Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Made My Childhood A Thriller! What are your kids watching?
Children are innocent, tender, gentle and have not really experienced life yet. It is just their primary stage in this world, which makes them prone to being vulnerable.
How do I know this? Well, it happened to me. Oh yes! I was affected by those monsters; the boogeyman and everything that made me sleep in a fetal position at night.
It was not fun and it certainly was not how I imagined my childhood would be. Which is why I am writing this, in hope of parents becoming aware of what is going on in their child’s life.
I want to share two quick stories of how my childhood was affected in a matter of seconds, which began my stage of anxiety at such a young and precious age.
Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was the first traumatizing experience I have ever faced. I don’t know how I ended up watching it, but all I remember is that I was hiding behind my uncle’s back. My uncle brought the video over. I was only 4 years old. I really don’t blame my parents, because they were born in India and did not know much about monsters and horror movies.
After watching such a horrifying part of the short music video, my mind was in a different place. I now associated human beings to werewolves. I mean, if Michael could turn into a werewolf, then so can everyone else.
I could not sleep or use the bathroom alone. I had to be with one of my parents the whole time. I saw a psychiatrist at five years old .Yes, at five years old!
When you are five, you are laughing, playing with pets, jumping up and down without a care in the world. Nope, not me. Fear controlled my small fragile mind.
I cried going to kindergarten, when I was away from my home. As the kids were drawing and playing with toys, I hid under tables fearing that my petite small kindergarten teacher would turn into a werewolf and eat me.
My childhood was gone and that was just the beginning.
I believe my OCD started at this age when I started doing “weird” compulsions.
When I was about 12 years old, after playing hockey on our street with all the kids, one of the dads invited all us boys into the house for sodas and chips. As I entered alongside my older brother and my friends, I noticed as we went to sit down, there was a movie playing called Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was too young to just get up and leave and too afraid to speak up to tell their father to turn the movie off.
I saw this enormous Predator (Alien) with long dreadlocks and a horrific repulsive face. Here we go again. Just when I thought one incident was healed another one began.
I don’t know why this happened, but for some reason, ever since I saw bits of the movie Predator, I had this compulsion to go down the stairs in the basement with the lights off. As I went back upstairs, my thoughts would tell me to go back downstairs and further into the basement. After I did that, my thoughts once again said to go to the end of the basement with the lights still turned off and just stand there. This went on for a couple of months. I could not enjoy my childhood or even focus on school. I was just mortified with fear.
I tell you these stories, because I want parents to be extra careful of what their children are watching and doing. Think about it. I saw a glimpse of two videos and lost years of my childhood.
Horror movies should be eliminated for all children. This is just my opinion on this. TV should have parental locks and children must be informed and educated about this, so even if they are away from their parents, they will know that they are not allowed to watch such horror and violence that can easily affect them.
It is obvious that a child’s mind has not evolved and fully developed. And, like I said, that makes them vulnerable to anything and everything they see, in addition to what we say. Kids are smart. They are very observant and can absorb almost anything like a sponge.
Nowadays, there are phones, tablets, and computers and so on. So much technology is available and is there for kids to access.
You Tube is probably the biggest alternative to regular television. There are millions of videos out there. With that being said, there are also so many cartoons, which can entertain your children. However, there are also cartoons that contain sexual, rude, perverted and dirty humour that will be offensive to some.
If your child is on YouTube, I would recommend watching them just to be on the safe side.
Another thing I want to mention is, if you can, even watch family movies together, Disney cartoons or something child appropriate.
Whether it is television or a YouTube video playing, it is about spending quality time with your child.
You never really have control over what happens when your kids are a little older and at school.
Teaching them interesting facts about life, helping them with their homework, asking them how they are doing and how school is doing, can open up dialogue and communication between you and your child that leads them on a good path, because they are emulating things they are being taught by you. This way it can make it a safe bet that your child is steering clear of the bad things out there and is fully aware because of your good parenting skills.
I want your child to be a kid and have fun. I do not want them growing up the way I did. I just want you to be careful of what they are doing and watching, but most importantly not having to lose the greatest moments in their life.
I know for a fact you are a wonderful parent. And I wish your child all the best of happiness and success.\
Now if you’ll excuse me I am going to watch a horror movie . . . just kidding!
God bless you. Never give up!
Sincerely, Danny Gautama (The Fighter)