Like many families this weekend, I enjoyed the latest Disney family flick, Zootopia, with my kids. If you didn’t catch it, it’s worth the few bucks to see it in theaters, and the messages it sends are priceless.
In fact, as we left the theatre and chatted about our favorite moments, I thought we should really lock all of the presidential candidates in a room and force them to watch it. They could all use a healthy dose of wholesome family entertainment – and perhaps leave a little kinder and more accepting of one another. Without spoiling the plot, the premise of the story really addressed the idea of diversity, accepting one another, and the importance of avoiding mass stereotypes.
As one of my fellow mom friends on Facebook noted, “If a bunny and fox can figure it out …”
I don’t know about you, but I am ready to go dark on all of this election madness. Every time I tune into a debate or news interview, I am saddened to witness the potential next leader of the free world attack, name call and poke fun at one another. Oh how our founding fathers must feel if they are watching this fiasco unfold from their graves.
No longer is it safe for me to allow my kids to listen to the nonsense being spewed on the political stage. For sure these individuals have differences, but the way in which they attack one another and yell is not appropriate for young viewers. Instead of learning about our government and seeing the presidential race unfold, I’ve decided they really won’t gain much from watching, beyond bad habits and how not to behave.
Instead, I try to tell them about the foundational differences between the Republicans and Democrats, the hard choices we must make when it comes to budgeting, and how ultimately we must find a way to come together and figure it out.
I wish I could bottle up my kids’ kind hearts and keep them pure forever. While still young, they know so much when it comes to the morals and values we want to see in this country. In fact, I really see all kids in that way.
They know the importance of being kind.
They know about sharing
They know it is wrong to make fun of others.
They know it is important to help those who are less fortunate.
They know education is essential.
They know the value of hard work.
They don’t see individuals in terms of skin color, but rather just as people who are individuals.
They know its rude to shout over someone, and about waiting their turn.
They know we can’t afford everything, and that there is a difference between wants and needs.
Frankly, I think many kids can recognize when an adult is behaving poorly, and if I let my kids watch what is unfolding in these presidential debates, they would immediately recognize we have a number of grown adults failing miserably. In fact, some timeouts may be in order.
In a world that so often craves sounds bites and entertainment, I hope we can turn it around and give our kids something worth watching – something to strive for and emulate. Because at the moment, I can say with certainty they will not gain anything out of watching what is happening in the political world other than a lesson on what not to do. For now, we’ll stick with the Disney flicks and pray a future generation will get it right soon.