Friday, May 30, 2008

Big Plastic Bubble

What's your approach to your kids' activities at someone else's house when you're not present? This is a new experience for us, and I have to tell you that my discomfort level has risen considerably as of late.

When it comes to TV viewing, I'm one of those PBS-(and, okay, Disney)-or-die kind of parents. I set pretty firm TV and computer limits. We don't have any video game systems.

Other parents have much more, umm, relaxed standards when it comes to their kids' popular culture exposure.

Just recently, for example, Sean's told me of watching Spiderman cartoons (ack!) on Cartoon Network (double ack!), playing Guitar Hero (triple ack!), and watching Pirates of the Caribbean (heart attack!) at a friend's house.

(After just a few minutes, he told his friend that he didn't want to watch Pirates because it was too scary. So at least he's showing some self-monitoring ability).

I'm at a loss here -- do I address this with the parents and risk coming across as a snobby, condescending helicopter parent? Discourage the friendship in general? Encourage play dates only at my house?

And where can I get a refund on the big plastic bubble in which I encased Sean at birth? 'Cause it seems to have developed a large crack.