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Thursday
Sep272012

Different kind of horror: watching your kids be afraid

I just wanna let everybody know ahead of time this is going to be a blog of a more personal note.

To give you a little bit of background, I've had a bit of an obsession with law and Order Special Victims Unit for many years now. Before I started watching it I had worried it would ruck up incidences of my own past, but in the end, I found it occupying most of my time durring the latter portion of my pregnancy with my first daughter.

I have watched through the first 12 seasons what you're still available on Netflix but then to the last several years netflix has not released any of the new seasons. We recently picked up Hulu Plus so that we could stay current on shows rather than waiting for them to come up on Netflix, and I noticed 1 of the shows available there a special Victims Unit.

I started watching an episode every few days over nap time and reacquainting myself with the show. Needless to say my earlier obsession came back with a vengeance.

My oldest daughter is now almost 4 years old. And quite a sneaky little girl when she wants to be. She tends to fight most days going down for nap and at this point and my husband and I have acquiesced to allow nap time to me only be "quiet time". On 1 or 2 occasions, she has snuck onto the staircase with out of hearing in an effort to stay up. I even found her sleeping in the hallway once when I went up to go to bed.

Today during naptime the episode that I watched was from Season 13.  The episode was called "Strange Beauty". A general overview of the episode is that the woman is abducted and then her body is discovered with the leg having been amputated. The core of the episode goes on as most on order episodes do, with the police officers working to discover who the killer was. It delves somewhat into the realm of body modification and deals slightly with some of that culture, but stays mostly on the subject of amputation, and voluntary amputation at that.

I did not know at the time that my daughter had snuck onto the staircase and was watching the episode silently from the stairs until I heard her crying. She wanted to know what was going on. According to articles that I have read relating to children and television, kids at her age are not able to distinguish the difference between television and reality so now I was really worried.

This all seems very circumstantial when discussing things like "Phineas and Ferb" or
"Yo Gabba Gabba" or "My Little Ponies", but when suddenly your face with a 4 year old who has now witnessed what may be construed as a violent crime on the television it leaves you wondering what you should do.

My husband and I are gamers and strong advocate against video Game rating system thinking it should be based more on maturity of the person using it then the number of their age, but there are some things that definitely belong in an age bracket. Law and Order special Victims Unit is not something my 4 year old should see.

I wonder now as I am getting ready for bed tonight what kind of issues I can expect to run into what kind of worries in troubles will enter her mind and whether or not lying and passing off the people without legs in this episode as pirates will actually work. There so many things that you don't want to explain to your children.

I'm going to go now and get her ready for bed, and hopefully tonight will hold only princesses and unicorns for her.  It really makes me want to examine the kinds of things I watch on a regular basis and whether or not I need to be rethinking the catharsis I use in my own life for fear of hers.

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