As a child, I had a major addiction problem.
My dad, the Pastor, thought the best way to address it was at the dinner table.
“Shan,” he said, his mustache bristling, “tell me, just who is the Master of the Universe?”
I knew what he wanted me to say. I knew the right answer. I did. Really.
It’s just that He-man was so stinkin’ cool and I couldn’t betray my hero by handing his title off to someone else. Even if that someone was God. Even if, in the back of my seven-year-old mind, I knew there would be consequences for answering him my way.
Consequences mean little to addicts.
So, with my fork held high, I answered proudly, “He-man is the Master of the Universe!”
My dad raised his eyebrows at my mom and I knew I was in trouble. But my sisters were giggling, encouraging me on. Before my dad could say another word, I jumped from my chair and shouted,
“By the power of Grayskull…I have the power!”
Needless to say, I wasn’t allowed to watch He-man anymore.
Now, I have to tell you, my parents weren’t super strict about the whole cartoon thing. I mean, we were even allowed to watch the Smurfs. It would have been hard to stop us, honestly, considering Nana and Papa had an entire bedroom dedicated to the little blue guys.
Matt and I have pretty much followed suit. We’re not overly strict, preferring to discuss just why things are incorrect or immoral with our children. But, as my kids are growing, I find that certain things rub me the wrong way. Certain cartoons or television shows are just inappropriate for my five-year-old to ingest and get addicted to. Certain discussions shouldn’t have to happen when he’s five.
For all the parents out there, just how do you handle this sort of thing? And for everyone, are there things you find yourself believing–true or not–simply because you learned them as a child? Simply because a brightly colored cartoon character told you so?
It’s a curious kind of day.