or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Arts & Crafts › Books, Music, and Media › TV-Free › Do You Tell the Names of Licenced Characters?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do You Tell the Names of Licenced Characters? - Page 2

post #21 of 56
My dd is only 2.5 but already recognizes quite a few characters. Specific things like Elmo I don't mind (she calls all the sesame street characters elmos) but she thinks all baby deer are called Bambi and I don't like that. She hasn't even seen the movie! It is all over the place, and her friends and our family and friends all recognize Dora and stuff so she just picks it up from them.
post #22 of 56
What is the concern? (I'm being completely serious and non-snarky...I really didn't know it mattered.)

I remember being shocked when my son went to play at a friend's house and ran and picked up the red monster and said Elmo! Turns out there was an Elmo doll at church. My boys seemed immediately attracted to him. But they learned the Thomas character names through books and many of the sesame street characters as well as diego and dora, curious george and I'm sure others that way. Outside of Thomas and Curious George books the others they picked out at the library. I sort of like the diego/dora books actually. But we went to the Children's Museum and they're opening a super heros exhibit so the characters were on the flyer. They asked the names and I told them the ones I knew..they already knew superman but the others were new to them. I'm sure they'll remember them. They learned coke, pepsi, and wal-mart, etc. logos on their own just living and the character names seem the same to me. My boys are four. I just am shocked if others have kids of this age or older who aren't being actually asked directly what the character names are. You just can't avoid them in my experience unless you never go out of the house--including to the library, museum, store. And then is the parent saying they don't know or why don't you name him or???? It just never occured to me to do that.

I'm really curious about the perceived harm? Is it that the child might want to purchase the characters? I've not seen that but if so is that bad?
post #23 of 56
I don't see the harm in telling them the names either. If I know them. If we see Elmo, I don't know what the heck else to call him but Elmo, and that IS the name given to him. I wouldn't hesitate to call the characters in any of thier books by thier names as well. I hate, hate, HATE marketing to children, but if they associate with other children, they will be exposed to licensed characters, and knowing thier names doesn't seem like it will create any problems by themselves.

I see this recurring thought that if your children know who _____ is, they'll want you to buy everything that uses them as a marketing tool. That totally hasn't been my experience. Then again, we don't buy toys "just because" - usually just for birthdays, Christmas, etc. so there aren't many oppurtunities for them to beg for this or that. When there's something they need, I give them options without licensed characters to choose from. For example, my DD1 needs a new lunchbox for preschool. I've found some really cute ones online and showed them to her, letting her pick.

All children seem attracted to Elmo, and my youngest will squeal with delight when we see and Elmo toy, book, juice, etc at the store. I just say "Yeah! That is Elmo." and we go on. And I make a point of not buying that brand of juice, instead asking them to decide between flavors of another brand. My older daughter knows who tons of characters are from her friends, and due to some bizarre circumstances, has a Dora Candyland game. You know when she sees Dora anywhere she points it out. We just acknowledge it and move on. No biggie.
post #24 of 56
I'm with you two eyesoftheworld and sbgrace. I started out not wanting my daughter to be sucked into all the characters and was proud of myself when she reached two and didn't know who Dora was. Even though I had never seen a Dora show, who knows it might be okay. I admit I don't like the marketing but then I realized keeping her from these characters and such was more about me then for her. She ended up watching the movie Cars and really liked it, we have ended up with more then a few car items and it doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore. She has her few things that she likes and doesn't have to have everything with cars on it. Which could be a lot of stuff. My parents bought cars shirts for her and DS, not something I would buy, but again more about me then for her. She wears both shirts, one as a skirt and one as a shirt. We call it her shirt skirt shirt outfit. She is still an individual, very creative and i feel well rounded.

I just don't see what the big deal is. What harm will it do. I just felt like it was more about me and my hang-ups then it was doing anything good for her. Not trying to cause a stir just putting in my two cents. BTW we don't have cable but do allow some movies, obviously.
post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2p.m. View Post
I admit I don't like the marketing but then I realized keeping her from these characters and such was more about me then for her.
I totally agree with this! This is the realization I had too, that made all the difference for me. For the longest time I was stressing out, thinking that if she saw TV at a friend's house or I didn't hide the Disney Cinderella book we got as a gift from a well meaning friend, she'd be ruined. But you know what? I didn't manage to hide that book and after a few readings, she was over it. She sees TV occasionally at friends and families houses, and it's no biggie.

And that's my goal - to make sure TV and characters don't have some power over us and become "a biggie". They aren't something we buy ourselves or do at our home. Some people do. Their choice. My older DD understands this and is fine with it. We talk about marketing and TV and why we don't like it, and I think she even agrees - with the biased info I've given her. As she gets older and is exposed to more things through her peers, I want her to realize that we've made some different choices for certain reasons, but I don't think I have to isolate her from other people's choices either. I want her to be informed enough to make her own choices when she reaches that age.
post #26 of 56
For me the concern is that it will limit imagination (not coming up with her own names for toys, making them act like the character, etc)
post #27 of 56
I see what you mean but I wouldn't not tell them the names of characters in a book or play, so I don't think telling them the names of TV/ movie characters is any different. I mean, someone came up with that character and gave it a name, same as books, etc. That's thier "given name", so to speak. My kids haven't lost thier creativity in naming because they know that red thing is called Elmo - we currently have baby dolls named Pickle, Applesauce and Blueberry Muffin.

I'm not sure how knowing the name correlates with knowing the behavior of the character? Back to the Elmo example, my kids know who Elmo is (can put the name with the face) but have never seen Sesame Street so they don't know how he acts. If they were in a situation where there was a stuffed Elmo around, they'd use thier imagination just the same as if they didn't have the name associated with him.
post #28 of 56
Yep same with my kids eyesoftheworld, we read a lot of books. That is how my kids discovered Thomas the Train. It was after they loved the books so much that my parents started buying them the movies. And my DD has no lack of imagination. SHe has named her feet Peter and Diesil and they have different personalities. She has a pony named Lulu, one of her favorite names, because we also have a chicken by the same name.

Anyway point being, you have characters in books, same as movies.
post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by weliveintheforest View Post
For me the concern is that it will limit imagination (not coming up with her own names for toys, making them act like the character, etc)

My boys have great imaginations. However, I often hear them "acting out" things from their favorite books. Today I heard on kiddo say "Will you pull our little train" and the other say "pull the likes of you, I think not" straight out of The Little Engine that Could. I think it's typical for kids to borrow stories and actually good developmentally. But I don't think it limits imagination in a typical child based on friends kids who do watch TV and act out the video themes just like my kids do books.
post #30 of 56
Hmm--I'm starting to feel like this thread is going in a "What's the harm of TV and movies?" direction...
post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
Hmm--I'm starting to feel like this thread is going in a "What's the harm of TV and movies?" direction...
yeah -- thanks for pointing that out.
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
Hmm--I'm starting to feel like this thread is going in a "What's the harm of TV and movies?" direction...
Huh. I don't see that here at all. Honestly, I think people have brought up a very fair point. It isn't any different to tell your child the name of a character in a tv show or movie than it is to tell them the name of a character in a book. Now if you're going to tell me you also have your children create every name in each story you read, you can talk to me more about that, but seriously, who does that or even would want to? It's NOT the same as letting your kids watch tv, teaching them about the show related to the character they happen to see on a lunchbox, t-shirt, stuffed animal, whatever. It's about answering a question - "What's his name?". If you're comfy with not giving truthful, straightforward answers to your dc's questions, that's on you. I just don't personally see it as an end to open-ended play. Personally I'd prefer my kids didn't ask so they do assign their own name to characters but if they ask, I tell them.
post #33 of 56
Right now I just call them things like "the little girl" (Dora), funny pretend animals (elmo and co).
post #34 of 56
Quote:
It isn't any different to tell your child the name of a character in a tv show or movie than it is to tell them the name of a character in a book.
I think it is, because to tell them that a TV- or movie-based character has a name clearly implies that there is a narrative that this character is involved in, yet you aren't actually introducing the narrative. The named character becomes a sort of recognized "person" in your kid's life and I think they are therefore more drawn to the character if they do happen to see the shows. Putting the characters on products is a very intentional gateway to getting kids interested in the TV show, IMO, as well as a very intentional way to get kids who do watch to ask for the items. The whole system is part of what really bothers me about kids' TV in general--it's so obviously a marketing/consumerism vehicle. In general it all bugs the hell out of me and not telling DD the names seems like a minor way to resist it.

I actually don't really love all the gear for classic book characters, either.

Also, I generally felt like the thread was going the way of "Oh, who really cares anyway...relax...TV and movies are great and don't have any effect on children."
post #35 of 56
Fair enough. I just didn't hear that in the thread (maybe I missed some posts). I abhore the marketing/consumerism ploy as well but really don't find it hard to escape it being that we do keep our kids tv-free. It just isn't part of their lives. Combine that with keeping our play things very Waldorf friendly (we're a Waldorf family) leaves little room for those characters in their play regardless. But still, we do live in the real world so sometimes these things are seen. Hasn't become an issue though.
post #36 of 56
We don't even own a TV and my kids still know the names of Spiderman and Batman. I don't see how it is possible to shelter kids from that, especially if they interact with the neighbor kids or go to any kind of playgroup, etc. I used to really, really bother me, but now it doesn't so much. So they like Spiderman-so? They act out their own stories for him and they have nothing to do with what Spiderman is really like. I think it's only a problem if we let it be a problem. In my oldest's mind, there is no difference between Spiderman and "The Strongest Guy in the World," a character he made-up. My children have no problem taking a character and making it be who they want it to be. It is their world, their imagination, their games.
post #37 of 56
my boys have picked up a lot of character names from their friends - we're the only people I know who don't have a TV, though we'll let them watch an occasional movie on the computer. they did learn some characters, like elmo and thomas from books.

we tried as long as we could to keep them away from all the commercialism, but grandparents and other relatives send so much disney/elmo/thomas/etc/ stuff, whether it be clothing, undies, toys, movies or books. It wouldn't be so bad if the things were good quality, but most of the toys are plastic crap made in China. My Mom actually had to call me and tell me not to open up a certain Christmas present because it had been recalled - lead paint.

My family doesn't really understand why we don't have a TV and pretty much disregard our requests for non-commercial gifts.: Instead they kind of make a point of inundating us with it, like the boys are being deprived of something.

OT: i recently learned that my mom doesn't want to visit us because we don't have a tv... sad.
post #38 of 56
I totally don't mean to hijack this thread (maybe someone can point me to a thread that will answer my questions), but why do you feel it's important for your lo's not to know the names of licensed characters?

We haven't ever owned a tv, but dd is only 11 mo so I've never had to deal with this. I know you are all smart people, so I must be missing something here. What's the benefit in not knowing the character's names?
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by annmartina View Post
I totally don't mean to hijack this thread (maybe someone can point me to a thread that will answer my questions), but why do you feel it's important for your lo's not to know the names of licensed characters?

We haven't ever owned a tv, but dd is only 11 mo so I've never had to deal with this. I know you are all smart people, so I must be missing something here. What's the benefit in not knowing the character's names?
I don't think it's a benefit so much as a personal choice. For me, I didn't like that my son was being spoon fed ideas by somebody else, somebody who is trying to make money on the fact that he will fall in love with this idea/ character. I also didn't want the annoyance of walking through a store and hearing "Oooo I want the Dora shoes! I want the Elmo cookies!" etc. We walk through and he doesn't bat an eye.

As I have said before around here, I like that when my son sees a clownfish, he says "oh a clownfish" and not "Nemo!!!!!!" He knows some of the characters now from just being around other kids, but of course he almost 4 now and can actually show some form of rational thinking every now and again. I can now start to have the conversations that many pro-TVers talk about... we discuss whether said item is truly the one we need or the best one, or are they putting said character on it to trick little kids into buying that one... even if it's something junkie or useless.

BUT -- I firmly believe that we can now have these conversations because we've been tv and character free this whole time and continue to be. And he sees it for what it is. He has no love affair with these things so he can look at them rationally. He has things he loves and they are based on his own interests and ideas and imagination and he is now strong willed enough that he doesn't like the idea of being told what to like.

FWIW, DS has LOTS of characters -- they are just the ones he makes up or from his favorite stories that we read. And they have no multi-million dollar product line attached to them.
post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
Hmm--I'm starting to feel like this thread is going in a "What's the harm of TV and movies?" direction...
Wha... what?! I totally didn't get that from this thread, and I certainly hope you weren't referring to my posts. : I am not at all saying TV and movies have no effect on children. If I thought they didn't, I certainly wouldn't be going to lengths to avoid them and keep them out of my home. I am saying that knowing the names of branded characters doesn't.

My children know the names of LOTS of characters, and do you know how it effects them? They know the names. That's IT. Knowledge. I answered their question. They never have any sort of play involving characters whose names they only know, so it hasn't stifled them there. They never ask for things with those characters on them, because knowing the name of something doesn't mean they desire it. As a matter of fact, they only very occasionally mention them at all. The occasional "It's Elmo." Or "That's Carebears. My friend has those on her backpack." And I just say "Yep." and we move on.

I honestly don't get how that means TV and movies are freaking great. I didn't know this forum was a "My kids are media-freer than yours" pissing contest. I have no use for that. I was here looking for support and to share stories and experiences.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: TV-Free
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Arts & Crafts › Books, Music, and Media › TV-Free › Do You Tell the Names of Licenced Characters?