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How to make others understand how we feel about superheros - Page 2

post #21 of 91
Maybe you could create some opportunities for appropriate super hero play. If your family wants to get him super hero toys have them get him a cape and a mask. Play with the boys to create an imaginary super hero that is gentle and kind and helps people and animals. It won't last for ever. Regardless of if my kids are playing super hero, house, school, princesses there always seems to emerge a good guy and bad guy. it seems like something kids just to need to embrace. to work it out. Perhaps instead of banning super hero stuff (these are his comfort objects and entertainment) just worry about his behavior (no play fighting with the baby. we play gently). There is no reason super heros have to be violent or incite a riot.
post #22 of 91
I'm completely not prepared to raise a boy either, but I'm trying to soak up as much info. as I can on the art of raising boys. FWIW, I enjoyed reading Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence.

Having said that, yeah, why is anyone giving a 1 year old superhero figures???
post #23 of 91
btdt-- all over the map on this one. DS1 never had nor wanted weapons/ superheroes (didn't even see Toy Story 'til he was like 7! bc I thought it was pretty competitive for a young child) Anyway, his first exposure to weapons was a disturbed child at pre school shouting KILL! KILL! KILL! and chopping the head off a stuffed animal with a plastic butter knife. Yeah, good times.

We still did no kill, no weapons play until the force could not be reckoned with, then we went to no shooting at living things, and finally no shooting at people. I still say this to children at church or the park-- "we don't kill PEOPLE!"

Anyway-- they're boys! Excess testosterone from before birth! My boys do now fish and hunt (like, for food, not sport; not that they've ever been uh, successful hunters, yet, LOL) DS1 now makes pocket money butchering smallish livestock for friends and tanning hides. (See, it could be worse, you could have 8 coyote hides drying in your carport, like I do right now )

They totally ream anyone among their friends who is careless w a weapon, even a bb gun or airsoft, even if the muzzle accidently points toward a person in an unloaded, half-disassembled weapon, so they get it. They value life and personal safety.

What bothers me the most is the slow shift in values on my part. Still not sure whether I changed my own values or caved, and THAT is where it's at for my peace of mind.

You are right, tho to insist on no weapons/ violent toys at your house, and never let the child pretend to kill people-- it's just not something young children should emulate or practice, IMO. You may be the only one in that child's life teaching him life is too sacred for that to be ok, even as a joke, even in play.

blessings

boys are a whole new kind of fun, eh?
post #24 of 91
I don't know any kids who play "named" superheroes who just reenact the movies over and over again. I know as a kid, when the neighborhood gang all started playing "Star Wars" all over the block, we weren't slavishly following the movie like a script at all -- in fact, in general we weren't reenacting the movie becuase, y'know, that had been done already.

Have you ever really watched a group of kids playing superhero play? They come up with their own scenarios and act them out. Generally, the characters shape the roles each participant is taking (bad guy, good guy, etc), but that's just the launching point.
post #25 of 91
http://www.askmoxie.org/2010/08/disc...th-others.html

This chapter in this book really surprised me--maybe it'll help you be ok with the exposure you can't control?
post #26 of 91
I just wanted to say I don't find superheroes at odds with my values much.

I mean yes, sure, the shows have violence and I'm not about to screen Dark Knight. I'm not rushing out to increase our plastic merch (although we have some) and if we do screen something it tends to be vintage stuff back when they didn't do much that was gory.

But standing up for what is right and even intervening with force if necessary to protect innocent people isn't something that bothers me. It's an archetypal story. I kind of prefer that to some of the kids stuff on the market that is sort of - chaotic and disorganized. I really prefer Mr. Rogers but even he has that witch puppet hanging out with him in the world of make believe.

That said our rule is all the play has to be consensual. 11 month olds can't consent so that would be a no go.
post #27 of 91
The "super heros" are worships for some sort of super power that allows them to save people or something. I don't think they are harmful. But all the super hero movies like Batman and Spiderman are disgusting and over the top for kids. I could not believe it when my son was the only child in kindergarten to not see Indiana Jones. That movie was completely inappropriate for children. I don't know why these adults movies are being advertised targeted at children. I don't allow my children to see those movies, or any movie that I feel is inappropriate. I don't think just the general idea of super heros will hurt your children, but I think there are issues with not wanting your children to see the movies. I think that there is a lot of out of date advice out there regarding to how harmful these things can be to kids. The movies are so intense and gross and ...ok.....I have to go, sorry, wish I could add more. Children calling.
post #28 of 91
My 4.5 year old LOVES superheroes
It all started when he was 3 years old at a thrift store when he found a Superman stuffie with cape and HAD TO HAVE IT! He didn't know who it was and as far as I knew had never seen anything like it. But it all began that day.
From then on, I was on the lookout for 'appropriate' hero play, as in, Early Reader comics that were more appropriate for a younger child, or just some hero toys, or costumes. I actually found that his imaginative play has flourished since loving heroes. He makes up his own stories surrounding his hero toys and his dress-ups, as well as he incorporates the stories from the Early Reader comics.
We allow weapon play and rough play in our house but we also have strict rules about it too. Everyone involved has to be having fun during the play. We have to be respectful of boundaries, and when someone says 'no or stop', then we have to listen to them.
We don't involve babies in the play usually since 'they don't understand what the game is' yet.
If someone shots at me and I don't want to play then I just tell them, no thank you I don't want to play, and they listen to that.

In your situation though, you son is so young. It is strange that people are giving you toys for him concerning superheroes already. I'd probably just put them away for when he is older. Don't most of them have a 3+ on them anyway.

I would be setting some rules about when and how the older boy can be playing at your house. I would have a 'no involving the baby' rule for sure. Maybe tell him he needs to protect the baby...that sometimes helps
post #29 of 91
Thread Starter 
Thanks all! I am checking all the links out and have put Raising Cain in my Netflix Queue.

I will surely try to steer him towards more "rescue" type play rather than killing play. Perhaps he would enjoy "rescuing" the baby instead of ambushing the baby.

In my Mother's house weapons were a big NO but my grandfather hunted and taught all of us about guns. I am pretty proficient in handling weapons though it has been quite a while since I handled more than a bb gun LOL. I am just against play killing and DH is with me on this one. It's not so much that I expect my son to never engage in this type of play, I just want to control the exposure more. Sooner or later he'll want to know what that blue light saber hanging above his door is for LOL!
post #30 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
The "super heros" are worships for some sort of super power that allows them to save people or something. I don't think they are harmful. But all the super hero movies like Batman and Spiderman are disgusting and over the top for kids.
I didn't know they were aimed at kids. I never saw much of the advertising for those movies, except for trailers once or twice, but they didn't seem particularly kid focused to me.

Part of the problem with the movies is that they're drawn from the current renditions of the superheroes. Comics like Batman and Spider-Man have changed a lot over the last 20-25 years, and they've become much, much darker than they used to be (although the original Batman, of the 30s, was hardcore). So, those heroes are straddling two very different kinds of worlds...the modern, dark universe which is definitely not meant for kids, and the older one, which was much more kid friendly.

My kids have seen the Spider-Man movies. They haven't seen Dark Knight. I couldn't even stomach Dark Knight, and I'm a Batman fan from waaaayyyy back.

Quote:
I could not believe it when my son was the only child in kindergarten to not see Indiana Jones. That movie was completely inappropriate for children.
Different people draw the lines in different places, and for different reasons. My kids have all seen the Star Wars trilogy (the original one - the prequels suck, and I have no interest in renting them to see again), all four Indiana Jones movies, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Lots of people wouldn't be okay with that for their children, and that's fine. I don't have a problem with it.


OP: I can't help you with the superhero issue, as I have no problem with superheroes. But, as far as toys coming to your house, you definitely have the right to just say "no", and not allow it. If the mom sends it, anyway, put it up and don't let the boy play with it until he leaves. The mom will get the message. If you really don't like the way he plays with your son, then it's probably best to stop watching him.

And, I have to agree with those who wonder why your baby is getting superhero toys. That seems odd.
post #31 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
The "super heros" are worships for some sort of super power that allows them to save people or something. I don't think they are harmful. But all the super hero movies like Batman and Spiderman are disgusting and over the top for kids. I could not believe it when my son was the only child in kindergarten to not see Indiana Jones. That movie was completely inappropriate for children. I don't know why these adults movies are being advertised targeted at children. I don't allow my children to see those movies, or any movie that I feel is inappropriate. I don't think just the general idea of super heros will hurt your children, but I think there are issues with not wanting your children to see the movies. I think that there is a lot of out of date advice out there regarding to how harmful these things can be to kids. The movies are so intense and gross and ...ok.....I have to go, sorry, wish I could add more. Children calling.
I totally agree that if parents aren't okay with movies, then don't show them to your kids. I'd kind of disagree though that all/many/most superhero movies (the recent reboots anyway) are geared solely or even really geared at all to kids.

Just like there is the kid's versions of King Arthur and the gallant knights vs. the adult infidelity versions (and the Christian versions, and the pagan versions, and the feminist versions and...) there are loads of versions of superheroes. Obviously as parents we have a few years anyway where we can decide which versions are okay or not okay.

And part of the pleasure of maturing, I think, is to revisit stories with new understanding. I'm re-reading Swiss Family Robinson for the first time since I was a kid and where before it was just all so much fun now I'm like "now I totally get why the mother didn't want the husband going back out to the shipwreck!" and "seriously, is there any way one family can get so much DONE in a day on a desert island?"

Anyway, just saying that for me superheroes (and heros in general) are a lot broader than a particular movie.

OP I actually came back to mention that in the range of horrible plastic toys there is a series called Rescue Heroes - firemen, etc. - that are pretty playable. 11 months is still way way too young but if you were looking for a compromise with your family that might be one way to go in the future.
post #32 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
I hate hearing "I'm going to KILL that guy" from a preschooler.
I think it's perfectly fine for you to have some house rules about language and violent play. If one of DS's friends talked about killing someone in my house I'd tell him to stop, and if he refused he'd be sent home -- that's not how we talk in this house. So, views about superheroes aside, it's perfectly within your rights to have rules about behavior for this boy while you're watching him.
post #33 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadian View Post
I dunno. I think it's a good, albeit blunt, way about teaching morality, strength, wanting good to triumph over evil. I think that wearing a mask and personifying a person with strength and goodness is a good thing, as is playing the shadow side (the villain) and *knowing* that it's wrong.

In the land of childhood make-believe, we can't always be the 'good guys' if there are no 'baddies', and darnit...sometimes it's just *fun*.

My kids love imaginary play. They play weddings, pirates, fairies, astronauts, scientists, etc. etc. They've also played funeral, cops 'n robbers and war. It's sure opened up some great conversations. I can't imagine being so hypervigilant to shield them or divert their games to my agenda.

Sorry...I guess I don't agree with censoring imaginative play.
I agree with this.

But I also don't let almost 5 year old DD watch movies that have alot of violence so she's only seen a couple of spiderman, one star wars, and one teenage mutant ninja turtle movie. She did inherit some jurastic park toys, star trek action figures, a batman and a teenage mutant ninja turtle from my DH and an old friend of his. She thinks superheros save people from all sorts of things including falling from great heights or getting 'trapped' in a box. Lately her princess dolls have been transforming into superheros and saving each other. One of her dolls transforms into a giraffe (shleich model) that can fly and then saves the other princess dolls. I'm not disturbed by the flying giraffe kicking the T-Rex in the head and grabbing a princess from it's jaws. We haven't had a problem with play fighting and we've always had sword rules (like only hit other swords with your sword or pretend the tree is a dragon). We don't allow talk about killing real people, but the T-Rex can talk about killing one of the dragons or even 'eat' the model animals.
post #34 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChetMC View Post
This is how I feel too.

Kids don't just imagine and pretend happy things. Kids use play to explore all sorts of concepts and feelings.

The only real rule we have is that when kids play together it has to be fun for everybody who is playing. It's fair to not buy the props, but I'm not comfortable telling kids what they can and cannot pretend.
That. You can control what he's exposed to now, but at some point, he'll play with another child and figure it out. In my experience, boys especially, go through a stage where they're obsessed with this kind of stuff. With my kids, I've found that talking to them about the good that superheroes do is much more effective than just not allowing it.

Good luck. Raising Cain is a great resource for moms of boys. I don't get why mine do most of what they do but that book has helped a ton.
post #35 of 91
The images of good and evil are very, very powerful for children. You can look to classic fairytales and see this.

We have a rule that inside the home is a "safe spot"-no pretend shooting, light sabers, etc. It's too intense inside. DS is heavily into Star Wars (the real version), and super heros here. I have to say, I don't find that it's the characters, per se, that draw my son, as much as it is the idea of being a good guy, and feeling strong, and being rightous against "bad guys". When I watch this sort of imaginative play going on it's clear that it's feeding something very important.

FWIW, I actually think Star Wars is pretty cool, and I totally love that my little boy loves comics-we do the Marvel and DC comics that are geared for younger kids. He collects them and reads them over and over again. And, never in a million years were these things on my radar before I became the mom of a little boy!
post #36 of 91
I keep recommending this book (about every few months it comes up). It is written for preschool teachers, but I found it very helpful as a parent. It talks about why kids gravitate to superhero/villain play, why they need parts of it and what adults can do to help channel it positively. It also talks about the difference between adult discomfort and damaging aggression.

" Heroes, villains and saving the day! Magic Capes, Amazing Powers explores why children are so strongly attracted to superhero and weapons play, and addresses the resulting concerns of parents and teachers. Unique in its approach to this wildly popular type of play, Magic Capes describes how teachers can use redirection, story-telling, dramatic play materials, anti-bias curriculum and clear limit-setting to guide superhero play in a positive direction that allows children to play and satisfies the concerns of adults."

Very helpful and reassuring.
Magic Capes, Amazing Powers: Transforming Superhero Play in the Classroom

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Capes-Am...6547296&sr=1-1
post #37 of 91
Quote:
I totally agree that if parents aren't okay with movies, then don't show them to your kids. I'd kind of disagree though that all/many/most superhero movies (the recent reboots anyway) are geared solely or even really geared at all to kids.
I agree with this. I think it is the job of the parents to educate themselves on what is or is not appropriate for their children. This is why the film industry publishes parental guidelines. Take for instance "Where the Wild Things Are": the film got a lot of criticism because many people thought it was not appropriate for children. The film, however, was marketed to an adult audience. In fact, the film's director, Spike Jonzes (one of my favorites!) said that his goal wasn't to make a movie for children, but rather a film about childhood. I enjoyed "Wild Things" immensely but the dialogue was definitely geared towards adults (nothing obsene, just adults talking to each other and a kid in a complex adult way). That being said, we can complain about marketing all we want, but as the parent we have the last word.
post #38 of 91

Raising Cain

I just wanted to point out the Raising Cain is also a book.

I'm actually a big fan of all of the Micheal Thompson books that I've read so far. He has several pertaining specifically to boys, and a couple of others that address issues pertaining to both genders, education, etc.
post #39 of 91
I think that there are a lot of ways to work around these issues in an age appropriate way. My DH is a huge comic fan. There was no way my child was not going to be exposed to superheros.

However, these days, while the ADULT movies are out there (and he's never seen them) there are also comics like Tiny Titans and shows like SuperHero Squad which are aimed at children and have little violence and a lot of problem solving.

Along the same idea is the PBS show "Super Why" where fairy tale characters use reading as their super powers.

I've learned over the past few months as DS got really into this, that mostly he wants to wear a cape (We use playsilks right now, I think Santa is bringing a 'real' cape this year) and run around.

He makes the 'shooting' noise, but doesn't connect it anything, so I haven't said much. I have found in my experiences working with children that outlawing a thing usually just makes it more exciting. It's never easy though.
post #40 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemoon View Post
I keep recommending this book (about every few months it comes up). It is written for preschool teachers, but I found it very helpful as a parent. It talks about why kids gravitate to superhero/villain play, why they need parts of it and what adults can do to help channel it positively. It also talks about the difference between adult discomfort and damaging aggression.

" Heroes, villains and saving the day! Magic Capes, Amazing Powers explores why children are so strongly attracted to superhero and weapons play, and addresses the resulting concerns of parents and teachers. Unique in its approach to this wildly popular type of play, Magic Capes describes how teachers can use redirection, story-telling, dramatic play materials, anti-bias curriculum and clear limit-setting to guide superhero play in a positive direction that allows children to play and satisfies the concerns of adults."

Very helpful and reassuring.
Magic Capes, Amazing Powers: Transforming Superhero Play in the Classroom

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Capes-Am...6547296&sr=1-1

I was just coming here to post a recommendation for this book as well.
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