Once you become a parent, everything you do could rub off on your kid. If you use swear words a lot, don't be surprised if "shit" is your baby's first word. Bet you're still shocked though, aren't you? So when the American Academy of Pediatrics released a study saying that kids who watch R-rated movies are more likely to smoke cigarettes, I remembered my own teen years of watching Flashdance, Angel, and far too many scenes from Faces of Death.
Guess what? I never smoked. Okay, once. Alone on a car ride back from visiting my sister in college. But I hated it. I also never became a steel worker, hooker, or mortician ... though I do retain an odd fascination with all of those career choices.
Yo Gabba Gabba won't make your kids take acid. And if your teen watches Black Swan, it doesn't mean she'll want to be an anorexic ballerina. But if your little spawn watches porn, he will become addicted to crack.
That much must be true.
I'm kind of over these ridiculous studies telling us things that are pretty obvious. I mean, expose a kid to anything a whole lot and he's more likely to try it. Doesn't mean he will. This to me just seems like we are placing blame on the movies. Welp, my kid smokes, but that's not my fault. It's because he watches them Jackass movies, says the mom who is puffing away on her tenth cigarette of the day.
Where is the accountability? I know it's easier to pass the blame, but we, as parents, have no one to blame but ourselves for the values we teach our kids.
Of course it's not as simple as leading by example and telling your child not to smoke and hoping she doesn't. But it's also not as simple as not letting your kid see an R-rated movie in order to prevent her from lighting up.
What do you think of the study? Do you think there are "gateway" triggers that lead to bad behavior?
Image via daniel spils/Flickr