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Friday, August 24, 2012

To Be a Parent

Over the last month or so, I have watched a couple of different shows that I really like, and both happen to be aimed at teenaged girls and made in Australia.

The first is called H2O: Just Add Water. In this show, three teenaged girls accidentally happen upon a magical tide pool during a full moon. The water starts bubbling, and they fall in. Voila! They are now and forever after mermaids!

This is an awesome concept, and they spend a few episodes trying to come to terms with their new predilection for sprouting a tail anytime they touch water. From the very beginning, they all agree that they would tell NO ONE (except Lewis, a best friend who knows and vows to help them any way he can) about being mermaids.

This makes TOTAL sense to me because - as they clearly state - if the wrong person finds out their secret, they could easily find themselves seized by the government or a private corporation that will treat them as something other than human that needs to be experimented on. Their danger is VERY real.

BUT as the show goes on, all three end up telling their boyfriends. It became one of those trust things. At what point does a girl trust her boyfriend enough to tell him this huge secret? I agree that it was well done. I LOVED the entire series.

BUT... you sensed there was a but coming, didn't you? lol!

By the third season, I was getting SERIOUSLY angry at one of the girls because her father had proved time and again that he was a loving and trust worthy man. He was definitely portrayed as the type of man who would NEVER betray his daughter, and would accept anything about her. Yet, she went to great lengths to make sure that he NEVER found out her secret!

I can still sort of understand this. She had a bratty little sister that was the type to mouth off and use people to her advantage. SHE would probably have had no qualms about telling her sister's secret for her own personal gain. I can see how telling the dad would have made it MUCH harder to keep this secret from her sister. So, I swallowed my anger and disappointment.

Moving on, The other show I've been watching is called The Elephant Princess. I also really LOVE this show! The main character is a girl who was originally born in a magical world, and then for her safety, given up for adoption in the "real" world. The reason this was necessary was that she was the Princess and sole heir to the throne of this Magical Kingdom, and apparently there were some people who had killed the King and would surely have killed the Princess too.

In the first episode, Alex - the Princess - is told that she is really from the magical world, and has magic powers. At first, she resists this idea, and so insists that she is going to remain a regular girl, and NO ONE is going to know that she is a magical Princess.

That part I understand and makes total sense to me. But then - after she comes to accept her true heritage, there was a point when I think she SHOULD have told her parents. To back up a bit, after Alex found out that she actually was adopted, the show made a point of letting the audience know that her adopted parents truly loved her. They continually proved their love, and that they were good parents who just wanted her to be happy. Also note that she trusted both of her best friends enough to tell them about her almost from day one.

SO enter a part near the end of the first season when Alex has decided to accept her dual life as a Princess. Her friends even were intimidated into telling Alex's parents all about her, but they didn't believe it. Alex simply laughed it off, and never once considered telling them that it was all true.

THAT UTTERLY PISSED ME OFF!

I mean seriously! The girl has trusted her friends with her secret, but won't trust her parents? What did she think they would do if she told them? Forbid her from being herself? Demand that she never go back to her magical world? (Which she had been going back and forth between frequently.)

As a parent, in my opinion, even if they initially freaked out, they would have quickly come to terms with her secret and accepted her for who she was. BUT SHE NEVER GAVE THEM A CHANCE!

I'm scratching my head. How can a child who has a healthy and loving relationship with her parents keep such a wonderful secret from them with NO REASON?! Her initial reason - that she didn't want to be the Princess and therefore didn't want anyone to know about it - was no longer valid. The show never once provided a different and valid excuse for why she wouldn't tell her parents.

I feel that this was not a true representation of healthy, loving, family relationship. I think that most teenagers that are raised by open minded parents actually would consider telling their parents such secrets. BECAUSE if a child trusts their parents, they don't keep secrets!

I know there are exceptions. I know that most teens go through a phase where they want to keep everything a secret from their parents. I know that some people just keep everything a secret from everyone, but that's because they don't trust anyone. But in a situation where there IS trust, WHAT is the excuse???

I think that it is highly irresponsible of the writers and everyone working on the show to do this. It is basically saying: If you are a teenager and you have ANY secrets, whether you trust your parents or not, NEVER tell them!

I just don't understand it! Can someone explain to me how it is okay to tell teens to keep secrets from their parents even when there is no good reason to do so? Sigh...

Other than that, I think the shows are awesome, and recommend them for others to watch :-)
Have a happy day!

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