Books , TV , Harsh realties , Stereotypes and KidsSeptember 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Books, Kids, Parenting, TV | 9 Comments
I have been thinking a lot about this is past few days and so its best that I sort my thoughts out here.
Last week Aryan got a book from school library which started like ..there was a girl (forgot the name) whose mother had died and she had a step mom who was very cruel. After reading those 2 lines I kept the book back in his bag and brought a Tulika for him to read. Why not the new library book , he asked and I said , I dont like it.
Why did I not like it I asked myself. For 2 reasons :
1. Why does the kid has to read a story that starts on a sad account of dead mother. It may intiate a thought process of sad and unforseen events in his mind. Ofcourse we read books as food for thought but I sincerely dont think that he can handle thoughts of death , especially of mother’s death. Nor I think I am mature enough to anwer the questions that will be born from these thoughts.
2. Why are step mothers always cruel. I am sure this world has many step mothers who are not cruel. Why don’t someone write a story on those mothers.
I also thought , if at all I would want my son to think about my death , I would want him to think that he will be able to move on and will have nice people around him and not a cruel step mom.
And then this weekend Aryan was watching Chota bheem on TV while I was lying next to him and happened to see what was coming. I know much had been said about TV shows for kids not been good. But then also I don’t believe in banning TV for kids (the why ..is for another post). So we have an agreement that he will choose 1-2 shows with agreement with Mumma.
Chota bheem was one such show that I allowed , thinking that it is about a well behaved nice kid , sorts of a super hero , set up in indian back drop. Not too harmful at a glance. However when I watched it closely that day , I saw that girls in the show dont fight wars and dont do kung fu. They are supoosed to sit and take care of injured or cheer for the fighting men. Why ?
Gender stereotyping is already hard to fight and a TV show that encourages that ?
My son loves to help me with household stuff. I helps me with every single work that I do. Sometimes thats a pain too , uninterrupted , the work can be done faster. Sometimes thats a scare too ,especially when he helps me in kitchen , what if he touches a hot pot. But I have never ever discouraged him to help me. However some people sometimes do tell him not to tag along with mumma for its ladies work. I feel a strong itch inside me when that statement is made. I do tell my son later that he can ofcourse do that work some other time.
I sincerely hope atleast the next generation doesnot grow up with gender stereo types like these. Why is it a girls work to cook and wash ? Men also eat , can they not cook ? I would like my son to do all house hold work as I would want my daughter. I don’t mean to teach him all this now , but I am happy that he feels the need to help mumma in daily chores and does it with a full heart.
I would want my daughter to play foot ball / basket ball / judo or whatever else she would want , if she enjoys that. I would not mind if she doesnot enjoy cooking and if house hold stuff does not come so naturally to her. It still doesnot come naturally to me 😛 However I would love if she learns to cook well and learns to take care of home well too , but thats a wish list and not a mandate.
Chota Bheem is a craze for now and cannot be banned so easily , however I just wish that he gets some good things from it and not the bad ones.
About the book , I was so pissed off that I wanted to write to school to check if these books are apt for kids.
But then there are lot of fairy tales , indian and non indian and lot of anctient tales which talk about harsh realities amd stereotypes. Somehow we avoid such books. Which is why Aryan doesnot know about Cindrella and snowwhite.
Not sure if this is the right thing to do though.
Any thoughts ?
P.S : Second post in a day ..not bad !