Every family has its own unique rites of passage – milestones, that mark a child’s growth and that remind parents of their own experiences.
In the Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt household, one recent milestone attracted a great deal of public interest and reaction.
In an interview with W Magazine Angelina Jolie, is reported to have said “My mom took me to buy my first daggers when I was 11 or 12,” she recalls. “And I’ve already bought Maddox some things. We take him to a special shop.” She emphasizes that the knife blades are dulled so they’re not dangerous, and that the purchases are accompanied by discussions about violence. But, she says, “we also talk about samurais and about the idea of defending someone as good. We talk about everything.”
Hundreds of comments and blogs later - I believe that we need to look further to the context of Angelina's comments.
In the western tradition 7 years of age was known as "The Age Of Reason" which was the name given to that moment of development at which a person is deemed to be morally responsible and would be held accountable. Though such maturity may come before, or be delayed until after that time.
Of course we now live in an age when few are held responsible for anything, where many seek to introduce bogus mitigating circumstances in a court of law and where sentencing can be considerably shortened by evidence of, for example, a bad upbringing.
It is under such circumstances that we blame the implement but not the perpetrator.
In my world, there was a time that age 7 was the normal age for boys to get their very own pen-knife. As a child my grandad gave me my first knife while I was at perimary school – a very basic Swiss army knife. In hindsight, 50 years later, did this make him a bad or an irresonsible person. ?
In December's Harper's Bazaar, Angelina got the opportunity to clarify some of the issues around what she said. "I don't walk around feeling I need to apologize or explain myself." She went on to say that she will only play characters on the big screen that she would ideally want to hang out with.
"I tell stories that are about the type of woman I'd want to meet," says the star, who plays the mother of a kidnapped son in her latest drama Changeling.
"The type of woman where I think, even if it's silly characters I've played, like in Tomb Raider, there's something about her that will be fun for my daughters to see one day," she adds.
She says she and beau Brad Pitt explain the difference between the big screen and real life to their children.
"Listen, my kids play video games. I let them play with toy soldiers. We don't take war and violence lightly, but we don't hide it from anybody," she says. "We say, 'Mommy and Daddy have movies where we play these characters, but there's real death and violence in the world.'"
In a recent interview in Tokoyo, Johnny Depp says working with Angelina Jolie on his latest film taught him to think of her in a different way – as a great mother.
Depp says he does not know how Jolie and husband Brad Pitt handle parenthood while juggling the distractions of being famous. He says Jolie is "a shockingly great mother" and remains calm despite all the paparazzi and pressures of fame.
What kind of mother do you think Angelina Jolie is ?
Could it be that she is an excellent mother looking to do the very best she can for her family. As always, your comments on all issues to do with knives and knife education are appreciated.