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Preschool age children in "I am Legend" - Page 8

post #141 of 200
Here's my question, Jessy. Let's say your five-year-old fully understands the concept of horror films as being sheer entertainment and nothing else. Does it worry you (as a pacifist, and as a mother) that she can be entertained at the sight of someone sawing their own leg off, or causing harm to another person?
post #142 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
I guess I still don't understand why it would violate your morals and tenets to shield your child from something that every bit of legitimate data and much anecdotal information points to as being damaging.
I don't agree with the studies I've seen -- I think they fail to take a lot of factors into account.

How does it violate my morals and parenting? I am opposed to censorship and value open and honest communication with my children. I don't believe in arbitrarily restricting them from any harmless or reasonably safe experience that they want to have, and I do believe in trusting my own instincts first and foremost when it comes to parenting decisions. Restricting their media exposure violates my instincts, my "rule" not to have arbitrary rules, and my feelings against censorship. I also feel as though it does nothing positive toward fostering open and honest communication between us.
post #143 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by beccalou79 View Post
Here's my question, Jessy. Let's say your five-year-old fully understands the concept of horror films as being sheer entertainment and nothing else. Does it worry you (as a pacifist, and as a mother) that she can be entertained at the sight of someone sawing their own leg off, or causing harm to another person?
No. We might have some talking to do if she was gleeful about it, but not if she's just able to watch it as one part of a whole.
post #144 of 200
To bring this back to "I Am Legend"....my son saw this movie a few days ago, when he was out of town visiting his dad. My son turned 11 in late October. Before he left on the trip, i reminded him that the movie may have some scary bits (i had read something about "vampire" like creatures), and he said he knew, and that he'd be fine. When he got home from the trip ,he informed me that "I Am Legend" was one of his top five favorite films of all time (and he has seen ALOT of movies)...that he was moved to tears several times (it takes alot for a movie to make him cry, though i think he did cry during Bridge to Terabithea, both book and movie)....we are going to see the movie together in a few days. He really LOVED it. He read all about the book, the movie, various other adaptations (such as The Omega Man), etc on wikipedia before he even saw the movie. I think he was well prepared.

I think its rather ridilulous to say (as one poster did)that all children are the same as all other children their age, developmentally. There is such a HUGE variation in not only physical development, but also a child's experience. A movie that has certain scenes might be totally fine for one child, but might remind another child of some traumatic event. My son loves action movies (such as Transformers), but movies with creepy music and suprises jumping out from every corner....even if there isnt any real horror.....he just hates that. He hates to be "surprised"...so if i know there is going to be a movie on like that, i warn him...or i make sure to fast forward previews on a dvd that might scare him.

Another poster was concerned that a child would be sad that an animal was killed in a movie, but not people....again, i think that is *totally* normal and understandeable...i just watched "Apt Pupil" a movie based upon a Stephen King novel, about a student who realized his old neighbor is a Nazi war criminal. There is a scene where the nazi grabs a stray cat and tries to force it into an oven (cat gets away), and also a scene where the student kills a bird (they dont show it)...both scenes i fast forwarded through...even though the sequences about gas chambers, jewish prisoners, etc did not faze me as much...does that make me heartless? No i dont think so, i think it has more to do with knowing that those people are actors, and that the animals (while also "actors")know less of what is going on, and so they may truly be scared, or be emotionally harmed.

And about studies showing how harmful tv is.....bah. I'm not buying it (i think its hilarious how people will buy "science" wholeheartedly if it supports their agenda, but not if it doesnt. Whatever.)....when they do a study of all the unschooled kids i know, with involved parents who sit and watch with them, discuss what they see, kids who are are truly free to choose....when they do THAT study, maybe i'll pay closer attention to the results. Until then, i'll choose to pay more attention to my own child, and how things like "screen time" (gag) affect him....so far so good!


Katherine
post #145 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
No. We might have some talking to do if she was gleeful about it, but not if she's just able to watch it as one part of a whole.
What if she didn't outwardly react at all, and you weren't sure of her feelings? Have you ever asked if she understands that it's wrong to harm one's self or others?
post #146 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
To bring this back to "I Am Legend"....my son saw this movie a few days ago, when he was out of town visiting his dad. My son turned 11 in late October. Before he left on the trip, i reminded him that the movie may have some scary bits (i had read something about "vampire" like creatures), and he said he knew, and that he'd be fine. When he got home from the trip ,he informed me that "I Am Legend" was one of his top five favorite films of all time (and he has seen ALOT of movies)...that he was moved to tears several times (it takes alot for a movie to make him cry, though i think he did cry during Bridge to Terabithea, both book and movie)....we are going to see the movie together in a few days. He really LOVED it. He read all about the book, the movie, various other adaptations (such as The Omega Man), etc on wikipedia before he even saw the movie. I think he was well prepared.
I think it is kind of sad how this movie has been reduced to nothing but standard horror fare for the purposes of this discussion -- there was SO much more to it than that, so much more of a story to get involved with, characters to feel for, etc.

Quote:
And about studies showing how harmful tv is.....bah. I'm not buying it (i think its hilarious how people will buy "science" wholeheartedly if it supports their agenda, but not if it doesnt. Whatever.)
It always makes me when I see that here.

Quote:
....when they do a study of all the unschooled kids i know, with involved parents who sit and watch with them, discuss what they see, kids who are are truly free to choose....when they do THAT study, maybe i'll pay closer attention to the results. Until then, i'll choose to pay more attention to my own child, and how things like "screen time" (gag) affect him....so far so good!
Exactly!!
post #147 of 200
Sometimes i read posts here by parents of very young kids, and i can see that parents dont realize how young their kids are. A five yr old can seem quite grown up if you have younger kids, but now that my son is 11, a five yr old seems practically like a toddler, yknow? And i bet those with 20 yr old grown kids think my 11 yr old is still a babe.

I know when my son was five, i took him to movies i had no business taking him to. When "House of 1000 Corpses" came out (my son mustve been around 7? or 6?) we took him (i didnt realize how graphic it would be), he was really uncomfortable and scared, and i eventually gave him money to go play the arcade because i was enjoying the movie and didnt want to leave....in retrospect it was pretty selfish of me! (alot of my parenting was pretty selfish back then though...)....i think i exposed him to movies i should have waited on...we watched "Schindlers List" on tape, and while i think he is old enough now, i doubt at five or six he shouldve been exposed to that historical period in such a graphic way. Sure, we discussed it. Yes, i didnt "force" him to watch it. But i think little kids often want to be doing what adults are doing. So i think in retrospect i should have "protected" him a little more from worldly things....i dont see that it "damaged" him in any way---he is much more empathetic and slow to resort to violence than many of his peers---but when i have another young child (currently trying to adopt)i think i'll stick to gentler fare for a few years at least.


Katherine
post #148 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
I think what these conversations come down to most of the time is "I don't like those movies/images so I don't want my kid to see them or like them either. I don't understand why anyone likes them at all." I am no fan of horror myself. I won't even stay in the room if it's on (can't handle the audio) and interestingly enough, despite my love for Mr. Smith, I won't be seeing I Am Legend either..... It's just too much for me. But I don't think that means I get to decide that you, or for this thread, your child, cannot see it. Why on earth would that be up to me?
As I read UnschoolnMa, she wasn't taking her 4 or 5 year olds to horror movies. UnschoolnMa also said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
I think this situation, like so many others, comes down to mindfulness and consideration. Forcing a frightened or overwhelmed child to view or continue viewing a movie is neither mindful or considerate to the child or to the rest of the people watching.

I don't need to be making decisions for other parents and families about movie watching, but I do like to see children treated with fairness and compassion and respect /snip
I think this warrants critical thought. I think to purport to be on the CL and/or GD continuum without considering the still-present power dynamic is naive (ie you do require the use of a seatbelt/child restraint, yes?). I think being mindful and considerate of the developing, and emerging, child psyche is appropriate. When I look at the consistency AND the shifts each of my children have demonstrated as they've developed, I really don't understand deciding to expose a child at the young age of 4 to highly complex imagery and to assume that his/her ability to deal with it is static. Sure, Grimm's Fairytales were gruesome, but they also served as a cultural warning system to children (ie social control) who might indeed encounter violence in their everyday lives. I don't think the typical N. American child is going to contend with the content of Saw or the like, nor are you putting this forward as a rationale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post

We all like to believe our children are different, rare, etc. They really aren't - not when it comes to brain development. There are certain universals at play based on biology and physiology. There are also human norms that can be safely assumed except where there is some sort of mental disorder at play. You're basically putting forth a viewpoint that contravenes biology, physiology, and every human norm.
Yes, this. Again, I think this warrants a hard look at what might be motivating a child to view such content - parental approval, acceptance, a desire to please a parent, a desire to spend more time with their parent. Sometimes we inadvertantly send messages to others regarding our expectations, desires and approvals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
I don't feel defensive . . . I just haven't seen an argument that would be enough to convince me to restricting MY child's viewing and violate my morals and basic tenets of my parenting at the same time.

I don't see that at all. I see that from my own experience as a child (and experiences others have posted), it is normal for *some* kids to be able to watch more adult-themed movies without any ill effects. Are we different and rare? Only as different and rare as all human beings are.
What you watched as a child is likely fundamentally more campy than what your DD is viewing. I commented above regarding "morals and tenets of parenting." I'm not convinced that a 4-5 year old is making the "free choice" you'd like it to be.

(for the record, I'm not making any moves to restrict your right to take your child to whatever movie you see fit. But I'm yet to see a single justification for the value of exposure, beyond "she asks to participate (see above, never mind that my kids ask for candy frequently...) and she seems unaffected." )
post #149 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by beccalou79 View Post
What if she didn't outwardly react at all, and you weren't sure of her feelings? Have you ever asked if she understands that it's wrong to harm one's self or others?
Is that a serious question?

Yes, she understands that it's wrong to hurt herself or someone else. She sees peace and gentleness modeled every day at home; she knows that we don't tolerate violence; we don't hit to get our point across or hit to get what we want, and we actively talk about why things like spanking are wrong and why it is always best to use words as the first (and preferably only) method of communication in a conflict. She's heard people talk about self-harm (cutting, etc) and thinks it's absolutely insane that someone would purposely hurt themselves.

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post #150 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by beccalou79 View Post
What if she didn't outwardly react at all, and you weren't sure of her feelings? Have you ever asked if she understands that it's wrong to harm one's self or others?
I have found that my son (and most kids, really!)are very very aware that what is on tv, or the computer screen, is NOT REAL...and does not translate into real life. Its only adults that get all up in arms about "violence" as if its real. Its. Not. Real.

A funny story an unschooling mom related at a conference i went to....she said that one of the kids in the HS group had one of those videogames where you feed and play with a "virtual puppy"...well, he wanted to find out what would happen to starve the "puppy"...the moms were freaking out, thought it was so sad, they felt so bad for the "puppy"...the kid finally said "Um, you guys, you know this is just a game right....this isnt an actual puppy, its not suffering, they are just pixels on a screen....you get that right?"

I think sometimes kids are much smarter than we give them credit for.


Katherine
post #151 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post
Again, I think this warrants a hard look at what might be motivating a child to view such content - parental approval, acceptance, a desire to please a parent, a desire to spend more time with their parent. Sometimes we inadvertantly send messages to others regarding our expectations, desires and approvals.
Maybe, if she never told us that she didn't want to come with us, and never told us to turn something off, etc. I would think you had a point. But she has declined our invitations to the movies (several times . . . usually things that she thinks sound boring, but sometimes just because she'd rather hang with grammy) and has asked to have shows turned off/watched when she's not up (Cadet Kelly and Supernatural) . . . so she knows that our response is to turn it off and put on something else that she wants to watch with us (ie: she knows she's not losing our favor or our time). I feel like she is (and has been for years) very competent at communicating with us and not at all inclined to be a people-pleaser/not at all afraid to disappoint us.
post #152 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
And about studies showing how harmful tv is.....bah. I'm not buying it (i think its hilarious how people will buy "science" wholeheartedly if it supports their agenda, but not if it doesnt. Whatever.)....when they do a study of all the unschooled kids i know, with involved parents who sit and watch with them, discuss what they see, kids who are are truly free to choose....when they do THAT study, maybe i'll pay closer attention to the results. Until then, i'll choose to pay more attention to my own child, and how things like "screen time" (gag) affect him....so far so good!
Couldn't agree more.

I think it's ironic that on a website where we espouse the "parent is the expert" and "poo on the CDC/AAP studies" for SO MANY things, that suddenly MDC mamas are NOT to trust their kids and start believing studies and scientists and child development charts, instead.

The thought of a five year old watching SAW makes me gag. The thought of ANYONE watching SAW makes me gag. I would rather saw MY leg off than watch that movie!

But who am I to say that MY reaction is the only one?

My husband would watch that movie and think it was terrific.

Who's right? Does his liking that movie mean he's desensitized to violence? I don't think so. If he saw that happen in real life he would be the first one in line to make it stop. The scenes in SAW are not real. No one is really being hurt or tortured. Some people like to watch it to see the special effects. Some people like it to be scared or grossed out. I think that VERY few people are actually watching that movie to get off on the idea of people harming other people.

If someone who is tuned into their kids is saying that their child is fine with it, then that's the answer for me.

LIke I said before, there have been things that my kid has watched that I was SURE were too much for him. I was wrong.

I think it's much more probable that Jessy's kid is watching things that are in *her* comfort range and her mama is being responsive to that, than it is that some expert/chart/or anyone here "knows better" for her.
post #153 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
Is that a serious question?

Yes, she understands that it's wrong to hurt herself or someone else. She sees peace and gentleness modeled every day at home; she knows that we don't tolerate violence; we don't hit to get our point across or hit to get what we want, and we actively talk about why things like spanking are wrong and why it is always best to use words as the first (and preferably only) method of communication in a conflict. She's heard people talk about self-harm (cutting, etc) and thinks it's absolutely insane that someone would purposely hurt themselves.

:
Yes, it is a serious question. I have no way of knowing you've had that sort of discussion before, unless I ask. Remember that you yourself, in this very thread, have noted how people shouldn't assume things. So no need to pull out all those exasperated-looking emoticons, okay?
post #154 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
uhhh, i'm pretty sure those "parents of teens" were at one time "parents of five yr olds" yknow? I'm pretty sure someone like Unschoolma parents her teen the same way as she'd parent a five yr old, with open communication, respect, and mindfulness. Just guessing though.
I think having open communication, respect and mindfulness can include restricting content.

Part of my thing on this issue is my experience, and what I see with my kids. In retrospect, I was raised similarly to how some of you are describing your values. I saw various movies as a child from a young age, and while I intellectually understood they were fake, I was still affected. Did I volunteer to view, or even instigate it - darn tootin'! Adrenalin is cool. My mother had a policy that I could read whatever I liked, so long as I thought critically about it. I read Diary of Anne Frank at 8 and Clan of the Cave Bear at 12. I still have images hard wired into my brain that still creep me out from things I read or saw at young ages that I wish I could excise.

My kids are very creative and have a strong sense of fantasy. At 4.5, DS took a stuffie to the allergist for scratch testing and the doctor asked if he should show DS how it would work by first doing it on his stuffie. DS replied "he's just a dolly, just pretend, he's not real!" - but then proceeded to cuddle the stuffie and chat to it. We have chosen to limit their exposure to certain kinds of content because you don't know you've pushed their limit until you've pushed it, and sometimes not even then (reflecting on how I was as a child).

Also, I'm arguing against content, not media. My kids have plenty of media exposure.
post #155 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
I think its rather ridilulous to say (as one poster did)that all children are the same as all other children their age, developmentally. There is such a HUGE variation in not only physical development, but also a child's experience. A movie that has certain scenes might be totally fine for one child, but might remind another child of some traumatic event. My son loves action movies (such as Transformers), but movies with creepy music and suprises jumping out from every corner....even if there isnt any real horror.....he just hates that. He hates to be "surprised"...so if i know there is going to be a movie on like that, i warn him...or i make sure to fast forward previews on a dvd that might scare him.
No, but most kids go through the same stages of development. The timelines will be different, and kids are asynchronous (it's not a lock-step chronology). As you yourself say, 4 and 5 year olds are still pretty close to babies, and I think are sufficiently far from being fully emerged as people that I would be hard pressed to expose a child that young to imagery that only a segment of the adult population can "handle."

My 5 and 8 year olds actually saw Transformers on video a month or so ago, and overall were fine with it (DH had previewed it, I might actually have kept DS from watching it as it fuelled his gun toy please for a bit there). This was certainly the most "mature" movie DS had seen, although DD has watched Masterpiece Theatre's Jane Eyre, which has some scary and unsettling content (sans saws, of course ).
post #156 of 200
Quote:
I think its rather ridilulous to say (as one poster did)that all children are the same as all other children their age, developmentally. There is such a HUGE variation in not only physical development, but also a child's experience.
I have been way too sick to keep up with this thread, but essentially this was my point
Quote:
We all like to believe our children are different, rare, etc. They really aren't - not when it comes to brain development. There are certain universals at play based on biology and physiology. There are also human norms that can be safely assumed except where there is some sort of mental disorder at play. You're basically putting forth a viewpoint that contravenes biology, physiology, and every human norm.
She just said it much clearer than I as I was running a nice little fever at the time
post #157 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
I've seen the same thing, and I agree. I think a non-tv kid could have a similar outcome *if* the parents were very free in other ways, but I think parents who are controlling of something like TV are probably controlling in other ways, as well.
This just makes me We generally practice consensual parenting. But we just don't own a tv so it is a non-issue. We don't go to theaters, my kids have never been to one. They have no desire to watch either. Occasionally they watch something like the Jungle Book on the computer, but mostly they are outside playing or using their imaginations. They have a REAL choice in what they want in life as they are not bombarded with ads and marketing. They have interests based on what really moves them, not just what they saw a commercial for or what the other kids do.

I consider THAT to be real freedom in choices. And consequently they have no desire to see people chopped to pieces for "entertainment".

And FTR dh and I enjoy horror movies, though only if they have an enjoyable plot, we prefer our entertainment to actually entertain us
post #158 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by beccalou79 View Post
What if she didn't outwardly react at all, and you weren't sure of her feelings? Have you ever asked if she understands that it's wrong to harm one's self or others?
I think that would be a natural part of discussing media as a gentle, mindful parent.

Now that my son is 16 he has his own ideas about when violence/aggression is appropriate, and no his opinions on the subject do not always line up with mine. That's alright though because I know (have experienced him being) he is generally thoughtful, respectful, and kind rather than bullying, hateful, or homicidal.

My kids didn't care for super violent or scary movies as wee ones, and because I don't like them either it was just fine. But we have always tried to be open about the media issue and to talk and follow their lead. As they've gotten older they like many movies I would not choose to watch or hear graphic details about (Saw, Hostel, etc) They respect that, but I also have given them the tools to think about what they are watching. (Spoilers are great for that for a reading kid, btw...if they don't mind some of the story being revealed.)

One of my Ds's fave movies is "300" which was violent but not scary. Dd likes a lot of horror, but has recently been changing and growing regarding that and she is taking a bit of a break from scary stuff to evaluate what she wants to watch or pass on. My kind of scary is "Sleepy Hollow" with Johnny Depp

The idea that anyone would just toss their kid down in front of Saw without discussions, etc or force them to watch it is just heartbreakingly awful. I know anything is possible, but I just can't imagine anyone here doing that. Perhaps this just comes down to two camps:

Camp A: Children cannot make healthy decisions about scary movies when they are young due to the developing brain. They need parents to censor these movies and make these decisions for them.

Camp B: Children are capable of making informed decisions about media with mindful parents acting as guides and helpers. Though brain development differs from an adult, information can still be received and processed if it's given in understandable ways, with enough time to digest, and etc.
post #159 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRangeMama View Post
This just makes me We generally practice consensual parenting. But we just don't own a tv so it is a non-issue. We don't go to theaters, my kids have never been to one. They have no desire to watch either. Occasionally they watch something like the Jungle Book on the computer, but mostly they are outside playing or using their imaginations. They have a REAL choice in what they want in life as they are not bombarded with ads and marketing. They have interests based on what really moves them, not just what they saw a commercial for or what the other kids do.

I consider THAT to be real freedom in choices. And consequently they have no desire to see people chopped to pieces for "entertainment".

And FTR dh and I enjoy horror movies, though only if they have an enjoyable plot, we prefer our entertainment to actually entertain us
You have so many assumptions there....that outside they are "using their imaginations" but if they were watching tv/movies/videogames/etc they would not be; that a child cannot truly make a choice if s/he sees ads/marketing (i havent found that true with my own child....he's been known to research some cool gadget on the internet to find out if its really as neat or useful as the infomercial claims); that having an interest sparked by something seen on tv is somehow less valid than an interest sparked elsewhere; that such an interest isnt "really" what moves a child, that somehow that child is merely a puppet of marketeers...?; you say that your kids have a "real choice"...but if that choice includes something you dont necessarily "approve" of, do they still get to choose? and that entertainment will look the same for all people.....i hate hate hate sports programming...i simply cannot understand why someone would want to sit and watch a ball game. I dont get it....i would be bored to tears. And yet some people find that entertaining.....to each his or her own i suppose.

Katherine
post #160 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
I have found that my son (and most kids, really!)are very very aware that what is on tv, or the computer screen, is NOT REAL...and does not translate into real life. Its only adults that get all up in arms about "violence" as if its real. Its. Not. Real.
The problem isn't that kids think it is real. It is that the same areas in the viewer's brain are activated as would be if they were actually comitting the act involved. Not just in hacker movies, but even in sports. If I am sitting across from someone who is eating the areas in my brain that control picking up the fork, chewing, and swallowing are active. Just by watching. It doesn't matter whether you are 5 months or 50 years, it works the same and has been observed on MRI. MRIs don't take into account how you parent or how much "choice" you have, they just show what is there and what is happening.

So a 5 year old who is watching someone cut off their own foot has a brain who has re-enacted cutting off a foot. No biased studies at work, just the way our brains work. And at the age of 5 that seems a little much to handle.
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