"Comedy Should Not be Censored!"

Parenting teens can often be a time of butting heads and disagreements. Some teens breeze through without this, but others seem to challenge boundaries at every turn. Staying consistent with boundaries while maintaining a positive relationship is crucial during these years, even when it is hard.

Last Christmas my 19 year-old bought the game, Cards Against Humanity. I had no idea what this game was about until someone visiting at the time mentioned I should check it out. I realize this game is wildly popular right now and I am in the minority, but I was appalled with the racial and sexual content. Because we had a house full of people and didn't have a chance to deal with it at the moment, so did what most sensible parents would do, I hid it.

Several weeks went by, company left, and frankly, I forgot about the game.........until the phone call. My son called us, wondering if we knew where the game was he had bought a few weeks before. We hadn't taken the time to go through the game yet, but I wanted a chance to do so before he played it with his friends. We explained that we would be home within the hour, would go through it, and then he could play it.

He was NOT happy. By the time we got home, he had found the game and was in the midst of playing it with his friends. Now it was my turn to be flustered. I reiterated what we had talked about on the phone, that I wanted to go through the game FIRST. I stayed calm, but quickly gathered up the cards while some of the teens helped me. The room was silent. My husband and I sat down and went through the cards. The rule for removing any cards was that we both agreed they had pushed our boundaries too far for something we would have in our home. When all was said and done, about 40% of the deck was removed and thrown away.

Our son was livid! After all, EVERYONE plays it and it is just comedy. "Comedy should not be censored!" was his main point. However, we had boundaries and morals for what we allowed in our home and we both agreed that this game in its entirety didn't work. We heard his viewpoint, but still kept firm in our decision. We understood why he was upset, acknowledged that we loved him and suggested he played the censored version.

When our children challenge us strongly, it shakes us, makes us question our stand. But it is at these times, we must stay calm, firm, and loving. Allow the opportunity for our children to explain their viewpoint and calmly explain ours.

As the days, then weeks went by, less was mentioned about the game and life went on. It just so happens that he took an ethics class for college that semester. A huge part of the class was a presentation on some controversial issue. My son's stand on "comedy should not be censored' was still firm, so he decided to tackle that for his presentation. Hours and hours were spent researching both points of view, formulating and supporting his position. At last the day came to give his presentation. Because he was well prepared with strong examples, the class and his professor were engaged with his presentation. As he brought out his game Cards Against Humanities which was missing 40%, and told the story about his parents' censorship in January, the class erupted in laughter.

He walked away feeling satisfied, a presentation well done. His professor said it was the most interesting topic and presentation he had ever had in his class and he got kudos from his classmates. I loved hearing about it, reading his presentation and seeing how he turned his position into a positive expression of opinion.

Although I haven't changed my personal opinion and the game is still missing a large chunk, my son still feels like his opinion was heard and knows we love him. We can talk and laugh about it and agree to disagree. And that's okay.

Author of Parenting Sensibly: Turning messes into successes.

Although being a mom to 10 keeps me moving, it did nothing for my weight or fitness; I have Jillian Michaels to thank for that! We are not Mormon or Catholic. Not only do I know what "causes" pregnancy, but consider myself somewhat of an expert. We do home school, but my mother, mother-in-law, aunt, uncle, and grandmother were all great public school teachers. I don't have all the answers and we are not a perfect family, but I love to share the helpful nuggets we have learned along the way.

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Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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