I just created that title, not necessarily with the intention of doing a new “What’s Worse”, or and equally “What the Fu..?” every Wednesday, or even once a month on a Wednesday. It just so happened that this, I shall call it an ‘incident’ happened on a Wednesday. I will, however, put these types of scenarios up on a Wednesday, because I can. Feel free to send in your What’s Worse or What The Fuck experiences for broader community discussion.
I was out, at a party, with my immediately family, extended family and hangers on when my eldest (then eleven) brings up something about The Simpsons. Something about some episode; I don’t recall what it was.
Yes, I let my kids watch The Simpsons.
He recalled an incident in an episode, and spoke of it to me in front of someone whom a) works with young children in terms of their health and wellbeing, and b) doesn’t watch The Simpsons.
Under some circumstances, I have no issue with those who don’t watch the show. A close friend of mine finds it “too cynical” and doesn’t like it. Others find it too silly, too close to the truth that it upsets/disturbs them or makes them feel uncomfortable. Others don’t get it, and others still are doing/watching other things when it is on.
Personally, I find it very funny and extremely clever, albeit, yes, a little scary about how close to reality it is.
I respect and appreciate their opinions. None of these above have made any attempts to change my opinion or viewing habits. We have merely had some rather good discussions.
What I really don’t appreciate are people whom have never, ever watched the show – this or any other – telling me they don’t like it. If you’ve never eaten broccoli, how do you know you don’t like it?! Hmmm?
They over step the mark, however, when they begin to attempt to convince me how “wrong” or “bad” the show is and why I shouldn’t watch it. It is a step away from attempting to covert someone’s religion.
If you don’t like it, that’s perfectly ok, I respect that. You lose my respect, however, when you a) try to change my mind about it and b) you base your dislike of it on never having actually watched it.
Or this …
Whilst appreciating her choice to not watch The Simpsons (or even have it on when she is there, whether it is in her home or not) she became a little angry and began speaking to my son about all the things wrong with the show; the guns, the violence, the bully’s, the level of dysfunction in the family (which I, personally, have my own opinion on that differs from most … but that’s for another time).
She went on to state that most parents think it’s ok to let their kids watch it “because it’s a cartoon” and that, really, with the content, behaviours and situations displayed, children really need an adult there to explain it to them in a way they understand. So they don’t grow up to be dysfunctional.
I agree (the bit about having adults to explain) and, in this house, one of the reasons I allow the watching of this particular show is because it provides us with great opportunities to talk about social beliefs and morals, stereotypes and personal behaviours. We have some incredibly insightful conversations. But that is irrelevant (and I feel like I’m justifying my behaviour to you – I don’t need to do that!)
Then she said this … to my son, as I stood beside him … “Parents who let their children watch The Simpsons are wrong and they shouldn’t do it!”
I didn’t take it personally, and I don’t feel as though it was directed at me. It was, I believe, said out of passion and a desire to get a point across. I respect where she is coming from, and how strongly she feels about the issue.
I couldn’t help but think, however, what is worse … letting your kids watch The Simpsons or telling a child that their parents are ‘wrong’, whether or not they’re standing just there or not?
(Please note: I do appreciate that some circumstances do require intervention and, yes, children need to be made aware that what their parents are doing to them is probably not really ok. Is this one of those times?)