Now that I have your attention I will start my rant. For years I haven’t let my oldest son read Harry Potter or see the movies because of all the bad things I have heard about it. Then Frozen came out. We almost didn’t see it because of all the bad things I’ve heard about it. (This all from Christians). That would have been sad because it is trully an exceptionally great movie, one of Disney’s best in my opinion.
Let me just clarify for those that have not been followng my blog: I am Christian. But I am not ignorant nor will I stick my head in the sand, nor will I block my children from learning good from bad.
So, even if the above is true that Harry Potter and Frozen are evil (I don’t believe this, I will explain in a bit why), I still want to be able to have my kids see and read things that are controversial within their age limit. Why? Because it leads to discussion. It leads to them giving me their opinions before they have heard the opinions of others, and then we can discuss what as a Christian we believe, then they can choose. After all that is what being a parent is: preparing your child to be able to make good educated decisions. It is not about sheilding them from the world (though that is a parent’s first instinct), we are to teach them to fly, not fly for them. God after all didn’t make robots. God’s greatest gift and some would say curse to humanity is: free will, choice.
Okay, so back to Harry Potter. It is said by some Christian groups that Harry Potter is evil because it has sorcery and magic; it has wizards and at times it is violent. Okay, yes the Bible talks about sorcery not being allowed (probably because a lot of it is fake and what is not fake is Satan masquarading as an angel of light)…but then why do you allow you kids to watch The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings? Both have sorcerers in it and witches and tons and tons of magic…
Frozen they say promotes the gay agenda. Is that so? Honestly I had to look up why some Christian groups thought Frozen was anti-Biblical, because I watched it dozens of times and couldn’t see anything bad in it. It is said that Elsa’s lack of interest in men suggests she is gay…wow, that is a far and high jump. Never saw that coming, I honestly got from the story line that she was simply afraid of falling in love or even loving her own sister because she was afraid she would hurt them with her powers. My opinion of the movie is that it promotes FAMILY love. It is also the first Disney movie that confronts the mostly silly notion of ‘love at first sight’ (sure maybe it can happen, but not in a DAY like most Disney movies or modernized fairy tales)…I was thrilled to see that when Anna thought she fell in love with Hans and on the same day decided to marry him the movie turned it around into a learning experience that you simply cannot know a person in one day.
Also, children believe in the impossible more than an adult. A child thrives when their imagination soars, so of course magic and wishes and wizards are part of the movies and stories that come out.
A few nights ago I watched an episode of Criminal Minds (Season 10 If the Shoe Fits) and in this show they were pursuing a serial killer that was killing and the MO was Cinderella and her glass slipper. In it the character JJ was speaking with Spencer about exposing her son to the realities of life. Here is that insightful conversation:
Jennifer Jareau: My mother believes that children shouldn’t be shielded from the realities of the world. I do! Isn’t that why we read them fairy tales in the first place?
Dr. Spencer Reid: No, actually most fairy tales in their original form were gruesome to the extreme. In Cinderella the stepsisters had their feet mutilated to fit in the shoe and her eyes were eventually picked out by doves. Sleeping Beauty was raped while she was unconscious by the King. Hansel and Gretel were held captive by a half blind cannibal. Solders were instructed to cut out Snow White’s liver and lungs, so the Queen could feast upon them
Jennifer Jareau: Thanks for that Spence!
Dr. Spencer Reid: My point is: one could argue that the sanitized versions we have today are actually counterproductive to the original purpose of fairy tales, so the children can safely confront their darkest fears
Jennifer Jareau: Maybe my mom was right
While the conversation is explicit, I would say it adresses the issue head on. The original Grimm tales (I urge you to read them) are indeed gruesome, but they also teach lessons. They were folk tales that were told to children to make them aware using fantasy that the world is not all good and that they should take caution.
Final thought. Let your children read what they choose (within limits of course and bearing in mind their age). The way you can guarantee your child will hate reading is to say no to everything they trully want to read.