Originally Posted by lach
And not to get all conspiracy-theoryish (I get paranoid at 3am when I'm suffering from pregnancy insomnia... sorry about that), but I do worry that the "hooking" of very young children onto this sort of emotional roller coaster at such a young age sets them up for a need for more and more extreme forms of entertainment as they get older. I don't think that it's good for very young kids to be exposed to such artificial emotional extremes... most preschoolers are good enough at coming up with their own emotional extremes just based on day to day experiences! Don't even get me started on what happens in our household if DD gets the wrong spoon!
I have no proof, no study, not even any anecdata... but I still can't help but feel that if your 3yo is watching Finding Nemo (sorry to keep picking on that one movie... I really just used it as an example of what I think happens in a lot of kids movies) then where do you go from there? How could it NOT work to desensitize children to real emotions when they're exposed to such extreme artificial emotions at such a young age as entertainment?
I'm sure others don't agree with me, and as I said I have nothing to back that up. But I do have to say that it concerns me just how violent and emotionally exploitative movies and TV have gotten, and how younger and younger children seem to be the audience for these sorts of things. I don't see how things like the Saw movies can't desensitize a young teenager to the real violence of the world. Even if they logically know that it's not real, our brains work in weird ways and process new information by relating it to old, even in a subconscious way.
Me, me, me! I agree with you completely! I find that we are exposing our kids at increasingly younger ages to stuff that it's not really necessary to be exposed to, in general, when it comes to media and entertainment. My husband brought home Finding Nemo and my 3 yr old DS was scared to death about 10 minutes into it! I definitely decided it was not for little ones.
And don't even get me started on the stuff for teenagers and adults. I am really just not that big on tv/movies for littles in general. If it wasn't for my DH, we'd probably be tv-free with our little guy. But DH is not on board.
OP, I agree with you that I am really disturbed that there are no parents around in these movies or tv shows. Rarely there are, like the Incredibles, but that is definitely not a movie for a 3 yr old either, IMO.
Actually, the whole trend in the past 20 yrs or so of making cartoons into shows for adults bugs me. I know LOTS of people disagree with me, DH included, but I think that when we do that, and it LOOKS less realistic, we allow things to happen in those cartoons that we wouldn't allow to happen in a "real" show with actors. Does that make sense? That's kind of veering off topic though.
Anyway, I DO think that it is, well, maybe not a conspiracy, but definitely a mindset in our society now that we're teaching our kids to rely on peers or strangers and not the family unit. I think we've become SO politically correct that nobody wants to portray a family unit with parents, because then you might offend single parent homes, or GLBTG homes, or homes where kids are raised by grandparents, or whatever the situation. And so what ends up happening is, the kids in the shows are raising themselves, or depending on peers, or society, to take care of them. Which, for me, is a negative thing. I want my kids to come to my DH or myself in a crisis, if at all possible. And I think that is okay for us to teach that. I think we should have more movies with families, not just kids running around by themselves.
I haven't read Hold On to Your Kids but I might look it up..I enjoyed Protecting the Gift a lot though. I have no idea if it's similar or not.