Monday, January 11th, 2010
Mythologizing your childhood for your kids?
The Daily Show gets to the heart of our dissatisfaction with how crappy things have become. We want our childhood back. (Sorry, there’s a lame commercial at the start.)
Bonus catch: The 1930s woman featured in the video is Clara, the star of Great Depression Cooking, as seen in Baby Link Roundup #6,825.
The point of the comedy clip is that we mythologize our childhood, our salad days, remembering mostly the good things, cementing them in our memory as the way things should be today. And as parents, the way we should raise our kids today.
A better word for this is nostalgia. It’s what’s behind some of our toy purchases, and the activities and interests we teach our children.
Or maybe not. I could run down a simple list of childhood memories I’m sharing, or planning to share, with my kids, and memories I’m intentionally going to avoid.
- Favorite films
- Lego bricks and Lincoln logs
- Cats (pets)
- Board games (good ones, see below)
- Cycling and caving
- Many board games (No Monopoly, Life, etc. See: In search of better board games: saying no to nostalgia)
- Star Wars toys or most movie paraphernalia
- Toy guns or any toy with violent imagery. I even made our tiny Lego people relinquish their weapons.
- Video game consoles (This view evolved since becoming a father. I have to figure out how best to rid myself of my long-saved crate of Atari 2600 gear.)
On the flip side, there are also activities that are far outside the scope of anything I might have imagined myself letting my kids take an interest in, such as Capoeira. The nostalgic equivalent would be karate or ballet classes, both ideas I eschewed early on.
How about you? Are you resurrecting childhood favorites for your kids, or plowing into unchartered territory? Or would you care to assess the percentage of nostalgia you have planned vs. new experiences? 50% A New Hope and 50% The Phantom Menace?