Movies and TV shows are held to even more stringent standards. It’s one thing to read about a pirate running somebody through- it’s another thing to see it. It’s also another thing to see someone being run through, and you try to process it with a nerf sword and a sibling, it’s another thing to see two naked people in bed together, leaving you relatively few ways to deal with the images. This means the kids can watch Knight’s Tale, but we skip over the sex scene. They can watch kung-fu cartoons, but nothing featuring seances or demonic possession (which, sadly and shockingly, rules out Scooby Doo. Scooby Doo, for those of you thinking of the Scooby Doo of your youth, was given a whole new series which rendered him unsuitable).
For the love of God, Donaldson, what does all this convey other than the fact that you and Ken may have parental standards, but they’re inconsistent and capricious? And how does it tie in to mohawks?
Out of the many ways people generally express individuality, hair is the one area where our kids have free reign. As I say every single time I sit down in the beautician’s chair, “It’s just hair. It’ll grow back.” And so it is here at home. You want a mohawk? Ok. You want to dye your hair pink? Sure. I find no issues with modesty, demonic activity, or corruption of morals in one’s hair style. It’s just hair. It’ll grow back.
One of the kids’ first lessons in a literal, and not literalist, reading of the Bible comes with the Sampson story. The story is literally about God marking Sampson in a special way from conception, and the hair was the outward sign of that inward mark. A literalist reading of the story would think that the power came from the hair, and then draw all sorts of odd notions about the dangers of cutting one’s hair. It would miss the point that the hair was a marker of where Sampson’s loyalties were- with God, or with man.
So that’s the happy medium we’ve come up with here: clothing, music, movie and book choices that reflect your loyalty to God and the standards of your parents, and hair that you can style any way you want to reflect your God-given individuality. Of course, all of ours are still young, and so things will change as they get older, but for right now, it’s a system everyone can live with.
What about you? How do you balance your kids’ need for personal expression with the standards of your household?
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