19 Dad Bloggers were asked the question “When/How To Introduce Your Kids to Star Wars?” You can read the entire piece here. Here’s my entry:
I’m a planner by nature, and I think the world is in a rush to have our kids grow up too fast. So, I delayed Star Wars until Nick was 6 (he’s now 7 ½). I LOVE Star Wars and wanted him to love it too- I figured premature exposure may ruin it.
What pushed me over the edge, despite my hesitations, was when I was called to do a customer focus group for some unknown product. It turns out the focus group was to get reactions to new Lego Star Wars products (awesome!), and the room was full of Dads about my age with kids about my son’s age. Almost all of them had shared Star Wars with their kids by then, and especially extolled the virtues of the Lego Star Wars video game.
The next day, I showed Nick some you tube clips- as a way to gauge his interest (through the roof), expose him to characters (he instantly was head over heels for Darth Maul!), and talk about basic plot points. I figured this would make the movies easier for him to understand and enjoy.
He devoured the movies on DVD (and they are still in heavy rotation, especially Episodes 4 and 6). The Wii game came shortly after, and we played that together for about 6 months straight (great game, and the best was when, he wanted me to play but I was busy with work, and he said (and I shit you not) “the galaxy is better with you and me”- how could I resist?)
This Halloween, we went to our town’s parade as a big group of SW characters- he was Vader, I was Boba Fett, my wife was Amidala, and two friends were Leia and a Stormtrooper. It was awesome.
We have light saber battles almost every day (between this and his gymnastics, he really makes a great Jedi), and have battle-scenes all sketched out for the movie he wants to make when he’s older.
Just a few weeks ago, Nick experienced the high point of his life, as he battled Darth Maul at Disney World’s Jedi Training Academy!
In short, I think waiting until he was fully ready made finally seeing Star wars a life-changing experience for Nick and a great bonding opportunity for us. Don’t rush things.
May the force be with you all!
Looking ahead at FWF: On Monday, I’ll discuss strategies for coping with work-family stress, and, on Thursday, there will be another great entry in the “Sharing Experiences” series.