For Alana De La Garza, mom to a three-year-old boy and one-year-old daughter, her career depends on make believe, so the real-versus-fake talk is ongoing in her home. Best known for portraying a district attorney on Law & Order, this fall she plays a detective in Forever (on CTV), about an immortal medical examiner. “It’s a bit like House meets Highlander.”
“Teaching young kids to distinguish between fact and fiction can be challenging. There’s confusion, fear and, occasionally, disappointment that a favourite character isn't able to bounce over skyscrapers.
My son was watching a portion of the show and my husband and I were both like ‘Uh, turn the channel. Mommy is holding a gun!’ So, you know, it’s really important to teach him that guns aren't cool. Especially with me playing a detective. With each child you have to approach it differently because they have such different personalities.
You have to talk, talk and talk. And repeat it. Just like you tell them, ‘please don’t stand on the coffee table.’ You have to repeat this throughout their lives, whether it’s guns, drugs, violence; it’s the same way we explain to him that you don’t do Kung Fu on your sister, you do it in class! I know my son wants to be a superhero, specifi cally, Batman, so that’s a delicate situation.”
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, November 2014.