Zombie Movies for a 2 yr old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 03-21-2008, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am an extreme introvert, and don't go out very much, choose friends carefully and there aren't that many of them, so I thought I'd ask what you mamas think, since my circle of reference is pretty small.

A few days ago, dh was discussing movies with his friend R (with whom we don't actually spend any time, but dh and R talk frequently). We were planning to watch The Incredibles after dc went to bed, and R was surprised that we wouldn't just watch it with them. Dh said, 'No way! Some of the themes and of course the violence are just too intense for young children; it's an adult movie, R.' R then said to dh that we are too overprotective and tense about this stuff and should loosen up, then gave his example- that he watches zombie movies with his (pre-verbal) 2 yr old son (). Dh was shocked and asked why he does that- there's plenty he can show his son that won't cause nightmares and horrible visual images if he wants to show him movies! His response was that his son knows the difference between fantasy and reality (which he couldn't verify because his son's spoken vocabulary is about 5 words), so he's fine watching that. Dh told him he's crazy. I would have said 'abusive,' but this is why I'm not friends with said family...

Anyway, I really don't think we're out of line with what many parents would think and do regarding limiting images their dc see. Even allowing our dc to watch movies at all is a fairly recent development in our life and stems directly from having no support system/family or resources where we live currently and we just needed to allow dc to experience something other than our walls and what we have had around for ages. High quality documentaries and stories seemed okay in small quantity and given that our three eldest sons all stopped napping at 14, 16, and 18 months respectively and are active and awake for 14 hrs/day, we didn't think they'd be harmed by having an hour-long veg. session in the afternoon.

I share this to give you an idea of where we're coming from on this, and how far a stretch it is to grasp that other parents might deem zombie movies acceptable for a pre-verbal 2 yr old. There are some gruesome scenes in the Planet Earth series that I still have trouble watching and allowing dc to watch (though dh assures me that they're fine- so we watch them).

Anyway, have we fallen off the edge of the earth since we left the big city, or is it still unusual to subject a young child to this sort of thing (please tell me it is... )?

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#2 of 24 Old 03-21-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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No stinking way would I ever let my son be exposed to something like zombie movies. We don't even watch CSI or the news most times around him anymore because it upsets him. I really believe that it is... goodness, I'm not really sure how to say it. I guess bad parenting. I don't think anyone needs to see that kind of thing, but as adults, it's a choice you can make for yourself. A child should be protected from that kind of thing. I'm with you 100%. The thought of someone watching a movie like that with my son in the room... I'd go absolutely nuts on them. That is just not okay, imo.
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#3 of 24 Old 03-21-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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I don't know if it's usual, but I'm not that shocked by the idea. Seems like a 2 year old might still be young enough that he wouldn't really understand a zombie movie was supposed to be scary. I wouldn't automatically think it was a bad idea for any 2 year old ever to watch a zombie movie. I think it all depends on how that particular 2 year old feels about them. At that age, you never know what they'll find most scary; it's not always what you'd expect. (My 2 year old is more scared of Totoro than of the fierce t-rexes in the Land Before Time movies.) If the kid is actually willing to sit and watch them, he must not be all that scared.
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#4 of 24 Old 03-21-2008, 11:41 PM
 
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No, we don't know what will scare any given 2 year old, so why risk it? Not only is TV watching (this includes dvds, videos, cable, sesame street,) etc. bad for little kids, who knows what habits they'll pick up (cussing, hitting, kicking.) They can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality, so what do their little brains think when they see zombies?

If we watch an adult movie when our son might still be awake, we don't even get anything where people are yelling at each other or where there's any sort of violence.

Disney movies are some of the worst--The Lion King--the uncle kills the father? How did that get to be okay for little kids?

OP, personally I don't consider watching TV to be world expanding for young children. School age, but not before.

Here's a link on the problems of toddlers watching TV. In case you have trouble getting to it, I have included a small portion:
http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/217262

One of the reasons I recommend zero TV for young children (the American Academy of Pediatrics says no TV for children younger than 2) is that it is addictive. There is something about the flickering, repetitions, fast changes, and loud music/voices/noise that makes kids want more. And because it keeps the kids happy and entertained, it serves as a cheap instant nanny for busy parents.
Too much TV is bad for all ages, from preschoolers to old couch potatoes, but in children younger than 2, TV actually can change the structure of their brain in troubling ways.
The wiring of the developing brain starts at the back where vision is processed and proceeds to the front of the brain where the frontal lobes are. These big frontal lobes are where we store working memory, the memory we hold long enough to finish a task like dialing a new phone number. Young babies aren't wired to do this yet, so when they watch television, every sound bite is like a new story. So what, you might ask? Well, what happens is the baby's brain gets wired up for short-attention-span use.
Hmmm, what disorder characterized by attention problems are we seeing in increasing numbers in children? That's right, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The data are not yet in that can prove early TV causes ADHD, but one study showed that for every hour per day of TV watched before age 3, the child is 10 percent more likely to have ADHD symptoms by age 7.

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#5 of 24 Old 03-22-2008, 01:07 AM
 
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theres a a piece in the current Adbusters magazine with pictures of kids watching tv. the most blank faced stared. the kids kinda look like zombies actually.

while i wouldn't force my kids to watch zombie movies especially at 2 i might let them if they seemed ok watching it. that is if i could take it. i'm so over horror movies at my age. it would depend on the movie....if there was lots of violence, blood, gore, etc then no i wouldn't let my kids watch even if they seemed ok but if was cartoonish, silly zombie stuff maybe.....

but no i don't think your stance is completely off the wall either. the reccomendations for limited if any screen time at that age. (mind you i break that rule a lot but we're watching pbs kids not zombie movies)

i think most parents would not allow young kids to watch zombie movies.......
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#6 of 24 Old 03-22-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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I am horrified that someone thinks it is ok for a 2 year old to watch zombie movies. That sounds like really really bad parenting to me.

I know I am on the overly cautious side. I don't watch the news with DD in the room, I even have hard time with DH and DD watching football together - it looks violent to me! Heck, I even turned off Finding Nemo when I realized how many scary scenes there are in it.

Zombie movies? Not a chance. Your friend is in la la land if he thinks a TWO year old can differentiate between fantasy and reality. I can't believe he thinks it is ok!!
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#7 of 24 Old 03-22-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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I don't think I buy this idea that 2 year olds don't understand the difference between fantasy and reality. I'm pretty sure mine does. He certainly understands the concept of pretending - he uses the word "pretend" all the time. He talks very well and, inspired by this thread, I tried talking to him about whether things he's seen in videos, like talking trains, are real, but it was impossible to tell for sure what he thought. If I asked him whether we could really see a talking train some time, he'd say, "Yeah!" but with this big grin like he thought it was a funny idea.

As an experiment, I showed him part of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer video with Buffy and her friends fighting a demon. (I told him it was a "funny monster." I was pretty sure it wouldn't be the kind of thing he would find really scary.) I asked whether he thought the monster could come out of the monitor into our house, and once again he said, "Yeah!" but with this grin that implied it was a funny idea he was only pretending to believe. Anyway, he really liked the scenes with the demon and asked to see it again.

So I couldn't get him to provide me with any conclusive evidence that he does or doesn't understand videos aren't real (though it's hard to imagine he could watch it so happily if he did think it was real), but he did seem to demonstrate quite nicely that a 2 year old can watch something like a zombie movie without being scared. (I admit I've never actually seen a zombie movie, though, so I don't know how much scarier than a Buffy episode they might be.)

Even though I don't share other people's horror at the idea of a 2 year old watching a zombie movie, I do agree that no or very limited screen time is best for kids that age. I'd be more concerned about the dad thinking that watching movies is a good activity for his kid than about the specific content of the movies. But maybe the kid mainly just plays nearby and occasionally watches a couple minutes of the action.
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#8 of 24 Old 03-22-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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While I would not let my 3 year old watch a zombie movie, I know that my ds is not scared of things that I would expect a young child to be scared of. For instance he loves talking about the Abominable Snowman and Big foot and dragons and whatever his idea of monsters are, he says they are his friends.

Kids this young don't have the frame of reference we have for what is scary.
He found a clown to be scary (I find them horrifying!) and it was just Ronald McDonald.

I mostly worry about children watching violent, scary images and becoming desensitized. I think that is something to be very concerned about in our society.

I don't believe that a 2 year old can truly understand the difference between fantasy and reality. Child development experts say that children are not fully able to grasp this concept until 7 or 8 years old.
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#9 of 24 Old 03-22-2008, 10:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jackaroosmom View Post
I don't believe that a 2 year old can truly understand the difference between fantasy and reality. Child development experts say that children are not fully able to grasp this concept until 7 or 8 years old.
7 or 8? I definitely don't buy that. I'd like to see what evidence any expert has to support that idea.
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#10 of 24 Old 03-22-2008, 10:33 PM
 
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I think it's unusual, but I'm proud to be unusual.

My daughter has watched all kinds of movies with us since she started watching movies around 2yo. My son is two and not yet interested in movies, but when he is, he can watch whatever we're watching as long as he wants to. My daughter has never had a nightmare and is not bothered by the movies she's seen.

As long as you're aware and paying attention to your child's reactions (and discussing issues that are presented with children old enough to talk about them), I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with letting them watch more adult-themed shows.

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#11 of 24 Old 03-22-2008, 10:44 PM
 
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I agree that a 2 year old probably shouldn't see such things. Like pp mentioned, we don't know how toddlers process such things. I get really mad when dh has some of his sci-fi shows on....they scare me! I don't want to take a chance with ds seeing something that turns later into a nightmare. If this child ends up with his mama's vivid dreams, I need to help in any way I can!

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#12 of 24 Old 03-23-2008, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There are lots of interesting responses to this; I really had no idea what the responses might look like, and there seems to be a variety.

I am interested in the information about any tv being detrimental to young children. I hate to go down the 'but I'm fine' path, but I guess I will anyway ... I never watched even close to the average amount of tv as a child, but I did watch and more than my dc do. I've have never had an attention deficit or memory processing disorder or any other mental/emotional/cognitive issue that is now considered possibly caused by tv watching. Neither has my dh and he watched a lot more than I did as a child- more in line with the average/day. Our dc are also fine.

Our dc have watched a lot more than I am comfortable with since dh has been home on parental leave, we have a new babe, and my health is failing, but it is still well below the average. Given that they are awake for 14 hours per day, I really cannot fathom how two one hour sessions would have such a grave impact on their brains. They use this as down-time, and honestly, I prefer it over bickering and whining, which is what happens when we don't give them a down-time focus. They are very active boys and while I used to try to encourage them to have quiet time, they just can't stop themselves from becoming overwhelmed unless it's with some passive entertainment. Obviously, if we didn't have a tv (we only watch dvds- no cable or channels at all up here), I'd have to find a better solution, but right now this is what works. Maybe one day if I am better, I'll be able to devote time to finding something else for them, but I'm not too concerned that an episode of Planet Earth or Meet the Robinsons is going to fry their imaginations.

Jmo, of course.

Otherwise, I still cannot imagine giving them zombie movies, but that is why I asked here. I've seen a few (because I was at a cottage retreat with a bunch of friends and the big boys snuck in a pile of them and insisted on watching them once the youngin's were in bed until the mamas of the group said we're all going to bed) but we don't watch that sort of thing either- although dh does like some pretty brutal movies. I tend to sew or write when he watches those.

OH! I should add that our babies never watch, so I am excluding the baby from everything I've shared. It's hard to keep them from ever seeing it, but the two who have heard it it and see it incidentally (the first two didn't see tv until less than 2 years ago) have never been plopped in front of a tv- actually none of our dc are; they run and jump and play and act out scenes they've memorised as the movie is playing.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion. I am going to look into tv watching effects on the very young again.


Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#13 of 24 Old 03-23-2008, 04:01 AM
 
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No way would I let my 2 yo watch zombie movies.

When my nephew was a toddler his uncle (otherside of family) let him watch that movie where some terrorist set off a bomb in the lincoln tunnel and the people are trapped and try to escape (sorry can't remeber title and very strange things come up when I googled it.) Everyone who was there (sister's ILs) while he watched it said he was fin and not scared at all during the movie, which I believe.

However, for several months after seeing it he became completely terrified whenever we needed to drive through the lincoln tunnel. The poor child would start sobbing and screaming as soon as we past the toll plaza.

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#14 of 24 Old 03-23-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
As long as you're aware and paying attention to your child's reactions (and discussing issues that are presented with children old enough to talk about them), I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with letting them watch more adult-themed shows.
I think this is totally right on. It depends on the kid and all kids are different. I could not handle tv or movies at all as a very young child, and I am still not allowed to go to grown-up movies (this is a joke between me and DH - but I really DON'T handle hollywood action/suspense well AT ALL and avoid it whenever possible.) DS1 is completely different from me in this regard. He is not stressed by very suspenseful TV/DVDs/Movies and LOVES them.

Yes, he is also addicted. But . . .

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Given that they are awake for 14 hours per day, I really cannot fathom how two one hour sessions would have such a grave impact on their brains. They use this as down-time, and honestly, I prefer it over bickering and whining, which is what happens when we don't give them a down-time focus.
This is how I see DS1 using TV - as down time, which it is hard for him to get any other way. Once he can read, I can see him reading instead, but looking at books without the words doesn't do it for him.

And now, I have a funny story, which I will be telling on DS1 for the rest of his life. When he was about 2.5, DH brought home Army of Darkness, an EXTREMELY campy movie involving not only zombies, but a guy with a chainsaw instead of one hand, time travel, and at least one babe with scanty clothing. I was kind of horrified when I realized DS1 was watching it with DH, but I was nursing DS2 and by the time I got out there, it was clear that DS1 was REALLY into it and would be pretty mad if I made them turn it off. This was a Friday night. No bad dreams, DS1 LOVED it!

The next day, I went to a LLL event where they had a storyteller. I thought, great, DS1 can listen to the storyteller while I walk the baby some. So I'm walking, and bouncing the baby, and all of a sudden I hear DS1 *LOSE* it in total terror. The storyteller was telling "Going on a Bear Hunt" and they FOUND THE BEAR. DS1 was SO SCARED, crying and carrying on and it took him a good long time to calm down.

So, Army of Darkness? No problem, it's not real, he clearly knows it's not real. "Going on a Bear Hunt"? Now, THAT'S SCARY!

: Poor baby!
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#15 of 24 Old 03-23-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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This is how I see DS1 using TV - as down time, which it is hard for him to get any other way. Once he can read, I can see him reading instead, but looking at books without the words doesn't do it for him.
This is how we use tV too, we have another non-napper, so we often watch a little bit after doing some activity. I had been 100% opposed to TV, DH and I hardly turn it on, but DS doesn't watch tv like a zombie child. He's engaged, jumping around in his chair, laughing at the action, pointing out things to me, and I watch it with him an do the same. If he sat there with his eyes glazed I probbaly wouldn't allow it.

And I would never do a horror movie, heck, "dumbo" traumatized him at age 2 for weeks, not just the mama elephant, but the beginning when they were whipping the elephants.

What I actually dislike about TV is the commercials. I'm removed from them because we just do PBS or DVDs, so I'm always surprised when we go to a hotel or something and most of the cartoons on Nick are about fighting or people othewise being mean to each other, and I just can't get over the quantity of commercials.

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#16 of 24 Old 03-23-2008, 11:22 PM
 
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I'm extremely careful about what my kids view (and what they read). They are both VERY easily frightened. (As in episodes of the Berenstain Bears have caused extreme panic at our house.)

But even if they weren't I would not show my children adult content. I think that it is far to easy to desensitize a child to violence, and scary things. I want my children to be scared by violence. I don't want them to think it's normal. I also don't want them thinking that there's a lot of violence out there all the time (there isn't, but the perception that there is has really limited children's ability to play and explore). Sure, some neighborhoods are not safe, but most are.

There are a ton of good research studies (ds needs me and I don't have time to look them up) showing a link between media violence and children's violence.


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7 or 8? I definitely don't buy that. I'd like to see what evidence any expert has to support that idea.
Children are 7 or 8 before they truly understand:
1. The structure of a story (that the conflict/high point will be resolved by the end)
2. That they can't make things happen by wishing them/they aren't responsible for good/bad things just because they wanted them to be that way. (How many kids of divorce do you know who think it's their fault/if they were just 'good' their parents would get back together?)
3. They are able to see the consequences of their actions.

Can they tell pretend from fiction before that? Yes, but not reliably so in all situations. Thus, I choose not to put my child in situations that might be beyond their ability to comprehend.

Zombie movies at 2? Nope. Disney at 2? Nope. Disney at 5? Probably not for my kid!

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#17 of 24 Old 03-24-2008, 02:21 AM
 
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QUOTE=Hokulele;10825881]I am horrified that someone thinks it is ok for a 2 year old to watch zombie movies. That sounds like really really bad parenting to me.

I know I am on the overly cautious side. I don't watch the news with DD in the room, I even have hard time with DH and DD watching football together - it looks violent to me! Heck, I even turned off Finding Nemo when I realized how many scary scenes there are in it.

Zombie movies? Not a chance. Your friend is in la la land if he thinks a TWO year old can differentiate between fantasy and reality. I can't believe he thinks it is ok!![/QUOTE]

:

I think it's absolutely nuts the things that are slipped into kids shows, I would NEVER let my kids see an adult movie before they are pretty much adults themselves. We don't allow tv, just the occasional movie that we have seen before. We made the mistake once of watching a Veggietales movie (Lord of the Beans) with our 3 year old before we had previewed it, and he was terrified at something that we almost didn't notice! It's a parody of Lord of the Rings, and near the begining when Gandalph is doing his fireworks show, an Aspagarus runs through the back of the scene with his head on fire. We were watching the main action, and almost missed it, until our son started to cry. The zombie movie may not scare that 2 year old yet, but what if it never scares him? Yeah, he may be too young to know it's supposed to be scary, but the key part of that phrase is "too young". If it doesn't matter if he watches it, then why should he?

Stay strong PreggieUBA2C. You have my support on this, totally.

Does anyone else wonder if there is a link between young kids watching a lot of tv/movies, and those same kids not learning to read until they are older? All of the tv free/ limited tv kids I know will entertain themselves during their down time with a book, even some with a lot of words, as long as there are also pictures. These kids range in age from 17 months to 4.
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#18 of 24 Old 03-24-2008, 02:26 AM
 
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I can't even handle zombie movies - that's so sad that they would show that to their children.
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#19 of 24 Old 03-24-2008, 02:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
I think it's unusual, but I'm proud to be unusual.

My daughter has watched all kinds of movies with us since she started watching movies around 2yo. My son is two and not yet interested in movies, but when he is, he can watch whatever we're watching as long as he wants to. My daughter has never had a nightmare and is not bothered by the movies she's seen.

As long as you're aware and paying attention to your child's reactions (and discussing issues that are presented with children old enough to talk about them), I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with letting them watch more adult-themed shows.
: If me and/or dh is watching a movie 90% of the time the kids are with us. We would never get to see any movies otherwise.

 
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#20 of 24 Old 04-03-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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About the age 7 or 8 thing - I have read that until kids are that age, they don't understand the concept that commercials might be more PR than fact - so if they see a kid playing with a toy on TV and it looks like the kids are having SO MUCH FUN - they think that if they get that toy, they will feel just like those kids do. They don't get that they're being "sold" to, in other words.

Both of my kids understand fantasy vs reality, at different levels. The older one is just starting to wrap her head around the idea that the people in movies really *aren't* those people, but actors, and the whole thing is like a story. That is, the woman playing Mary Poppins is the same one pretending to be Maria von Trapp, but she's really neither of those - her job is to pretend to be other people. OTOH she's understood the idea of pretend play since she was 2 or 3.

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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#21 of 24 Old 07-07-2013, 12:40 PM
 
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Hi, I've got a 6 year old, a 4 year old, and a 3 year old at home, and you might be a bit too over-sensitive with your movies. I would never watch 'Dawn of the Dead' or 'Zombie Land' with my 3 year old- but The Incredibles is a movie that was meant for children to help teach them family values, as Parents it's our job to help explain to the kids that the movies aren't real, that their just pretend, and that violence is inappropriate behavior. Moreover it's our job to prepare them for any fears or dangers they may face in the future. Most parents hear 'zombie movie with kids' and don't think through it much further than that. But what was the movie? 'Scooby Doo on Zombie Island'? Because that too is meant for children. 'When Good Ghouls Go Bad' is also a classic Halloween movie meant for children. There is a danger in only letting your child watch educational movies- I know this because it happened with our son, when we finally decided to let him watch things other than educational shows. He had difficulty knowing what was real and what was pretend. Now we play a game 'real or pretend' so we know he know's the difference. Over-sheltering your child could cause him to be unable to tell the distinction between reality and fantasy, meaning they'll need you to be there for them in the future to help them distinguish the difference. People always worry about parents letting their kids experience to much to fast, and never about how over-sheltering could cause children to be overdependent on their parents. I honestly hope this helps you, and good luck in the future. 

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#22 of 24 Old 07-07-2013, 12:44 PM
 
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oh- ya, BTW, we decided to let our younger two watch more than just educational and often they tell the six year old when things are pretend. So, no, they don't have the same problem. Just so you know. ^.^

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#23 of 24 Old 07-07-2013, 09:16 PM
 
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No....way...ever. I do know a kid exposed to that level of violence and I really do see how it has influenced its behavior.

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#24 of 24 Old 07-10-2013, 03:55 PM
 
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What I have learned lately is that everyone is different.  I don't understand why people have to constantly judge other people's parenting.  I don't agree with zombie watching for kids and we are pretty protective with what our children see but at the same time I am not judging others who do.  We are all different and have different views and that is ok.

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