Do You Know What They Are Watching?
I write often about the importance, as parents, to spend time in your child’s world: reading the books they are reading, playing the video games they play, watching the tv shows they watch, using the social media they use. So, last night, my kids and I sat down to watch one of our favorite shows @theamazingrace_cbs
We hadn’t watched any of these seasons episodes so we started from the beginning. We were enjoying it, the personalities, the challenges...and then it happened...they RODE ELEPHANTS in Laos, Vietnam...and my heart BROKE.
I sat there in shock for a bit and then quickly googled elephants in Laos to make sure I wasn’t missing something...maybe this was a special place, maybe it was ???
Of course it wasn’t. My logical brain kicked in and I had an honest talk about what it must take to break an elephant’s spirit. We talked about how the babies are stolen from their mothers, how they are whipped and beaten and kept in a confined space. All an elaborate process to break the elephants down and instil in them such a fear of their trainers that they are deemed “safe” to ride. (Think Theon in #thegameofthrones 😮)
This conversation I had with my kids about this show and their celebration of riding elephants was important. But, it wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t spend time consuming the same media. If I don’t know what they see, listen to, engage in...I can’t ensure our family values and ideologies are guiding them while they are young.
WE MUST be a part of the conversation. WE MUST help present all sides of an issue so they can make educated choices in what they consume. Whether that is music that degrades women and uses language meant to keep us submissive and seen as only sex objects to the many news media outlets that have an agenda and are often one-sided and don’t present all the facts. Regardless of what the issues are, WE MUST walk alongside our children/teens as they learn to navigate that which is all around them.
I have included below a link to a CNN article that talks about the exploitation and mistreatment/abuse of elephants in Vietnam. It talks about the tourism industry and it’s role in the continuation of this practice. But I encourage you to do your own research. Just as I encourage my children to do. The process of vetting all information presented to us is important. It will only be then that we will truly be able to raise children who indeed, will change the world for the better.