Originally Posted by vermonttaylors
What I am really interested in hearing is how you wise mamas who have pre-teens in public school handle the effects of the media amd marketing on your kids. I am certain that if there are parents out there who can navigate these choppy waters, they are MDC mamas
: and I want to hear how you do it, because our little public school is very sweet and I don't want to eliminate it as an option. Ya know?
My DS is 9 and once told my cousin the meaning of this rap song he heard through kids at his public school. Where did he get it from? A boy who heard the translation from a girl (they were in the 2nd grade). The translation was about a woman performing oral sex on a man.
: PISSED ME OFF!!! We don't watch videos, we don't listen to much rap/r&b, and we spend and have spent Tons of time doing constructive cultural things. So, my DS' idea of what is entertainment was already formed prior to being exposed to trash as I call it by third persons or even in the barber shop when he gets his hair cut or by his dad or paternal grandmother. Obviously we're not together. I used to freak out and get really pissed off about stuff and worry about his exposure and how it will change him, etc. etc. However, I believe that up til 12 parents have more influence on their kids and 12+ is when other kids influence kids more. My DS isn't perfect, but he still has a certain amount of innocence in his character that is challenging for him since he attends public school with overexposed children. He recognizes what is inappropriate - music, tv, conversations and will frequently speak up and say that it is inappropriate to me or to his peers. It doesn't earn him brownie points with them though - so my goal this year has been to continue to encourage him to be confident in who he is and not feel compelled to follow the crowd. I think that I've done a pretty good job too - he had a little "girlfriend" (which i don't condone but if he volunteers info I have to calmly respond) and I asked him why he liked her. He said she likes jazz music, r&b, classical music, is a violinist and likes to dance. My son likes the same things but plays the clarinet. So, I felt good about the reasons he gave - not so superficial for a 9 yr. old.
Whenever there is a song or something that he's learned through kids that he wants to sing, I will listen to it on the radio alone and explain why he can't listen to it - if it is demeaning to women, I ask him to think about how he would feel about his mom or cousin or potential baby sister being talked to or treated that way. For example, there is a song, "shake your money maker" - he likes the beat didn't know what the words meant - I explained to him what it means and asked if he wanted me to shake my money maker.
He said no and I told him it was just disrespectful music. He's really overprotective (so much so that he asked if any of the midwives are men b/c he wants to know who will be in the room with me when I have the baby), so I use that part of his personality to help him develop an internal control that will drive his decisions about what is acceptable behavior and what isn't when it comes to his interactions with females.
I attended a talent show when DS was in teh 2nd grade - he played the AFrican drums. There were 2 acts that distrubed me - one was with 2 little girls in an elementary school dancing inappropriately to a song that was not for kids. I felt so uncomfortable, I was having a physical reaction to it and kept wondering what all the parents were thinking. Unfortunately, so many parents think it is out of their hands - no child is buying their own clothes at 12 years old! And if they are - that is a problem. My friend does not allow her daughter to watch videos and she doesn't get to read the teen magazines. She wears gap and old navy clothes that are tasteful and "preppy" and wears little girl hairstyles, she takes her to plays and listens to neo-soul music. As a result, her daughter is still like a little girl and she attends a public school.
One last thing in this rambling post...My niece is in the 1st grade and apparently was in a conversation with a little girl whose mom is kind of hoochie-ish about being popular. The little girl said she was popular or girls are popular b/c of wearing short skirts. My niece responded that she is popular because she drinks soy milk and her mom has a brown purse.
Obviously, the level of trash exposure to my niece is really limited and she is surrounded by positive images and involved in positive activities since her comeback was so corny and innocent.