Saturday, 5 July 2014

Superheroes R Us..

 Totally unrelated to superheroes but it's what we're watching as I type this

So we love Spiderman...Superman...Hulk as much as we love Old Trafford. It's official. Because I belong to an all-boys clan and if you can't beat them....

*sigh*...

I must confess I am as guilty as they are, maybe being the only lady in the midst of 3 'men' has succeeded in changing my orientation. I mean to now enjoy Spiderman, Art Attack and Doc Mcstuffins as much as I enjoy watching Mission to Mars, Maid in Manhattan and dem Africa magic movies is a real big deal.

I also do enjoy (by fire by force while keeping a straight face) watching some full grown men chasing one small round leather contraption across the length and breadth of a large green-grassed field. Old football games o, new ones o...all join when the 'oga at the top' is in charge of the remote control.

When Premier League or UEFA come start nko... #noafricamagicormoviemagicevenifyoufrownandwhinefromnowtilleternity.

Who can blame me for my re-orientation seeing as I wear the 'MOB' (mother of boys) name-tag? I cannot come and go and kill myself.

But I digress.

Back to the boys and their cartoons. My thoughts about the tug of war with them and their cartoons were first expressed here in this post and even though we've come a long way since then, the struggles are still real.

We've succeeded in substituting some of the cartoon times with other creative and learning activities. Think drawing, coloring, reading, watching Rock-N-Learn CDs but...they still do love their cartoons.

They still don't like NatGeoWorld and they still look vividly forward to Saturdays and Sundays when they get to indulge in their love of cartoons. One of the rules in enforcement: no cartoons during weekdays.

So they get to watch cartoons on Saturdays and 'share' Sunday with hubby while mummy gets the laptop or the kitchen or the bed. Fair deal, right? Wrong. But who's complaining? #mensworld

I have however been trying to separate the facts from fictions for them before I kobalise myself and the Almighty would say...'didn't you realize the cost or the enormity of the responsibility when you were asking for the gifts?'. Oloun maje o.

So as I was saying writing, the boys were beginning to take the superheros' fakery antics too far and talking about flying and spinning webs and saving the whole wide world. And I have been consciously trying to disabuse their minds of all I had allowed to seep in by separating the truth / fact from the fiction.

Real men and women don't fly. Forget 'Tinkerbell' and 'batman' o, it only happens in cartoons. Do you understand? soogbo?

Who can blame those young ones when even mummy sometimes wishes superheroes do actually exist. At least those innocent girls still in Sambisa forest would have been reunited with their families long ago and those mean men would have been wiped off.

But what can rival watching a 5/3yr old tying good ol' ankara wrappers around their own necks... watching gleefully as they run around occasionally glancing back to watch the tail end of wrapper trailing them...putting on their superhero shoes and getting on my beloved browned out sofa, arms outstretched and pretending to fly.

The pure joys of the moments. The glee. The momentary fulfillment. The sense of achievement. Definitely one of the small seemingly meaningless things to enjoy on this journey.

Maybe I also encourage them by getting all those character stuffs but what's a mother to do in the face of all those cuteness like the hereafter?


Yes I know, I am guilty as charged. I am that kind of mother.

I loved Christopher Reeve back then but I never really thought of flying like him. Maybe I did but I can't recall. Maybe twas the gal-gene.

This really goes to establish that children of all generation love superheroes. Maybe because superheroes connect with our inner child and make us want to do the extra ordinary in eradicating ills and the baddos in the world.Well, maybe some of them are portrayed wrongly and some of the exploits are (over)blown out of proportion but it's still what it is.

But a little reality check here. Is this really right? Can we allow it to go on for long?

Even if it's just a phase, is it right for our little boys / girls to love superheroes? Is it wrong for us to encourage this ? Is it right?
Does it matter?
Does it not matter?

The boys innocently practice flying in our apartment today, in our presence. What if they are somewhere not-so-safe tomorrow and we are not there to put them straight? It would be entirely our fault, right?
What if no adult is around them and they want to indulge in some super-hero time?
What happens then?

But, what can really separate kids and cartoons? #jambquestion
Anyone?
Ok, still waiting while you do your research. Thank you.

Is it really advisable to allow kids continue watching these cartoons?
Does this really need an answer?
Maybe it does. 
When do you start separating the facts from the fiction?

The onus really lie on us parents to right every wrong we had intentionally or unintentionally wrought. Abi. Consciously separate the facts from the fiction. Thankfully there are so many interesting kid friendly channels with educating programs. I like Art attack for instance and I could see the influence it's having on D1. He now makes árts' like big Lucas and proudly shows it off even though they look nothing like Lucas' but we still 'ooh and aah' over them like they are some oscar+pulitzer-worthy pieces.
Don't worry, he didn't cut it by himself but he did the drawing and coloring markings.
 
 My boy is becoming a (good) wiz with his colors and papers. Ama get him a full paint set + easel soon.

Go boy.

But I digress again.

Maybe there's really enough room for Batman or Spiderman in the kiddos' lives and we just have to keep balancing it with other positive real-life influences and a lot of down to earth discussions about true superheroes, real heroes and worthy role models.

I've not really checked this out but read somewhere about some study showing that kids who are highly interested in superheroes and have a strong positive relationship with their mothers remain less negatively impacted by superhero fascinations. 

So many studies out there, validated and unvalidated but the maternal / parental intuition seldom fails.

So whatever we do, let's keep talking honestly with our wards as parents, staying close to them and prayerfully creating godly, kind, loving and compassionate Superkids who will grow up to be real Superheroes in this twisted world.

Now over to you...your thoughts, please.

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4 Comments:

At 07/07/2014, 00:04 , Blogger New Dawn said...

First, happy Sunday to you.
Second, this is one of my fav topics! #rub hands gleefully#

Ha! Cartoons! I love them! Superman, Tom & Jerry, Voltron and seasame street were my favs. I began to like spiderman because my boys watch it!

To your questions; I dunno if it's wrong for children to watch cartoons, what I see wrong is the type of cartoon shown nowadays! Too much magic and violence! Though, the good always win over evil, but I still don't like it! Gone are the days that cartoons were for laughs and teaching morals! Can you believe it's being long I saw Tom &Jerry cartoon and logo?

I have taught my children to separate what they watch on TV from reality! I monitor what they watch and ask them to remove any cartoon am not comfortable with! I tell them to watch for entertainment and relaxation purpose and they should never believe or practice all they see in TV! PBS Kids channel is very educative.

I watch Nollywood films on Y-tube sometimes, to get the feel of home #am not a great fan though#. It was the movie MR and MRS, Irapada and Figurine that raised my hope in Nollywood. I just watched pretty liars featuring Funke-Akindele and Ese-Etim, I had a good laugh! #sorry for digressing..my fav topic remember?#

The truth is that, children of today watch more cartoons because, they don't have enough playtime outside as we wish because of lack of security, and technology is at our fingertips. So it's up to we parents to regulate the time for tv watching. Like you, I give them a free-hand on weekends but weekdays are restricted. I do my best to imbibe some rules in them, that when they become independent they would still abide by the rules sub-consciously. Lord help us.


 
At 09/07/2014, 13:48 , Blogger Thecla Ojeifo said...

First off, i laughed my slippers off at "watching sports by fire by force". (Abeg no use laff kill me).
I think there is a part in all of us that loves the idea of superheroes.
I mean whats not to love, a normal person endowed with super abilities to be used only for good of humanity.
Yes the superhero cartoons have a way of working kids imagination up but like you said it is up to the parents to communicate to the kids the difference between reality and fantasy.
But kids will be kids and will want to explore the creation of their imagination and i support that. There would be a problem if kids could not be creative or feel free to use their imagination.
Regarding the safety issue, it is always advisable to block off potential risk zones, like putting a small gate with padlock on the stairs so kids can't start flying experiments.
I don't expect every parent to have the same rules but in my house, the cartoon channels that display violence or aggressive behaviour are not viewed (at least for now, maybe when they get older) .There are so many great educative toons from Cbeebies to Disney Junior and JimJam. I also download sesame street and so many great educative apps on my Ipad for them. However the secret is not to make them feel they have been banned from watching certain channels because you will make them want to watch it even more and you can't follow them 24/7, I just give them more interesting options and they don't even remember those crazy cartoons. lol
All in all, our kids are in Gods hands and as we continually remind Him to watch over them, we know that their end is glorious.
Hugs girl.

 
At 12/07/2014, 20:26 , Blogger sykik said...

True talk ma'am .......the most important thing is to screen what they watch.

 
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