Avengers. Godzilla. Batman. Superman. X-men. Mulan. Jack Skellington and the Nightmare Before Christmas. Star Wars. Power Rangers.
Unless you live under a rock, you’re probably looking at all of these and thinking “I love all those things from when I was a kid!” Like you, I’m in the same boat. They’re pretty commonly associated loves of fellow “millennials” like myself. Although I hate the cheesy label when I see it pop up in articles on LinkedIn, it’s pretty rare to find myself NOT relating to the things associated with it.
The funny thing about being in this demographic and raising a kid is that I often find myself completely amused by the fact that Leah has become so drawn to all of these over the past few years. My favorite part about all of it is that – aside from deciding whether or not she should watch it just based on violence and that kind of jazz – is that she’s actively asking to watch it without any kind of steering or direction from me. I never find myself saying, “Yeah Leah! I would love to watch the same Power Rangers episodes I watched in 5th grade again!”
If you’re a parent that prefers your child only read books and not consume any media whatsoever – and I know there’s plenty of you out there – there’s a good chance your kid has not familiarized themselves with all these things. Maybe your long-term plan just doesn’t have these in the cards for your kid and I respect that. However, there are positive things that can be gleaned from this type of situation.
Let’s be honest. You’re an adult. You probably have interests in adult things and, although you can tolerate them, you’re not flipping on Thomas the Train when your kid goes to sleep. Being present is the MOST important thing and being able to bond over shared interests – whether it’s in a relationship with a significant other, your child, a coworker – is crucial to developing a bond and closeness. What better way to explore this with your child than by sharing the things that interest you both?
Although Leah’s attempt to summon Zords (another Power Rangers reference if you’re counting) are hilarious, I have really seen a significant growth in her creativity and development over the past year. She has become more independent in her play and is able to increasingly use her imagination when playing with her toys. She dreams up all of these elaborate scenarios with her Legos, Mashums, and all the other crazy toys she has and it’s amazing when we play together how extensive her knowledge and creativity can be while doing it.
I attribute a large part of Leah’s ability to communicate to a few things outside of her love for all things Millennial – including her day care (and friends there) as well as having a vessel of teaching such as an iPad that we use to educate along the way. I do feel that in watching these shows and learning how these characters develop, including the emotional component that come alongside, has been a factor in her ability to communicate. Am I saying that watching Godzilla is directly leading to her being a smart little girl? No. I am saying that her environment and being exposed to many varieties of scenarios and ways that people interact is helping her evolve.
What kinds of things from your past do you and your kid bond over?