Kids & art (& life)
Sat, 30 Aug 1997 14:22:01 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 29 Aug 1997, Arabella Decker wrote:
> As a parent I found that children were always exposed to that which I
> personally did not like, agree or approve. I learned that it was my job to
> influence a child by expressing my viewpoint and giving other options which
> were to be the norm in our house.

Exactly. After raising my own and working with many disturbed and
disturbing kids, I also found it impossible to completely protect them
from those situations and images that I thought they were "not ready for."
It was much more important to show them my genuine reaction and attitude,
my moral take on these things. To be a role model -- one hopes, a sane
and reasonable one.

This is not to say that kids should be allowed access to everything just
so long as Daddy gets to pass judgement. Before the mental age of nine,
most kids just don't have mental equipment to deal with the varieties of
sexual experience that adults take for granted. And before seven, they
can't comprehend sex at all. In earlier times it was the responsibility of
all adults to shield children from "adult" matters. The Easter Bunny and
the Stork were necessary myths to "explain" death and sex to children not
yet ready to understand.

I tend to think of programs that limit a child's access to the net as the
contemporary equivalent of the Easter Bunny and the Stork. And someone
who crusades against such programs seems to me no less silly, and as
unclear on the concept, as someone who crusades against the evil myths of
the Bunny and the Stork.