Last night, dd14 sat next to me at the kitchen table while I scrolled through some news. We watched a video about a gay rights activist who purchased a home across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church and painted it in a gay pride rainbow. (Story here .) Dd and I snickered about the story, talked about how awesome the activist was, and dsd18, who was sitting across the table from us, asked what we were talking about.
My dsd had never heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. Never. I brought up the funeral picketing, the long chains of people who protected the mourning families from them--nothing. Never heard of a bit of it. She seemed surprised that her younger sister had.
Do you go out of your way to shield your children from the realities of the world? Current events? Social issues? Politics?
I understand sanitizing things for young children, but not completely blocking the world out. For those of you who do shield your children from the uglier parts of the world, is there a point where your role of parenting shifts from protector to informer? Surely few people would have an aim to keep a child as sheltered as my dsd. But I know some parents do attempt to keep their child as innocent as possible, and while I do respect that, is there a limit?
I realize there's no real magic age. It's not like you'd just sit your child down upon his tenth birthday and say, "William, now that you're older, we have something to tell you: the Easter Bunny isn't real, your aunt Thelma is gay, and also there are war lords in Africa who chop limbs off to terrorize small villages. Happy Birthday!" But there must be some kind of transition, even if unconscious.
My dsd is going through a bit of culture shock in our home. My dh and I are on the extreme opposite end of shielding. We sanitized when the kids were young, but never shielded and neither of us believes in censorship.