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Mixed age group concern--not so desirable older kid influence

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

 

Hello, I'm new here but have been lurking and reading threads in this forum for some time. My DD is 2 1/2 year old I've never tested her but she's been well above the average curve for some time. Full letters/numeral recognitions@14 month, complex sentences by 18month and her latest interest are human internal anatomy, counting big numbers and tutu. She talks like a 4, 5 year old but of course her maturity is nowhere close.

 

After doing lots of reading, my DH and I put her in mixed age(3 to 6yr) montessori program just a few months ago.

Many 2yr olds in her class are not very verbal and don't know how to play with other kids yet, so DD talks a lot about older kids who come and play with her. When we toured school, the kids seem very friendly, mature and nurturing toward younger ones, so I was happy until recently when DD begain talking about "going on a date" and tonight gave me some mangled lines from Beyonce's "my man"(I'm not a pop fan, so I had to google search to figure this out).

 

My DH and I have zealously avoided all TV, commercial influence--we cancelled our cable subscription and the only TV DD watches are some documentaries and PBS programs w/ no commericals, so it's clearly something she picked up from older kids. Of course she doesn't understand what they mean, but now I'm concerned.

 

I know kids these days grow up very fast and probably it's not too unusual for 5 or 6 year olds to be familiar with a Beyonce's tune or two, and whether I like it or not, DD may become a fan of the next gen Beyonce when she's 5 but I feel 2 year is just too early. Smart kids pick up things fast and in DD's case, she's picking up how to socialize as well as Beyonce, preschool crush, etc.

Have you had this kind of experience in mixed age group and how did you deal with it? I still like the idea of mixed age group for advanced/gifted kids, but not sure how to ward off this type of influence and explain it to my 2 1/2 year old.

Any idea/comment would be appreciated. Thank you.

post #2 of 16

My kids are mostly teens now, but despite largely having friends who are 2-4 years older than them, they have never ever picked up the sort of stuff you described. I mean, they probably know who Beyoncé is, but would not recognize her songs, and have never mimicked any of that sort of thing. So I think this says less about the age of your dd's friends and more about your particular child's environment: daily large-group immersion amongst children of a fairly mainstream cultural bent.

 

Obviously you're right: at 2, your dd is not really understanding the full meaning behind the lyrics and the "going on a date" references, so this is unlikely at this stage to seriously corrupt her development and values. You may be able to exert some significant influence on her by explaining why it's inappropriate for young children to talk about / care about these things. Some kids, at some ages, can be dissuaded from a peer orientation and encouraged back in line with parental values. But if you feel you want to insulate her from pop culture, I think you might want to put some careful thought into the kid-culture that school represents. If you live in a pretty mainstream area and you put her in a culturally mainstream school environment, you're going to get a lot of mainstream (pop) cultural immersion. It's inevitable, and it's going to start early like this. In a large-group environment where adults are not able to involve themselves in each conversation and redirect as necessary, the pop culture meme can easily take root as a strong focus amongst the children.

 

If you wish to insulate her from that, you will probably need to consider different preschool options. Generally Waldorf-based environments are free of pop culture, as they attract families with values similar to yours -- often TV-free, pop-culture-free, naturalistic and gentle. Often parent-co-operative preschools have a more cohesive set of parental values, and potentially at least you could find a group of families who "fit" your style a little better. The other possibility is the one I chose: keep your child out of school and other large-group peer environments. Instead look for a variety of social and play opportunities with children and other of a variety of ages within the community. These interactions will tend to have 1 on 1 parental guidance, so despite interacting with a wide variety of people of a wide variety of values, the pop culture meme is be much less likely to be freely passed around. By age 8 or so my kids had a firm enough grounding in our family's values that they could exist in an onslaught of peer group pop culture whilst being sure of themselves and recognizing on their own how warped the other stuff all is. 

 

Good luck!

 

Miranda

post #3 of 16

I dont think you can do much on what other kiddos talk/do in free time at school as long as it is not completely inappropriate. If it is totally off-kilter talk to the teachers. You also may want to know if it is one other child in particular or a group of older kids. One child could just be that and he/she may not reflect the preschool as a whole. A group of kiddos that are constantly discussing topics of that nature may be reflective of the school culture. If it bothers you enough you may look into changing schools.

 

That said, my 5 almost 6 yr olds dont know who Beyonce is nor do they know any music that is teen/pop. They do recognize  Hannah Montanah from shopping and ads/reading her name, but do not watch the show or listen to her music. They attend a public first grade and did two years of public preschool.

 

They primarily watch PBS, but really watch little TV. They do know and play with popular, age appropriate character toys (my little pony, strawberry shortcake, Clifford, etc). They read a lot.

 

We have talked to them how commercials and ads are just trying to get you to buy stuff since they see ads when DH is watching sports, in the newspaper, and/or on street signs. It has helped discussing with them why companies put up ads and that they are trying to make money. We started those discussions around age 3 when they were reading street signs that would say "Buy NOW" and they would tell me " Mommy we have to buy that now! The sign says so!" It has been fabulous in teaching them the purpose of ads/commercials and how to resist them.

 

Once you have kiddos in the 'mainstream' flow you will see some of the outside influences. Some kiddos also may have older siblings that expose them to topics that a 'oldest' or 'only' child might not simply due to family dynamics.

 

 

The way we explain it to our kiddos when friends are playing/watching/talking about things that DH and I dont 'allow' or approve for their age is one of a few ways or a combination:

 

1. that is for older kids (example being some TV shows cousins watch)

2. Different people like different (music, TV, bedtimes, clothes,).

3. DH and I dont believe that is (music, tv, clothes, topics) for a 5/6 yr old. Why dont we watch/play/etc ________.

4. That is not a TV, movie, music, etc we watch at house. ________'s parents may have different rules and that is OK. But we dont________ here because _______ (it is violent, it has adult language, it is scary, etc)

 

We do get WHY?? Often I will be frank and explain in simple terms why. (  DH and I dont think writing needs to be on the backside of pants, there is a lot of violence in that movie, that song talks about older kid topics, we got to bed at X time since we get up early- your friend X may sleep in later, etc)

 

So far it has worked well for us. The girls have absorbed some pop culture from their peers, but honestly so far it is merely exposure and neither one has expressed a desire to do anything ( watch show, music selection, clothes, etc) that was not appropriate for their age. I am sure as they get older it will be harder.

 

 I will say my kiddo say ' going on a date' since I use that phrase when DH and I go out  or I take them out on a 'girl date afternoon' or 'we have a play date'. They simply use it in the context of people with a set time/place they are going.  


Edited by KCMichigan - 9/30/11 at 9:24am
post #4 of 16

I think personality is the determining factor in this. Some kids really gravitate to what is made for their own generation and others don't. When my DD 14 was in preschool, elementary and middle school, she was always out of sync. She wasn't into the same shows, music or activities no matter how much exposure she was getting from her typical peers. My DS 10 is also out of sync at school.... except for Star Wars... that's pretty big with 10-year-old's across the board (and 40-year olds like DH lol.) As they aged, they tried on different hats. Eventually, they found true peer groups that share their love for bands that were old when *I* was a kid, cancelled TV shows, classic novels and movies, the BBC, ect. I don't think all these kids were parented the same. They are just different sorts of kids who gravitate to each other.

 

Certainly, teach your child to have a critical eye and to value quality. Expose them to great works whether old or modern. Talk about why you and they like different things. I remember DH having this long conversation with DD once about "Barney" when she was 2 or 3. They talked about how Barney doesn't use a lot of original music... just takes classic childhood melodies and changes the words. They compared and contrasted the puppetry of Sesame Street with Barney. It was pretty hilarious to me but it stuck. Just don't over-react to the trials. Yes, DD read the whole Twilight series because she wanted to know what the big deal was. She saw it as drivel but the value was in being able to talk to her classmates when needed and no mutual interest was bringing them together naturally.

 

In your case, start conversations now about what a relationship is. Don't lecture or make it a huge deal but now and then, point out why you chose DH. How a boy really treats you when he loves you. It will clue her into to how "not" a relationship all these school things are. Share your feelings about preschoolers having "boyfriends." Often saying it's "silly" goes further than you firmly saying it's inappropriate (save that one for later!) Being "silly" makes it "not" grown-up and besides, how exactly does a 2-year-old go on a date? They can't drive, they can't go anywhere without parents, they have no money to pay for a movie, ect. When you lay it out like that, kids think it's pretty silly too. 

 

 

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

 

Thanks Miranda, KC and whatsnextmom for inputs and suggestions.

We live in California suburb where many parents in the area tend to be overly academic when it comes to kids' education. The school DD attends is not a "drill and read" type of private schools popular in this area nor is it entirely play-based school(for DD's survival in super competitive atmosphere beyond kindergarten). We did look into waldorf, reggio emilia, mommy co-op(I really loved this option, but couldn't fit into our schedule), but there really weren't good fits in this area.

The DD's school is a certified montessori school and has a policy to send kids back home in case they come to school wearing clothes w/ provocative/violent characters and discourages kids from pretend playing commercial characters. But evidently, all this doesn't ensure that none of the preschoolers will find miss Beyonce and her music fascinating. I'm going to have a talk with the director and monitor the situation closely to see if this is one kid thing or there is a clique of kids who's into this type of things. I've read that preschool crushes are more common these days, but DD is just too young even to fathom that type of feeling/relationship, so I'll breach the subject after I have a talk with the teachers. Depending on what I find out, I will have to consider changing school if DD continues to get this type of influence.

I already had a icky sex education talk w/ DD a couple of months ago, since their bathroom is co-ed and she will eventually wonder about glaring obvious difference between boys and girls(it wasn't as bad as I dreaded, since it's all matter of facts for DD). It looks like it's time to bring in other things on the table, like commercials and pop music, etc. We just haven't come across that many opportunities to discuss them as DD has been mostly shielded.

Thanks again for tips and inputs. It really puts the problem in perspective when talking to other mommies.

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nirvanamommy View Post

I already had a icky sex education talk w/ DD a couple of months ago, since their bathroom is co-ed and she will eventually wonder about glaring obvious difference between boys and girls(it wasn't as bad as I dreaded, since it's all matter of facts for DD)..


Why was it icky?
post #7 of 16
A couple of other thoughts - my kids went to a lovely Reggio Emilia daycare. Most the parents were pretty crunchy. In fact far crunchier than I was.

I remember when ds was 5, the teachers said "this is the year when some of the kids are going to develop crushes on other kids. This is developmentally normal and we watch it very closely to make sure nothing inappropriate happens. This is just a step in the development of gender identity." So, if your child is in a class with kids who are 5 and 6, she might be exposed to this kind of stuff much earlier than if she were in a same age kind of class. So, I don't think preschool crushes are any more common 'these' days. I think it's just that it's another stage in figuring out gender identity. My dd knew the entire facts of life by the time she was 3. A neighbor was having a baby, and she kept asking questions. I answered them. You might want to get the book "It's Not the Stork" (there are follow up books for older kids: It's So Amazing and It's Perfectly Normal, which go into more detail.) If you're really uncomfortable with the topic, it'll give you a way to frame it.

Other posters have given you good advice for you on how to talk to your daughter. FWIW, my dd, when she was 4, declared she was going to marry our neighbor. Why? Because he was the only boy her age she knew! (And hey, it was an improvement over marrying her brother, which had been her previous goal. ) She developed her first crush at 6-7 -- she still thinks this boy is 'cute'. That's as FAR as it goes. She doesn't even talk to him. (She's far too embarrassed to.)

As far as Beyoncé goes (I had to google her name because I'm about clueless as it comes when it comes to pop culture). It's possible that some parents have different values than you do about letting their kids listen to pop music. It's also possible, as others have pointed out, that some of these kids have older siblings who are old enough to listen to her, and they've gotten it from them. It's also equally possible that they know she's a 'star' (she looks a lot like a Barbie doll to me!) and are just talking about her without really knowing the implications. One little boy in my son's daycare was obsessed with Spider Man. He talked incessantly about Spider Man. It was about the time the movie came out, and I remember asking his dad, "Has he seen the movie?" "Oh no, we'd never show him that, he's far too young." Turns out they didn't even own a TV, and were reading a few old comics (that were carefully screen) together. But if I'd just looked at the behavior of the boy, I would have assumed they were much more mainstream.

Finally, I'd ask you to challenge one of your assumptions: "nor is it entirely play-based school(for DD's survival in super competitive atmosphere beyond kindergarten)." The best research I know suggests that play-based preschools are the best to prepare kids for future academic success. Why? Because play teaches children to think and feel and learn the consequences of their actions. "Book learning" does not. It's not that 2-3 year olds can enjoy and learn things from books, but developmentally, they really need to explore and physically experience a lot. That's why the much early Montessori curriculum focuses skills such as pouring, counting objects, etc. Read "Einstein Never Used Flashcards".

My kids got very little in the way of academics before kindergarten, and even in Kindergarten it was project based and more holistic. It hasn't affected their academic progress one bit. But, it has affected their imagination and ability to play age-appropriate things. Even more, I think it's increased their ability to ignore/reject media that don't fit our family values. (Dd's got quite a rant on Hanna Montana smile.gif.) Remember that your family core values will win out in the end, if you're mindful and you keep that connection with your children open. (There's a reason I play soccer with my son (age 10) even when I don't feel like it!) Personally, I think exposure to values that are different from your family's values is important and helps your children learn to ask questions about your values and think about them. Dd (age 7) and I had a very interesting discussion about the Iraq war in the car today.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


Why was it icky?



explaining anatomical differences and why boys pee standing up was not hard. the icky part really was talking about what is an "appropriate" touch and what is not without going too much into detail. It's not something I like to talk to a 2 year old about, but since there are much older kids and a male teacher, I thought I'd better get it over with than be sorry later.

 

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

A couple of other thoughts - my kids went to a lovely Reggio Emilia daycare. Most the parents were pretty crunchy. In fact far crunchier than I was.
I remember when ds was 5, the teachers said "this is the year when some of the kids are going to develop crushes on other kids. This is developmentally normal and we watch it very closely to make sure nothing inappropriate happens. This is just a step in the development of gender identity." So, if your child is in a class with kids who are 5 and 6, she might be exposed to this kind of stuff much earlier than if she were in a same age kind of class. So, I don't think preschool crushes are any more common 'these' days. I think it's just that it's another stage in figuring out gender identity. My dd knew the entire facts of life by the time she was 3. A neighbor was having a baby, and she kept asking questions. I answered them. You might want to get the book "It's Not the Stork" (there are follow up books for older kids: It's So Amazing and It's Perfectly Normal, which go into more detail.) If you're really uncomfortable with the topic, it'll give you a way to frame it.
 
I did check out "It's not the stork" but I opted for "Amazing you!" and "your body belongs to you" instead. DD knows the difference between boys and girls, men and women, how a baby is made, grows in mommy and born, but there are some gaps in her knowledge that I hope(&pray) I won't have to fill in for an year or two at least. I didn't know preschool crushes were normal thing. Thanks for that info. I'll discuss that with the teachers too.
 

Other posters have given you good advice for you on how to talk to your daughter. FWIW, my dd, when she was 4, declared she was going to marry our neighbor. Why? Because he was the only boy her age she knew! (And hey, it was an improvement over marrying her brother, which had been her previous goal. ) She developed her first crush at 6-7 -- she still thinks this boy is 'cute'. That's as FAR as it goes. She doesn't even talk to him. (She's far too embarrassed to.)
As far as Beyoncé goes (I had to google her name because I'm about clueless as it comes when it comes to pop culture). It's possible that some parents have different values than you do about letting their kids listen to pop music. It's also possible, as others have pointed out, that some of these kids have older siblings who are old enough to listen to her, and they've gotten it from them. It's also equally possible that they know she's a 'star' (she looks a lot like a Barbie doll to me!) and are just talking about her without really knowing the implications. One little boy in my son's daycare was obsessed with Spider Man. He talked incessantly about Spider Man. It was about the time the movie came out, and I remember asking his dad, "Has he seen the movie?" "Oh no, we'd never show him that, he's far too young." Turns out they didn't even own a TV, and were reading a few old comics (that were carefully screen) together. But if I'd just looked at the behavior of the boy, I would have assumed they were much more mainstream.
 
I really hope that Beyonce incident turns out to be something like this too, because I spent a lot of time looking for the right school and we do like the school a lot apart from this recent development.

Finally, I'd ask you to challenge one of your assumptions: "nor is it entirely play-based school(for DD's survival in super competitive atmosphere beyond kindergarten)." The best research I know suggests that play-based preschools are the best to prepare kids for future academic success. Why? Because play teaches children to think and feel and learn the consequences of their actions. "Book learning" does not. It's not that 2-3 year olds can enjoy and learn things from books, but developmentally, they really need to explore and physically experience a lot. That's why the much early Montessori curriculum focuses skills such as pouring, counting objects, etc. Read "Einstein Never Used Flashcards".
 
I think it really depends on the school. There are play-based schools we toured which didn't even seem structured/organized let alone work on school readiness skills. Some were not bad, but their play-based learning was repeatedly focused on something so fundamental that DD wouldn't have gained much apart from interacting with other kids, which she's doing anyways in her montessori school now.

My kids got very little in the way of academics before kindergarten, and even in Kindergarten it was project based and more holistic. It hasn't affected their academic progress one bit. But, it has affected their imagination and ability to play age-appropriate things. Even more, I think it's increased their ability to ignore/reject media that don't fit our family values. (Dd's got quite a rant on Hanna Montana smile.gif.) Remember that your family core values will win out in the end, if you're mindful and you keep that connection with your children open. (There's a reason I play soccer with my son (age 10) even when I don't feel like it!) Personally, I think exposure to values that are different from your family's values is important and helps your children learn to ask questions about your values and think about them. Dd (age 7) and I had a very interesting discussion about the Iraq war in the car today.



 

 

post #10 of 16

I guess I don't understand what's wrong with the Beyonce song.  The classic fairy tales I read the kids at bedtime are way more twisted than that, romance and violence, granted they are 6 and 7 years old.  I think romance and its challenges has been around in pop culture consumed by children, time out of mind.

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post

I guess I don't understand what's wrong with the Beyonce song.  The classic fairy tales I read the kids at bedtime are way more twisted than that, romance and violence, granted they are 6 and 7 years old.  I think romance and its challenges has been around in pop culture consumed by children, time out of mind.


I'm not the OP, but my concern would not be with the melody or the lyrics, but with the fact that it represents exposure to pop/consumer culture, something which I have a profound distaste for and which I don't want my kids trying to emulate / buy into / worship / accept. Beyoncé is a household name not because of her exceptional creativity or talent but because of the culture of marketing, "spin" and consumerism, in a culture where money and novelty and superficial (a.k.a. sexual) appeal drive decision-making and acceptance. If Beyoncé lyrics are part of the culture of a group of preschoolers that suggests that unquestioning acceptance of popular consumer culture may very well be part of the culture of their parents ... and I would expect that a whole other set of influences lurk behind that one.

 

I know this sounds very paranoid and reactionary, but I'm someone who lives in a little enclave of super crunchy alternative types which goes back several generations, and I see how insidious and pervasive pop culture is in modern mainstream life. My family's life is quite far from what most of mainstream North America takes for granted as normal, and it gives me a powerful perspective on what popular consumer culture does. It changes values. It changes relationships. It changes assumptions and ambitions and creativity and self-concepts and stress levels. I've purposely chosen an environment that nurtures simplicity and honesty and authenticity rather than popularity and affluence and novelty. So I would get a little twitchy if I saw my 2-year-old emulating her peers in a way that belied considerable early exposure to a pop culture diva's work and its marketing. 

 

Miranda

post #12 of 16

 

 

Quote:
but since there are much older kids and a male teacher,

 

 

this statement is very bothersome to me

 

if you really feel this way and get upset about the song thing-IMO this is not a school for you

post #13 of 16

I think this should be stressed:
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

Once you have kiddos in the 'mainstream' flow you will see some of the outside influences. Some kiddos also may have older siblings that expose them to topics that a 'oldest' or 'only' child might not simply due to family dynamics.

  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

As far as Beyoncé goes (I had to google her name because I'm about clueless as it comes when it comes to pop culture). It's possible that some parents have different values than you do about letting their kids listen to pop music. It's also possible, as others have pointed out, that some of these kids have older siblings who are old enough to listen to her, and they've gotten it from them. 

 

Here, what you might call kindergarten, is mixed ages together - 3yo to 6yo. However, there are some 2y9months in this class, as well as a few 7yo. The young are exposed to what the older ones are doing, and in some cases want to emulate to fit in. But siblings can make a HUGE difference. My DS is the oldest, and he was pretty niave, even when he was one of the oldest. Then he went to school, and came home with some real doozies. My DD, who was 3 at the time, picked up all these expressions and actions. So, she might APPEAR to a parent raising an only or an oldest, as a little to "fast". In reality, she just has a big brother who is in school. She is turning 5 in a month and asked for Hanna Montana outfit for her birthday. (Barf, and mean old mommy said no). I don't think my oldest, DS, at that age, was anywhere near as "fast" in the social department. 

 

Off topic: Also, I agree withe the pps about sex talk. This should be a natural, on going discussion between you, not an "icky conversation." And again, siblings make a difference. My 4yo and 6yo still take a bath together, so they know, and see, what a penis and a yoni are. Lots of bathroom potty talk as well. Plus they have seen me on the toilet with a red maxi pad, so the whole menstruation, egg coming out... discussion has happened several times. (and I am still wondering when I will be able to use the toilet by myself without someone barging in wanting to show me a magic trick or find out where their Lego is). DD caught DH and I at least once DTDD. That didn't cause questions though. She just said "no, I will wait here until you are finished." Oh my, this still makes me laugh. 

post #14 of 16

I had my DH read what you posted and he said the same thing that I had been thinking---

 

a few things really stick out in your post and give us the "icky" feeling

 

the fact that you mention - the whole issue with the bathroom, the "older" kids and the male teacher------ah, don't you realize that you run the large risk of your child repeating a few things here? It would really disturb us if our 3 year old came home and started says something such as - MALE teacher, touching, having to watch out (regarding OLDer students) - first of all, no matter how bright your child is and you do not say that all the students are "gifted" here (so this can really factor here)-plays a game of "telephone" and frankly at this age group a lot of it is like "telephone" by the time it gets home----it could be you that becomes the issue here!

 

I really still can not grasp the whole "icky" conversation---I mean really??? all because of what? what does this have to do with having a  male teacher?

would you have said anything had it been a female? and the whole "older" children---so if you were dealing with only a year or two would you still had to say about inappropriate touching????

 

I am ALL in favor of education and talking and learning about what is appropriate and what is not but I don't get where you are coming from.

The thing with the unisex bathroom---that is pretty standard around our parts and in no way NOT normal--most are at pre-schools.

 

Unless you have some "crunch-meter" test going on---the "song" thing in mild compared to what could be happening, you are at a school you view as a prep of some sort for real "school" you do open yourself up to outside influences and repeating what was said does not mean your child is being influenced by "pop-culture" the same goes for your child and what she talks about --- also- the knowing about Beyonce she (I would highly guess) has no real clue who she is, but you are not going to be able to avoid outside mentions from others no matter what you do- the one she heard it from could not have TV, yet spent some time with a cousin who taught her the song--again, if these are issues for you-I would pull her out---it does not come across as a good fit for you given the whole to need to address the "bath room agenda"as well---IMO

 

and you should also let your DD know---it is perfectly NORMAL for a male to "sit" and many mothers here on mothering teach their sons to sit-least your child get really confused 

 

it just comes across as a bit unnerving 


Edited by serenbat - 10/3/11 at 1:23pm
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

 

 

this statement is very bothersome to me

 

if you really feel this way and get upset about the song thing-IMO this is not a school for you


I totally agree.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post

Also, I agree withe the pps about sex talk. This should be a natural, on going discussion between you, not an "icky conversation."  


i agree with this as well. How you FEEL about these conversations may be coming across more clearly than what you say. The main message you may be projecting right now is "Don't talk to mommy about these things because they make mommy uncomfortable."

My kids go to a K-12 school with mixed aged homerooms. I believe there are tremendous advantages to kids being around those older and younger than themselves. The younger kids at the school are exposed to aspects of pop culture that they might not be otherwise. They also have big kids around to play with them, show them things, listen to them. But the "little" kids at our school are 5,6, and 7. You might consider what the benefits are of this specific preschool for your child and consider if they outweigh the occasional Beyonce song.

My kids weren't in any kind of school at age 2, and I honestly cannot relate to some of your concerns with such a young child. To me, a 2 year old is still a baby and has no need of "school." Although I see some of the issues you are dealing with as completely normal parts of childhood, I don't see them as necessary for a 2 year old.
post #16 of 16

My gifted son (middle child) started preschool at 2.5. It was a 3 year old class, with no kids older than 3.75 at the start, and they still talked about marrying each other and the like. 

My big kids are in school now (3rd and 1st grade) and they haven't been at all damaged by pop culture. We listen to rap and pop music at home, along with country and classics like Bob Dylan and the Beatles. They know who Justin Bieber is (and aren't fans). They watch "Avatar: the last airbender" when they get screen time, and collect Pokemon cards. I just don't see what the problem is with them being culturally literate. Of course, my husband is an American Studies PhD so I guess we're probably biased. 

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