really assessed what I was reading. The love triangle scheming plan story with 17 and 18 year old characters…plucked from High School Musical, cute but deadly bunnies running rampant in a city setting trying to capture/kill people..right from a Nintendo DS game. Of the six stories I am formatting, 4 of them, in my opinion, contained very mature themes for an 8 year old.

This situation reminded me of a visual story I heard at a seminar I attended with Dr. Shad Helmstetter, the author of, “What you say when you talk to yourself”. He explained that when babies are born they are basically unprogrammed beings. He encouraged us to visualize our babies with a keyboard attached to their brain. Anything that we as parents say or do, is like typing a message on our computer and hitting the send button directly to their very complex brains. I have been very aware of this theory when it comes to what I say to my children. I choose my words wisely, fully understanding that I have extraordinary influence and power with the girls. I don’t think I have always chosen as wisely when it comes to other influences with them.

I want my daughters to have brains that are creative, thinking, and free from complex issues at their tender ages of 8 and 5. This school project has forced me to STOP and THINK about what I will allow my children to watch and play. I have followed the rules, allowing them to only watch PG or G rated movies/shows, and the games they play are only rated E (for everyone). However, I don’t necessarily think this is a free pass for my kids anymore.

There will be some changes here at the Buttercup. I will be more active in viewing/playing what they do before they are given permission to watch/play themselves.

Do you have any specific stories where you were jarred by external influences on your children. Did you make any changes based in the situation?


Down home friends and what they say...

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