Friday, April 10, 2009

8 Years Old and One Day

Yesterday was all about the celebration. And we did that. Suffice it to say - the boy had a great birthday and I think has some positive memories from it.

But now it's down to business. In Mormon culture the age eight signifies that children are capable from discerning right from wrong using their own judgment. Hence one reason why we baptize our children after they turn eight as opposed to when they are infants.

I'm not here to discuss LDS doctrine - just giving some background to bring everyone up to speed. If you don't agree with my beliefs that's fine - just keep it to yourself or mumble to your computer. I don't think I'll get any comments regarding it - as I couldn't even get comments when I was giving stuff away.

Anywho - so Caleb's essentially had a free ride right up to the other day. Now it's time to see how much he can mess up. Well - a commandment is to Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother. . . one of the things we've taught these young 'uns is: Do not point guns or any projectile thing at another person. Ever. Not even playing War. (Which makes for a really lame game - but I put my support behind the squaw on this one).

This morning as the boys were getting ready for school - Caleb wanted to play with some of his toys. We allowed it for awhile, but then it was time to get ready to catch the bus. I had told the boys to stop playing and brush teeth etc etc. . . as I was in the other room - the six year old started bawling.

"Daaaaad!! (shudder cry) (inaudible) Caalebb (shudder) shot me in the EYE!!"

Like any responsible parent I asked for details before I issued punishment. The story went like this:

(The boy had gotten this Nerf Compound Bow & Arrow set.) They were playing War - and Dylan had become a POW. Apparently not a very good one - because he had been sent to be executed. So he stood before the firing squad. Apparently Caleb was trying to be obedient and not point at his brother - but rather just to the side of his head. Let the arrow go - which they were about 16 inches away from each other - and shot his brother in the eye.

I had a talk with Caleb - and punishment was given. Justice met. So hopefully - he's all square with the Man upstairs.

But for the last few days something else has been weighing heavily upon my mind.

R rated movies.

It's semi-taboo to watch R rated movies. I say semi- because even though it has been spelled out in clear terms that members should not watch them - they do. Me included.

Now - here's the conundrum. I don't remember exactley what my first 'R' rated movie was - or how old I was when I saw one. But one of my first memories about restriced movie watching was boobies. Now this was the early 80's - even though it had been around for about 16 years I think they were still feeling out what exactly the merits were that movies were rated.

Anyway - back to my mind wrestle. . . when do we break that taboo mark with the boy? Is this something I just leave to one of his friends and their parents? Or just one of his friends wherein it will probably no doubt be something that objectifies women more than we're comfortable with? (Meaning - if the women are seen as thoughtful - intellectual - successful) Or should I take him into the wings and watch some real classics: Robocop; Terminator; Nightmare on Elm Street for example.

What? Just teach him that he shouldn't watch 'R' rated movies - and have a backbone against his friends when they invite him to watch an 'R' rated movie? . . . you mean I have to grow up with my kid??

9 comments:

JBA said...

Well, I would have to agree that we grow up with our kids. It's just like when you first hold them after they're born and you wonder what the heck you're going to do now! You figure it out as you go along and hope that they only roll off the couch and hit their heads a few times. Little people surely do teach big people a lot about how to live and what is really important.

As for the nerf dart, I got one of those in the eye when A or P, who know which one, was shooting from the landing upstairs. Obviously we learned nothing from this experience because the house is littered with Nerf dart detrious. The only difference now is that we make them use their own money to get the darts to shoot us in the eye!

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DangGina said...

I think you use the word "conundrum" more than any other person I know. It makes me giggle.

Funny that you don't remember anything about the first R rated movie you watched; I was 16-a Jr. in high school-and I watched Silence of the Lambs at my friend's house for a Halloween party. That's the only R I've seen, and I think it's because it was a seriously disturbed movie. Really dang interesting, sure, but...[shudder] creepy. (I've seen a bunch of edited R's, so ya know.)

Good luck figuring out your current conundrum. I know that all my bros watch R-rated movies, but they really are selective (mostly). They can stomach all sorts of gore and creepiness, but they won't watch nudity. And although I wish they'd skip the R's altogether, I have to respect that they avoid the movies with skin.

I didn't help at all, huh? What do you expect man? I'm single without kids! :)

nsiyer said...

The saying' Child is the father of man' is very true.

Steven M. Adami said...

First, kudos on posing a great debate question.

Second, I fully support the admonition from LDS church leaders to be mindful of the media influences we allow into our homes.

However, since the MPAA rating system is not consistent and is rife with inaccuracies and prone to retardation, I do not use it as my guide to determine if something is a no-no.

Oh, by the way. You Mormons *are* weird.

Sweet Cheeks said...

A difficult decision for sure Bob.

I remember my first rated R movie. It was The Blues Brothers...in 1980. I even skipped school to watch it...and I don't think I turned out too bad from it.

I think you need to take it one day at a time...and wait to see just exactly what the movie is they want to see...use your judgement then...An R rating varies so much...

:)

aworgill said...

Being a cinephile, and recognizing early that most of the coolest movies were rated R, I have wrestled with this one for a long time. Nicolas Cage is right, the MPAA is prone to retardation. How movies like Ghost and the Darkness and Open Range can share the same rating as Pulp Fiction and Saw III is beyond my comprehension. I do think when it's all said and done, that most (NOT all) R-rated movies are a bit (or a lot) trashy in one way or another, and it's probably worthwhile to consider growing up with your kids and changing some of your viewing habits. And sorry to say, The Departed is definitely not one of the exceptions. I have a long way to go myself, because there are some sick and twisted ones that I will probably miss.

Kara said...

Obviously my husband and I have differing opinions.

I would not let my child watch a rated R movie until they were 16 or older. I was in college when I saw my first rated R movie. I still don't watch many of them because I CAN'T STAND the vulgarity used. With all the words in the English language to prove a point, why do you have to use four letter words? That I don't get. And sometimes PG-13 are just as bad.

But, you are the parent and I am not. I'm just telling you my opinion.

Kara said...

I also forgot.....

From a teacher's perspective I think R rated movies are horrible for children. They act on everything seen. Some students have seen movies I would never think of watching. I can't imagine what their lives will be like when they are in junior high and high school. It makes me cringe to think about it.

Eskimo Bob said...

Hey everyone thanks for commenting on this issue.

I'm glad to report that I changed my mind of holding a 'Revenge of the Nerds' Marathon with the boys for at least another eight to ten years. Then it will come up for reconsideration.

Secondly - I really appreciated what Kara had to bring to the table. She brought up what most of us were thinking or probably were trying to say and said it well.

I don't put much stock into the MPAA rating guide - we'll see how things transpire. . .