Monday, April 6, 2009

Open-mouthed Kissing


It has been our Sunday tradition of late to eat popcorn and gather 'round the computer (we have no TV) to watch a movie in the late afternoon. We pick some family movie to download from Netflix. We usually default to what is acceptable for nine-year-old John.

We practice developmental parenting as much as I've practiced developmental education with John in our homeschooling journey. This means that we tailor our instruction as parents to what the children need and are capable of at that particular time in their development. There are no hard and fast rules as to what age is appropriate to make their own peanut-butter and jelly sandwich. There is no one right age to ride a bike, stop nursing, start walking, run a marathon, learn to read or climb trees. We pay attention to our children's development and then support and assist them as they move forward.

For very young children, we've not worried very much about movie content. Instead we rely on signals from them as to when the guidance part of PG will come into play. We are never certain what those specific signals might be. But, rest assured, we know them when we see them. Today, my friends, was that day in the Laughner household.

We watched Gracie. It's a great movie about Elizabeth Shue as a young girl. She fought passionately for and earned the right to play soccer on her high school boys' soccer team. As part of the story development, she has a few wayward moments where she smokes, cheats on a test, sneaks out at night, and... well, makes out with a boy. The thematic elements of this film, however, overrule our personal concerns about these particular issues, especially as the heroine ends up choosing the right path and those bad decisions are not glamorized in the least.

We know that John enjoyed the ability of this young woman to overcome great odds with determination and perseverance. You could watch his entire body join her as she struggled to train and face great opposition from her family, the community, her school and her team. He was jubilant as her family, especially her father, eventually rallied around her to help her be the person she was meant to be. It was quite inspirational.

Hannah was a little bored as it wasn't packed full of action or animals. She was climbing on me and sitting on the back of the couch. She went to the kitchen and got herself an apple. She was clearly not that interested or engaged in this cinematic presentation.

At one point however, she must have paid close attention. She was sitting beside me and said, "Mommy, let's kiss." This is not an unusual request so I said, "Okay!" I turned toward her to peck her sweet, little, innocent cheek. But I quickly stopped short as I faced a widely gaping diagonal mouth headed right for mine. For Hannah, this movie was not about great character traits. It was all about a fun new thing called open-mouthed kissing.

Back to G-rated movies it is!

1 comment:

Angela (HsvScrapGirl) said...

Too funny! Roger has tried that a couple of times saying "Kiss you like Daddy" Had to explain that one to him a few times.
I was out of pocket most of last week, so I have spent the last 30 minutes or so getting caught up!