The original iPhone game was harmless and straightforward, but this movie, with the added power of narrative storytelling, teaches a dangerous message that says anger is proper motivation to accomplish goals. While it may be true in some respects, the way this movie explains it suggests that disrespecting others is okay in the process, as long as you follow your impulse.
It’s true especially today in our millennial culture of mobile devices and streaming options on-the-go, but I know of several parents who are not good at surveying what their kids watch, and how little they know about the media they are taking in. I even knew of a couple who let their six-year-old daughter watch the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie alone, a PG-13 movie which opens with hundreds of people getting hanged—not appropriate stuff for little girls to be watching.
While all parents must be cautious as to what they let their kids watch, there is an even greater threat to wrong morals getting picked up by kids with autism.
…which leads me into the point that I want to make today, which is how the expansion of an interest can lead to a lack of discernment between positive and negative messages. Anyone, autistic or not, can have this feel of loyalty to a franchise (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Twilight, to name a few) where their commitment prevents them from wanting any negative emotions towards the property. With autism, any flaws in the properties can be entirely blind to them. For instance, I was completely unaware of the negative messages sent from Drake & Josh until I grew up and looked back on the episodes I had memorized word-for-word.
Likewise, any child with autism could have an obsession over the Angry Birds franchise, so much so, that they could think that this movie is the funniest thing ever, and not understand what it does wrong. Therefore, they will mimic what the main character does to the other characters, which if left unchecked, could turn him into a bully at school, leaving him completely friendless.
I hate to say that the same happened to me, as Drake & Josh shifted my mindset in 8th and 9th grade to setting my priorities on getting a girlfriend. It’s not a bad goal, except my plans in doing so were forcibly harassing the pretty girls at my school, who frankly also had horrible personalities. I thought, if it worked with Drake Bell, it’s got to work for me too! Yet it did more harm than good to my goal, and once I stopped watching the show (due to it leaving primetime), my motives slowly changed to seeking out a girlfriend in the right timing, and purely because of her personality. Now, dating someone is not my priority, and all because I chose not to allow my obsessions to control my moral thinking.
Which is why I want to press how urgent it is for you to have that same discipline with what your children watch, it affects them more than you realize.
- Teach your kids to not let their obsessive interests control everything about their lives. Before they mature, movies, books, toys, and TV shows are their lessons on living, and they have to learn to spend less time with them and more time connecting with siblings and friends.
- Be cautious about the movies you show your kids, and pay VERY close attention to the ratings—they’re there for a reason! Yet even so, you have to know what your unique child can handle, and match that up with specific content described in reviews on the films they want to watch.
- Here is an excellent site to help to understand messages in movies and other media.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see reviewed, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!