Back Story #2: Star Wars, A Parenting Dilemma

I once saw a bumper sticker that read something like: “Episode IV comes first. It is just good parenting.”

At the time, I thought this was good advice. But then again, my children were showing zero interest in Star Wars. With practically all of their entertainment centered on heroes who solve problems ( see last issue ), they were confused by the concept of a villain. Like most people, my children do not find confusion entertaining.

Then one evening everything changed. My wife explained one of our boys was going to a Star Wars themed birthday party in the morning. Then she asked, “Will you teach our boys about Star Wars?”

I remember her question better than my answer. I wondered if this was actually happening, and may have even asked the question out loud. I’m also fairly certain I said, “I’ve been waiting for this moment”.

But then I was faced with the challenge of picking a place to begin. I remembered the advice from the bumper sticker, and immediately discarded it. Primarily because Star Wars had become a much more complicated series of stories. Not to mention I didn’t own any of the movies, save for the Empire Strikes Back on VHS. I’m not counting A New Hope which I taped off the USA network which is missing the first 5 minutes.

I was completely unprepared for this moment. But that didn’t mean I was giving up.

Instead of trying to explain the story, we watched video clips on the official Star Wars website. This was a great way to introduce them to the characters and the situations they found themselves in. I was able to see what our boys found exciting which helped me decide which videos to play next.

The next day our son came back from the Star Wars birthday party with a big grin, lots of stories to share, and a light saber made out of a swimming noodle!

Both boys continued to show interest in Star Wars. Eventually it would become one avenue to reading and enjoying comic books.

Any one else have a good Star Wars parenting story? Please share them in the comments.

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