Ever have this experience; you are watching an action show, all of a sudden a child jumps into the scene and bam, gets shot. Or watching your favorite Detective show only to have that show center around child abuse. Happens all of the time in some shows. I watched a lot of those shows where this thing routinely happened. With my legal background I would get immersed in detective and law shows.
22 months ago that all changed. That’s when my daughter was born and that’s when things began to change. In retrospect my change in media intake shouldn’t have been a suprise. I grew up probably being closer to my dog than any friend or family member and couldn’t handle it when something bad happened to animals. Remember the movie My Dog Skip, was in a room of guys and we were all crying by the end of it. Just couldn’t handle bad things with animals. Heck even the scene in the Green Mile where the little mouse was killed brought a tear to my eye.
A month or two after my daughter was born turned on one of my wife’s and I’s favorite tv series and within the first five minutes children were being attacked and put into coma’s and slowly dying, and that was as far into the show as we got into that episode. I was done. I couldn’t deal with seeing these kids that way. I know that it is just a show, but I feel like with being a dad and being around my daughter as much as I am and was that there was a lot of transference going on there.
Even now with my daughter almost being 2 years old my views haven’t changed. If there is a movie coming out that I think might show hamr to a child I won’t bother see it. I’ll skip episodes of my shows that I usually enjoy if there is the chance that a child might be hurt.
I think a large part of me feeling like this is the fact that I can’t even fathom what I would d if something ever happened to my daughter. The’s been the center of my life for 2 years. And from what my parents tell me, I became the most responcilbe person in my family by age 5, and started training to be a dad shortly after that. I’m not naive, I know she will get hurt and stuff happens. Heck right now she probably hurts herself atleast once a day. But, I still can’t think about something tragically happening to her. I feel like most parents are in this same boat. We always think that our kids are going to be healthy and stay ok. It’s these shows that show children getting hurt that force us to confront this preconcieved notion that we have that our children will always be ok. It’s uncomfortable and at times scary to really think about those situations.
I know avoiding those shows or movies might be taking things a bit to an extreme, but at the same time, those are powerful thoughts to try to confront, especially when, like I said, my daughter is the center of my life.