Commentary by Danielle Wilson
Last night I was hanging out with two of my sisters flipping through channels. We ended up on “Magic Mike XX”L and began a long conversation about the many different sequels that suck. (We strongly differed on “Pitch Perfect,” by the way, but that’s a whole ‘nother column.) After a while I remembered that my almost-15-year-old son was sitting right next to me, listening to us ramble but also half-heartedly watching a stripper movie. Rated R of course, and even though the volume was barely loud enough to hear (this movie is so not about dialogue!), it occurred to me that it was highly inappropriate for a freshman in high school.
Then I realized that two nights ago I had allowed his twin to watch another adults-only movie, “Sisters,” and am seriously considering letting her attend the very risqué “Book of Mormon.” I’ve even started swearing in front of them. What. Is. Wrong. With. Me. Seriously? Where did that Mother of the Year go?
As I expressed these views with my younger sisters, one confessed that she had accidentally taken her fourth and sixth graders to “Deadpool,” the exact opposite of a kid-friendly Marvel movie, and the other said her 3-year-old twins’ favorite is the PG-13 “Avatar.” We all agreed that we are terrible mothers.
The thing is, we really just don’t care anymore. After having more than one child, it becomes too exhausting to monitor every TV show, radio program and/or book they consume. I think eventually parents reach their maximums on the censorship allotment that they’re given at the hospital (along with those crazy mesh underwear), and decide it’s not as big a deal as it once was.
Plus, I actually trust my kids to make good decisions on their entertainment options, and if nothing else, those choices can lead to important conversations. Last night for example, one scene lead to a wonderful recollection of taking his great-grandmothers to a Chippendale show. The point is, eventually, you have to step back and hope you’ve done enough. If they choose “Archer,” at least it’s clever.