Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our Little Coloring Book

I referred to a quote from the book "Kite Runner" in one of my first posts: "Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them in with your favorite colors." I am finally getting back to it now.

Why can't I? Why can't we instill what we believe what will inspire the child or shape it's views? When 18-year-olds register to vote, most choose the party affiliation of their parents. Many kids remember the music their parents listened to while growing up. So why can't I maybe nudge my child in a few directions I wish mine had shown me before finally finding out for myself?

Of course, finding your own path is part of growing up, but one of the shortcomings of my upbringing was a big lack of guidance. As I got into school and especially college, I had to go it all alone, which was good and bad (mostly bad). I still feel the repercussions now when it comes to motivation and following through. If I do anything, I hope we can instill hard work and the value of doing your best.

Almost as important to me, though, is shaping the cultural values of the child. Music, film, art, are very important in our lives, and their appreciation and understanding will be a major part of the child's upbringing (if I have my say, that is!). I keep hearing how all this kid's music is really enjoyed by them, but I cringe at the thought of the drivel created by Barney, Wiggles, Raffi, et al. Why does it have to be so safe and bland? I don't yet know much about children's film, but I worry about the dumbing-down factor and homogenization to make it palatable to all kids (and/or the parents).

Why can't I/we play fun music for the child that isn't necessarily for kids? There's so much great high-energy music that can get kids moving their little bums without causing us a headache. Any garage rock band will do, but why not classical or jazz, something that creates sounds not usually heard by kids anymore.

So, like calling "shotgun" to get the good seat in the car, I tried calling it to be in charge of the kid's cultural training. It didn't go over well, haha, but I still want to make it a big part of the rearing process. And since this post didn't touch on all the themes I had originally planned, I suppose I will revisit it yet again soon. Stay tuned...


Dorky Dad said...

You mean you have to ask your wife to be in charge of the kids' cultural training? I just kind-of went and did it.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely!!! :)

In all honesty, we are pretty much on the same wavelength when it comes to the variety and type of culture we want to instill in our child (lots of music, art, communication, manners, make believe, etc.). However, with that said, Daddy-in-Waiting is NOT pleased with the fact that Mommy-in-Waiting is taking the child to a NKOTB concert(kudos if you know who that is) while she is 5-months pregnant, as he thinks this might adversely affect the child's taste in music. Haha!
- Mommy-in-Waiting

KMT said...

Excellent. :)

For the record, my kids like Green Day as much Beastie Boys as much as Bach as much as the Wiggles (who are all musicians of some sort and educators :)) this instance, I'd have to say you could probably 'have it all' within reason. :) I tend to figure that as much as I enjoy all types of music, my kids will learn to appreciate as well, at least as long as I have influence there; when they're teenagers, I have heard that I will likely become a complete idiot on all subject matters, but I can hope that I at least gave them some musical guidance by then. ;) Good luck!