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Author Topic: Reality vs Fantasy  (Read 5957 times)

Jack

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Reality vs Fantasy
« on: June 11, 2014, 02:47:46 pm »
So I was reading this article today about Slenderman-related crimes and I looked at the comments (I know!) and there are lots of people going on about how parents need to teach their kids the difference between fantasy and reality and how fairy tales aren't real and etcetc.

Obviously I'm not going to teach my kid that fairy tales aren't real (because fairies are totally real and those are survival skills) but (assuming you are on a similar page to me) how do you deal with this sort of topic with your kids?

Rather than "don't be afraid of monsters because monsters don't exist" I'm more inclined to teach "actions have consequences" (though I know that how those consequences are understood varies during brain development) and "hurting people is not usually a solution" (which, if successful, would cut down on egregore-related stabbings, anyway).

But I was curious how other people handle it!
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veggiewolf

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Re: Reality vs Fantasy
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2014, 09:47:39 pm »
Quote from: Jack;149837
So I was reading this article today about Slenderman-related crimes and I looked at the comments (I know!) and there are lots of people going on about how parents need to teach their kids the difference between fantasy and reality and how fairy tales aren't real and etcetc.

Obviously I'm not going to teach my kid that fairy tales aren't real (because fairies are totally real and those are survival skills) but (assuming you are on a similar page to me) how do you deal with this sort of topic with your kids?

Rather than "don't be afraid of monsters because monsters don't exist" I'm more inclined to teach "actions have consequences" (though I know that how those consequences are understood varies during brain development) and "hurting people is not usually a solution" (which, if successful, would cut down on egregore-related stabbings, anyway).

But I was curious how other people handle it!

I have a couple things to say about this, but spoons are at a premium.  Posting now to remind myself to respond later.
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Airelinn

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Re: Reality vs Fantasy
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 12:50:23 am »
Quote from: Jack;149837
So I was reading this article today about Slenderman-related crimes and I looked at the comments (I know!) and there are lots of people going on about how parents need to teach their kids the difference between fantasy and reality and how fairy tales aren't real and etcetc.

Obviously I'm not going to teach my kid that fairy tales aren't real (because fairies are totally real and those are survival skills) but (assuming you are on a similar page to me) how do you deal with this sort of topic with your kids?

Rather than "don't be afraid of monsters because monsters don't exist" I'm more inclined to teach "actions have consequences" (though I know that how those consequences are understood varies during brain development) and "hurting people is not usually a solution" (which, if successful, would cut down on egregore-related stabbings, anyway).

But I was curious how other people handle it!

 
I'm gonna be a jerk and answer your question with another question:
If the problem is an inability to separate fantasy from reality due to a lack of guidance, then does this mean that every crime never committed was solely because the non-criminal knew they weren't dreaming (figuratively speaking)? What about all of the moral characters in fantasy; the heroes? In fact, I'd argue that it's fantasy and heroic ideals that brings out the best in people by way of setting an example.

As a mother, fantasy is the tool I use to teach my children morality. Just firing off commandments isn't enough for a kid (or anyone, for that matter); context is needed. Some of my best social morals (at least imo) came from Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter...hehe.

It's not the inability to separate fantasy from reality; it's the inability to separate right from wrong.


MadZealot

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Re: Reality vs Fantasy
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2014, 03:52:12 am »
Quote from: Jack;149837
So I was reading this article today about Slenderman-related crimes and I looked at the comments (I know!) and there are lots of people going on about how parents need to teach their kids the difference between fantasy and reality and how fairy tales aren't real and etcetc.

Obviously I'm not going to teach my kid that fairy tales aren't real (because fairies are totally real and those are survival skills) but (assuming you are on a similar page to me) how do you deal with this sort of topic with your kids?

Rather than "don't be afraid of monsters because monsters don't exist" I'm more inclined to teach "actions have consequences" (though I know that how those consequences are understood varies during brain development) and "hurting people is not usually a solution" (which, if successful, would cut down on egregore-related stabbings, anyway).

But I was curious how other people handle it!


"Actions have consequences" is the way I handle things with my kids.  And I have no problem letting them believe that fairies and their tales are real.  Nothing wrong with believing in a little magic.  

Rather than strictly a 'not being able to tell reality v fantasy' thing, I think the problem might be an overall lack of critical discernment-- and perhaps, a failing in a moral foundation.  Yes, to us fans of fantasy, the heroes & villains are 'alive' to us as we experience their stories.  They can be 'good' or 'bad' examples, but sometimes even the good guy has to take a sword to somebody's neck.  In a story, that's perfectly OK, there might even be a moral lesson it the telling of it.  
But do we solve problems like that in real life?  With a metaphorical sword perhaps, but a real one?  One just doesn't do certain things, unless one has issues.  

It's similar with music.  You might like songs with violent imagery in the lyrics.  But if you think it's OK to start acting out those lyrics, then, both morally and intellectually, there is a problem.  "But my son listened to that metal album and shot himself."  Sorry for your loss, but it's about 99% likely the album wasn't the problem.  But-- and I say this confidently, as a man who's struggled with suicidal ideation-- if your son did off himself because some lyrics told him to, then he was, on some level, a dumbass.  There are better reasons to do it.  No, scratch that; there are no good reasons.
 
And if an internet-legend were 'telling' someone to stab people, I think that people with a well-adjusted brain would hear their BS detector pinging pretty hard at that point.  I'd also expect someone who just decided such a thing would be a good idea would take a moment and ponder why it's a good idea.  Why stab an innocent to death, why would Mr Slenderperson want such a thing/how does it benefit said person.  Why would this sort of thing even be OK.  

So yeah... there's a little reality-v-fantasy there, and a little right-v-wrong, but it's more about critical-thought and probably a good helping of common-fucking-sense.  A great rule to live by is "Don't be a dick"... but its great moral corollary is "Don't be a dumbass."
Spider Man 3 never happened. Change my mind.

Darkhawk

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Re: Reality vs Fantasy
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2014, 01:44:20 pm »
Quote from: Jack;149837
So I was reading this article today about Slenderman-related crimes and I looked at the comments (I know!) and there are lots of people going on about how parents need to teach their kids the difference between fantasy and reality and how fairy tales aren't real and etcetc.

 
I actually found this Slacktivist post about the events to be both fascinating and really, really insightful, so I'm throwing it in here even though it's more "general discussion" related than "parenting" related.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2014/06/11/participating-in-deception-narrative-can-become-fact/
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

HarpingHawke

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Re: Reality vs Fantasy
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2014, 09:26:53 pm »
Quote from: Jack;149837


I feel like they lacked critical thinking skills. I mean, that's actually pretty common nowadays--kids are being told to do what the authority says without questioning it, without mulling it over or thinking of the implications of their actions. They don't think of a why. They just do the thing.

From what I can tell, to these girls, Slenderman was an authority. So they did what he "said" to do and didn't stop to question.

I think they had a shaky grasp on basic right and wrong and I don't think critical thinking was involved at all. I don't know how present the parents were but it seems like they weren't present enough. I'm not saying we need helicopter parents or that kids with absent parents will always turn out bad--I just think that parents should be keeping up with the general gist of what their kids are doing.

I know people who say that to handle this that we need to "ban all the things," but that's not gonna take care of the problem. Other legends like Slendy would pop up, or other sites that propagate the thing would get popular. Also, you'd have to erase half of DeviantART.

What I would do for possible future children and my present much-younger relatives would probably be to make sure they have a good moral foundation and an ability to navigate the world and fact-check.

The girls didn't have that. It doesn't seem like a lot of people do anymore. **shrug** Just me, though.

Does anyone know how the girl who was stabbed is doing?
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

HarpingHawke

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Re: Reality vs Fantasy
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2014, 09:28:33 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;149875


 
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to MadZealot again.

Why is the damn rep always gone?
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mlr52

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Re: Reality vs Fantasy
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2014, 09:39:34 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;150171
I feel like they lacked critical thinking skills. I mean, that's actually pretty common nowadays--kids are being told to do what the authority says without questioning it, without mulling it over or thinking of the implications of their actions. They don't think of a why. They just do the thing.

From what I can tell, to these girls, Slenderman was an authority. So they did what he "said" to do and didn't stop to question.

I think they had a shaky grasp on basic right and wrong and I don't think critical thinking was involved at all. I don't know how present the parents were but it seems like they weren't present enough. I'm not saying we need helicopter parents or that kids with absent parents will always turn out bad--I just think that parents should be keeping up with the general gist of what their kids are doing.

 
Do 12 year old's have critical thinking skills?  I thought the ability to have critical thinking developed a few years latter in life.
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Re: Reality vs Fantasy
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2014, 09:42:56 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;150171
I feel like they lacked critical thinking skills. I mean, that's actually pretty common nowadays

 
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Re: Reality vs Fantasy
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2014, 09:47:15 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;150173
Do 12 year old's have critical thinking skills?  I thought the ability to have critical thinking developed a few years latter in life.

 
Sure they do. Well honed? At the same level as they will later in life? Probably not.
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I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

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Freesia

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Re: Reality vs Fantasy
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2014, 09:01:38 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;150173
Do 12 year old's have critical thinking skills?  I thought the ability to have critical thinking developed a few years latter in life.

 
That is a good question. As a substitute teacher I've seen some remarkable examples of behavior from young kids and I've seen older kids act extremely childish the very next day. People mature at different rates. Some kids handle their minds better then others. The same can be said of adults.

I do not believe sociopaths and psychopaths are uncommon at all. However it is their choice to act on their nature.

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