S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate Plus membership. The following podcast contains explicit language.
S2: Welcome to Mom and Dad are fighting Slate’s parenting podcast for Thursday October 17th.
S3: The you need to calm down Ed.. I’m Jamilah Lemieux a writer and contributor to Slate’s Karen feeding parenting column cultural critic communication strategies and moms and AMA who is 6 and we are based in Inglewood California.
S4: I’m damn place I’m an editor and writer at Slate and the author of How to Be a family. I live in Arlington Virginia and I’m the dad. Lyra who’s 14 and her British trouble.
S2: I’m Rebecca Lavoy. I’m the journalist and host of the podcast crime writers on I live in New Hampshire and my kids are Henry who’s 18. Teddy through 16 and a half and my step daughter Lily who’s 19 today on the show we’ve got a question about just how much you should disclose to your children about your mental health issues and about yelling something that I’m sure my fellow co-hosts.
S3: Can relate to having some issues with. It’s a constant struggle in my household and on Slate Plus we’re going to be talking about horror movies with spooky time guys are you your kids into it or are you chicken like Rebecca and I have that conversation.
S2: You have to join us on Slate Plus at Slate that com backslash mom and dad. Plus.
S3: As we always do we’re starting the show off with triumphs and fails. Dan do you have for us this week a triumph or a fail.
S5: I have a question mark. I have. I sort of view it as a triumph but I think it could some listeners may feel this is a real failure so I’m curious what listeners saying when we post this episode. So I think for the first time ever.
S6: My daughter my older daughter Lyra who is a ninth grader this year asked to just stay home from school not because she was sick not because she was feeling overwhelmed and needed a mental health day not for any of those reasons but just because she thought what they were doing in school that day was stupid. She didn’t want to go and I said yes. So that is the question today. It’s actually today at Yorktown High School in Arlington Virginia. It’s an early release day so this happens every once in a while during the school year. It’s a half day for professional development for the staff in the afternoon so schools post and a twelve thirty and we got this e-mail a couple of days ago saying here’s what’s going on during the early release day I’m actually gonna read it to you. Wednesday October 16th is an early release day so the Yorktown staff can engage in professional learning activities in the afternoon school and at twelve thirty for that day during the second day.
S7: During the school day Yorktown 10th and 11th graders will take the PSAT and there’s a whole thing about why the PSAT is important and why you’re 10th 11th graders should take it. While 10th and 11th graders are testing ninth graders will watch like a documentary on the impact of social media on our lives and engage in reflective activities related to the documentary. They will also hear a speech from the acting interim superintendent of school so that is what my ninth grader was meant to be doing this morning from 830 to twelve thirty. Amen. Mildly exacerbating the situation is that she missed a day of school just before she missed Tuesday. Monday was a holiday but she missed Tuesday because we were on vacation and the flight our flight did not get back on time for her to make it to school on Tuesday. So there’s sort of there’s a little push and pull there right. She missed school so I was a little loathe to have her miss another day of school. But she also has a bunch of schoolwork that she needs to catch up on there’s some that she did while we were on the trip but she could still stand to catch up on more and and when she asked.
S8: My first impulse was like to be like No you’ve got to go to school and do the thing. But then I read this e-mail and I was like let’s just sounds so dumb.
S6: Maybe there’s maybe like listeners we’ll be like Dan my kid watch this documentary and they shut down their Instagram account and now don’t use a cell phone and they all the power at our house is comes from our horse drawn cart. I don’t know but I like the idea of her like watching a documentary on social media with everyone and then doing an activities based on it and then having a speech from the superintendent like that just seem like a totally lame day especially when what she needed from school that day was to like catch up on her stuff.
S8: So I said no you know what actually you don’t go to school that day.
S7: The requirement is like during those hours you need to like be catching up on your homework and if you have completely finished your homework and and are fully caught up then you can read a book or something like You can’t be on your phone.
S6: But no you don’t have to go to school for this dumb shit. But what do you. Is that a triumph for failed guys.
S9: No it’s fine. I mean she is in school if she’s teaching her schoolwork she’s fine. I mean it sounds like to be real your kids school the PSAT is basically taking up all of the budget resources in space. My kid is also taking the PSAT today but they’re doing it off campus like at a different place. They basically are shipping out all the kids are digging the PSAT to a different school today. But it sounds like they were like OK what the fuck else are we going to do with all these other kids.
S10: All right exams they need teachers as writers and they all the rooms for the kids. Yeah. Yeah.
S11: She’s being productive. She’s doing her schoolwork. I think it’s fine. I think it’s completely fine.
S9: And also I think it’s really good when there are opportunities to actually listen to your kids and when you’re reflexive thing is like No because you can’t just miss school when you want to. But when you actually think about the argument they’re making and her it seems really like logical. It is absolutely a triumph to occasionally listen to them when they tell you that something is do better wrong and right now we’re going to this thing with Teddy where he wants to drop math and I don’t I don’t fully understand what the consequences of that are I don’t know if he’s actually finished with his required math or high school or not but if he is finished with his required math and he wants to drop math like half of me is like FUCK NO YOU CAN DROP math the other half is like why not. Like why can’t he drop math. Why can’t I listen to him like he doesn’t want to do it his family it. He has this very like humanities focused set of interests he is if he’s technically done like why shouldn’t I support that decision. You know what I mean. So I think it’s fine. I think it’s totally fine.
S12: I think so too. I will say part of me is curious about that documentary you know and I and you know it maybe it’s really good. I just wish or it may have been a different conversation had they booked a better speaker to follow. Thank you Mary. I don’t know too many kids they’re excited to go listen to the acting superintendent of school like.
S13: Like is it Nick Cannon because I can’t imagine that your daughter is the only one who said I’m not going.
S12: And I appreciate that she. The difference between your daughter and me at that age is that I respect that she asked you permission and said look this is silly don’t you agree with me as opposed to doing what I would have done which is leaving the house going to Starbucks waiting till my mother left for work and coming back home to watch here Springer.
S14: Yeah me too. Yes but I’m very pro kids Kim and my daughter misses school all the time. I’m awful about it. We’re going you know we’re traveling for a day now we live in L.A. they get all this time off but most places get two days for Thanksgiving we’re taking an extra day or whatever. This time is valuable and sometimes just downtime is valuable. And she’s doing schoolwork agreed.
S15: It’s different though when kids are older like we used to be very we used to take off for like anything but the last couple of years have been a real lesson in like like you can really fuck up your kids and get them out of school for a couple of. That’s very true. And so we’ve really had to like moderate that a lot. And
S6: so this trip we took to which I’ll talk about a little bit later in the show. This trip we took was like All righty that was like a stretch and I think that was what made me nervous about one more day. But I agree it’s not like she was gonna learn anything and this one more day having a day at home where she does her homework is probably actually going to help her with reentry. So thank you for bolstering my sense that this was a triumph. I appreciate that.
S16: I’m curious to know because your children are older.
S14: How much do you disclose to your children about how wack school is. Because I don’t believe in homework. I think it’s oppressive. I think it’s a cruel thing to do to families who want to have some quality time and most teachers agree you know. But it’s still most kids end up at some point having a lot of homework to do. And I think it’s called a miss a day here and there. And I think a lot of what they’re forced to learn is just you know even in the best schools is quite mediocre you know or time wasted.
S12: So like how much of that do you say to your kids because I don’t want to like have her like yeah you know fuck school mommy says way you know to her and reinforce some of the whacks after making her do.
S17: Yeah but if you’re on the same team about it like if she loves it like I wouldn’t this abuser of the notion that it’s awesome. I mean that’s such a gift when you hear about kids who like loves aren’t going to school. My stepdaughter was like that she frickin loved school even when I saw her doing things that I thought were bullshit like she loved it and I’m like I’m not gonna take that from her because that is a gift that like most people don’t get. But you know I think it’s it is good to be transparent about your feelings about it because then when there’s stuff that you know they just have to do like they are much more likely to do it. If you agree with them you’re like OK I agree with you. This is totally B.S. but whatever. This is a thing you have to do and you know I’ll help you get through it or whatever. Like they will buy into that much more than they’ll buy into like no this is a valuable skill that you’ll use for the secret life when you know that it’s not like they know when you’re be asking them. They totally know especially as you get older so I think it’s fine to disclose but definitely don’t disclose more than you need to if there are things that she likes but it is OK for instance to let them know when something they’ve learned is wrong. Like I do all day I do that all the time. It’s like no that’s not right it’s wrong.
S6: So I have a very specific rule about this actually which is that commiserating about about how the stuff they’re learning seems dumb or how like a general school rule is bad or about how like the way the school is structuring things or decisions that they’ve made are troublesome. I think all that is ok but I have a very specific personal rule about not talking teachers individual teachers or the work that they do unless it’s like unbelievably outrageous because I’ve always had this philosophy that know like teachers Life is hard enough every day. And the best gift I can give a teacher is to be on the teacher’s side. If there are some like you know basically frivolous debate. All right. Rebecca what about you. Try or fail.
S18: I have a triumph. Actually Teddy has a triumph. Let’s be real. He finally got a real part in the school musical this year. I mean he’s had decent parts before two years ago they did. Bye Bye Birdie and he was in like this quartet. So he had a good singing part but not any acting parts. Last year he was in the chorus of what do they do last year. What’s that thing. Once Upon a Mattress. And this year they’re doing the Addams Family musical which I don’t know anything about. I haven’t seen it. I don’t know anything about it but that’s their doing. And he got the part of lurch beating out his friend Tommy with whom he’s always in competition for parts because Tommy is also like a big baritone. But Tommy is by the way literally almost seven feet tall and somehow because of Teddy’s exceptional singing voice he beat him out for the part of lurch which means he has to wear stilts on stage when he plays his part so that he’s taller that his friend and he’s super excited about it. And of course we are too and it’s like you know like the hierarchy of high school even if you’re really good singer or whatever like the older kids always get the juicy roles and he’s finally a junior. So it’s happening and it’s very exciting and I’m really proud of him.
S17: So as long as he’s not failing math I didn’t think that’s why he wants to drop out so that he can do this musical. I think if you’re failing a class technically you can’t do it. But anyway to me the musical is way more important for its lights than pre calculus is likely to be knowing what its interests are. But yeah we’re really psyched for him and it’s a big triumph in our family.
S12: That’s a very big trial. Well I am. I’m excited to have a triumph this week two from live from California where I live for real now with my daughter who I live with for Rio. So this kind of loosely ties into what we were just talking about in terms of Dan’s role in that too you know just teachers in front of his children which makes a whole lot of sense because once your parent has withdrawn respect term something it’s sometimes it’s kind of hard for you to respect interviewed in the same way you know or appreciate something. And so my daughter and I she has I think really great eclectic taste in music and TV and stuff. But you know specifically music I can sit through most of what she likes to listen to. There are some things that I really can’t deal with. A lot of the little kiddie acts from YouTube. And again it’s cute they’re age appropriate but like some of the you know some of the music just kind of sucks and I’m also a 35 year old woman. I don’t have the ear of a 6 year old. So you know those little tiny voices and you know suburban kids doing hip hop slang thing doesn’t offend her sensibilities the way it annoys me but I’ve noticed that you know if she says she likes the song or asked me if I liked something and I don’t know how her little face just falls and we were in the mall the other day and some garbage song where some garbage artist was playing you know some big top 40 thing and you know her eyes just lit up and she says.
S19: But she first says oh do you like this and I was about to say like Helena sounds like garbage garbage boo. And I said oh yeah so it’s cute.
S12: And she was just so happy. And I’ve done that quite a few times since then. And so I’m finally at the point where because it’s one thing to have to pretend that you you know you like the song that your child wrote themselves which of course I do because my daughter is a genius and some musical talent. But you know like or every picture that they give you or everything that they cook you know like you.
S20: It’s one thing to be like oh yes it’s so great. But I was like Taylor Swift I’m like I don’t have to lie about this you know like stand on something as a woman I have values and so there are some artists like I’m like sorry Taylor Swift and Katy Perry I just refuse.
S21: You know like I can deal with judges see why she’s little she’s cute but no those who I just have no I can’t pretend I can’t fake it but I’ve learned to fake it more with my child.
S22: So I’m happy. So so my triumph is that I lie more.
S23: I mean those are totally totally fine lies.
S6: I’m curious at what point your daughter will start to know when you’re lying like my kids can now tell what I’m faking my enthusiasm for like whatever some back walkover that Harper did for the one truly time and I’d like great back walk over honey.
S24: And she goes Dad it’s Teddy I was once talking about Dungeons and Dragons stuff and I’m just like yeah I can’t.
S17: It’s really hard for me to pretend it’s interesting for me. I love it that you love it. But like a lot of the stuff that I’m super into like you would not be super psyched to hear about either. I think it’s really I love that you drew the Taylor Swift line. I think that’s an interesting line to draw on one that might prove controversial not with me but like I think that’s a good place to to draw a line. I have a I have a real problem with the Taylor squad stuff and the you know the victim like character that she plays when she has so much frickin power it makes me insane. So there’s nothing about it that’s particularly weird which you know you know it takes away someone however.
S25: All her songs are bangers all of them every single one.
S12: And she only writes bangers hardly write them a bangers you know get a little business before we before we shut this thing down for good. Before we get into today’s conversation which is about how phenomenal Taylor Swift is and how much we love and respect her. And if you want more content like that and it’s all about Taylor Swift you should subscribe to Slate’s parenting newsletter and stay abreast of all the lovely things we say about Taylor. And you can even find out what’s going on with this little podcast with Karen feeding our weekly parenting advice column Ask a teacher and much much more. All you have to do is sign up at Slate dot com backslash parenting email and if you have a question that you’d like for us to answer on this podcast. Leave us a message at 4 2 4 2 5 5 7 8 3 3. Or send us an email at mom and dad. It’s late that com and your question is shows and you’ll get to hear it on the air and check out our Facebook group Search for Slate parenting on Facebook. It’s a really cool community. It’s moderated comments and people get kicked out of there all the time it’s a safe space and there’s a lot of rich dialogue that takes place there. So please find us on Facebook and on Slate Plus today we’re going to be talking about scary movies. It’s almost Halloween your little ones are asking to see things that go bump in the night and you are sure yourself what to do. We’re going to be talking all about it to hear more segments like that and to get ad free podcasts sign up for our membership program Slate Plus it’s a great way to support our work and for just thirty five dollars your first year you can help cover the cost of producing Mom and Dad are fighting and your other favorite Slate shows. And in return you’ll get extended ad free versions of this show and other great Slate podcasts and a lot of other great benefits too. So if you want to support mom and dad are fighting which we’d really appreciate. Please go to Slate dot com backslash mom and dad plus and join Slate Plus today. All right. So back to the show. All right let’s get into our first question. Read as almost always by the fabulous Sasha Leonardo Hi Mom and Dad are fighting.
S26: I think a lot about the discussion around yelling and parenting. My daughter is now almost 6 and we spent the first four years for life in Japan. My husband’s country where I hardly ever saw anyone raise their voice with their children. At least not in public. And this made me even more interested in how to handle frustration with little kids and how some people seem to be better at it well than I am I pretty much managed not to yell at my daughter when she is driving me nuts or being particularly difficult although I will admit to a few slip ups here and there but instead I found that my default is to speak in a very tense voice and honestly I’m not sure this is better than yelling because it still seems mean. I don’t say mean things but I ask for cooperation in a tone that I couldn’t accurately characterize as gentle or even nice so I may be saying please stop yelling at me and get your socks on but my tone makes it clear I’m really annoyed and angry. I can’t always manage to walk away when I feel close to the edge of using this voice like trying to get out of the door in time for school. When walking away could only and would only delay us even more. Also on a related note I am ambivalent about how to model my own anger to a daughter in that one. I’m not sure I want to give her the message that squashing your anger and being gentle is what a girl or woman should always or even usually do. But to I don’t want her to think it’s okay to yell at me when I ask her for instance to put on her socks so we can get somewhere on time. So in short is talking in a tense voice any better than yelling. I know it’s probably less scary than yelling but it still doesn’t seem like it’s necessarily nicer than yelling and I hate to think I’m not being nice to my child. I wish I had the ability to always be gentle or I sort of wish this because that doesn’t feel very real or possible and I also think it’s important to model honesty and a realistic struggle with ourselves as fallible humans. But I don’t.
S9: So the short answer is yes. Talking in a tense voice is I’m very anti yelling as I’ve talked about many times on this show. I have a fairly strict no yelling policy that I only break in a case of an emergency.
S17: I like to think they me there are there rare moments where literally it just comes out or you know something and you and I tend to also be transparent with my kids even when they were little and I would apologize if I spoke to them in a way that I wasn’t proud of if I yelled even if I was tense I would. It just happened this weekend. I had a little tense moment with Teddy and you know later in the day I sent him a text and I was like You know what. I’m really hard. I’m really sorry. That by the way I talked to you earlier. It was a tough situation for me because I wasn’t sure what was going on and I felt like we weren’t having a great conversation. And I found myself getting annoyed. You know I would love it if we didn’t get that way but sometimes we do and I’m sorry. And he was like I’m really sorry too I was kind of a dick.
S9: But yeah it is hard to always be gentle and always be kind because kids can be frustrating they can be obstinate they can do the very opposite thing that you want them to do. But I am a huge believer that yelling is in fact mean and it’s a display of power that is largely unnecessary. I have worked with people in my office life who are Yellen who have bad tempers and it’s triggering and it’s awful for me to get yelled at at work or to see somebody else get yelled at at work.
S17: And it’s like H.R. material and I just sort of wonder why as a culture you know we’ve largely decided it’s OK to treat the people who are most important to us in our lives in a way that we would get in trouble for treating people in our offices. So yeah it’s better. Keep working on it. It sounds like you’re doing fine. I think the fact that you are so aware of what your communication sounds like and how it’s landing is really the most important thing. And if you do find yourself getting tense or once in a while yelling having the transparent conversation where you talk to your kid and talk about why the feelings came out the way they did why you were frustrated how you wish you could have been more patient but that it’s difficult. It’s really meaningful and I think that does more to model kindness and the way you want your kids to grow up treating other people than being perfect all the time. Because let’s face it even when you have no yelling policy like I do it’s literally impossible to be perfect all the time. So it sounds like you’re doing great work. Keep thinking about it and never stop. That would be my advice to you.
S23: Dan I strongly disagree. Right. I’m not going to yell about it because I’ve made a promise to people to listeners of the podcast that I’ll yell less.
S6: But listeners of the podcast are adults people in your office are adults people you work with are adults. You have. There are lots of differences in the way that you deal with other adults than in the way you deal with your kids. Like you don’t put people in your office in time out when they do something you don’t approve of.
S5: You are not constantly trying to moderate and modulate and talk through the behavior of the people you work with or with other adults in your lives but your relationship with your kids is different. And I I absolutely think there is nothing wrong with occasional yelling at your kids. Now there are limits and boundaries on this right. The goal of yelling is not to make your kid feel bad. The goal of yelling is not to deliver an insult at a loud volume but as a way of occasionally making a kid who is not paying attention or obeying at a moment where they need to be doing that either for safety or behavioral reasons. I think yelling is totally appropriate. I don’t think that that it makes you a bad parent or or is abusive like de facto too occasionally you know be like hey I’m over here. You got to look at me now. You have to listen to me or I’ve asked you to tie your shoes tie or shoes I think those are like totally normal parent child interactions and I do think like some measure of healthy respect for the fact that a parent has a line and it becomes very apparent when you’ve crossed that line is really useful when you’re raising a kid.
S6: This is actually something I’ve been thinking about. I’m talking about a lot with other parents and other people at Slate Because of this piece that ran on CNN just like three weeks ago and will personally do it on the show page.
S15: I was by really good parenting writer and I’m Melissa Strauss and the headline was it is OK to yell at your kids if done in the right way and it talks a lot about the difference between raising your voice as a sort of occasional parenting tactic and becoming a hurtful yeller who damages your kids long term as a result. I really do think that the former done properly is like totally legit. Now I will also I will agree with you Rebecca that when you can pull it off the sort of calm delivery with an undercurrent of menace is also a really great and effective way of delivering that message. And maybe better than yelling all the time but I think both of those are tools that should be in your toolbox and you should feel free as a parent to use.
S7: I think it is okay for kids to know when you are pissed at them sometimes because of the stupid shit they are doing.
S27: Well I am.
S12: I’d say that I fall somewhere in the center of the two of you here. Which means no one I’m right at the center is usually the best place to be. Like for example looking at the State of the country you can’t be square in the middle but in this situation I think the middle is the perfect place to be. Even though I think you’re actually kind of saying the same thing you know because Rebecca is that it’s not something you believe in doing. It’s when it happens it’s in case of emergency right.
S28: It’s the thing that you have to pull out and I think that’s essentially what Dan was saying that few of us view remotely conscientious parents would say it’s cool to yell at your kids all the time you know and there are a few times that I’ve done it and felt good about it afterwards like Yeah that was good parenting. You know like you more often than not I think you feel like I’ve lost control or I’m frustrated you know and I don’t know how to make this person do what I need them to do I want them to do and I and this is a last resort. You know it’s not something that I delight in or deploy often but on occasion I think it’s appropriate something Rebecca touched on that I went to cosign is apologies we have to normalize the parents apologizing to children and teachers apologizing to children and other adults. You know it there’s so many among us who still seem to think that only you know that we should prop ourselves up as if we’re infallible. You know I make it very clear to my child that I am a flawed woman and there are certainly the things that she’s right I just observed.
S21: But there are times where I make a mistake and so we don’t get to do something you know that the schedule for the day didn’t go in accordance to plan because I added a detour and it threw us off or you know there was something that I wanted us to to experience or do or see or have or whatever and we can’t. You know and I have to say hey I messed up here you know. I told you to do this. I thought this was a good idea and it was and I apologize. And sometimes when you yell you know it’s like yeah I was frustrated but I know that in that moment I’m the one who took it too far It wasn’t about what they were doing so I’m going to apologize to you for that and remind you that what you did was incorrect and it was you know hurtful or troublesome or wrong in some way but I know that that the amount of respect I have for you and the sort of parent that I want to be is one who doesn’t raise their voice often.
S16: And so I’ve made a mistake and I’m sorry and here’s what I could have said and here’s what you could have done to. And we can talk about both of those things.
S21: But we’re part ways with you Dan is saying that you know well you can’t compare this to how you interact with your co-workers because you know you just simply have a different relationship to them than you have your children. Which is very true. But I think that so much of what we do in terms of our actions with our kids is teaching them how to interact with the world around them. You know. So it’s not just him saying it’s interact with you know waitresses or the mail carrier or you know the teachers at their school that trains them how to interact with other people it’s how we speak to them. You know I see in my child some of my my best traits and some of my greatest shortcomings. You know I see her being quick to anger I see her being able to cut people now with their words. So there’s a lot that that a child or an adult can do with their mouth that can be hurtful and it doesn’t have to be yelling. It doesn’t have to be a terse voice but I agree with the letter writer or I should say I am. I support your your intentions in terms of thinking about what it means to model anger for our daughter and Rebecca. I’d be curious to hear your take on modeling anger as a woman parent two male children. But but a I’ve tried to teach my 6 year old that it’s OK to be angry it’s ok to cry with anger sometimes it is appropriate or forgive permissible to yell with anger you know and it’s OK to articulate and ideally we can say I’m angry and here’s why. And oftentimes it’s not what anger looks like but that all children and little girls in particular I think need to be instructed in the importance of expressing their anger productively but not keeping it bottled in. You know like saying this upset me this boy touched me at school and I’m really upset about it you know and to still be angry after the apology that that’s OK you know but you’re totally duty is a girl is not to tuck your anger away yeah.
S9: No I agree with you and I know when I talk about the no yelling policy I mean for me a lot of it came from the fact that like ISIL a lot when my kids were really little and it didn’t work like it’s like if you and I think where I really diverge with you Dan is talk about sort of tools in the tool box and by the way I think this is one of those things where like it’s a lot safer to disagree on this than say something like spanking for instance. But you know I actually think the argument you’re making Dan sounds a lot like the spanking argument. It sounds a lot like it’s a tool in the toolbox. You don’t want to do it but sometimes you have to and you do it in the proper way and you follow through and you have like a pattern around it like that’s how corporal punishment was handed out to kids for generations myself included like the wooden spoon came out like once every two years and it was only like you know in extreme cases and like one whack on a leg or whatever.
S11: But like I still think about that for Ken Wooden spoon and I would never in a million years like pull out the wooden spoon.
S17: But my mom did it the same way you talk about doing yelling like I. This is a tool in my toolbox is something only comes out once in a while. It’s an unnecessary expression to me of anger. I think that the the thing that I found when I made the no yelling rule for myself and for everyone else in the house as much as they could. I mean kids are going to yell it’s fine but for the other adults in my house is that when it happens when you do break the glass and you do have to yell like when someone’s running into the street or whatever they fuck and listen to you they’re just not the way that you normally are. It’s not oh God here goes Mom again flying off the handle. It’s like this is dead serious this is an emergency. Frankly it’s also the way that I train my dogs. I don’t yell at my dogs. I am gentle with them and positive with them. And when I do pull out the stern voice they fucking listen because they know it’s different. It actually has an impact. It’s not you know it’s you know it’s an emergency of some kind of had to do it this morning and my dog almost ran after a deer we would walk and like he wiped you know. God no I don’t. My leg isn’t great. I wouldn’t have been able to run after him so I was like you know. STEWART You know that that sort of low and he was like What. And you know that was that. But yeah I just I I don’t I think is I think talking about anger very transparently is the most important part of this and talking about you know I am an angry crier. Sometimes when my kids make me really upset I will start to cry. Just be like this is me when I’m angry guys is what it looks like I’m really pissed off right now. I think it’s OK to say that you’re pissed off to say that you’re frustrated to say that you are at your ropes and that you don’t know what to do to me the yelling does not add more to that conversation it actually takes away from my credibility when I’m trying to explain what it is that I am trying to communicate. It takes away from it and it’s not the way that I want my kids to deal with people when they’re angry. I heard my older son have one argument with his girlfriend the entire time they’ve been together I heard him raise his voice and we talked about it a lot afterwards. Apparently she really was like one. This one argument they’ve had in their relationship. I remember listening to that and being like Man that just doesn’t sound like someone in our family right now like that sounds like like something real bad must be going on. I loved that. I mean I loved I didn’t love it he was like raising that they’re raising their voices at each other but I love that it was so rare that like it just stood out. It gave me so much reason to pause.
S5: So anyway that’s what it sounds like your your analogy and the tactical yelling used seldom enough that it really registers. I never planned to yell them. It’s just that we and I think that we differ on what the. On what basis for those tactics are for you it’s only when it’s a matter of safety of someone’s running into the street. Right. For me it stretches beyond that I think that there are other times when dropping a yell in there you absolutely need or want a kid to pay attention to you at that moment is like tactically useful. And I think that that yells should be followed by a thoughtful discussion of why you yelled and why he became angry. An apology for speaking in that way by yet I still think that like stretching the bounds of when yelling is appropriate beyond just your kids about to be hit by a car is a totally fine and appropriate thing to do as a parent.
S12: What I’m hearing from the two of you all and also picking up from the letter writer.
S29: It’s interesting that she you know spent a lot of time saying Okay I don’t yell but I have this tone and that tone makes it clear that I’m annoyed and angry and isn’t you know the tone could be is a tense voice just as bad as yelling is it worse. And it makes me wonder if the letter writer has had an experience where somebody really cut them down or made them feel bad with their words and did so in a very calm you know controlled but disappointed or stern tone. Right. And how first then people being spoken to in that way could be a lot more upsetting you know than yelling. You know I think some kids and I wonder if maybe this is the literary experience would feel you know someone yells at you is like OK I messed up it’s fine. Yelling is the thing I’m used to I play on the playground people yell all the time. You know mom’s mad I get it versus that very you know kind of controlled rage like like it could almost be more hurtful you know like like it just seems like it’s a more pointed critique about your behavior in a way when some I speak to you that way it could just be me.
S21: But I’m wondering if maybe that that that’s why some would say OK well yelling is not great but it’s not gonna do that much damage does not that mean it’s not that big a deal you know or someone else will be like oh my guy yelling is the worst thing you could do. You yell at me it’s not really I don’t like it you know. But but it doesn’t break me down. Does that make sense. But somebody really like yeah.
S9: I think he would hurt yeah it breaks me down. I don’t like being yelled at. To me being yelled at is like being slapped in the face. It’s really really bad for me. And it’s I think it’s bad for a lot of people. I think it’s you know it’s upsetting it. I think it feels.
S17: I mean I remember every single time I was yelled at by a teacher growing up is like three times I remember all of them. I remember every single one of them as clear as day nine taper them out and I that. Yeah. Like really bad experiences and I remember like you know I I just I think that we tend to underestimate the damage that we can do when we are unnecessarily. When we when we express our anger which when we have a choice to express our anger one way and we choose to express it a different way. I think we do have a choice sometimes and I don’t think that there’s harm in choosing the softer choice when you can. And I think that you can do harm when you make the other choice.
S8: I would be really interested to know what the researchers and I will see if I can dig some up before next week’s episode and I would love for listeners to also let us know what they do how they handle this what their thoughts are and also if they know about research on this subject I bet the research backs you up Rebecca. Let’s find out.
S12: OK. Let’s go to our second letter again read by Sasha Lionheart.
S26: Hi Mom and Dad. I’m the mom to a 4 year old a 2 year old and 1 on the way. I have OCD and I have had the condition since early childhood but was only diagnosed and began receiving treatment after my oldest was born. Parenting with mental illness has at times been very difficult for me. Often it takes my strength my stamina and my patience leaving me a lesser mom than I want to be. For my kids I do have a wonderful cognitive behavioral therapist and we work a values based approach which really helps me keep focused on what’s important. However I’m writing in because I would like to hear your experiences parenting when you are not at your mental or emotional best to what extent if any do you communicate what’s going on inside to your kids love OCD Mom.
S22: Thank you for your love OCD Mom. Well this is something that I can relate to quite a bit.
S12: I am deeply empathetic to you. Letter writer because you’re doing this with two children and one on the way. And I have one child and shared custody and I can tell you that when those when those low moments come functioning can be incredibly difficult. I have dealt with crying depression and anxiety for many years I also have ADHD and just managing those things with medication and therapy is a very delicate dance and if I miss a step you know in inadvertently or otherwise a lot of things in my life can be thrown off balance and that’s actually been the case.
S16: Quite a bit in the past year and I’ve worked very hard to minimize the impact on my child so that I when I feel that I’m not in a good place and I’m more inclined to yell or to get really angry about something that wouldn’t otherwise bother trigger me in any way that I you know excuse myself for a moment or take a moment to really think about my reaction before you know before having one.
S22: But I do also I talked to my daughter about it. You know I’ve explained to her I haven’t gotten too deep into it. We haven’t talked about names or what these illnesses are but that mommy is sick.
S16: In a way that I’m gonna have to take care of forever. And it’s not the type of sick that should make me have to lay in a hospital bed or you know have to deal with a lot of needles or shots or anything or surgeries I should say.
S22: But that sometimes I don’t feel very good. And when that happens I sometimes have less energy so it can be harder for me to get out of bed or to get off the couch and go do stuff. You know I may need a little bit more rest than usual or a little bit more quiet time. And that it’s you know and there are other symptoms and things that I talk about and certain you know hopefully child friendly ways. But the big point being that there’s nothing that she has done that created this reality for me.
S16: And while I do ask her to be sensitive to certain things and to say you know because I’m not feeling very well you know can we do this or you know making this adjustment I’m looping you in on it that even in asking her to be you know at times thoughtful and just a little bit gentler with Mommy that she’s not responsible for keeping me OK that if I’m feeling bad or if I’m feeling low it’s not because of something she’s done or because I’m with her and that she is the best thing in my life and I’m very grateful for her you know and I’m sorry that we have to deal with this thing together. But it’s OK. And a lot of people are dealing with it and a lot of my means are dealing within a lot of kids are dealing with it and it’s OK to not always feel good and you just have to be honest with these feelings. So you know I have the also privilege of sharing custody of my child which means there have been times where I’ve needed a little extra time to myself to just kind of deal with my stuff and I’m typically able to request that.
S22: But I would just suggest that you know in addition to hopefully maybe taking something for me kind of rambling about my own experiences that you would think about child friendly language and what you know a four year old and a two year old and really in particular a four year old could understand. And how can you.
S16: What do you need to share because the child is either going to be exposed to something or because they’re something that you need of the child. Right. Because that I mean that that doesn’t always have to be a mental health thing. It could be simply living with migraines or chronic pain which I also suffer from both of those things you know and or dealing with something that’s more significant but perhaps even if you are raising a child who’s old enough to really understand this is what’s going on with you. There still may be some things that they’re going to see or need to do in response. And so what are the ways that you can communicate that without creating an unnecessary panic in your child and also reminding them that this isn’t their fault they didn’t do this to you.
S22: You know that they didn’t make Mommy sick. They didn’t make Daddy hurt. That is not necessarily going to happen to them. And if it does that will be OK too. But but they can’t assume or take for granted they’re going to have to deal with it because they’re watching you go through it. And that it doesn’t change how much you love them that’s my um that’s my take on it. What do you think then.
S8: No I think that that’s right. I think that your focus on finding the right language for kids to talk about this is really crucial and makes me think a lot about my teenage years when there were members of my family that were there were struggling with this. They were showing a different mental health issues and the way that I felt as a teenager that the weight of that was falling on me in a way that I found very difficult to cope with. And even as a 14 and 15 year old I think that it benefited me when the people in my family who were dealing with this talked to me about it and didn’t let that. Be a mystery. Don’t let the things that were happening to them in the ways that we’re feeling. Mysteries. But I also think I could have I also wished at the time and wish now that that they had found ways to talk about it that were more suitable. For the level that I was at an understanding of me am my extremely rudimentary understanding at that point of mental health issues in the ways that they affect people. And so and so you know from ages you know zero to to 18 and above there are thinking about how to talk through this with your kids is valuable and important and finding the right language is a valuable and important. But I agree with you that being honest to the extent that you can also matters.
S30: I totally agree. I mean I can think of many many times in my parenting life where me or Kevin were depressed or going through something and needed just to go lie down and be alone. And you know when the kids are little you say things like oh he’s not feeling well we need to give some space or some time and there’s maybe a concern there like what is what is really going on. I remember there being a lot of mystery around mental health issues in my own family growing up and I think that we’re at a point right now in this conversation about mental health where one of the biggest gifts we can give the next generation is normalizing that this is something that a lot of people cope with and deal with and sometimes not chronically. I don’t suffer from chronic depression. My husband does. I do not but I have had episodic you know periods of depression in my adult life and everyone has at some point and it’s also increased extremely common to deal with anxiety and depression and I also have diagnosed with ADHD and the extent to which we can just be really clear about what it is and also what it isn’t is really a huge gift you can give your kids.
S17: It’s a complete gift to say you know this is a type of illness that a lot of people have and really it’s just about space time.
S30: Care taking care of yourself the same way other illnesses are about those things and I think that everything you said Jameel was spot Jamila was spot on and I wish there were things that people in my family had said to me growing up because now I do feel like it’s kind of my life’s mission to normalize this and make it OK for my kids to go out in the world with it. It does make me really proud when I hear one of my kids talking about one of their friends who’s you know suffering from depression or anxiety and just you know they just talk about it they just say oh yeah so-and-so isn’t doing well they’re having some like mental health issues or whatever and it does seem to be a more normalized less stigmatized conversation that young people are having. And I think that we just need to continue encouraging that because the secrecy of it is the problem as we all know growing up in the times we grew up in right.
S8: There’s real congruence between this and what we are talking about with yelling and apologizing right. There’s is with apologizing in particular one of the goals of that is to let your kids know that the things they are seeing from their parents are not in their imagination they’re not imagining that their mom or dad seems to be acting in a way that doesn’t make sense to them or is different from the way they often behave. And it’s useful to them to know that they’re not mistaken that that’s not something they’re imagining whether it’s something having to do with mental health whether it’s something having to do with a kind of behavior or an action you’ve taken that differs from the way you would like things to be and all those cases think well we’re all three of us are advocating is acknowledged to your kids that what they’re seeing is real and talk to them as clearly as possible at their level about what is causing you to behave that way. And I think that that is really useful and something that all parents can should be thinking about all the time. Thanks man.
S12: OK. Before we close out let’s do recommendations and if you’re new to the podcast every week we share something we like something our kids like or something that somebody who we respect. For some reason legs let’s start with you Rebecca.
S9: Well this is something that this is a very seasonal recommendation that we do all autumn long. We have a very wonderful seasonal situation where I live in New Hampshire but I don’t think you need to have a wonderful seasonal situation and do what we do all fall long all weekend long every autumn. We do a thing in our family and with older kids we can use this language. But you can feel free to modify it. We call it Fall as fuck and every single weekend we do as many fall as fuck activities as we can.
S17: In my family this past weekend for instance we had a pot of hot apple cider going on the stove all weekend long that you could just like a walk by and like Dippolito Linda and serve yourself from my use of sliced oranges and cloves in mind by the way we also made a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches with mayo on the outside of the bread by the way makes them way way better.
S18: We made a pumpkin pie we made fires in the fireplace like all weekend long from the morning on fire. Fires are not just for the night time when you want to be full as fuck and we put a ton of blankets on our couch and we just do a lot of sitting around a lot of nice walks enjoying the crisp air looking at leaves.
S9: Looking at pictures of very fall things watching cozy movies and just completely embrace the fact that this is the only time of year that you can be full as fuck and it can be a legit activity to just do that and really commit to it the entire weekend.
S17: What else is going on. So I think we’re like on our sixth consecutive weekend of fall as fuck and it’s a really wonderful tradition in our house and I really recommend it. And one last thing a really really great fall as fuck activity get a package of cornmeal like the kind that comes in the round like Quaker Oatmeal style thing but it’s corn meal not oatmeal. There’s an amazing pancake recipe on the back of those cornmeal boxes make them. It’s delicious your pancakes tastes like the tops of corn muffins. That is the most as fuck breakfast you can possibly have with like some more maple syrup and butter. It’s a great way to start your Father’s Day. That’s my recommendation.
S25: That’s the most Mr. autumn man shit I have ever heard. That’s right. Good lord you are Mr. autumn man walking down the street with your cup of coffee wearing your sweater over your plaid shirt.
S23: Hundred percent fall is the worst season yet fall blows. Falcon go to hell.
S31: Jamila you moved to a place you would never have to experience fall because you are smarter than the rest of us. Follow is just the prelude to winter. An even more terrible season.
S32: So what I do enjoy relative to winter which is so brutal especially in most of the other places I live. But what I’ve learned about California weather very quickly is that there are four seasons we just had them like every day winter not so much like it. So you leave the house or you get up it’s around 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. It’s in the 60s it’s kind of chilly. You know if you put on shorts to drop your kid off at school put on clothes shoes on haven’t sandals and then say it around 10:00 or 11:00. Now it’s in the 70s. It’s warm you know you can have a sweatshirt if you want but it’s getting out there and then it’s in the 80s and then it goes back down in the same order. It’s like you experienced multiple seasons in a day.
S14: So I have gotten in the habit of and I’m still hoovering and taking the bus everywhere at this point. I travel with like a second outfit in my bag every day because I’m so sensitive to cold and heat and I don’t like getting really cold or really hot.
S25: So we do have winter California layering out now like an hour out of your recommendation. I have a recommendation to counteract Rebecca’s insane recommendation that say it’s the best.
S6: I am recommending a summer activity that we engaged in just this past weekend because we were in Florida where summer last a lot longer than it does everywhere else. We spent the weekend in Navarre Florida which is on the Florida Panhandle right on the Gulf Coast by Gulf Islands National Seashore. It is an area of Florida affectionately referred to by many southerners who have vacationed there for generations has the Redneck Riviera. It is a beautiful place full both of gorgeous white sand beaches and uncountable vape shops and it is a place I really love visiting with my kids we are actually visiting a friend that we had that we made in the Netherlands when we were on our trip around the world. This American expat couple he is in the air force. She is an ex lawyer who stays at home with their kids and homeschooled them and they are a lovely couple who we bonded with him in the Netherlands. And even though we had only hung out with them maybe four times total when they were like we live in Florida now you all should come visit. We said OK and we flew down there and hung out with them for the weekend and we went to the most amazing place just off the coast of the next town over Destin Florida which is called Crab Island Crab Island is not an actual island.
S15: It is just a huge sandbar in the sound the sound between the barrier islands and the mainland with like 80 degree water and the water is waist deep for like six acres of of ocean and it’s beautiful a beautiful like crystal blue and everyone just drives their pontoon boats over there finds an empty spot drops an anchor and then just hangs out listening to music playing in the water and drinking all day long. And so our friend who’s in the Air Force rented out an air force loaner boat for the day from the base and we putt putt it over to Crab Island and we wait anchor and all the kids just floated around and splash around and this 80 degree water which is probably like 70 percent beer by the time they got in it but it was gorgeous out and people were like all the different boats were playing all kinds of different music at all different volumes and there were kids splashing everywhere and some people rented boats that had slides on them. Other people were buying hot dogs from the hot dog boat that just kept tooling around to sell stuff to people. It was a totally great warm weather experience.
S6: One that I think maybe at the peaks of summer might get a little intense for kids. I think that probably around 6:00 o’clock the vibe at Crab Island maybe in mid-July might be a little insane. But on this beautiful October day when the population was down a little and people were just out chillin and having fun was like a perfect kid thing to do. So I recommend to any parents who are looking for a chilled out not totally insane Florida experience.
S25: Go to Crab Island just off the coast of Destin Florida nice very nice very nice. Jamila what about you. What are you recommending besides layers.
S12: Mr. Hazlehurst yes layers are important. I really enjoy it. The new Addams Family movie. It was very cute and going to the movies is off.
S27: I feel this is the second time I’ve been like wait the kid movie was actually good you know but it’s so often an opportunity for me to catch up on email or try to close my eyes for a few minutes or responses and text messages. But I actually said I put my phone away and I watched the movie and I engaged and it was it was very cute. It’s sad that there are so many reboots and remakes being made that we. We saw a poster for Gemini Man which is Will Smith’s latest movie and my daughter said is this you know.
S10: Did you see the original in L.A. who does this play takes for granted before they reboot it. Well certainly they’re not just making a movie out of scratch are they.
S27: It’s very cute though I will say the soundtrack is a little disappointing they needed to call Pharrell or something and they could’ve called M.C. Hammer back remember the Addams Family groove. There is no like standout song from this one that you’re going to remember nor did the music really move you at all during the movie but very cute otherwise and it’s interesting that like so many other children’s movies I’ve seen that the underlying theme is xenophobia and why it’s bad to treat people that are different.
S28: Pauly I think there’s some sort of like left leaning very subversive group of animators and children’s film writers that have been working these themes into cinema for quite some time and I appreciate it. But that ultimately we see the Addams Family being persecuted for being weird even though we don’t really give an explanation as to like what they are who they are why they’re so different from the rest of the world. But just that they don’t belong there and that people don’t like them because they’re different.
S6: And it’s really interesting in a lot of pop culture jokes that parents will get you know would have made the music in that movie even better of course would have been Teddy as Lurch.
S13: Hell yeah definitely.
S12: I have to say the other. I don’t know that anyone has ever known defeat like this seven foot child that did not get the part of large in the school check on him.
S25: I think they Busta already built the stilts right now. I’m sure Teddy has a wonderful voice but they don’t like they built or bought those still.
S10: They are like well here’s my advice. Know you just spent too much money on these to let go. Oh goodness.
S33: Well that concludes Mom and Dad are fighting. If you have a question that you’d like to hear on air please leave us a message. 4 2 4 2 5 5 7 8 3 3. Or send us an email at mom and dad. It’s late that com also join us on Facebook search for Slate. Parent teen mom and dad are fighting is produced by Jess Jupiter. I’m Jamilah Lemieux and on behalf of myself Dan and Rebecca thank you so much for listening in this week.
S15: Hello Slate Plus members thank you so much for being members of Slate’s membership program Slate Plus once again as always you get a bonus episode of this podcast. Mom and Dad are fighting along with all your other great Slate Plus perks. We really appreciate you being members. Today we are gonna talk about scary movies in honor of the Halloween holiday coming up soon. What’s funny is that when we started talking about the so I’ll get to that in a second. The impetus for this was a post to the slate parenting Facebook page asking anyone to have recommendations for scary in quotes scare quotes if you will.
S31: Scary movies that won’t traumatize an imaginative but Gothic 11 year old. She loves stranger things but we haven’t ventured into anything more adult scary. I was thinking about something like the others maybe and lots of sleep parenting Facebook group members put in great suggestions down below. But this made me think this would be a good thing for us to talk about for us talk about scary movies that our kids have liked at certain ages. Scary movies that we would recommend and how we have dealt with that. So my goal is for us each to recommend a movie for a six year old for a nine year old and for a 12 year old with a recognition of course that all these recommendations depend on how scary your kid likes things to be which may also depend on how scary you like things to be in what is funny about this of course is that we have all learned in discussing this that all three of us are enormous chicken shits we are all completely scared of scary movies don’t usually watch scary movies and find them terrifying. So here are our scary movie recommendations from three podcast hosts who are too scared to ever watch it. Okay so for six year olds I’ll go first. This is a movie that is scary but also scary funny in a way that I think is very appealing to kids and a lot of the humor of the movie for both kids and adults comes from the way that it expertly uses horror movie vibe in the service of funny moments. This movie is Wallace and Gromit The Curse of the wear rabbit. It is animated in fact a Clay made it movie done by art bond studios who did chicken run and a bunch of other movies but they initially became famous for their Wallace and Gromit shorts. Each one of which was like a perfect little 20 minute movie curse of the way rabbit was the only Wallace and Gromit feature that they ever made.
S15: I least up till now and it is a horror movie of sorts about a mysterious rabbit who only raids gardens and eats vegetables on nights of a full moon and its construction and the way it’s shot will remind you if you are an adult moviegoer of Hitchcock or great slasher movies or great thrillers that you’ve seen or watched through your fingers through your life. But in fact it’s in service of a totally silly story about a rabbit a nightmare rabbit eating carrots. So I think it will not traumatize any child but it will start to give them a sense of the way that these movies work. What about you guys 4 6 year olds.
S12: What would you recommend scaredy cats Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2. I hope they they should count because they’re literally about ghosts and fighting them. Yeah absolutely. Okay. Yes I would go for I have not seen the girl reboot unfortunately. Sorry bad feminism. But the first two were delightful and lovely and one of my first imaginary friends was actually Peter anchormen. I don’t have I can’t say for certain if he was like thirty five year old Bill Murray or the one for the cartoon but he was a constant presence in our home for a very long time and I think my mom was deeply concerned that my imaginary friend was a white dude in his mid 30s. But I think that just speaks to the power of Ghostbusters as a franchise. What about you Rebecca.
S34: I’m very lucky because my stepdaughter Lily who frickin loves scary movie. She’s like one of those teenagers who like goes to see all like that. You know the super scary like like Asian horror film on Jurassic Park. Oh actually she it every single one of them with all of that with her friends and stuff she remembers every movie she watched at every age related recommendations come from her and she said her favorite movie that she’d watch this time of year when she was six was Casper which came out like in the 90s and it’s like Casper the friendly guy. She loved it. She loved it. So that’s her rack. To be fair I think all three of my wrecks might be her wrecked except for one. Yes she said Casper is excellent and appropriate for that age.
S6: That’s a good one. All right let’s move to nine years old nine year old is actually the age that maybe that I would suggest more like a Ghostbusters to a slightly more scary which is I think is slightly more scary than the original Ghostbusters. But for a kid who actually liked scary things I bet 6 is probably fine. My recommendation for a 9 year old is a movie that actually the original poster on Facebook mentioned but I just wanted to highlight here because I think the movie is so great. It’s a movie called Caroline. It was. It’s also animated. Also stop motion animated as a matter of fact. It’s made by Laika Studios which now has made four or five movies each one of which is remarkably good and it’s based on Neil Gaiman’s novel about a girl who climbs through a very small door in her wall and finds at the other side of it another family who’s exactly like her family except for that they all have buttons for eyes and they all have dark and mysterious things in store for her.
S15: I find this movie totally delightful and also very creepy. It doesn’t have a lot of jump scares or anything like that but its whole vibe is just otherworldly and very slightly disturbing and the sort of the idea at the center of it that there could be like this other version of your family where you’re where your other mother and your other father live and they love you in ways that your real mother and father never could. But actually something’s a little bit wrong with them is like very interesting and appealing to kids like they really dig that and find that like fun to tease out. So like that I like that movie for for you know for the plotting and the adventure but also because I think those themes are really interesting to kids. Jamila what about you for a 9 year old Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice nice.
S10: I know you said three times. I think it’s gothic especially we’d love that movie right.
S6: Any angsty child who can see himself or herself and went on a writer Yeah absolutely.
S34: You can’t write and all of us. I’ll
S6: throw in an additional plug for the musical of that which is now on Broadway as it’s written by two very old friends of mine but is a totally delightful show which I also think any 9 year old or up who’s seen the movie of Beetlejuice.
S8: I think we’ll get a good real kick out of that musical as well.
S9: Rebecca I’m going to throw another Tim Burton movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. Super friggin delightful animated film and another one that my stepdaughter says that she also loved.
S34: I know I can’t do two but I’m going to Disney movie I haven’t seen. But she I trust her and she would not steer you kids wrong. A movie called Monster House she says which is a cartoon where the house comes alive after the old man who lives there dies.
S25: Okay that one I think is legitimately like actually scary I don’t know. Yeah like good yeah like I think good scary and like appropriate for nine year olds but I think it’s like right. It’s like that like sort of goose bumps. Oh yeah. Love goes both ways. She love right. Not horrifying but properly scary for kids that can really be scared.
S6: Yeah yeah I think that’s a good recommendation. All right. So now for 12 year olds I’m sort of stepping up into the realm of world cinema and movies that actually are dealing with pretty weighty themes and I’m going to recommend Pan’s Labyrinth which is a Spanish movie which I think won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
S15: It’s directed by Giora Doctorow who Del Toro who later won several Oscars for the shape of water. But this is a movie he made in 2006. It’s a very very dark fantasy with a teenage girl at its center. And it’s a and it’s really about the sort of post Spanish Civil War era in Spanish history when the company was or excuse me when the country was coming to terms with its that history and with its Franco ist present. But what. But it’s coded ad about a young girl sort of exploring a ever more fantastical and dangerous world. And it has a bunch of indelible horror characters who who I think are so freakish and great to see on a screen and will be part of a kid who likes to be scared like like best theory of great monsters forever and ever and ever the one I always think of is that character in the at the end of this in the labyrinth who sits at a dinner table and he has no eyes but his eyeballs are on his hands and he chases the girl back to her house. It’s like a very spooky and creepy and great. And also just like a beautiful political allegory with a bunch of interesting stuff at its center that I think would be fun to talk to a twelve year old about. I’m actually going to cue this up and watch this with my kids very shortly I think I’m really interested to see what they think of it.
S10: I think they’ll be scared but like but if they’re not are you going to yell right now. So you I’m from out of Virginia there’s going to be in the way. And should we appreciate it. He’s an Oscar winning director.
S25: This is the criterion collection.
S9: That’s right. I will say both Henry and Lily who contributed to my list. Both claim that twelve is old enough to watch actual scary movies. They both claim it. I completely fucking disagree but they they both say that they watched poltergeist when they around that age and alien and the shining. I think there is a way to scale. The Shining is really a good movie but poltergeists. I will say is has a couple of very scary scenes and then a lot of filler. So if you think your 12 year old is ready to be to watch a suspenseful scene in which a stuffed clown under a bed no child which I think is the scarier scene in that film I would recommend according to my kids I should. That poltergeist would be a good starter horror film for a twelve year old whose adventurous and remember it was made like in that era of like you know 1980s Drew Barrymore E.T. it’s really not much scarier than E.T. and if you guys remember how frickin scary E.T. was at parts so they’ve made a strong case to me via text that poltergeist would be the one. Of course Henry who else who says alien and the shining which I cannot quite get on board with the Pulitzer guys. Yeah.
S25: Saying saying if your kid’s adventure I spent all of I spent the entire second half of E.T. underneath my seat at the Fox Bay theater in Wisconsin. It’s scary I think when I was 8.
S12: I’ve never seen Jamila what about you for a 12 year old so wracked my brain and I’m sorry but like at twelve I was in very deep study trying to figure out like how I was going to marry a rapper I moved to New York. So I guess I just wasn’t seeing scary movie I don’t like scary movies. That was a point where they were really scary scary. You know it’s one thing to be like Yeah Beetlejuice Addams Family we like it as well. People want to see blood and guts and I didn’t want to. So I have none from there.
S15: So your recommendation is if you’re a scaredy cat by twelve you should no longer be watching scary movies with your scary movie loving kid. All right thank you guys for those recommendations. Thank you to Megan the slate parenting Facebook member who posted this question and thank you everyone for being. Listeners and members of Slate Plus we really appreciate everything you do. Talk to you next time.