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#61 of 82 Old 10-12-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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I'm 40 years old, the same age as NPR itself, and my mother listened to NPR around me the whole time I was growing up. I have always listened to NPR and still do around my three year-old. How many three year-olds out there bring up Libya in casual conversation? Mine does.  :D  I will continue to listen to NPR with her as she gets older, but I'll definitely turn the radio off or the volume down if something seems to be "too much" for her. I have to turn it off on my own account sometimes.

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#62 of 82 Old 10-12-2011, 12:00 PM
 
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I live in Los Angeles and drive a lot. And, yes, I am that other NPR listener the Prius driver. I have it on more or less all the time. I turn it low or off if the content is really off. Our local affiliate plays a lot of music though. I often stream there news station at home to listen to the BBC. My 2 year old doesn't notice except ot say NO MORE NEWS MUSIC. My four year old listens sometimes especially if a word catches his ear (sword, dead, chocolate).

 

As he gets old, I might expose him to the BBC radio or the News Hour on PBS.

 

The kids are media-free but as they get older, I would never expose them to commercial television news, if you can call it that. My father listens to Fox news constantly on his 400 inch tv LOUD and I now ask him to turn it off. It is so filled with hate. Regular news is just death, tragedy, mayhem, and scandel.

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#63 of 82 Old 10-12-2011, 12:09 PM
 
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Oh, and at 4 he knows that you need to support your local radio station with money and time and also that the fund drive makes everyone in our house cranky.

 

Funny: we have a great local food program that I really want to listen to but always get interrruped. We now podcast and have to listen to it a few times to hear everything. We usually talk about the market report for what is in season and a few times when he saw those things at the farmer's market he referenced it...

 

Not so funny: I probably wouldn't notice if I wasn't with my kids but I do think they air too much "language" from guests and others. Seriously, bleep it out.

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#64 of 82 Old 10-12-2011, 03:05 PM
 
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Pledge drives make us all cranky, too.  :)  Don't come between my family and our "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me!"

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#65 of 82 Old 10-12-2011, 06:47 PM
 
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While NPR fully rocks- and I've been listening to it since I was pre-teen aged at least- I do not often listen to it around my child, who is three.

 

I did, until the past six months or so, when she became very focused on listening and picking things up. There are often segments or mentionings about rape, murder, death, etc.- and she totally picks up on it and wants to talk about it. At three, I just don't find it neccessary to clutter her mind with more very serious questions/concerns than "real life" already presents.

 

I do turn it on once in a while for their regular segments, if they're boring enough for her  :)

 

(Also: I read an amazing book called "Simplicity Parenting", and the author talks a lot about limiting children's exposure to adult stresses. I kind of agree.)

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#66 of 82 Old 10-12-2011, 06:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View PostFrom an early age, dd knew about 9/11 and has even seen the pictures (including of people jumping).  She knows what happened, yet the planes over our house have never even bothered her. 

 

As I said earlier, I LOVE NPR, but...

 

Of course, it's totally a personal choice and my child is much younger than some of yours (I haven't traveled the path yet with an older child), but I must say that I am so glad my parents never, ever allowed me to watch images of such violence, despair, and desperation as people jumping out of the WTC towers when I was young.  We got rid of TV ten years ago (long before we had children) after 9/11 because we found the images of 9/11 too disturbing.  I live outside of NYC, my husband works in Manhattan in a building that was the target of anthrax attacks, he lost a colleague on 9/11, and a family member barely escaped the towers.  Believe me, I do not need to see the images of 9/11 to know that our world has threats.  My child does not need to hear news, see images of war and destruction, etc., etc., to know that all the world is not 100% safe.  "It's in the air" as her teacher likes to say. 

 

I also don't think that young children need to see or hear about violence, hunger, eco-disaster, etc. to become more devoted to causes of peace, environmentalism, and compassion.  In fact, I think it's the exact opposite.  Call me simple, but the more love, peace, and compassion our children experience, the more a part of their being it will become and the more determined they will be to preserve it and bring it to others.  I think media undermines this.  The stronger they feel in this foundation, the better they will be able to cope if the ugly side of life presents itself.   

 

Finally, I get a little uncomfortable when people bring up the argument that news is okay because their child says it doesn't bother them.  We are older, bigger people than they are, and children love us and have a strong desire to please us.  Are they trying to make us happy, to seek our approval when they say they are okay with listening to what mom wants to listen to?

 

Sorry to disagree and sorry for the ramble, but I just have to put in my two cents!

 

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#67 of 82 Old 10-12-2011, 07:06 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

I live in Los Angeles and drive a lot. And, yes, I am that other NPR listener the Prius driver. I have it on more or less all the time. I turn it low or off if the content is really off. Our local affiliate plays a lot of music though. I often stream there news station at home to listen to the BBC. My 2 year old doesn't notice except ot say NO MORE NEWS MUSIC. My four year old listens sometimes especially if a word catches his ear (sword, dead, chocolate).

 

As he gets old, I might expose him to the BBC radio or the News Hour on PBS.

 

The kids are media-free but as they get older, I would never expose them to commercial television news, if you can call it that. My father listens to Fox news constantly on his 400 inch tv LOUD and I now ask him to turn it off. It is so filled with hate. Regular news is just death, tragedy, mayhem, and scandel.



If your kids listen to the radio, they're not media-free. Perhaps you meant TV-free?  Or you don't do screentime? But Radio is media.

 

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Originally Posted by ZippyGirl View Post

I also don't think that young children need to see or hear about violence, hunger, eco-disaster, etc. to become more devoted to causes of peace, environmentalism, and compassion.  In fact, I think it's the exact opposite.  Call me simple, but the more love, peace, and compassion our children experience, the more a part of their being it will become and the more determined they will be to preserve it and bring it to others.  I think media undermines this.  The stronger they feel in this foundation, the better they will be able to cope if the ugly side of life presents itself.   


I do not think you are simple at all. ITA.  I think the more we expose our children to violence, they less sensitive they are to it - and is that what we want? 

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#68 of 82 Old 10-12-2011, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ZippyGirl View Post

 

I also don't think that young children need to see or hear about violence, hunger, eco-disaster, etc. to become more devoted to causes of peace, environmentalism, and compassion.  In fact, I think it's the exact opposite.  Call me simple, but the more love, peace, and compassion our children experience, the more a part of their being it will become and the more determined they will be to preserve it and bring it to others.  I think media undermines this.  The stronger they feel in this foundation, the better they will be able to cope if the ugly side of life presents itself.   

 

Finally, I get a little uncomfortable when people bring up the argument that news is okay because their child says it doesn't bother them.  We are older, bigger people than they are, and children love us and have a strong desire to please us.  Are they trying to make us happy, to seek our approval when they say they are okay with listening to what mom wants to listen to?

 


I don't think there's any way to know, short of doing some pretty sophisticated controlled studies, whether people become more compassionate and peaceful when they are exposed to those things or when they aren't.  And it doesn't ring true for me.  I am a pretty seriously compassionate and peaceful person (if I may say so myself, lol) and I think, in me, that came from seeing some very terrible things, some that I saw first hand and some not.  And when I was working with death row inmates in Alabama a few years back, some pretty traumatic things I had seen earlier (working with a couple of children who lived in an abandoned building with no heat, elec, etc in Chicago and were home alone with their four month old brother when he died) were an important backdrop for me and without them I don't know that I would have felt as strongly as I did for my clients.  When I was working with those kids it was very easy for me to see how limited their futures were and what a different road it would be from there to prison than from a "normal" middle class family to prison.  If I had not known them I wouldn't have known that in such a visceral way and if I didn't even know that those sorts of things existed, why would I have any compassion at all for those men on death row?  I suppose it's possible that I would have felt compassion for them based on some sort of principle, but I doubt that would have touched me the same way or made me as effective in my job.  

 

I also think it is super important to teach our children (although I am not saying it has to be at 3 or anything) about things like the Holocaust.  It cannot be something that they learn in college or somewhere.  It should be something they grow up knowing about.  If we forget about it and stop teaching our children about it, I really think that leaves more of an opening for that sort of thing to happen again.

 

I have no doubt that my child hears things that bother him, but I think that's okay.  Some of the things I hear bother me too, but that is not a reason for me to stop listening.

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#69 of 82 Old 10-12-2011, 08:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by faroutmomma View Post

 

(Also: I read an amazing book called "Simplicity Parenting", and the author talks a lot about limiting children's exposure to adult stresses. I kind of agree.)



I read Simplicity Parenting recently and completely agree with limiting adult stresses in children's lives.  They have plenty to think about and to discover without worrying or becoming paranoid over stressful and scary things.  Things that may not seem scary to us can be very stressful and scary to children.  The younger they are the more this is likely because they do not have a full understanding of cause and effect, nor do they always understand why they are upset, but that they are upset and need comfort.  I'm 35 and get stressed about things I hear on NPR and need to turn it off at times.  (I rarely listen since my 2 year old was born though, and never any news when he is around).  

 
 
Originally Posted by Melaniee View Post

Quote:

If your kids listen to the radio, they're not media-free. Perhaps you meant TV-free?  Or you don't do screentime? But Radio is media.

 

I do not think you are simple at all. ITA.  I think the more we expose our children to violence, they less sensitive they are to it - and is that what we want? 


Yes, radio qualifies as media.  My child is screen free, but not media free as he listens to the radio occasionally and we do have newspapers and magazines.

 

Yes, children become desensitized to violence (or anything else) if they are overexposed to it.  We are adults and therefore have (at least most of us have) been overly exposed to things that we no longer feel fear or saddness about.

 

Simplicity Parenting does address these (and other) parenting issues.

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#70 of 82 Old 10-12-2011, 09:05 PM
 
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it's so cool that you asked this question - i've been asking myself the same thing!

 

my baby's only 8 months old, so i guess there's not a lot to worry about yet, but she's very smart, and i think she'll start saying words soon... 

 

of course it all brings up the subject of when are kids ready to learn about the scarier, darker aspects of life... i've kind of been thinking it'll just happen when it happens, or when it comes up. i read a story in a local family publication about a lady who got her 3 year old daughter some goldfish cause the girl was sick, but the gold fish died, and then the woman put herself through so much of a rigamarole and hassle just to hide the fact of the fishies' death from her daughter... it was kind of disappointing.

 

not that i want to expose my kid to negativity but it's kind of silly to not be honest and forthcoming about the facts of life. but then again, i don't know... maybe she was right to protect a 3 year old from "death" because a kid that age couldn't handle it? or maybe wouldn't even be able to understand?

 

i don't really fit the NPR demographic... i'm 33, mostly "white", female, don't have a "job", am not exactly "career-oriented" in the traditional sense, did finish college, live with my partner and our child in an urban setting... i listen to npr whenever i can, but have been finding sometimes the only time i can is first thing in the morning, and it's just a bit intense to hear all the craziness of the world first thing.

i love writer's almanac and prairie home companion, and other talk shows. 

i've listened to npr since i was in high school or college, but in the past few years started feeling like it was pretty geared towards a certain demographic, and also feel that they're not totally unbiased or unskewed, and tend to miss out on some pretty important stuff going on sometimes.

still, it's a much less annoying source of news than say, oh, Fox, for example, hahaha.

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#71 of 82 Old 10-12-2011, 10:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by happy*mama View Post

 

I read Simplicity Parenting recently and completely agree with limiting adult stresses in children's lives.  They have plenty to think about and to discover without worrying or becoming paranoid over stressful and scary things.  Things that may not seem scary to us can be very stressful and scary to children.  The younger they are the more this is likely because they do not have a full understanding of cause and effect, nor do they always understand why they are upset, but that they are upset and need comfort.  I'm 35 and get stressed about things I hear on NPR and need to turn it off at times.  (I rarely listen since my 2 year old was born though, and never any news when he is around).  

Yes, radio qualifies as media.  My child is screen free, but not media free as he listens to the radio occasionally and we do have newspapers and magazines.

all this is so subjective. not all children are like that. and that is the part we have to acknowledge. my dd is far more upset that her father and i don't get along, that a group of boys are bullying her best friend. anything else is so not that important. it is us as parents who have to decide what is best for our children. not others telling us how we should be bringing up our children (not saying that that is what you are doing). i recall asking my mom so many questions about things i heard. and she would keep telling me i was too young. so i would try and find out from others. and i'd get all convoluted answers.

 

my dd is the kind for whom 'too early' is so ideal for her. if she hears about violence that's bad. but if she develops an interest in shakespeare oh that's great. *shrug* the radio is such a better medium to hear that than watching on tv. dd heard the word sexy from a song when she was 3. she knew it was not a term society approved of young people knowing so she first asked her 5 year friend and then came to me. i could have told her just like my mom but that would have made her seek the answer elsewhere. 

 

at 3 was my dd listening to blood and gore? no she wasn't. she found NPR boring at that age and always asked to change that station till she was 5. 

 

some children need to know. by 5 i could not 'shelter' my super curious child anymore coz she was getting exposed to stuff from elsewhere - like the news paper from passing the kiosk or even from the library, or passerby's discussion or the tv news from the store we had stopped at or the restaurant we were eating at. i'd rather she hear stuff around me and have me there to answer questions than elsewhere. 

 

worse than news or NPR were books. dd didn't 'know' about monsters or worry about them till she 'discovered' them when her dc/ps read where the wild things are when she was 2. the pictures frightened her. other toddlers introduced her to other 'scary stuff' like a disease that kills you, machines that kill you. so really news is so not the only source children get info. some kids are oblivious to it. dd's bf's family also had NPR going in the kitchen all the time. he totally didn't pay any attention to it like dd did. 

 

so i feel there is no one easy answer. one size fits all doesn't work either. 

 

in our life - did my dd need to know? yes she did coz i was involved in activities around the stuff she 'shouldn't' hear. coz her friend in K lost his dad in the Iraq war and he wrote about his dad any chance he got in class. coz in first grade a friends parents were splitting up and it was going terribly with knives and the police involved and he was changing as a student and friend. coz another friend had to move in with her gma so they moved far away which reduced the number of play-dates we could have.   all of this in first grade. she had to understand why her bf's family was so into stranger danger.  why her bf refused to talk to strangers and even look at them. her brother had been kidnapped from her mothers arms for a v. short while thankfully. 


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#72 of 82 Old 10-12-2011, 11:37 PM
 
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The original thread is about an 8 year old and his friends.

 

I absolutely agree that a three-year-old isn't ready for all the concepts discussed on the news.

 

Of course, every child is a unique being who will be prepared for different things at different ages.  If you know that your child isn't ready for NPR at age 8, fine, but you should make this known to anyone who cares for your child when you aren't around, as I would assume that a child older than six would be ready to handle news reports.  Personally, *I* don't listen to long features about the experiences of rape survivors and so forth unless I'm capable of giving the issue my full emotional and intellectual attention, and therefore it wouldn't be an issue for a child in my care, but again, the question was about listening to the news on NPR while driving with children.

 

And again, the impression that frightening images may have made upon children is not up for discussion.  Images are a completely different issue--- I am still haunted by a set of images I saw in a Vietnam War documentary when I was 11.  Knowing about the war in Afghanistan or the use of child soldiers in Cameroon is not the same as seeing real-life footage of people dying.  They can't play images over the radio, and again, the question was about listening to NPR.

 

Sorry to have led anyone astray by not discussing the limitations of my previous post.

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#73 of 82 Old 10-13-2011, 07:11 AM
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We listen to NPR but the kids aren't interested; they usually have their noses in books in the car. I'm not worried about it, though, we talk about current events and politics a lot around here. 

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#74 of 82 Old 10-13-2011, 07:25 AM
 
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I think we all have a wide degree of standards for media exposure of all kinds here on mdc. 

for us, we're tv free, very limited screen time, but we're very pro- news, pro- exposure of our kids to the real world.  i wouldn't dream of "protecting" my kid from the stuff that goes on that is reported on npr.  but then again, we don't lie to our kid or pretend like there's a santa claus, tooth fairy, etc. 

we also have a very non traditional perspective and try very hard to raise our kids according to our ethics (which are very analytical and anarchist). 

 

but the conversation that some folks are having about it being harmful to expose kids to media, i kind of disagree with, professionally, and as a parent. 

it's totally cool if you feel that your kid is sensitive, and you limit exposure to things you know will unsettle your kid, cause only a parent truly knows a child.  however, to make a blanket assumption that kids can't and don't need to be TAUGHT how to critically navigate media and propaganda is both a fallacy and a disservice to the kid, just in my opinion. 

 

There's so much technology, and media out there, and everyone, especially the youngsters, are bombarded with it.  I really feel like teaching media literacy is one of the most important skills we can pass to our children... i really encourage some of you mamas to take a look at what that means exactly, and why it's so important.  i am not saying that you have to expose your kid to blood and gore that they aren't ready for, but i think it's crucial that we teach kids exactly WHAT media is selling and how to ask relevant questions about what they see and hear-- even if you're tv free like we are, there are billboards and ads and stuff playing on other people's televisions so much that the question of them being exposed to stuff you don't agree with is pretty much answered by the outside world, unless you live on a rural compound somewhere that you never leave.  and, the WHY you avoid it is better answered too-- i think it's important to share with kids why you're tv free if you are, etc. 

 

here's one good website about media literacy...

something from pbs

and from U of MI

 

 


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#75 of 82 Old 10-13-2011, 04:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post


 

 

I also think it is super important to teach our children (although I am not saying it has to be at 3 or anything) about things like the Holocaust.  It cannot be something that they learn in college or somewhere.  It should be something they grow up knowing about.  If we forget about it and stop teaching our children about it, I really think that leaves more of an opening for that sort of thing to happen again.

 


Why?   And, FWIW, I do not disagree that 'children' (as in people under age 18) need to learn about the realities of our world, of which not all are pretty. But I think there's a lot of space between age 7 and 'off to college.'

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#76 of 82 Old 10-13-2011, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Why?   And, FWIW, I do not disagree that 'children' (as in people under age 18) need to learn about the realities of our world, of which not all are pretty. But I think there's a lot of space between age 7 and 'off to college.'


I'm not suggesting that there is a certain age it should be taught at, just that "off to college" feels too late to me.  My eight year old knows very little about it.  Interestingly he knows much more about the internment of the Japanese in this country during WWII than he knows about the Nazis and concentration camps.  But that's because he knows someone who was interned.  He knows the very basics, though, about the Holocaust and we've talked a little about the fact that there have been other genocides.  I wouldn't feel comfortable with him reading The Diary of Anne Frank or something similar at this point, but I hope and assume that he will *long* before he's off to college.  

 

I think it's very important that he and all young people learn about it because blindly trusting the government (any government) and patriotism for patriotism's sake (rather than pride in what is actually happening in your community and with your government) is very dangerous and knowing about various genocides and especially the Holocaust (we can identify more closely with everyone involved  --  my husband is Jewish and though I don't know of an German ancestry, if I told you that I and my boys were German you wouldn't question it  --  that we can with Rwandans or Bosnians or Armenians) will hopefully help our future voters/protesters/leaders avoid the pitfall of taking for granted that our gov't is good no matter what it looks like it's doing.  

 

Hmmm...  Okay, now that I look back at your post, I'm not sure what you're asking.  Why what?  Why should they grow up knowing?  Because if they get age appropriate bits and pieces along the way, meet people who were involved or knew people who were involved (ie, his grandparents) or people who remember that time, read stories and memoirs, I think it leads to a whole different sort of understanding than being presented with it for the first time in a college class.  I think the knowledge becomes more a part of who they are than just something they studied once.  

 

Did I answer your Q?


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#77 of 82 Old 10-13-2011, 08:04 PM
 
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Clearly not every child is going to be anxious and fearful after hearing NPR, but developmentally speaking, 7-8 is when many children begin to learn about dangers outside the house, and overreact because they don't have enough context to put them in. There's solid developmental literature to back this up. Obviously, some children will not react this way. Some will. Because of that, I think that for most children, NPR is iffy, precisely at this age. By 9-10, they've got more ability to take a perspective. Learning about probability (through baseball!) helped my son learn this. Dd is still working on it. I know that my children are far more sensitive than most.

 

I was reacting in particular to this post:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissAnthrope View Post
We prepare our children for the possibility that someone might attempt to abduct them, that their house might burn down in the night, or that a trusted adult might become sexually violent toward them--- they need to understand that those things happen so that they can protect themselves, as upsetting as we might find the idea of our children coming to that sort of harm.  Similarly, children need to have some rudimentary grasp of global issues, including the unpleasant ones, so that they can protect their global community.  As parents, we have a responsibility to provide our children with information about real life and the tools they need to be successful in it.


I think it's harmful to expect an 8 year old to be able to protect themselves. It sounds to me like the first step in blaming the victim. I know it wasn't intended that way, but even if my 8 year old knows about these things, they still don't have the skills to protect themselves.

 

Similarly to expect them to protect their global community. Certainly, they can take part in family events to help out causes. For example, our dd knows that we have chosen to become a 1 car family, which means we need to bike to swim lessons or take public transit sometimes, in part because of global warming. My kids know there are such things as wars. We've talked about them. I'm not hiding the information from them, and we deal with it as it comes up. They know about alcoholism because of a neighbor. They know about the war in Iraq from other sources and hearing people talk. (It's been going on all their lives, so it's hard to miss.) If domestic violence, suicide, or abduction comes up, we'll talk.

 

What they do not need is to hear how many people were killed in Baghdad last week by a suicide bomber. There's been a horrific story in the local news lately because a sociopath (with white supremicist beliefs) and his girlfriend went on a 3 state killing spree. They 1. killed his father & stepmother, 2. killed a 19 year old they met at a jazz festival because his name 'sounded Jewish' and 3. killed an African American man. I am recycling those front pages as soon as I've read the editorials. My kids do not need to know about this. They can't understand it (heck, I can't understand it because the guy is clearly unhinged), and they can do nothing to protect themselves from something like this.

 

But until my 7 year old quits turning off the BBC when she comes in at night to sleep in our room ('because it's too scary'), NPR will be off. They're not living in a bubble, but I still think that 8 is an iffy age for NPR. I'd rather wait a couple of years. Waiting a couple of years isn't going to make them less compassionate or less thoughtful.

 

 

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#78 of 82 Old 10-14-2011, 03:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rubidoux View PostWhy should they grow up knowing?  Because if they get age appropriate bits and pieces along the way, meet people who were involved or knew people who were involved (ie, his grandparents) or people who remember that time, read stories and memoirs, I think it leads to a whole different sort of understanding than being presented with it for the first time in a college class.  I think the knowledge becomes more a part of who they are than just something they studied once.  

 

 

I think this is a good point.  If something is not age appropriate for their personal development, certainly don't expose your kids to it, but I think the mid-late teen years is a little late to start learning about some things.  We're lucky that we receive 3 public radio stations.  If something were too graphic, we could switch over to something else.  If it's something I particularly want dd to listen to that I heard during the day, say a Fresh Air segment, I know I can listen to it later on another station with her on the way home from lessons and we get a chance to talk about it.  Or if it's a piece I don't want her to hear (very rare that this would happen), I can listen to it at a different time on a different station or streaming at home.  It doesn't have to be all or nothing, though.  One of the things that I like about the NPR programs is that you are getting a lot of different perspectives, so they are not getting just one opinion.  As I said, I think as far as news goes, it's a good introduction for kids.  Each family has to determine when that appropriate introduction should take place, so it's not one-size-fits-all.
 

 

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#79 of 82 Old 10-14-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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I think this is a good point.  If something is not age appropriate for their personal development, certainly don't expose your kids to it, but I think the mid-late teen years is a little late to start learning about some things.  We're lucky that we receive 3 public radio stations.  If something were too graphic, we could switch over to something else.  If it's something I particularly want dd to listen to that I heard during the day, say a Fresh Air segment, I know I can listen to it later on another station with her on the way home from lessons and we get a chance to talk about it.  Or if it's a piece I don't want her to hear (very rare that this would happen), I can listen to it at a different time on a different station or streaming at home.  It doesn't have to be all or nothing, though.  One of the things that I like about the NPR programs is that you are getting a lot of different perspectives, so they are not getting just one opinion.  As I said, I think as far as news goes, it's a good introduction for kids.  Each family has to determine when that appropriate introduction should take place, so it's not one-size-fits-all. 

 


My DD is 2 and NPR is pretty much the only thing that's been on in the car since she was born (aside from a few kids music cd's that were key in calming her when she was an infant).  Although she has yet to actually comment on a specific story she's heard on NPR (and I'm not even sure how much she's really paying attention to the radio because she's always talking over it to ask about what she's seeing out the window), she is absolutely already asking questions about things she sees in teh world and expressing concerns.  One day we saw 2 homeless guys on 2 different street corners.  She asked what they were doing, I said they were holding up signs that said they didn't have homes and asking for money.  Her response: "Mommy, that's not good!  That's not good!  We need to get daddy's money and give them money!" [I was happy and amused she specified daddy's money for this one... LOL!].  Between the 2 guys that day ice cream came up and I said we'd go for ice cream.  Then when we saw the 2nd guy and again she said we needed to get daddy's money to get them a home, I said "Well you know honey, we only have so much money.  You have to make choices sometimes about what's more important.  So what's more important to you: getting these guys a home or getting ice cream?"  She didn't hesitate for a second "Getting them a house!"

 

That is all to say, that though she doesn't ask about NPR yet, I welcome when she hears a story about something, even something scary, and has questions about it.  I am not going out of my way to expose her to scary stuff (we'd get cable t.v. if I wanted to do that! ;) ), but so far when something in her real life does scare her, I find it fantastic for her development for her to be able to ask about it, for us to process her fear, to talk about what can be done about the scary thing, and to encourage her to keep talking about it and to be able to reassure her when I can that some things are probably not going to happen to us (like angry robots or polar bears).

 

THe day willcome where she will listen and ask... and I welcome it whenever it comes.  I am also excited to hear what she has to think about the stories on NPR!  But if she ever asks me to turn something off, or says she doesn't want to hear something, of course I'll turn it off. 
 

 

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#80 of 82 Old 10-14-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rubidoux

I'm not suggesting that there is a certain age it should be taught at, just that "off to college" feels too late to me.  My eight year old knows very little about it.  Interestingly he knows much more about the internment of the Japanese in this country during WWII than he knows about the Nazis and concentration camps.  But that's because he knows someone who was interned.  He knows the very basics, though, about the Holocaust and we've talked a little about the fact that there have been other genocides.  I wouldn't feel comfortable with him reading The Diary of Anne Frank or something similar at this point, but I hope and assume that he will *long* before he's off to college.  

 

I think it's very important that he and all young people learn about it because blindly trusting the government (any government) and patriotism for patriotism's sake (rather than pride in what is actually happening in your community and with your government) is very dangerous and knowing about various genocides and especially the Holocaust (we can identify more closely with everyone involved  --  my husband is Jewish and though I don't know of an German ancestry, if I told you that I and my boys were German you wouldn't question it  --  that we can with Rwandans or Bosnians or Armenians) will hopefully help our future voters/protesters/leaders avoid the pitfall of taking for granted that our gov't is good no matter what it looks like it's doing.  

 

Hmmm...  Okay, now that I look back at your post, I'm not sure what you're asking.  Why what?  Why should they grow up knowing?  Because if they get age appropriate bits and pieces along the way, meet people who were involved or knew people who were involved (ie, his grandparents) or people who remember that time, read stories and memoirs, I think it leads to a whole different sort of understanding than being presented with it for the first time in a college class.  I think the knowledge becomes more a part of who they are than just something they studied once.  

 

Did I answer your Q?

Yes, thank you. It sounds like we aren't that far off in our opinions, I just didn't read your post that way intially.  I definitely do not plan to release my little birds from the nest into the world without any knowledge of it.  That, IMHO, would be just as bad.  I think I interpreted your thought of children needing to 'grow up' knowing about these things as exposing them from the start (literally, as soon as they can hear). It seems some in this thread do follow that philosophy.  Anyway, that is what I didn't understand and was curious for your reasoning. Now I do understand that was not what you meant.  Having an 8 yo know about something awful that happened, because it happened to his neighbor/friend and from this (presumably) good person in his life, is different - to me, than an arbitrary info-dump.   It is a more holistic view than atrocities on a page/in a video/ on the radio. He can see this person, this real human being and hear their real story and witness their life now.  I remember meeting my first Holocaust survivor in a college class. It was deeply affecting, and still is. It was far from the first time I learned about the Holocaust, but it was the firs time that I felt it.  But it was a fabricated meeting, not something that happened as a natural part of my life.  I am forever grateful for it, but I was in my 20s and 'signed up' for being educated on such things in the world. Not in my booster seat on the way to the grocery store with my mom hearing colorful descriptions on the radio when I should have been looking out the window at the real things in my life.

 

 

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#81 of 82 Old 10-15-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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FWIW, I learned about the Holocaust from a history book in a middle school class in 7th grade. I think any child who goes to high school without knowing about it is probably going to be one of the very few who havent been exposed.

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#82 of 82 Old 10-15-2011, 06:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meemee View Post

all this is so subjective. not all children are like that. and that is the part we have to acknowledge. my dd is far more upset that her father and i don't get along, that a group of boys are bullying her best friend. anything else is so not that important. it is us as parents who have to decide what is best for our children. not others telling us how we should be bringing up our children (not saying that that is what you are doing). i recall asking my mom so many questions about things i heard. and she would keep telling me i was too young. so i would try and find out from others. and i'd get all convoluted answers.

 

 

 

my dd is the kind for whom 'too early' is so ideal for her. if she hears about violence that's bad. but if she develops an interest in shakespeare oh that's great. *shrug* the radio is such a better medium to hear that than watching on tv. dd heard the word sexy from a song when she was 3. she knew it was not a term society approved of young people knowing so she first asked her 5 year friend and then came to me. i could have told her just like my mom but that would have made her seek the answer elsewhere. 

 

at 3 was my dd listening to blood and gore? no she wasn't. she found NPR boring at that age and always asked to change that station till she was 5. 

 

some children need to know. by 5 i could not 'shelter' my super curious child anymore coz she was getting exposed to stuff from elsewhere - like the news paper from passing the kiosk or even from the library, or passerby's discussion or the tv news from the store we had stopped at or the restaurant we were eating at. i'd rather she hear stuff around me and have me there to answer questions than elsewhere. 

 

worse than news or NPR were books. dd didn't 'know' about monsters or worry about them till she 'discovered' them when her dc/ps read where the wild things are when she was 2. the pictures frightened her. other toddlers introduced her to other 'scary stuff' like a disease that kills you, machines that kill you. so really news is so not the only source children get info. some kids are oblivious to it. dd's bf's family also had NPR going in the kitchen all the time. he totally didn't pay any attention to it like dd did. 

 

so i feel there is no one easy answer. one size fits all doesn't work either. 

 

in our life - did my dd need to know? yes she did coz i was involved in activities around the stuff she 'shouldn't' hear. coz her friend in K lost his dad in the Iraq war and he wrote about his dad any chance he got in class. coz in first grade a friends parents were splitting up and it was going terribly with knives and the police involved and he was changing as a student and friend. coz another friend had to move in with her gma so they moved far away which reduced the number of play-dates we could have.   all of this in first grade. she had to understand why her bf's family was so into stranger danger.  why her bf refused to talk to strangers and even look at them. her brother had been kidnapped from her mothers arms for a v. short while thankfully. 


 

I agree that we parents need to decide what is best for our children.  Simplicity Parenting spoke to me because I already had those parenting philosophies.  It was nice to read a comprehensive and detailed explanation for these parenting philosophies, as this is an uncommon way to raise children.  My husband and I do not know anyone else IRL who limits media the way we do.  When my son starts asking questions about sensitive subjects, I will answer them honestly and to the best of my ability and in an age appropriate way that is specific to my son's sensitivities.  I don't see the need to expose a young child to news when people we know and meet in our daily lives have issues that we need to explain to our children.  i.e. we go to the grocery store and my son asks why someone is using a cane, an electronic cart, has a cast on their leg, has tattoos, why the ambulance is in a hurry, etc.  The heavy stuff will come, but I prefer to allow my son to be a child for as long as possible (he is only 2).  My mother did watch the news and listen to NPR, so I was exposed to a lot stuff that really did bother me at a young age.  But, it didn't help that I had a very rough childhood.  I know my own experience is determining how much media I will allow for my child during his young childhood years.  I did, however, start reading the newspaper when I was 9 and was obsessed with going to library starting at age 10 to read encyclopedias front to back as well as other reference books.  I do remember having an appetite for information about the world.  Eight is kind of young in my opinion for the scary news stories on NPR, but other non-violent news and programs would be fine to me at that age.  We filter our son's reading at this time, but I love books and research and plan to share all of that with him.  Yes, other people, our kids friends will expose our child to things that we may find inappropriate, but we don't always have control over those moments, where as we do have control over the radio.  I think we underrate children's attentiveness to what they hear on the radio.  Just because a child does not react or ask about what they hear does not mean that they are not paying attention.  They still may not be able to shut it out of their minds.

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