“Hey be careful with that toe of yours”, I said to my 10-year-old son as he attempted to cut his toenail with what appeared to be medieval pinking shears, “I grew it for you, after all”, I said. He looked over at me and said “Really? All you did was eat.”, and then added “That’s not so hard.”
Restraining myself from launching into the indignities which the gestating body of a woman goes through to produce an ungrateful rat like him, instead I nodded and said “I guess you’re right.” Why would I want to tell him anything else? He was in Grade 5, and the lessons on the Birds and Bees were rapidly coming down the curriculum, headed straight for him. I decided to let him wallow in his lack of knowledge a tiny bit longer. Ignorance, my friends, can be bliss. But is there any such thing anymore?
Every time a breaking news story erupts over social media or the more traditional 24 hour television news channels, by the time it hits the morning newspaper or breakfast shows, the next segment is inevitably “How do you talk to your kids about (fill in blank with breaking news story).”
While I believe it is important to keep our kids somewhat up to date with current affairs, do they really need to know and digest every piece of bad information that hits the ever expanding radar?
When I was a kid you got news twice a day. Once in the morning paper, and then at 10:00 at night on the national television station, delivered by a white male anchor in orange make up. Oh, did I mention that the audience for this news was 0% children? I wasn’t even allowed to stay up until 10:00 at night, let alone touch the morning newspaper unless it was a Saturday and I was sneaking the colour comics out of it. The news was for grown-ups. They worried about what was going on in the world…sort of, so we didn’t have to.
Today, because our children are so connected in so many ways; the internet, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, streaming television, texts from friends, we presume they are getting the news all the time, and consequently we should act as a counselor to them in how they should digest this news. But here’s the thing: what we think is BIG news, they really don’t.
When you’re a kid, what’s important to you is totally different than what’s important to an adult. If kids wrote the news, their headlines would include things like:
- Mom admits younger brother is her favourite. Has been for some time.
- Spoiler alert: Meatloaf comes from meat. Which comes from cows.
- Suspicious hand-writing on Christmas gift alludes to co-conspirators in Santagate
- New study shows that no parent has ever offered a child a spoonful of sugar, no matter how nasty tasting the medicine going down was.
- Halloween candy disintegrates after 30 days? Not so, in a shocking discovery. Film at 11.
I grew up in Winnipeg, and a local station used to announce, just prior to the news, “It’s ten o’clock. Do you know where your children are?” I say, better yet, “Do your children always need to know what you know?”
Kathy Buckworth’s newest book I Am So The Boss Of You: An 8 Step Guide To Giving Your Family The “Business” will be released by McClelland Stewart (a Random House imprint) in March, 2013. It is available for pre-order now on Amazon.ca. Follow Kathy on Twitter@KathyBuckworth.
Photo by CL Buchanan Photography
Kathy Buckworth is an award winning writer, public speaker, and television personality. She is the author of five books, including “The BlackBerry Diaries: Adventures in Modern Motherhood” and her latest, “Shut Up and Eat:Tales of Chicken, Children & Chardonnay”. She is a feature writer for Sympatico.ca in their parenting, travel, and auto sections, and is also a columnist for ParentsCanada, Womens Post, Ottawa Families, Dabble Magazine, and GoodLife. She also regularly contributes to national magazines such as Canadian Families, Disney Playhouse, and Oh Baby. Her monthly “Funny Mummy” column appears on 25+ websites across North America. She is a parenting correspondent for CTVNewsChannel, and appears on shows such as CityLine and The Marilyn Denis Show.
Kathy is the only two time winner of the Professional Writers Association of Canada Award for Excellence in Humour, and is the 2010 recipient of the Mississauga Arts Award for Established Literary Arts. She is the Managing Director of 4WordsComm.com and has over 18 years of corporate marketing experience, with CIBC, Royal Bank, Telus and Coca Cola Foods. She has acted as corporate/media spokesperson/social media consultant for blue chip companies such as Procter & Gamble, Research In Motion, Presidents Choice Financial and LeapFrog Toys. Visit www.kathybuckworth.com or follow along at www.twitter.com/kathybuckworth
Kathy Buckworth Award winning author, I Am So The Boss Of You, Shut Up & Eat, The BlackBerryDiaries Feature writer Sympatico.ca, (Travel, Parenting, Auto) Columnist for ParentsCanada, Dabble, GoodLife, DisneyJunior Blogger for Huffington Post Canada, Funny Mummy Syndicated Column CTV NewsChannel, CityLine Contributor.