the network for radical unschooling families
I admit to sometimes saying to one of my kids, who was feeling drawn to something that I perceived as violent/aggressive, "Why do you want to watch that anyway?",
Something I've found helpful is asking that question of myself - why does my child want to do this thing? and consciously step away from my first reactions, my knee-jerk, worried-mom reactions while I think about it. Why do people enjoy watching and playing with violence? The worried-mom reaction is "something's wrong!" but what if nothing's wrong? What other reason could there be? Stepping away from my fears, I've gotten to see my kids play with violence as a way to think about ethics. What's good and bad? When is violence okay? What are extenuating circumstances? Complex human questions, really, and younger kids, especially can only really think about those things via play. Is it bad for Tigger to eat Piglet? I mean, he's a tiger...
I guess I still feel like in the end, though, it's perhaps the parent's responsibility to make a final decision? I KNOW it's "their life", but isn't it our job to guide and protect?
What are you trying to guide them towards and protect them from? That's something to think about. Along with that, consider why you think its necessary to guide and protect them - do you fear they'll be "sucked in" by violent images? Or are you trying to protect them from being scared?