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How young is too young?

How young is too young? Age appropriate Nerdery

I have not posted anything in a while, mostly because the Nerdettes are out of town with my mom (’cause Nanny is AWESOME). Instead, I have been using my time to catch up on my own nerdery that I don’t feel is appropriate for a 7 and 4 year old. Things like Game of Thrones and Outlander are relegated to strictly after bedtime watching, and there are only so many hours I can feasibly keep my eyes open. As a result, I tend fall behind on a lot of shows and these past couple of weeks I have been able to catch up some. I’m still not there yet on GoT though, so NO SPOILERS!

Anyway, this has got me thinking about what franchises I can and can’t share with the Nerdettes. There are some things that are obviously inappropriate and those are easy enough to pick out. Then there are others that have kid friendly versions that I can easily substitute. Some good examples are Star Wars Rebels from Disney and  The Hobbit from the seventies. Now don’t get me wrong, these are not my go to titles if I want to scratch my Tolkien or LucasFilms itch, but they do give me a way to introduce the things I love to the Nerdettes without my having to think about whether or not there will be nightmares or having to explain what happened to my wife.

The really hard ones, though, are the borderline franchises. These are the movies and shows that aren’t really horror but may still be too scary, or most shows where most episodes are fine but a few get a little risqué. I recently ran into this kind of trouble with Star Trek: The Next Generation. I didn’t watch this when I was younger so I have been binge watching it recently to pass the time. Nerdette the Younger would snuggle up with me on occasion to watch it as well. Meanwhile Nerdette the Elder always preferred to watch her shows in the other room, so it was nice to have some one on one time with “the baby” However, the first and only time Nerdette the Elder decided to watch with us, all of a sudden the episode was about psychic rape. Needless to say, we changed it to a more appropriate show, but it did serve to stress to me the importance of knowing what exactly we will be watching.

Unfortunately, two of my most favorite things in the world fall under this borderline category. Harry Potter and Dr. Who. I am fairly certain if I were told I was going to a deserted island for the rest of my life and was only allowed to bring two things for entertainment, I would be perfectly happy with the Harry Potter books and the Dr Who boxed sets.  In fact, I am such a huge Harry Potter Nerd, that in college English, when I was assigned to write a short form memoir, I wrote a piece specifically about reading Harry Potter. (You can read it here if you are interested.)

My dilemma is, when can I introduce the nerdettes to my favorite things.  I want them old enough to enjoy them without having to worry about if it is too scary, but I also want them young enough that the magic of Hogwarts and the “science” of the Tardis inspire their imagination.   Plus I’m slightly impatient to re-experience the excitement through them. I still haven’t decided.

So help me out. Let me know in the comments what ages you think are appropriate. If you have already introduced your favorite things to your kids, what age did you start? How did you go about it? I’d love to hear your experiences  and learn about your favorite nerdery.

Dad
Dad

3 thoughts on “How young is too young?

SarahPosted on  8:05 pm - Jul 4, 2015

Also! What about some of the much more tame older TV shows that have magic in them? I Dream of Genie, Bewitched, even some of the Disney TV shows or Sabrina the teenage witch?

I know they’re corny but they are a soft entrance into the edges of fantasy and sci-fi without the risk of being scary.

    Dad

    DadPosted on  5:31 pm - Jul 5, 2015

    Hey Sarah,

    Thanks for commenting. I love the weeping angels. The very first episode of Dr. Who I watched was Don’t Blink and I’ve been hooked ever since.

    The nerdettes love most everything Disney and a lot of the older shows you mentioned too. I am just really impatient to read the Harry Potter books to them, but alas it is not to be…yet. I think they would be ok with the first three, but then we would have to stop for a while.

    Maybe we’ll have to take a trip to the bookstore and find some good alternatives 🙂

SarahPosted on  7:57 pm - Jul 4, 2015

Honestly I’m not sure. In England the entire family watches Dr Who together. Some of the videos on YouTube of convention panels have VERY young fans asking questions, talking about Weeping Angels etc. Those things scare ME, so I’m not sure how young is ok.

I watched Star Trek as a kid, and there were only a few episodes that were too scary. I’m not sure I understood the more disturbing ones, so that may have been ok. I bet there are lists somewhere of the inappropriate ones online so you can weed them out. But even the inappropriate ones were just silly to me when I was younger. Ones where people are naked or whatever were just funny.

I think the first Harry Potter movie would be ok for younger people. I’m not sure I would do the other ones yet, the get more mature and scarier as they go on.

Have you thought about other things though? MacGyver (spelling?) was one of my favorites when I was a kid.

There must be TONS of semi-scifi books out there for kids! Especially if you go towards the magic and fairy and wizard side of it.

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