or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › I started a Princess battle at preschool
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I started a Princess battle at preschool - Page 3

post #41 of 331
The school isn't trying to ban superheroes because of the marketing factor; it mistakenly assumes that superheroes only use muscle to solve problems.

Quote:
Exclusive control of people's play is a low level form of mind control, and attempting to eliminate subculture, ideas, and themes through mind control is historically looked upon in a very poor light.
I agree with this from ShaggyDaddy entirely, and will take it one step further. To say that my kid wearing his favorite Batman t-shirt has anything to do with marketing to your kid is ridiculous. Batman is out there in the world, and you're going to have a hard time not seeing him. Banning other children from wearing or carrying Batman paraphernalia won't solve it. If you are morally opposed to marketing to children, talk to your KIDS about it. Whenever my kids ask for something they've seen in a commercial, I explain to them that commercials are the way that companies make stupid stuff look cool. It's not that hard.

Forbidding superhero play is developmentally inappropriate. Children learn to feel their power in the world by acting out good v. evil scenarios. It's comforting to create a villain, and then let Batman take him to jail.

OTOH, kids would be fine without princess play. You can still play with dress-up clothes, have tea parties, and do everything princesses do, without having to be a princess, per se.
post #42 of 331
Children learn problem-solving from the models their parents and teachers provide every day, not from the characters on their lunch-boxes and t-shirts.

When a child acts out a situation in which someone makes a bad decision, teachers and parents can either:
1) recognize the imaginative moment and let the child continue that play while being attentive to safety issues, or
2) use that as a teaching moment and initiate a conversation about choices.
Banning clothes, lunch-boxes, and pretend play doesn't help children learn problem-solving skills either.

My daughter insisted on wearing her Batman shirt and cape to school every day for three weeks when she was three. For her, superhero play consisted of running around the playground as fast as she could, and climbing and jumping over things. It was great for her gross-motor skills, and wore her out so that she slept well at night.

I think the school are being poop-heads. I think they should take a look at some of the great comic literature that's appeared in the last 20 years. And I think they should let all the kids play with the roles they want.

Also, I think the OP should go to the meeting fully prepared for the ugliness that's likely to come through the school director in the form of "anonymous comments." Make a plan to be kind to yourself before and after, and know that we're all on your side.
post #43 of 331
Thread Starter 
Well, Jessica, I am sending my son to preschool to learn his letters and numbers and get along. I am not sending him as my bearer of political/social messages. I am happy sending a PLAIN backback, a plain lunchbox, and plain white diapers.

The idea that I would complicated cultural messages daily on my son's person is silly to me. His life is complicated ENOUGH by having two mommies, etc etc etc. Not everything for him needs to be "charged" with a message. He should be able to enjoy school and his three-year-oldness with innocence.

Wonderwhaine, you hit my sentiments exactly. Buy making them consider princesses, I am forcing them to take a closer look at what this policy really signifies. Maybe they will end up with a list of "ok" superheros. Maybe they will ban all licensed characters. I don't know. But I hate seeing the different standard
post #44 of 331
I just have a problem with it because of the "slippery slope" concept...

OK...superheroes are banned...that's our spidey, superman, batman, etc. Because of the "violence" aspect. Hmmm...how about GI Joe? Is he bad and violent, as well? Can my daughter still wear camo (my husband is in the Army, so, she does have some camo stuff) or is that too much like GI Joe? Does that mean her Daddy is bad and violent? I can just imagine how that conversation would go...What constitutes "princess" play? Can they play "beauty queen"? Is it ok to play "princess" as long as they don't have a tiara? What about pretending to be an unnamed mermaid? Where do you "squash" it, so to speak?

If it's marketing that's a concern...well, are we going to ban all clothes with any logos or all name-brand clothes/shoes (don't laugh...I taught at an elementary-middle school where that IS the policy (except sneakers for sports). Do we just go to uniforms? Another aspect of marketing goes to what the kids eat...do we now ban anything that's pre-packaged? Only literally homemade snacks allowed now...

Yes, I'm playing devil's advocate a bit above, but, honestly, I don't see why someone would want to ban "play". I suppose I could go along with licensed apparel or whatever, but, to tell my daughter she can't pretend to be just like Daddy or can't do a princess tea party because it "doesn't demonstrate good problem solving skills" is kind of off the wall, IMHO.
post #45 of 331
If the school is going to ban licensed characters, or some additional subset thereof, they need to have a discussion about it this year, but not implement it until next year. I'd be none too happy if I let my child pick out a bookbag, lunch box, winter coat, clothing, etc. and THEN found out mid-year that it would not be allowed.
post #46 of 331
Thread Starter 
kathee,
The ban is just on the items. Bringing a batman toy, a lunchbox, etc. I do not know how they handle the fantasy play and will definately ask!!

I totally agree with your point about slippery slope. My son has a raincoat that is camo pattern. Does camo signify "violence" in the same way that the batman insignia on a shirt seems to? I know a child was sent home with a note about the batman shirt (on a day where half the girls had on DIsney princess stuff). My son had a camo raincoat on that day.

It's so inconsistent!!
post #47 of 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kincaid View Post
Well, Jessica, I am sending my son to preschool to learn his letters and numbers and get along. I am not sending him as my bearer of political/social messages. I am happy sending a PLAIN backback, a plain lunchbox, and plain white diapers.
I wasn't seriously suggesting that you make him a billboard. I was hyperbolizing. Not to say I wouldn't actually do that, as long as DD was on board, but I wasn't telling you to.

Quote:
The idea that I would complicated cultural messages daily on my son's person is silly to me. His life is complicated ENOUGH by having two mommies, etc etc etc. Not everything for him needs to be "charged" with a message. He should be able to enjoy school and his three-year-oldness with innocence.
Here's the thing: MOST three-year-olds do not want to celebrate their three-year-oldness with plain backpacks, plain lunchboxes, and plain white diapers. MOST of them want to express themselves with images that are meaningful to them. If your kid is happy with the plain stuff, that's fab, and maybe that's his own way of expressing himself. That would sure make him unusual though. What I suspect is that the plainness of his school accoutrements actually is actually an expression of your own social/political views. Because I have to say you've clearly put a lot more thought into it than I've put into my daughter's Hello Kitty lunchbox. Which she picked out herself.

Peace.
post #48 of 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kincaid View Post
kathee,
The ban is just on the items. Bringing a batman toy, a lunchbox, etc. I do not know how they handle the fantasy play and will definately ask!!

I totally agree with your point about slippery slope. My son has a raincoat that is camo pattern. Does camo signify "violence" in the same way that the batman insignia on a shirt seems to? I know a child was sent home with a note about the batman shirt (on a day where half the girls had on DIsney princess stuff). My son had a camo raincoat on that day.

It's so inconsistent!!

OK...I just put the stuff about play because in the original post it says "no superhero play" and I was extrapolating that to the other possible scenarios.

And, yes, it does seem inconsistent and there seems like there must be a lot of grey area which could go either way depending on who's looking at the policy.
post #49 of 331
Not only is it a huge double standard, but it's a stupid policy to begin with. First, superheroes are not all "might makes right" clods. Anybody who's ever read Spiderman or Hellboy or Toy Story for that matter knows that there is much going on beyond the fighting, even *gasp* reason. Even assuming that "superheros don't use good problem solving skills", how on earth is having one on a lunch box a threat to learning good problem solving skills? That is totally paranoid, IMO.
post #50 of 331
I keep thinking about my daughter's Hello Kitty lunchbox. She's never even seen a Hello Kitty show. Are there shows? I'm honestly not sure. She picked it because she likes cats, and it was her favorite color (pink) and it was sparkly. I don't know how on earth I'd explain to her that she couldn't use it because it's a "licensed character." Talk about loss of childhood innocence!
post #51 of 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kincaid View Post
Roman children were not subjected to the assault of sophisticated global marketing forces aimed at children.
Are you kidding me? 25% of the roman economy (and almost 100% of what survived the test of time) was used for worshiping, advertising, following, and diefying super heroes.
post #52 of 331
If they do ban "superhero play" outright, does that include made-up heroes? My little guy loves superman, spidey, et al, but his favorite hero to "be" is "stripeman!!" who wears a striped baby blanket as a cape, with my striped knit headband for a hat, and pretends to fly and save people. Oh, and his secret identity is a construction worker named Frank (who is kind of like Bob the builder and also drives a train). He used to be "chocolateman" when he was 2 and running nakey through the house with a basket for a hat.

I'm pretty sure that most little kids make up their own pretend people, and I really really hope they are not forbidding a common type of pretend play. Kids should not be restricted to fairytale fantasy and real-life pretend. That defeats the entire point of pretend play.

Oh, I could just go on and on. What I mean is that they shoudl make it a blanket "no licensed characters" policy for everyone and not create an environment of gender descrimination (even if it's also not fair to the non-princessy girls - I played boy games almost exclusively as a girl, only playing princesses with a male friend who later came out as transgendered - the "establishment" often does not even consider the non-girly girls or the non-boyish boys, which is an entirely seperate kettle of Poop).
post #53 of 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamicdoula View Post
I would argue that princesses often don't use good problem solving skills- passive aggressiveness, feigned weakness, constantly needing rescue... blech!

What about Xena, would she be allowed?
ITA, and that it's a double standard.
post #54 of 331
kincaid, my dd1's preschool had a rule about superhero play on the playground. i believe that nobody could be a bad guy (there could only be pretend bad guys) and they could only "rescue" other classmates who wanted to be rescued. at preschool i think they were having some problems with (mostly) the boys getting into "fights" when someone was being the bad guy and someone was being the super hero. i am a little hazy on it because dd1 was not at all interested in that kind of play so she kept her distance. i don't think banning lunchboxes is the answer if they're having behavior problems. they should address the behavior and explain why it's causing problems and work with the kids to develop a solution.

personally, i would be fine with an overall character ban (barbie, bratz, disney), but generic ideas like "princess" are a little harder to deal with. not all princesses are passive. there are some great modern story books and classic fairy tales out there about princesses who save the day. i think "princess" is more generic like "knight" or "wizard".

anyway, i think if you get into a discussion with the powers that be about superheros and princesses if you approach it from the standpoint of identifying the problem (violent play?) then work together to come up with creative solutions to solve that problem (no bad guys) you're going resolve the situation in a more positive manner than if you get into an antagontistic "no superheros, then no princesses" battle.

hth
post #55 of 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaggyDaddy View Post
If you read batman comics, or even watch the critically acclaimed and widely respected late 1990s batman cartoon, you will see why the original title was "Detective Comics". Batman is a detective first and a butt-kicker second.

Spiderman was the first superhero with real problems. He is a scientist, a teenager, and a super hero. In the comic world he INVENTED the web shooter device and the fluid that gives him web (even though in the movie it is an organic mutation). He is a problem solver who uses his inventions and his powers in an attempt to solve problems without hurting people, people who want to hurt him.

The most appealing heroes are the ones we can relate to. The ones who use their brains to solve problems, and happen to have super powers. In the case of batman, careful planning, problem solving, and inventing ARE HIS ONLY POWER. He is a normal human who uses his brain, determination, and lifestyle to fight crime.

Anyone who does not understand the basic human need for mythology should be against teaching shakespeare, Roman and Greek history and mythology, religion, and basically all fiction. It is disturbing to me that a university research lab lacks basic understanding of human psychology, or at the very least does not care about it.
That's what I was going to say much less eloquently!
post #56 of 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaggyDaddy View Post
If you read batman comics, or even watch the critically acclaimed and widely respected late 1990s batman cartoon, you will see why the original title was "Detective Comics". Batman is a detective first and a butt-kicker second.

Spiderman was the first superhero with real problems. He is a scientist, a teenager, and a super hero. In the comic world he INVENTED the web shooter device and the fluid that gives him web (even though in the movie it is an organic mutation). He is a problem solver who uses his inventions and his powers in an attempt to solve problems without hurting people, people who want to hurt him.

The most appealing heroes are the ones we can relate to. The ones who use their brains to solve problems, and happen to have super powers. In the case of batman, careful planning, problem solving, and inventing ARE HIS ONLY POWER. He is a normal human who uses his brain, determination, and lifestyle to fight crime.

Anyone who does not understand the basic human need for mythology should be against teaching shakespeare, Roman and Greek history and mythology, religion, and basically all fiction. It is disturbing to me that a university research lab lacks basic understanding of human psychology, or at the very least does not care about it.
This is fascinating. Can you please tell me about Superman?
post #57 of 331
As a bit of a geek, I just have to giggle at the 'superheroes don't use good problem-solving skills' thing. Clearly... they don't know ANYTHING about superheroes! There's more to superheroes than 'smash pow zoom'; there has to be, because 'smash pow zoom' frankly isn't that interesting. Certainly not interesting enough to hook millions of people into becoming diehard fans!

PPs have already mentioned the obvious--that Batman is a normal (although very rich and intelligent) human being, that Spiderman enhanced his mutant abilities with his scientific inventions. Many superheroes have their powers thrust upon them without their knowledge or consent (the X-Men by mutation, Spidey by his bite, the Fantastic Four by--what was it, an explosion?), and have to painfully learn to deal with their altered state, and the responsibilities their new condition entails. It's not 'woo, I have superpowers'--ever. It's about learning, and accepting, and sacrificing, and protecting loved ones; pretty noble themes, don't you think?!

Now, let's look at the 'problem-solving skills' of, say, Ariel. Unhappy with what she is (strike one), she doesn't solve her problems by either a) getting over it or b) talking to Daddy, who has the power to make her human. Instead, she repeatedly disobeys him (strike two), but it's okay because she's pretty. After putting herself and her friend in danger (strike three) in this manner, she falls in love with a complete stranger simply because he's good-looking (strike four), and makes a deal with the devil (strike five!!!) in order to seduce the guy. Never mind checking to see if he already has a girl back home, or criminal convictions; that wouldn't be very Disney, now would it! During her time on land Ariel completely blunders communication (strike six)--c'mon girl, how hard is it to use a bit of sign language?--in favour of mooning around and looking kissy. Once everything goes to hell in a handbasket, she relies on Daddy again to both save the day and fix her original problem (by turning her into a human again). Yeah. Great problem-solving skills there. On the plus side, we can only credit Ariel with a little bravery (although saving the life of the guy you're madly in love with, a bit of a given) and certain personal charms. I defy any superhero to come up with character traits worse than that!

I'd be interested to see how they deal with Xena, being as she's both a superhero and a princess.

As regards the OP, I'd be more concerned with lifting the superhero ban than banning the princesses, vapid as they may be. I'm generally anti-censorship; the parents can of course still decide not to choose princesses or superheroes for their children's lunchboxes, if they prefer. Maybe you should show the meeting some well-chosen clips from superhero movies and Disney movies, illustrating the respective character traits of each group and the 'problem-solving skills' demonstrated?
Quote:
This is fascinating. Can you please tell me about Superman?
Superman does have intrinsic powers; he's an alien from the planet Krypton, sent to Earth by his father when Krypton was about to be destroyed, both to save his son and so his son could save the world. Superman was raised by a farmer couple, and was sickly until he discovered his superpowers at around puberty (I'm a bit fuzzy on that). He can see through anything except lead, fly, move incredibly quickly, supercool things with his breath, do something lasery with his eyes... let's just say, he has a lot of moves. TBH, a lot of comic book fans dislike Superman for this reason--he's just too ridiculously powerful. The only thing that can stop him is Kryptonite, radioactive pieces of his homeworld, which (according to various colours) weaken him, turn him evil, kill him etc. Superman pretends to be Clark Kent by day, a mild-mannered and bumbling reporter. Opinions vary as to whether Clark Kent or Superman is the 'real' persona; various shows/movies have taken various angles. Lois and Clark posited that he was 'really' Clark Kent; Superman Returns posited that he was 'really' Superman, or more accurately Kal-El, his 'alien' name.

In other words, he's not the subtlest or smartest of superheroes--he has a lot more brawn than the rest, and does consequently use his strength more than his head. But he's dedicated to saving the world, which is nice; he loves Lois Lane, another reporter, and is always saving her life; he's fond of his adoptive parents, and takes his role of Savior of the World very seriously. In short, he's not a bad guy. Incidentally, the ridiculously powerful Superman has charged Batman (the smart guy with no intrinsic powers) with stopping him, should Superman ever turn evil or get out of control. Batman's the only guy he trusts to do the job, because well... Batman's got the brains! Kinda sweet, I think.
post #58 of 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmlp View Post
This is fascinating. Can you please tell me about Superman?
Superman is an alien from a dead planet. His parents Jor-el and Lara Lor-Van sent him as a gift to earth and a last desperate effort to preserve the legacy of a race of people (kryptonians) who got too greedy to powerful to prevent their own planet from being destroyed (kind of like us). Jor-el was an inventor and a scientist, and he placed a great deal of knowledge and responsibility (save the human race) on the shoulders of young Kal-el.

He is tortured and alone, an alien with no family and no real humanity yet he spends his nights and days protecting us from whatever evil we can think of. He has incredible power, yet he is powerless to actually make his own life better. His fight is one of salvation for an entire dead civilization. He is a fascinating Mythological figure, and in my opinion will be studied in school soon enough. He is a perfect being, and still really has a lot to deal with. That makes it an incredible medium for commentary on people, take away all obvious physical frailties, and show how frail we still are even when we can fly, have x-ray vision, and are bullet proof.
post #59 of 331
good for you. You're my new hero, er um, I mean Prince:
post #60 of 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by jauncourt View Post
If they do ban "superhero play" outright, does that include made-up heroes? My little guy loves superman, spidey, et al, but his favorite hero to "be" is "stripeman!!" who wears a striped baby blanket as a cape, with my striped knit headband for a hat, and pretends to fly and save people. Oh, and his secret identity is a construction worker named Frank (who is kind of like Bob the builder and also drives a train). He used to be "chocolateman" when he was 2 and running nakey through the house with a basket for a hat..
I wonder if supergrover is banned to
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › I started a Princess battle at preschool