Sunday, 7 August 2011
Supernanny, Sexualisation & Protecting Your Children
Reg Bailey, chief executive of the mother’s union, will be publishing a report on how to protect children from “sexualisation”. Many U.K retailers have agreed to stop selling inappropriate clothing to youngsters. The report will touch upon things like covering up sexy magazine covers on store shelves and restricting steamy music videos to older teens and later viewing hours.
Super Nanny’s, Jo Frost, said this “Parents voices need to be heard and respected. It is everyone's responsibility in society to protect our children. Outrageous, sexualised imagery, inappropriate retail for our young, the list is shamelessly endless. Our children are being subjected to deplorable advertising and media making it hard for parent’s everyday to control these surrounding images day in and day out that they are exposed to. Rules need to be put in place, boundaries to be made. Steps aggressively need to be taken to morally do the right thing to protect the innocence of our children today.”
I agree with this issue 100%. It is why I write uplifting kids and young adult books. I have ten nieces and nephews and the stuff they watch, they buy and are subjecting too are shocking. Now, I am not a goody two shoes. In fact I think parents and the government have got things wrong in some respect. I grew up in the 80’s and loved a show called “Dragonball Z”, which is no longer showed in the U.K, as it is said to be too violent.
Now, this show was about a kind hearted martial artist saving people and protecting the world, it gave messages of if you work hard enough you can achieve anything, help those that can’t help themselves, always do the right thing, put other people’s needs before your own, take care of your family. It inspired me to go into martial arts, which I still do to this day.
So, that is banned, but Nicole Scherzinger dancing half naked, no, she wore less than that at 8am on TV, is allowed? Where are the positive messages in that? I grew up on movies like Never Ending Story, Labyrinth, Willow, Witches, E.T and these really amazing movies with dark themes of losing loved ones, being lost, being alone, but things people connect with and actually have to face.
They showed you how to overcome these problems and keep moving forward. These days kids programs are pretty dumb. Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter do not count, as they are across the board stories/movies for adults and kids. I mean you look at the standard of kid’s movies today, what lessons do they teach?
I am 100% behind the Bailey report. I think there is too much sex and violence. I am out and about promoting my book and the amount of horror, erotica and romance books seem to easily out weight kids/teen books. Now, I am not having a go at those authors, they don’t write for kids, but I am saying society as a whole has allowed sexualisation to become an everyday thing.
It wasn’t like that 50 years ago. My only issue is that you shouldn’t be scared of what you teach children, but you shouldn’t let them grow up too soon. I don’t like the fact my nephews have cell phones, laptops and things like this. When I was their age I was out playing man hunt with my mates, playing football, going on fun adventures with my dogs and just having fun.
I did these things because kids are impressionable. We all know this. I would watch Dragonball Z, no, earlier than that. I would watch Thunder Cats, He-Man or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and be like “Thunder Cats are Go!” and me and my mates would go be thunder cats for an hour. Today kids programs are dumb downed, even many of the books I read my nephews are silly. They are not inspiring, they are not motivational, they don’t teach you important lessons, but not lessons directly.
You learn by watching your heroes and going “Wow, I want to do that. I want to be like him/her.” These days children’s heroes are...? Buzz Lightyear is a given! But you go from Buzz, hero of an innocent child, and then you have young boy/girl who should be running around like idiot suddenly want to grow up aged 11 or 12 and start looking at people like Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and what not. They get obsessed with body, looks, appearance, when they should be having fun.
I think this Bailey Report can only be a good thing. I made a conscious decision when I wrote my kids/teen book that I wanted to tell a clean, exciting, uplifting and positive story that would inspire kids to think for themselves and be what they want to be. I wrote a book about a wonderful puppy and this loveable granddad type figure that set out on a journey to save their friends, they go on adventures, learn things about their friends, themselves and about helping others.
I wanted to do a throwback to those awesome 80’s movies that inspired me to go into martial arts, to become a writer, to take care of my family and to be the best possible person I can be. These are the messages that we should be setting out for our kids, which is why I 100% support the Bailey report.
I appreciate you taking the time to read.