(Check the two videos embedded in the post on Taylor Swift and Frida)
There is a lovely discussion going on in one of the unschooling forums that I am part of on facebook. One parent is seeking advice as to what she can do when her kids listen to music that has sexual content or words and feelings of angst in them. She feels uncomfortable with the music and is concerned about what impressions such music will make one her children.
I feel when it comes to music, art, cinema, or any kind of media and life in general, we really need to question the word ‘impressionable’. I want to know why this word has so much fear and negativity attributed to it. Of course the human mind is impressionable and we are each planting seeds of impression in each other. We are each reflecting and mirroring and leaving signs and symbols for the growth and development of the other. I have made it a point to get deeper into stuff that create maximum discomfort in me. As I have seen after many experiences that internal discomfort is the start of breaking a wall within which is often life altering and liberating.
When our children listen to music, the lyrics of which cause some discomfort in us, I have seen it helps to pay attention the fear and images such words evoke in us. And examine deeply the root of such fear and the nature of the images. And that process helps me as a parent to examine if I am projecting my own past fears, judgments or future fears on the present moments of my children.
Censuring often prevents a parent to connect deeply with the children and also with oneself. Every crossroad of discomfort is a point where one can be free from paranoia.
Recently I saw the paintings by Frida Kahlo that she painted lying on her bed most of her life…thanks to my dear friend and unschooling mum, Hema Bhardawaj..who is an artist. They are pretty graphic and some had very dark sexual content and dark emotions and feelings according to me..so are we going to censure our children from that kind of art too?.
I would watch with my kids if they are keen and take on any questions that came up..and also be aware of any discomfort those images evoke in me…Of course many parents are ‘religious’ and have different set of moralities as to what needs to be filtered..I do feel that does not work deeply though if one wants to make ‘unschooling’ work. My father was very moralistic when I was a child. And I am an Indian. My mother tried to break past her childhood conditioning to raise us and tried to see things more broadly without fear, even though she did not manage it all the time..But those windows of freedom shaped me and my sister in amazing ways and helped us to be more and more inclusive in our world perspectives…:)