Is it sad that the Disney channel has advertisements encouraging kids to turn the TV off this summer and get outside to explore, play, or just do outdoor activities?
As an adult I’m guilty of being glued inside, either on my Macbook or in front of the TV. Lately I’ve been making it a point to read more, I just stacked up my 55th book, surpassing my goal of 52 book this year. And I’ve just begun to “open [my] front door to explore” the California High Desert I live in, but the weather forced me to revamp that project. Instead, the sibs and I got our cycling on. These are intentional actions, meant to change my lifestyle, to bring in line with what I find meaningful and interesting.
There is an argument out there about making childrens lives magical, parents going out of their way to create the perfect moments and give expereinces that transcend description. Injecting childrens lives with such high expectations of what makes life meaningful is not an appropriate parenting style from my not-a-parent experience. Life is tough, its filled with challenges and children should face adversity and learn how to deal and appropriately manage those challenges. A magical childhood is just that, a Disney inspired fairytale. And even in fairytales there are antagonists and obstacles that want to smash that magical world.
But to give context to childrens lives is not a matter of making their lives magical, its giving them purpose, its educating and more importantly when coupled to “practice what you preach” a model for living. Right now we face difficult conversations especially about race. With the daily media coverage its hard to shield kids from the reality, the un-magical world, of law enforcement gone wild and the role that race still plays to influence behavior and actions.
You can’t escape from this reality. There is no Disney channel commercial that will explain this. There is no way around this but through it. You have to have meaningful conversations because these are the sorts of things that will equip children to deal with the reality, and maybe they can use some of that magic to change the world and truly make it a magical place for everyone.
Obviously there is a need to educate, I will try to post some book suggestions below. Articles. But feel free to share resources!