Scary clowns and racy lyrics are everywhere, or so it seems. I wish I could protect my kids from both!
Just when I thought all was safe, the clown appeared.
It was a Saturday night. Everyone was having a grand time. The men were watching college football, drinking beer. The women were drinking wine, nibbling on crackers with brie and salami, exchanging tips on skin exfoliation. The kids were under control playing E-rated video games. The computer had stringent parental controls on it. Or so we thought.
Near midnight after coming home from the dinner party, our 10-year-old walked sheepishly into our bedroom. He was having nightmares about something very, very scary.
“Have you ever heard of The Exorcist?”
We don’t watch horror films in our house—in fact I have never seen The Exorcist. My husband quizzed him. It turns out he and his friends had scoured the Internet looking for scary thrills—despite the parental controls placed on the computer. After watching Linda Blair’s head turning feat, they listened to some explicit rap on iTunes. And then they went back to YouTube where they terrorized each other with pictures of evil clowns. It was the scary clown that kept looping in his brain.
I thought our friends in Silicon Valley were extreme when they told us they banned their children from watching television or playing on the computer . But they know the business they work in.
No matter how much you try to control it, the Internet is a tricky place. One minute you are watching Tom and Jerry and the next minute you are fumbling over the mouse to get rid of the ads for sexy singles popping up on the screen.
So you turn to television and think, Disney must be safe, right? The next thing you know, your six-year-old daughter is waving the hand and text-talking like Hannah Montana—OMG, Mom!
So maybe, you think, pop radio is a little better. No sexy singles or talk-to-the-hand pre-teens to look at, right? Unfortunately, there are deejays on the morning show as you drive your kids to school: “So what did you say to him, Russell?” “I said, how about I go into your bedroom and steal your wife’s panties?”
And then there are lyrics.
It’s 5 o’clock in the morning, and I want ya And you want me, don’t ya? I can see it Cause you’ve been waiting on me since I said that I was hittin’ the club Something coming up on me And I know you be getting so horny Cause you be sending me texts Like boy just get your ass up in that car …
“Mom, what does horny mean?”
“Did he say ass, mom?”
So this is our reality—unless we move into a cave somewhere on a mountain. But even there, the kids would probably find a way to get YouTube…
I think my mother is right.
“Parents today are like Don Quixote,” she said. “You are tilting at windmills.”