Monday, August 3, 2009

Through Dad's Eyes

People say that having kids changes people. Those with kids are more conservative and more settled in their lives. I have to agree. Everyone I know with kids keeps the kids first in their thoughts and actions.

I have been listening to music and watching TV and movies with a more critical eye. When listening to the radio, for example, I will change the station based upon the song starting to play. I recognize that lyrics and dialogue have small changes in the way we think. For someone who would argue against that, I have to ask why advertising remains such a big business. It's about influencing peoples' behavior. Advertising, song lyrics, movie dialogue, life experiences and more color our thoughts just the slightest amount. Each is imperceptible but in the aggregate they change us in big ways.

For now I am trying to instill some critical thinking skills. I am trying to get them to question why things are the way they are. I want them to think of alternatives and weigh pros and cons. I try to open up the world to them, little by little, in bite-sized chunks they can digest. It's by no means a coordinated effort. I make my mistakes and once in a while I get it right.

When my kids get older, I will allow them a greater range of music and entertainment choices. For now, though, they are small. They don't understand the complexities of life and can't think critically. As they understand more and can think more for themselves, I will give them more latitude. Hopefully by the time they are young adults they will possess more independent thinking than their peers. That, after all, is part of my responsibility as The Dad.

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