Manners of the Heart® (MOH), a community-based organization headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is dedicated to transforming homes, schools and communities through instructional programs designed to build character, strengthen morals, and increase respectfulness among children and adults. This character education program, referred to as “Heart Education,” offers resources for children, parents, teachers and business professionals. MOH provides classroom application-level learning through our own evidence-based curriculum for students and professional instruction through seminars, workshops and conferences for adults.
We are a football-watching family. Young and old, we all enjoy Saturday and Sunday afternoon ballgames. Blood and guts on the field are part of the game. But this year, the blood and guts in the commercials for the new fall line-up, sent two of our grandsons running for cover, even more terrified when bedtime rolled around.
It’s not just the ads on TV that are rattling the boys’ bones. On the way to school, they’re seeing billboards of dead men coming alive before their eyes, begging their parents to come to the Haunted House around the corner.
It used to be that scary, creepy happened leading up to Halloween and then went away till the next year. But today, it’s with us year round and it’s more gruesome than ever. Think of the first releases of Harry Potter, Spiderman and Batman. Now, compare those with their latest releases. Quite different.
Hollywood used to portray the best in us. Today they portray the worst. We have become obsessed with the dark side.
So what can we do as parents and educators? Encourage children to look beyond the gore of zombies for their costumes to put the fun back in Halloween, while you work on doing something about the images the rest of the year.
Encourage your children to dress up as heroes, not villains. My sons’ favorite Halloween costume was the year they dressed as Ghostbusters in jumpsuits with proton backpacks and a floating “Slimer”. We painted Slimer’s face on a green helium-filled balloon and added green construction paper hands. Fishing line tied to one of the boys’ belts, held him in place.
What can you do about the gruesome images the rest of the year? Call the FCC. Call your local TV stations that carry the out-of-bounds horror shows in primetime. Let your voice be heard, for the sake of the children.
Isn’t it worth a little of your time to keep children from being terrified?
From our hearts to yours,