In my previous post, I got that NYT link from this blog post on BlogHer about the BFF phenom and how some girls, in her observation, use it to control their friendships.
She’s got an interesting point here, and makes me think about how some people have a need to control the relationships (and by extension the other person) in their life. We’re told over and over to beware of relationships with partners that might become controlling and dysfunctional but I would enlarge that to encompass friends, too. Or parents. Whoever.
When you think about it, the whole “best friend” thing, as the BlogHer writer mentioned, is pretty immature. It’s okay if you are in grade school (although that could be debatable), but as you get older, you should begin to see that there is a whole big world out there with lots of people to meet, and not limit yourself to just a small group of friends.
Or, worse, one friend.
No one person can meet all of your emotional, social and intellectual needs. Even introverts, whose friendship circle may be much smaller compared to extroverts, can have diversity in their friendships. Diversity is having friends that don’t necessarily think like or have all the same interests as you do. There is nothing wrong with connecting with someone on one thing, and nothing else.
And believe me, commonality has it’s place; I can talk for a long time with my brother about some random aspect on Star Trek or Batman or which X-Men movie sucked (it was The Last Stand, of course). With my spouse? Not so much. But there are plenty of other things we can talk about; he is not required to like Star Wars (although I did require that he see Revenge of the Sith with me and bro).
Bottomline: in my opinion, diversity in friendships contributes to maturity and makes life much more interesting.
Friday evenings are pizza and movie/game night at our house. Of course the movies have to be child appropriate and games don’t last long since my three year old has the attention span of…a three year old (we played Candy Land last week and it lasted about 5 minutes).
So, last night was movie week and we chose Disney/Pixar’s Cars. It’s rated G, so I thought it would be okay. But, SO and I were very uncomfortable with some scenes so we ended up turning it off.
In the beginning there is a race, and the cars are crashing into each other and #1 says, “The cars are hitting each other,” with a really concerned look on his face.
We’re like, great.
But we press on. The scene that did it for us was when the cars wanted to jump over some railroad tracks.
SO described it perfectly: he said this is basically a cartoon version of The Fast and the Furious. More appropriate for kids 8 or older. I am not one of those that thinks television magically causes people to be pathological. On the contrary, I think whatever kids watch reinforces what has already been planted by the people they imitate the most: mom and dad. But I am still very careful about what I allow #1 to watch.
For instance, I am a huge Star Wars fan. I cannot wait for the day when I can sit down with my boys and watch it with them (for those that know us, you know the SO could care less about SW, lol). I know people that have allowed their 4 and 5 year olds to see it. But I think the shooting and the lightsaber duels are a bit much for kids under 6 or 7. I will consider letting my kids see Star Wars at maybe 7 years old. And, at that, just A New Hope. The rest of them have a bit too much maiming…oh wait. Thinking of the scene in the cantina with old-head Obi-Wan…damn…Ok. I got a few years to figure this out.
Fortunately, #1 didn’t seem to care that we shut the movie down, but did want to print out Lighting McQueen to color. I guess we will stick to Thomas the train, Word World, Super WHY, Sesame Street-related stuff and Arthur.