videos a contradiction to attach. parenting?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 34 Old 12-23-2001, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i don't know, i've recently been noticing that many parents who subscribe to very cool ways of parenting (attachment parenting, etc...) sit their kids in front of videos. a lot. i can see the attraction as a babysitter, but isn't this somewhat of a contraction?? curious what you think.
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#2 of 34 Old 12-23-2001, 11:21 PM
 
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I have to say that I'm a mom that is ideally against TV in general. Unfortunately I do use it occasionally to keep the kids busy if I absolutely have to get something done. I think if we're choosing the programming and using it very sparingly then it isn't all bad. I would love to be a no TV family but right now they get a half hour per day. We don't have cable either. I finally got the courage to cancel that! My husband was none too happy but that's too bad. I definately use the TV more in the winter then in the summer. In the summer it goes for days without being touched. The kids rarely ask to watch TV either. So that's a good sign, I think.

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#3 of 34 Old 12-23-2001, 11:50 PM
 
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i can see letting a child watch a video occasionly
so you can do the dishes or something
not for hours though.
30minutes...an hour. i dont see an issue

i see what you mean about it being a little of a contradiction, but not really. even if you are really doing AP bigtime, I still think you might need a few minutes. a video can do that without you having to hire someone. for a few minutes

i see your point though.
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#4 of 34 Old 12-23-2001, 11:59 PM
 
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I used to think not watching TV and AP went together. And then I met other APs and found everyone else used TVs except us.
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#5 of 34 Old 12-24-2001, 01:51 AM
 
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Well, I generally don't put him in front of the T.V. so I can get stuff done- unless I've tried my other tricks and they've failed. Most of the time when I'm cooking or washing dishes he's happy to play in the kitchen with pots and pans or magnet letter. But every now and again... well putting on a video is better than getting so angry and frustrated at being interrupted that I'm snappish or impatient with him.

More often when I give up and turn on the T.V. is when I'm too tired to supervise his active and often destructive play. For 20-30 min I can rest and read a book without having to pull him off the furniture or rescue the cat from abuse. This really isn't often since I try to nap when he does, but sometime it's helpful and I say go with what works. Tapes of quality PBS shows are fun, educational, and commercial free.
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#6 of 34 Old 12-24-2001, 01:05 PM
 
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I despise television in general. Not only for my kids, but for myself. We have one, but keep ot programmed to only get Discovery, TLC, History, Animal PLanet, and like channels. We do occasionally watch it. I find there is very little of any value on TV or video these days.
I sling Malia if I really need to get something done, and once she is to big to be slung, she will be big enough the "help" me. Dishes make take 3 times as long with her helping. She may unfold more than she folds... but I really prefer to avoid TV.
My reasons aren't really AP though. Long before I ever heard of AP I wasn't fond of TV. Kids video's have an abundance of violence (Disney) and even sexual content. I can't believe how some of our dear Disney characters dress. No wonder 10 year olds are putting on close to nothing and striking suggestive poses.
Barney, and such claim to be educational, but I think they would learn far more by interacting with you and listening to you explain things like what shape the plate is. Why the glass can hold water. How soap makes bubbles. How folding a towel conserves space.
Granted, Malia will probably watch a nature show here and there... and I don't think it's in and of itself a "bad" thing. But more than likely I'll be watching the show with her. It will be an activity, not a babysitter.
That said, I used to be a nanny and understand WHY some want to use one. I personally just think there are better methods of entertainment that will prove far more useful.

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#7 of 34 Old 12-24-2001, 06:12 PM
 
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We don't have a tv (well, actually, technically we do- it's an old tv my parents gave us when they got a new one, and we keep it in a closet and bring it out only for a rare movie rental). I don't enjoy having a tv in the house for even the basic reason that it is an ugly box that doesn't fit into my decorating scheme. I don't like to see kids being babysat by tv, but I don't judge other parents who have a tv or who watch videos with their kids. AP isn't a set of rules. It is a general approach that doesn't pan out the same way for everyone. Not only that, but parents can fall anywhere on the AP continuum, and most of us are not at any extreme.

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#8 of 34 Old 12-24-2001, 09:16 PM
 
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I'm guilty of using videos too much, but I can't help thinking they may not be all bad because, for the same reason children like the same books read over and over, they allow a child to predict what will happen next and feel some degree of control in his world. 23 mo DS likes his videos about trucks and heavy equipment and Thomas the Tank Engine and I can't see their negative influence on him. Especially when they are fuel for his imagination when he plays trains, etc.
DS and I don't watch many TV shows, but dh insists on having the thing on from the time he gets home, so ds is subjected to that CRAP even if he's not directly watching it. I try to occupy him in another room when I can, but you know, what's the purpose of family if you're going to hang out away from each other?. . . but that's another post I guess.
Anyway, I've been wondering about a related issue: what about computer games? DS enjoys Thomas TTE, Ms. Spider's Tea Party, Jumpstart, and Reader Rabbit software (mostly the first two). We have to play them together, so it's not a matter of not interacting. I just wonder if it's any worse than playing non-computer games together?
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#9 of 34 Old 12-24-2001, 11:05 PM
 
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MaliasMommy,
I agree with you about the garbage that is touted as kids programming, esp the violence and the "sexiness". I am literally terrified that so many kids are growing up on this stuff. That is one of the very big reasons I am afraid to send my kids to public school.
I have recently been renting the baby einstein tapes from the library and we REALLY enjoy them. They are mostly music, no flashy images and the baby shakespeare has poetry.
I am in the process of donating most of our other tapes so that the tv won't be such an easy temptation. We don't have cable and we get no reception so tapes are my last crutch.

In general I don't believe in tv but I do believe there are some very beneficial programs for both young and old (I just watched Gandhi for the first time). I am just trying to be selective about how much and why.

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#10 of 34 Old 12-25-2001, 05:20 PM
 
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I feel in moderation, as Nurding Mother, that TV is OK. In my ideal world I would not have one. I've cut it back alot but have not talked my husband or teenagers into giving it up altogether.

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#11 of 34 Old 12-25-2001, 11:07 PM
 
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We do not have a televison and do not let ds watch tv at friend's houses (we are able to monitior that very closely because he is always with us when we are at the friend's - he is only 13 months)

We have also made the decision that he will not be exposed to the computer until later, so we do all of our computing after he is asleep or before he wakes in the morning.

The AAP and WHO recommend ZERO hours of television for children under 2!

I am personally against children being raised by television (and computers) but I was also raised in a house where we had very limited tv as young children and then we just chose not to watch it as young adults because we were too busy.

That said, I understand how people get into the paradigm of needing the 30 minute break. We just don't consider it an option.
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#12 of 34 Old 12-26-2001, 02:44 AM
 
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You know, I have to say as a kid, I hardly ever watched TV. Of course, we didn't have cable and all that back in the 70's and early 80's. We didn't even get a VCR till I was 17 years old!!

I do use TV as a way to be able to take a shower. My 2 destructos trash the house as soon as I get in the shower. I turn on Croc Hunter and all is quiet for 30 minutes.

I don't worry so much about the programing as I do the advertising.
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#13 of 34 Old 12-26-2001, 05:10 AM
 
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Perhaps I should add to my post that we didn't have a tv when I was a kid either. Even when we went to friend's houses, we really didn't watch tv (perhaps the rare video at a friend's house, but really very rare). It wasn't that we weren't allowed to watch tv. At our house, it just wasn't an option because we didn't have one. At our friends' houses, we were much more interested in playing. Even these days, people consistently comment on my sense of imagination and my creativity (a creativity that can overcome even the most desperatly boring situations). Most people are a bit surprised by it, and I'm convinced it has a lot to do with not having a tv when I was a kid, especially during the earliest development of imaginative abilities. But as I said, every family balances there own wishes and needs. I think that is great!

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#14 of 34 Old 12-26-2001, 12:32 PM
 
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We didn't have a TV growing up either, and what happened was that I developed a. a craving for it (forbidden fruit) and b. not as much tolerance for watching TV as I've noticed other people have.

I had the idea that I would simply curtail TV viewing and only allow so much a week, and so forth, but now am wondering whether it's going to be so easy. Have just noticed ds (8 months) watching the tv while dh or I watch it. Also, dh and I have different attitudes toward TV: I only watch when there's something specific I want to see, dh likes to plop down in front of it a lot of the time, eat in front of it etc. Have been arguing with him re: canceling cable or not for a long time. What about those videos for babies? We've been given a few of them. What I want to do is put the brakes on the TV watching before it gets to be ingrained.

My sister has the best set up for resolving this issue, I think. She lives in a rural area where they only get one not-very-good channel so there's rarely anything worth watching anyway. They have a VCR and so the kids watch a rented movie if anything and they read, read, read.
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#15 of 34 Old 12-26-2001, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow!

it's nice to come back and see such a response to this thread. i find the topic of media and children (and adults) completely fascinating, especially considering the amount of hours spent being entertained by it. and sadly, this is becoming an international pastime as tv and related media is entering the most remote of places.

at times i have considered utilizing the tv and a vcr for "educational" programs, but i see where this might be a slippery slope for our family and we have decided not to have either in the house. more than anything though, i see tv as the primary tool corporate media uses to anesthetize our society. even public television programs spawn their own little circles of consumption. i would like to think that our family's life path challenges the force feeding and brainwashing that seems to be so readily accepted in this day and age.

on the lighter side, i can't help but wonder what children AREN'T doing when they are being entertained by other people's words and chosen images. "what else could s/he be doing? writing? reading? climbing? creating? exploring? questioning? challenging? no matter how educational the program, the activity in itself is pathetically passive.

i know my opinion is rather radical, but i see too many friends and relatives getting that crazed glaze in their eye as they pass up life to be mildly entertained by shows that are created to sell something to someone.

happy holidaze.
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#16 of 34 Old 12-26-2001, 08:26 PM
 
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I don't think television is non-AP, just the overuse or misuse of it. I see no problem in letting my three-year-old watch a quality program or video while I shower, as long as she gets plenty of opportunities to do other things, and plenty of attention from me!
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#17 of 34 Old 12-27-2001, 03:53 AM
 
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I used to be against TV but now find it a good source of entertainment and education. My imagination was fed as a child by PBS shows, National Geographic, and other simliar shows. I think it allowed me to journey to other places and times and learn so much more than I would have learned simply by reading books. So PBS is "in" at our house.

Right now we watch Sesame Street every morning. Mostly I sit next to her and feed her breakfast, and then I wash dishes or whatever. She rarely just sits there and watches. She usually plays and looks up every so often if something gets her attention. I also play a few vidoes for her, she gets one almost every day. Right now we only have Baby Mozart, Baby DooLittle, and Raffi. With the videos I participate with her in naming the objects, laughing at the puppets with her, and singing along with Raffi. Once in awhile I'll pop one in so I can get something done like eat my lunch when she's having a bad day and won't be put down for even a minute.

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#18 of 34 Old 12-28-2001, 12:02 AM
 
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I don't think watching tv is non-AP. Likewise, not watching tv doesn't mean you're AP either. I used to watch a lot of tv after work, as a means to unwind. Post-DD, we stopped watching tv, and cancelled cable(just doesn't have the time). DD is only 15months and the APA recommends no tv for kids under 2. I don't like the idea of young kids(or older ones for that matter) glued in front of the box, passively watching. I think that kids are meant to explore their environment, finding ways to entertain themselves. That being said, I don't think that there is anything wrong with letting kids watching half an hour of videos if that keeps the parent(s) sane. Just not quite for us.
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#19 of 34 Old 01-25-2002, 12:06 PM
 
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Television is pretty limited at our house. Saturday and Sunday are "Television-OK Days." That means my daughter can choose a video to watch! We have 2 childrens' yoga videos, 2 Kipper videos, 2 childrens' animals/wildlife videos and 2 childrens' exercise videos. Usually she'll watch for 15-30 minutes and turn it off herself. Sometimes she'll watch the whole thing and she once did one of the yoga videos twice (to perfect her tree pose, I suspect)! I used to think that we had way too many videos in our house. Eight seemed excessive to me until I started looking at what other people had in their homes! Oh, and we picked Saturday and Sunday as "OK" days because my husband is home then and she would much prefer to do things with him. Call me manipulative, but I like to arrange things so that she thinks she has a choice in the matter. Then she can come to the 'realization' that she could watch television if she wanted, but there are other things she would much rather do instead!
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#20 of 34 Old 01-25-2002, 12:56 PM
 
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Ohhh - I struggle with this. I, too, have a dh who loves to just have the TV on. I tend to simply turn it off if dd's around. We watch Baby Einstein videos on a fairly regular basis and have since she was very young. They have kept me sane on more than one occasion - I don't feel any guilt about that

My stuggle is more with evening programming - dd goes to bed around 7:30ish and tends to wake and need to be put back down at least 3 times before we go to bed. Usually it's no problem and I do it willingly but last night she just would not go back to sleep after waking at 8:30 and I REALLY wanted to watch Temptation Island (talk about a guilty pleasure - that show is like watching a train wreck but yet I'm addicted) so, rather than continue to try and put her down and miss my show and (key part here) be resentful that I've lost out on some "me" time, she played while we watched it. She didn't really watch it at all but it was on while she was there :

I don't think TV is inherently not AP - it's all in how you use it.
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#21 of 34 Old 01-25-2002, 01:13 PM
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Grateful-mom, I started a thread about this in the toddler forum. Hadn't seen your thread yet. Could you go take a look at it and give me your input. I can tell it will be valuable.

MaliasMommy I agree with everything you said. My 21 mo dd has never seen a video. She takes a shower with me or we wait till daddy is available to stay with her. She plays with the pots and pans while I wash the dishes. If she doesn't want to, I wash the dishes later. She helps me hang the laundry, put away the toys. There's just not a lot that I absolutely must get done at a determined time of the day. But that's *my* lifestyle.

I have really been thinking about this today. I used to think that TV had fueled my imagination, too. But I'm not so sure that it was such a "good" fueling. I tend to think it perverted my sense of imagination, conditioned it. KWIM? When a child reads he/she creates his/her own images; they're not thrust upon the child by a corporation or Hollywood studio.

That said, I do see some merit in animal videos, science videos, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood (excellent enunciation, diverse figures, sign language, good grammar, etc.). But I will sit with my dd when she watches so that I can explain, answer questions. And I don't think I'll start her until she's 2 1/2 or 3.
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#22 of 34 Old 01-25-2002, 03:50 PM
 
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I am of the belief that very little is inherently bad, just the misuse of it. We do have a television and a VCR. We do not have cable or any channels at all. DS (1 year) watches 0-1/2 hour daily of suitable videos. I agree about the problems with kids cartoons and shows nowadays so my son only watches Veggie Tales (Christian and adorable!) and Cedarmont Kids (kids music videos - also Christian). I feel there is no problem with that.

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#23 of 34 Old 01-25-2002, 05:18 PM
 
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I have to say that I had never considered the TV issue as a conflict with AP before. Just because my preschooler watches Bob the Builder doesn't mean that we are not "attached."

I use the TV to get ready in the morning. My ds's usually watch "Bob" and depending on how many times I was interrupted and how ready I am, I might let them watch one more 1/2 hour show. When I am around they watch a max of one hour a day. I have tried not turning it on, but my 15 month old was getting injured as they played, and it is hard to hear from my bedroom. Sadly, my 15 month old also loves "Bob the Builder." As ashamed as I am to admit it, one of his first words was "Bob." He only has an attention span of a couple minutes then he loses interest and is off playing.

My dh lets them watch about two - two and a half hours on Saturday mornings -- Nick Jr. on CBS, and an hour and a half on Sundays -- PBS. I don't have any issues on the content of the shows and have found that I just have to let this go. It is a special thing between my son's and their dad and I am much happier now that I don't nag on it. It still bothers me, but I decided that the damage I think it might do, is much less that the damage that nagging about it was doing to my relationship with my dh.
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#24 of 34 Old 01-26-2002, 05:53 PM
 
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I believe this is not an AP issue it is an issue that can be easily answered by looking at what your values are. What and when do you want your children exposed to things.

For many years my 9 and 7 year olds had no T.V. (except occasionally at grandmas) We had no main T.V. in the house and got used to living without it. I had one in a closed cabinet in my bedroom for dh. This may sound crazy, but we recently went from having no T.V. to getting a sat. dish, we are able to chose alot of interesting programs for my older kids and even record them. Tonight we will be watching My Fair Lady.

I can tell you that my 9 and 7 year old have been playing a pretend game for three hours together today. I don't know if they would be playing together so long and so well if T.V. was a regular part of their lives. They do encounter issues at school, as to not being in on the latest characters and programs so far they have handled this O.K..

To be honest I have bigger issues over playdates with the boys, and violent videos, computer and game boys. Its terrible to say but i try to avoid playdates where these games are the regular play fair. It makes it easier for everyone.

Anyone dealing withthis issue lately?
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#25 of 34 Old 01-26-2002, 06:35 PM
 
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We limit our children's television viewing and don't have cable. We have one TV which is used occasionally for DVD's or videos.

We do have a Nintendo. I wish we didn't but we do. My 10 year old is allowed 30 minutes per day on it and that must be earned. We do not have any violant games nor is he allowed to play any violant games no matter where he plays. I had one neighbor tell me, when I expressed concern over the games that they were playing one day when my son was there and the fact that they were watching "The Simpsons", that if my son went over there he would be subjected to that so he shouldn't come over at all.

I feel that I am much more flexible and ALWAYS ask when there is a playdate if the child can play computer games, video games, is he/she allergic to anything, etc. If the answer is no then that's the end of it. I clearly try to avoid them doing those things during play dates anyway, since it's not interactive but I do always ask.

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#26 of 34 Old 01-26-2002, 11:47 PM
 
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Devotedmama,

My son is only 3 3/4 and I have already run into the nintendo issue. The next door neighbor boy is 8 years old and is a total sweetheart. My ds loves him and they play great together. The two boys from across the street (ages 6 and 8) are a different story. They are much more aggressive, loud, pushy etc. My ds really enjoys 'running with the big boys' and as of this fall we have let him go into the next door neighbors house (we'll call him A) when the three boys go in. A is an only child and has nintendo, the boys across the street (J and E) don't but love to play it when they are at A's house.

One night when all us parents were outside the kids were in playing a game. From what I could see it didn't look to bad. It is one of the Mario Bros. games and as far as video games goes it isn't too bad. From talking to A's mom no one dies so to speak, they just disappear when someone "gets" them. That is pretty vague, I know, but I haven't played it. I watched A and my son and although I didn't particularly like the game or see much value in it, he loved being there with A. The problem arose when all four boys were there one night and we parents were outside. I could see through the window that they were playing the game, what I couldn't hear was the two not so nice neighbors yelling things like "Kill him!!!" "Yeah, he's dead!!! and the like. You get the idea. Suddenly my son was talking about the game all the time. We would be in the car and he would suddenly start talking about how he "died" the blue guy in A's game. He was using "killed" and "died" often in his vocabulary, even though he had no idea what he was saying or what the words mean.

My dh and I decided after that that although we would allow ds to play at A's house, he would not be allowed to play nintendo. That is fine with A's mom who totally understands. She would prefer that A play games like car racing or the like. I wouldn't even mind that. We have also decided that ds won't be allowed over there without one of us if the other neighbor boys are over there. We are not very fond of their influence. They are in cub scouts and have just started carving -- that means they now have knives -- Aack!!! They came over yesterday and just HAD to show my sons (the younger one is 15 months.) I can only say that I am a bit scared. I'm digressing here.

Anyway, I wouldn't feel bad asking the parents of your son's friends if they wouldn't mind the children not playing nintendo when your son's visit. I can't imagine that it would be that much of a hardship. If they have a problem, have the boys to your house where you can know that your son's are participating in activities you approve of.
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#27 of 34 Old 01-26-2002, 11:54 PM
 
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We AP

Videos? Brilliant

We are really into The Magic School Bus at the moment.

Yeah!

a

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#28 of 34 Old 01-27-2002, 12:40 PM
 
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I'm new to the boards it's so great to be having this dicussion thanks for you input everyone. I really struggle with issues over boys popular culture.

jbcjmom
I have had similar neighbohoods problems. I usually ask before the kids play for the parents to limit the violent video play. Most of the mom's of my sons playmates know where I'm at and are accomadating. I find it easier to have playdates at my house with the boys whos lives are more filled with "media violent play". What I have noticed is that my son does not gravitate to these boys as much as to the ones who share his interests. This was not always the case. When he was 1st in school, he wanted to play these games and make all those weird violent sounds, and play at these kids homes.

ekblad6
I have just been offered a used Nintendo machine by my SIL, she has 5 "non-violent" games. My dh wants my son to have it, my son wants it. I so don't want to start with it. But we have been able to moderate the comp. and T.V. If you could go back would you avoid getting one?
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#29 of 34 Old 01-27-2002, 02:10 PM
 
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Welcome Devotedmama! Hmmm, at first I wished I wouldn't have gotten it at all. I didn't have a handle on limiting play and what games would be allowed. Now that we limit play and that he totally understands the rules I feel OK about it. I know he really enjoys it and feel that he would want to go to other kid's houses all of the time if we didn't have it. At least I can moniter it at our house.

A friend of mine offered our son the Sony Playstation and we had it for about a day. The games were more violant and I just couldn't deal with it. The Nintendo games that he likes are Mario related and that's about it. So, that's what has worked for our family!

Amy

Amy - Blessed wife to Jesse (the best dad in the world), mother of 10 on earth plus 8 in heaven.   PROUD to be a Catholic! : winner.jpg familybed2.gifhomeschool.gif

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#30 of 34 Old 02-03-2002, 02:26 AM
 
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I don't have time to read through all the replies but wanted to respond anyway. The reason we choose videos is two or three fold. We don't want our kids to watch regular t.v....commercials, hidden messages, etc....we can't screen it as well and most of it is pretty mindless anyway and actually introduces concepts or ideas that we don't always agree with or are not suitable for children (even from a childrens television show). The videos we choose we know the content and it is all (mostly) educational. Sometimes videos can spark a childs imagination or interest in an area or subject that wouldn't have other wise been sparked. My 3 year old son knows more about dinosaurs than most 8 year olds. He started watching very imformative dinosaur videos from the library when he was about 24 months or so. He was not into books. In fact, learning from the videos made him want to learn from books, too. I feel confident that if he hadn't started watching videos about dinosaurs (and insects and numerous other subjects) he would not be that interested in them or be so knowledgable. It may be unfortunate, but it is true that young children learn very well from watching things on the television...and I would be dishonest if I didn't say that I was happy they did. There is no way that I would have been able to teach him in a way he was interested in learning about those things were it not for videos...that still holds true. MOst of the time I wouldn't even know where to begin...but he will watch a video about something and it will plant this little seed that I get to help nurish and see grow...he asks questions all the time and wants to know more. We had thought about getting rid of the tv all together, but then I realized that my son would be missing out. Not that children raised without t.v. are missing out, but this is what works best for us. I will also say that half the time I watch the video with him, the other half I get things done around the house or something.

Heidi : Married for 15 years, expecting our 8th baby in July!

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