Monday, July 14, 2008

Abusive Use of Power

I have a confession to make.  I sometimes (okay, maybe often) abuse my power as a mother.  Yes, I do.  

I do such abusive things as require my children to make their beds; GASP!  I assign morning and evening chores to each of my children; now you see why having four children is a blessing to me.  :-)   I ask my children to help with things like bringing in and putting away the groceries.  I make my children apologize to one another when they have wronged another family member by their attitude or actions.  I've been known to lock my children outside the back door (twice) until they can settle their squabble because I didn't think I should be in the middle of it and I had no patience for it (this not only saved me, but probably them as well!).  I've abused my power by asking one of my children to get me something (the newspaper, a drink, a pencil, etc...) after just sitting down and finding myself too tired to get back up to obtain said item myself.  Shocking, I know!   

However, in the last couple of weeks, I've really outdone myself.  Brace yourselves; the confession is coming..........I've made my children watch episodes of the first season of "The Waltons!"  

I can just hear the murmurs now, "Psssst.....did you hear what Pastor Dave's wife did?"  "Oh, yes she did!"  "Can you believe it?"

Yes, I did ask my children to watch The Waltons with me, and although they won't tell you this....they liked it.  Well, they did give me the obligatory, "Do we have to?"  but they do that about a lot of things.  Anyway, when I saw the "The Waltons" on Netflix, I thought, "Hey, that would be a good summertime program to watch as a family."  

I have fond memories of watching "The Waltons," and I realize that dates me, but I'm not hiding my age from anyone anyway.  I loved that it was set during the depression era; I empathized with not having any money.  I loved that the family worked through things together.  I loved that John Walton (not to be confused with John Boy) stood up for his family.  I loved the way the grandpa and grandma "quarreled" with one another.  I loved the lessons taught by each episode.

I began to think that those things would be great for my children to experience this summer instead of using their TV time to watch shows which I often think run high on "entertainment" and low on "life lessons."  So, I added "The Waltons" to my queue on Netflix and secretly waited for the disc to arrive.  

When the familiar, red Netflix envelope appeared in the mail, the children excitedly open it only to ask the following questions:  "Hey, who ordered this?"  "What is this?"   "Do we have to watch this?"  "Can we send it back?"  

Yes, I have delightful and passive children who always lovingly oblige to what I request of them.  NOT!

Anyway, we began with the first episode while having our "pizza picnic" on the living room floor.  Yes, the opening of the show is WAAAAYYY longer than the opening of today's TV shows.  Yes, the show does seem to move slowly at times (which is part of why I like it).  Yes, the special effects are often corny by today's standards.  And yes, (are you ready?)  my children have slowly been captured by the characters and the story lines.  DON'T TELL THEIR FRIENDS!  :-)

So, I imagine we will slowly work our way through the rest of season one only to move on to season two.  It will take a while and I don't want to overdose my children (because that would REALLY qualify as abuse), but I simply love the values and lessons that are taught through the lives of this large family that lived on a mountain during the depression.  

Yes, I've abused my power as a mother, but I do believe my children will thank me for it later (or at least they will have one more thing to make fun of me about when they are with their friends).


RWC said...


gini said...

How fun! What a wonderful way to spend time with your kids! Don't you just love summer break?