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Op-Ed: Gen Xer Reflecting on Childhood Norms. Were They Normal?

By • May 8, 2024

Watching two documentaries recently, Scary Stories and Quiet On Set, I couldn’t sleep. Remembering the Scary Story book series as a kid, heck, I even have one of the books in storage somewhere. To this day, I remember a few of the stories from that series. Especially, The Girl With The Green Ribbon. Thirty years later, I remember it well. Is it normal for a story to impact you like that? Skimming through the story again as an adult, The Girl With The Green Ribbon never told her partner who she really was. She kept secrets throughout courtship and marriage, and then the ultimate reason was revealed about the ribbon. Knowing what I know now, a big sense of betrayal washed over me. What kind of messaging were Gen X and Millennial kids subjected to in their pubescent years on a day-to-day basis?

As a young adult in the 90’s I never knew the Scary Story book series was considered controversial. During that time there was a group of parents in Seattle that challenged the books. The parents thought they were simply voicing their concerns about the images, messaging, and even violence. They wanted the books to be relocated out of the elementary school level libraries. Was it that simple? No. Cue the media and emotional parents accusing the group of parents of being book banners. Does this sound familiar? Childhood nightmares were mentioned frequently in the documentary. The over-the-top commentary of Alvin Schwartz’s writing of being beautiful and brilliant, and using fancy words such as folk lore masked the readers personal experiences. Giving young children nightmares is brilliant and beautiful? As the documentary went on, the quote “One Potato, Two Potato: The Secret Education of American Children” flashed on the screen. Tell me, what was the purpose of these books again? Were the Seattle parents right after all? Many of the same talking points back then are being used today and the content is becoming more in quantity and worse in sexualization. How many more generational media cycles do we need to go through in order to learn that we as a society are being recycled to degenerate our culture further and further.

Mid to late 90’s rolls around and childhood entertainment booms, especially in Nickelodeon. I’m not going to get into the depths of the Quiet On Set documentary, but even in the entry it warns you to watch at your own risk. Childhood memories will never be the same. Even before the documentary, I saw a few of the Nickelodeon segments shared on social media where 90’s adults started rethinking what they watched as kids. Not only did Nickelodeon subject their large teenage audience to some pretty questionable segments, but they subjected their child actors to them as well. The trusting kids sitting at home watching these segments didn’t fully understand what they were engaging in. These childhood actors looking back are horrified and embarrassed, even some are pretty messed up to this day.

Many 90’s kids grew up as latchkey kids, often both parents were working. The kids that were not involved in extracurricular activities went home after school and were essentially raised by the television. It’s never too late to realize things may not be what they once seemed? Recently, there was a Coeur d’Alene, ID Lake Middle School whistleblower talking about the school affirming her daughter’s sudden onset of gender dysphoria. The age of her daughter just so happened to be twelve at the time. This “Secret Education of American Children” is happening in front of our faces. I’m seeing a pattern here and it never appears to be in the best interest of the family or child. If you didn’t know you had a choice, you do now. There are good people that really want you and your child to be healthy and happy. They may be a bit more work to find, but they are out there. Amplify the good in your household, I greatly thank the Seattle Parents and Shelia Bucher for sticking up for their children when no one else would, even those who we were taught to trust without question didn’t support the parents. Choose the healthy, the good and the beautiful. Define it for your children so they cannot be lead astray. It is not too late to steer the ship right.

This Op-Ed was submitted by Christi Warhurst. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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4 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Gen Xer Reflecting on Childhood Norms. Were They Normal?

  1. Thank you for those last three sentences. There is hope. I don’t know if we can guarantee our kids won’t stray, but we still must present the good as true and worthy.

  2. Ephesians 6:10-13
    “10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
    King James Version (KJV)

    John 16:33
    “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
    King James Version (KJV)

    Proverbs 30:5
    “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”
    King James Version (KJV)

  3. Thank You! I pray every day for my Grandchildren to be protected from the subtle influences of this time in history.

    Gory to God.

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