Is 'Star Wars' Too Violent for Kids?
If this is wrong, I don't want to be right.Do you ever get the feeling when you're in a room full of parents that you're doing it all wrong? Like yesterday when I was volunteering at our school book fair and the topic of Star Wars came up. Star Wars always comes up at our school because our children are obsessed with it, most likely thanks to their parents. But this time I was in the minority.
Apparently Star Wars is too violent for 4-year-olds. Tell that to our entire kindergarten class, who -- last year as pre-schoolers -- spent every moment of “recess” re-enacting Star Wars. Star Wars mania took over the classroom and my daughter transformed into Princess Leia. My husband and I decided she could watch the very first Star Wars, and we'd put the rest on the back burner until she was old enough to process Han Solo being frozen and able to see through Jar Jar Binks. We thought we were being responsible, then I discovered I was a horrible parent.
Or as one mom to a child who is now my daughter’s age when she first met Yoda (4) put it, "Didn't you think that first scene was too violent for your child?" I don't remember what the first scene was in Star Wars, but she reminded me it involved Darth Vader breaking someone's neck. Okay, so that seems bad. Did I just ignore my usual “no violence” rule due to nostalgia? Sure we talk in our house about make believe and how things are simply not real, but I won’t let my daughter watch violent cartoons. So why is Star Wars okay? Because everyone else is doing it? Because I loved it as a kid and I was 5 years old when I saw the first movie, and hey, I'm okay?
At this point we can’t put the genie back into the bottle, and outside of feeling like a bit of a hypocrite, I’m not worried. After all, every single kid in her class freaking loves Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the LEGOs, the light sabers, the knowledge that Darth Vader is Luke's father. It's all super fun for those kids and none of them seems to be abnormally violent or crazy.
Perhaps that has more to do with the fact that this group of parents doesn't allow violent video games in the console, we all preach tolerance and acceptance, and we all were Star Wars geeks as kids. I hope I’m right and haven't been fooled by a Jedi mind trick. Because my 2-year-old has been clamoring to learn the Force lately, and I don’t know if we can hold him off until grade school.
Do you let your toddlers watch Star Wars?
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