Saturday, June 25, 2005

Orion is watching Clone Wars, sitting in his training pants (and temporary tattoo) on a comfy gamer's chair under the ceiling fan and eating a corn dog. Ahh, what a life. And, why not? He's three.

But soon, he'll be ready to start learning about cause and effect. He's learned the alphabet, is starting to read words, so linear thinking will set in. And then, it will be my job to teach him to contribute. It's so easy to forget to do this. We get busy, everybody working and doing their own things, living in their own heads. But it can be simple. Like Aubrey helping with the babysitting and picking up. And not for money, or favors. Why do we think we have to bribe our kids to do everything?? They are part of a family unit and pitching in helps them realize they are needed, and valued.

It's a challenge to me to remain vigilant in this because I get caught up in my artistic visions and thoughts and, well, okay, I get distracted because I'm a little nuts. (It comes with the job.)
This is important. We're a family unit. There are x hours in the day:x for doing necessary things and x for fun. We have to all pitch in so everybody benefits. If they learn this at home, might they not apply it to larger units, like maybe our country? We do what we can, and hope.

Phillip, my other son, is wrestling with this very issue from his point of view in the military. Monkey: Green, Black, and Brown He grew up with lots of comforts too, relative to lots of kids--though not quite as many as Orion. (I was younger and had less when he was three. )Now he's spent time in other cultures and after several years of living 'in the field' so to speak, with few comforts, he's gained some perspective but has become bitter about those who have excess and don't feel the slightest responsibility to give something back.

So, we can teach responsibility to our kids, against the overwhelming current of the media's teaching the absolute opposite. But can we do more than this as artists, writers, performers? Does having an audience give us greater responsibility?

What do you think?

If you're wondering why I haven't been posting images, it's mostly because my chief photographer is visiting her grandmother. And, uh, she took the best camera with her...
But work is going on...the SlaughterHouse is beginning to look a little scary.

And, we're still getting submissions for Tiny Stories, but there is room for many more. Please keep at it, and pass the project on.SlaughterHouse Studios: Tiny Stories


david golbitz said...

Clone Wars was such a cool show. Way better than the Prequel movies.

As for the responsibility bit, it definitely begins at home, and not with bribes, but, as you said, by teaching them what a family is, and that everyone is important, and everyone has to help out.

The having an audience part, I think, depends on who that audience is. If you create something intended for adults, then, of course, there's a responsibility not to, say, advertise it to children, but a lot of that responsibility falls on the parents of the child, not to allow them to view something that is not intended for them.

But if your audience is children, or a more all-ages group, then yes, I believe that it is the responsibility of the artist to make certain that, whatever your creation is, it is appropriate.

Eventually, of course, children should be allowed more freedom to decide what is appropriate for them, be it a book, movie, work of art, comic, etc.

Carl V. Anderson said...

It is really important to give children "jobs" early on so that they do understand and feel that they are part of the family and learn the satisfaction of contributing to the home. I think it is a great opportunity to teach kids the value of money if you give them tasks to complete for "allowance", but even when our daughter was old enough to do that she still had to do certain jobs just because that was/is her part of life in our family.

Having her own money has given us the opportunity to teach her about giving to others, saving, and spending. Its worked out well and was something I wish I had learned more of growing up.

Speaking of your other son, he has and interesting point. I was watching a very insightful interview of Charles Barkley (probably my all time favorite basketball player) and he spoke at length about the need and desire to continue to use all the gifts given him to make a difference in this life. It is important for us to instill this in our kids when they are young so that rich or poor they practice giving of themselves and of their blessings to others.

And regarding Orion, throw out the training pants and it sounds like the way I'd love to spend the evening!