I was hanging out with my kids today and the Disney film Mulan was on playing on the Disney Channel. I watched that film back when I was in high school, it seemed like it was a pretty okay message. But the undertones were subtle and very questionable. It is about a girl that spends the entire movie lying to everyone and in the end dresses up her fellow soldiers in drag to save the country from the evil macho men, the Huns. All men in this movie, except for the dad and the godlike emperor, were either fools or evil. And in the end, the entire country bows down before Mulan and honors her for her treachery.
Now, I know that sounds harsh, but before we get all wound wrong about what I am saying, let’s move on to the 30 minute tween sitcom that came on immediately afterward. It was WAY worse. All of the adults in the show are portrayed as idots and/or cruel. The teens all believe that they have a right to what ever they want, not matter what. They lie to each other and disrespect authority and spend the entire show manipulating people and each other and returning evil with evil. It was very reminiscent of satanist Alister Crowley’s “Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”
It was all packaged in a really cute and alluring wrapper. At the end of the show, my children sat around horrified as I explained point by point what they had just witnessed. My oldest, a thirteen year old, had the most insightful comment of all about the show. She said, “I know what they did was evil, but it made me want to do it too.”
Our children are constantly bombarded with dangerous messages by media. In our home, we have cable television, but the TV is rarely on. (When I say rarely, I mean turned off for weeks at a time.) And the children are never allowed to watch it alone if they ever are allowed to watch it. (Which is close to never.)
Children learn by what they witness. And if we are not monitoring the information they take in, and restricting the bad influences, or talking about important issues with them, someone will. Children do not live in a vacuum. They are surrounded and bombarded every day by the world that tells them that evil is good and good is evil.
Stop whining about your children’s bad attitudes and fix it. Turn off the TV. Shut off the video games. End their bad peer relationships and ground them when they disrespect adults. And guard them, because what you teach them when they are young will determine the majority of the misery they endure when they are old.
If you love your children, discipline them. If you don’t discipline them, you hate them. Children that grow up without rules, hate their parents for it. Trust me. I grew up without rules and many of my friends did. I grew up just like that show on the Disney channel, lying, manipulating and treating adults as though they were fools. As an adult, I have forgiven my parents, and a guide my children with a firm hand as much as possible, loving them more than how bad I feel when I have to enforce the rules, knowing that one day their lives will be easier to endure because they will know the truth.