But the same cannot be said for the subjects of one of the latest hot kid viral videos. Two brothers, who appear to be about 8 and 10, are shown in the back of their parents' car sobbing over the end of "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." (Spoiler alert: Don't watch the video if you don't know how the movie ends). It seems the family has just come out of the theater and the boys have dissolved into paroxysms of grief, the kind of can't-catch-your-breath-sobbing we've all seen kids fall victim to.
Initially, the parents seem interested in making the grief over the movie's ending a teachable moment. You can hear the mom talking about the "circle of life." But at some point, Mom and Dad are just so enthralled with what they're capturing on video that they seem to encourage the hysteria. Just as it appears to be winding down, you can hear the mother say, "Do you want to see the movie again?," a chuckle obvious in her voice. Cue the floodgates as the sobbing starts again.
The parents knew they had video gold here. But they acted just like that 16-year-old who in the heat of the moment posts an ill-advised photo to Facebook or tweets something inappropriate. Instead of tucking the video away for embarrassing showings to aunts, uncles and cousins, they posted it online. If you Google "boys crying over Timothy Green," the video fills six pages of search results.
These boys are now back in school. Maybe their classmates haven't seen the video; maybe if they have, they are good enough kids not to tease the brothers.
But if we don't want our kids doing stupid things online, we would be well advised to set the example by not doing stupid things online ourselves.
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Grant, the editor of The Washington Post's KidsPost section, also writes about parenting issues.