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Monday, November 4, 2013

Kids and Life

I've said this before and I'll probably say it again, but one of my biggest pet peeves is how they portray kids on TV or in books. It's a bit reflective of how it is in real life, but it's worse on TV. NO I'm not talking about the attitudes of the kids on TV, I'm talking about how they simply try to avoid them. Let me explain.

Take Stargate for example. The main character's child died before the beginning, because he wouldn't have considered taking the job if he still had a family. The second main character got married and was working on a family, so of course his wife was kidnapped and her child was raised by beings from a spiritual plane. The female main character had an opportunity to adopt a child at one point, but since that would have ruined her job, the child was adopted by a recurring background character instead. Lastly, the last main character had a son, but he was raised by his mother on a different planet so that he wouldn't be in the way.

Or take Star Trek voyager. There were no kids on the ship to begin with, and in real life, kids probably would have happened relatively quickly as the stranded crew members paired up to cope with being so far away from home that they probably wouldn't ever get back. However, no kids were allowed (by the writers or creators of the show). When two of the characters FINALLY admitted that they loved each other and got married and conceived a child, it coincided with the end of the series. Which is TVland's way of saying that characters can't have kids while having adventures and that parents can't have adventures because they have kids to take care of.

Last example: This show isn't out in space at all, it's on a farm. On Mcleod's Daughters, anytime someone on the show had a baby, they either died or moved away (off the show), except for the very last baby, which was born literally right before the show ended.

The point is that on TV, unless the show is specifically a family show - usually a comedy - the main characters aren't allowed to have kids. (There are rare exceptions.) I HATE that! The reason why they do it is because they don't want the reality of having kids to interfere with whatever job the characters do on the show.

It's the same in most books. The characters MIGHT get pregnant in the story, but the story is almost always over before the kids are born. I've done it myself, mostly because I think readers would shoot me if I tried to write a story in which the main character is an assassin or something and she brings hers kids along with her when she's working.

That said, in real life, my belief is that people should not live their lives AND THEN have kids. I believe that people should live their lives AND have kids. That once they have kids, they should continue to live their lives and bring their kids with them. Take for example Stargate...

IF the female character HAD adopted that little girl OR the character with the son had taken the responsibility of raising his son, they could have brought the kids with them on their missions. Probably not right away, before they had verified the safety of the situation, and NOT when they knew that blowing up a spaceship might be on the agenda, but the rest of the time. Their kids would have learned SO much! Diplomacy, logistics, science, language, and then all the skills that are involved in self defense and being a team player.

It pisses me off because it is indicative of the backwards values of America in which it is expected to basically keep our kids in a safe little box where they can do nothing but go to school and MAYBE play some sort of sport. However, I have noticed that even that is getting watered down because of the possibility of getting injured. Anytime a parent lets their child do something "dangerous" - such as drive a car before they are considered old enough, or try to cross an ocean on their own - the parent is practically charged with being a bad parent.

Okay okay, I'll step off my soapbox now. Deep breath in... and exhale. Okay :-)

There ARE some good examples of movies and books that show kids having adventures - such as Harry Potter or Percy Jackson... I would so LOVE to be able to send my boys to camp half-blood!!! But notice, those stories always have the parents elsewhere. Ever wonder why Harry Potter is one of the highest earning series of books and movies? It's because it shows the world that risking one's life and having an adventure is not just for adults. Plus magic :-D

I just wonder what a story would be like if it showed parents and kids having adventures together, along the lines of the Incredibles. :-)

Anyway, I really just wanted to come online and post this picture that shows Scrooge McDuck giving Darkwing Duck some really good advice about having an adventurous life AND a family :-D

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