Thanks very much to Tracey for joining in this week of guest posts here. Tracey was one of the first people I really got to know when I started blogging and she has always been supportive and encouraging to those bloggers around her. Tracey is a single mum to 10 year old Olivia. She says she is permanently on the go, always confused and never without coffee! Over to Tracey now for a bit more about herself and her guest post.
Hi, One Frazzled Mum is my outlet to get the words out of my head that keep me up late at night whilst allowing me to indulge in my passion of writing my own short pieces of fiction.
Why I Like My Daughter To Feel Uncomfortable
These days it’s very rare I watch adverts on TV. Very rare. Mostly thanks to an ever so slight addiction to Greys Anatomy hence I am getting my money’s worth on my box set subscription with Sky. There are hardly any adverts on the box sets. So if I do end up having to watch them it is because of Olivia. The Disney Channel and Greys Anatomy are pretty much the only things to grace our screens so far this year, so you could be forgiven for thinking the only ones I have seen are all baby and toy-related. But actually, they aren’t.
As we were sat in my bedroom, watching Disney Channel of course, before bed. I looked up from my laptop and Olivia was looking undoubtedly uncomfortable. I could hear what was on TV and I watched her shift in her position perched on the end of my bed with a felt tip in her mouth and colouring in page in front of her. She wanted to watch but I could see her squirming ever slightly. Eventually, her eyes found their way back down to what was in front of her.
It wasn’t the first time this had happened. I had seen it before many a time and I welcomed it. Yes, I know how awful that sounds. I welcomed my child feeling and acting uncomfortable. Do I derive pleasure in this? Is it a form of punishment and I force her to do it on a regular basis? Yes and No. No I don’t force her nor is it punishment, but sometimes yes. I like to see her feel a little uncomfortable at times. Watching her, and from my perspective at least, being exposed to things she may never encounter in her lifetime personally.
What on earth did she see you are thinking? A charity advert. You know the type. Where the narrator tells you of the story of the young child on screen who walks all day to fetch water for their family bare foot and the water isn’t clean. Designed with the shock factor at the forefront to grab your attention and want to help. To make you feel something, anything about what you have just watched and be compelled to do something about it. 30 seconds is all they have to reach you. So it’s a short sharp tug at your conscience (and heart strings) in the hope you will donate to their cause.
For some adults, the general consensus is that this way of fundraising has lost the aforementioned shock factor and maybe you think so too, but to a 10-year-old? A 10 year old who lives worlds away from the poverty endured by the children in these plights, the shock factor is well, it’s pretty shocking and hits right in it’s intended spot.
And I welcome it. Is it wrong for her live in complete oblivion to what is happening in the world around us? Should I leave her, living in a first world country as she is, to be protected from the harsh realities of the outside world and be left to live happily in ignorance thinking it’s not her life so it’s not really her problem? Is that the type of daughter I want to raise in today’s world? No, it’s not. Yes, the images are a little disturbing. The topics slightly uncomfortable for some. But does that mean we brush it under the carpet and shy away from it.
Because in my experience ignorance breeds ignorance and by sheltering our children from the world around them it gives them an unrealistic view of how others live their life. Sure I have limits, I mean I’m not going to start letting her watch Crimewatch or regularly tune into the crime and investigation channel. But how do we expect our children to learn about other countries. About other ways of life if they have no experience of it? No knowledge, no frame of reference. Even if all they know comes from just a TV advert.
How do I know sitting at my laptop on this day in 2017. That that TV advert didn’t just have some fundamental effect on her. One which could change the way she thinks about the world good or bad? Could it be the catalyst to propel her away from wanting a future lived in front of a video camera to one of a more caring selfless nature? Because if she is unaware of the issues faced by many people every single day of their lives, how can she fully explore the world around her.
So as her mum I welcome this advert and those like them. In an age where children are molly coddled and protected from anything and everything more than ever before, I do welcome this. The more they make her think and feel. Act and react to what she sees around her the better in my opinion. For there is a big wide world out there and she is part of its future.
Huge thanks to Tracey for writing this piece especially for this series – be sure to leave her some lovely comments and check out her social media sites below:
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