What happens when your kids are avid readers and movie fans? You get a healthy dose of reel to real life transition with hilarious results!
Children are likely to be impressed by what they read and what they see; so much so that they extend their fictional experiences from books and movies around them to real life. My kids are the best examples to illustrate this point. They are avid readers and film watchers; their responses, choices and behaviour at home are impacted by the characters from their books and movies.
My elder daughter, a die-hard Potter fan, started reading the Harry Potter books when she was 9 years old. Around that time, we took her to a store to buy clothes. I pointed out to a nice green dress; her reaction – “Yewww, NOT GREEN! I don’t want to be a Slytherin!” And she of course picked up a maroon coloured T-shirt, chorusing all the while, “GO, GRYFFINDOR!”
On her 11th Birthday, she was hoping and praying that she would get a letter from Hogwarts to join the Magic School! She was quite disappointed when that letter did not materialize, despite knowing that it was just fictional!
When her grand-mother asked her to explain some function of the TV remote, she kept making ‘hissing’ sounds. Grandmother got angry and rebuked her – “Hey Kutty, what’s wrong with you? Why don’t you talk properly?” Kutty’s cheeky response, “Oh Paati, I am sorry. I forgot that you don’t understand or speak ‘Parsel tongue’!”
Recently, the Star Wars movie has also been a great influencer. As a run-up to the 7th part of the series, we had a marathon viewing of the earlier movies and the girls were vastly impressed by a few characters from the movie. Thanks to Yoda, English grammar can now be re-structured with the subject and predicate clauses in random positions. I was preparing a traditional sweet called Haalbai and asked my daughter to taste it. She did and her response was “Ahhh! After 15 years of you cooking, taste good this Haalbai finally!”
Talking to my younger daughter and getting a proper response from her has become quite difficult these days. I think she is crying but she is actually replying to some query of mine – making a strange, half-roaring, half-mewing sound like Chewie (Chewbacca from the movie). You can imagine my level of frustration! Added to that are instances when the girls randomly whistle or talk in a stiff robot-like manner, emulating the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO.
And then there was the time when my elder girl started to read Shakespeare’s sonnets and dramas. She was fascinated by the English of yore and would try to speak in a similar style at home. When I switched off the Telly and asked her to go study, her dramatic response – “Oh Mother! Pray, I beseech thee! Let me watch some more. I shalt pick up mine books anon.” Not to be outdone, I replied in her own style – “Mine loving daughter, tarry not a moment! Thou exams cometh, hence make haste and take to your books!” She of course, gave me a withering look and muttered “Et tu, Mother?”
My younger girl learnt about rhyming words and that reflected in her speech at home. She spoke to her father, “Oh Appa, you are so nice and loving. Can you take us swimming?” Appa was completely captivated by his daughter’s charming request and replied, “Yes, of course dear! Ask Amma to pack your swimming gear!”
As can be seen, movies and books are a great influence on a child’s young mind. As parents, we need to ensure that our kids watch good movies and read quality books that leave a positive impact on the youngsters.