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#31 of 51 Old 01-20-2009, 11:45 AM
 
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this thread makes me think of the Little Miss Sunshine movie-- which really touches on this issue IMO (and is a great film). I see nothing wrong with children expressing themselves through movement and /or dance in whatever way it emerges. However, I do think there is a huge difference between self-expression and being taught a routine that is overty sexual (and I include children imitaing dancers such as Britney in that.) I'd even go as far as to say that these routines might even interfere with true self- expression (just a theory.)

I think it's disturbing how sexualised children are in general in our "culture" and I am striving to find/create a community/ lifestyle that is different...

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Well put-- thank you.
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#32 of 51 Old 01-21-2009, 10:10 PM
 
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It is certainly not normal in the crowd my dd hangs out with. Nor the parents.
ditto. Although my 6 yr old DD loves to dance and I'm often afraid she will do it in front of people and embarass me. She is just very loose and free with herself and loves to move with music and moves well to the beat. She has no concept of what it looks like for a girl to dance dirty since she knows nothing about it, so it's just her expressing who she is.

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#33 of 51 Old 01-23-2009, 07:35 PM
 
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Do you really think it's ok for little girls to dance in a way that is supposed to provoke lust?

I'm all for it, for me and my man, thank you. I love sexy dance. But little girls can learn all kinds of fun dance moves that aren't overtly sexual.

It's not OK.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#34 of 51 Old 01-27-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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I highly doubt most girls understand the implications of dancing in that manner. They are mirroring what they are allowed to view. That said, it should be curbed by a loving adult if it is seen, IMHO, by redirection or however to get the message that there are better ways to move.

My dd is 9 and she's pretty bad at dancing so she mostly spins in circles or waltzes all silly around the room with me, her dad, or brother. We have always danced in our home. They know how to load iTunes and dance around the house. They love it. (dd and ds) But I don't recall her ever dancing provacatively either. She has seen dance venues with trained adults where some of the dancing could have been viewed as suggestive and I just make a point to tell her that that is not an apropriate form of dance unless you are trained and performing for a show- and even then . She gets my message that it's not okay for her.

We also do not allow her to watch Brittany or anyone like that. She's 9 not 17. And I treat her thusly. She also doesn't listen to that music either. I think lots of mainstream parents don't have those rules. Most of her homeschooled friends are raised similar to our views. She has a couple other friends whose families are sweet people but don't have the same values so we are careful about her time with those girls. Some of them are 9 and flat out boy hungry... it's digusting.

From my experience, having been a cheerleader when I was a pre-teen and teen... Looking back I am appalled at how we were allowed to dress, the music we were allowed to dance to, and HOW WE WERE ALLOWED to dance. My parents and coaches should have had their heads examined. Our skirts were so short we wore tightlike-undies and we danced around like little hookers for every game....and trust me the boys loved us and we loved that they did...I and my friends were pretty premiscuous and I think this lifestyle contributed to it greatly.

Having that background to draw upon definitely shapes how my dd is raised and with what perameters. I am probably tougher on her rules because of how much sexuality was infused in my pre-teen and teen years. I don't want her thinking with her body and reproductive organs. I want her thinking with her brain. And provocative dancing can definitely be an issue, even before a young girl knows what she is bringing on herself. It should be curtailed at any opportunity IMO.

150 years ago, touching a mans hand during dancing was risque, now girating sex acts while clothed is part of the norm.....we really need to draw a line somewhere and reintroduce modesty into little girls lives whenever we can.
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#35 of 51 Old 01-27-2009, 06:18 PM
 
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I'm upset about the over-sexualization of children, too. The other day I was at my SIL's house and they had a friend's son over. The boy (age 2) needed to change out of his pajamas and into his play clothes and they were urging their little girl (who'll be 2 in March) to say, "Take it off! Take it off!" It was appalling! Later I realized I should have said something like, "You do realize that's sexual harassment, right?" Next time...

Anyway, back on topic. When I was in elementary school in music class, they taught us the Macarena. My parents didn't want us to dance the Macarena and so I had to sit out in music class and it was really embarrassing. The other kids would ask me why I couldn't dance and I didn't know. My parents weren't really good at explaining "why"- our house was one never-ending "because I said so." I think it was the butt roll part at the end of the dance, but I still to this day don't really know. They've never said anything but "it's inappropriate."

Where am I going with this? Please explain to your kids WHY they shouldn't dance certain ways. It's really embarrassing being the odd kid out and not knowing why.

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#36 of 51 Old 01-27-2009, 06:23 PM
 
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I think what it really comes down to is ones views of sex itself. Some view it as not a big deal when their kids decide to do it and so see sexual dancing just as a normal part of the path of a sexual being. Others view sex as something more sacred to be shared only with someone that one loves and/or is married to. In that case, sexual dance would not be looked upon so positively.

Personally, I wonder where the line will ever be drawn. It used to be that touching a hand was risque and now sexual gyrations being done by children are seen as normal and part of their sexual development. People used to routinely wait til adulthood and a committed relationship for sex; then it became something that older teens did. Then younger teens starting joining in. Now it's becoming more and more common for 8 and 9 yr olds to be having sex - kids who haven't even reached puberty yet!! When will it all stop?

I think encouraging young kids to dance in an overtly sexual manner is disgusting and only leads more to the degredation of humankind as nothing more than animals who can't control their instincts when it comes to sex. Beyond that, it helps to perpetuate the lie that sex is the best thing in the entire world and if you aren't doing it you are missing out. I mean please, these kids who haven't even hit puberty aren't doing it because they *feel* like it - they are doing it because they've been told it's the best thing ever by ,movies, music, dance etc. So they are just curious and want to try it.

Our culture is definitely, IMO, in need of a bit more modesty!! Sex is shoved down people's throats everywhere they turn. Playboy adds in the mail, Victoria's Secret store fronts, commercials for cars and soap and cleaning products and espec in movies and music videos which our nations kids spend a ton of time on. Sex is great - but there is more to life than sex and our kids need to see that.

So yeah, if they weren't exposed to all of this they wouldn't be dancing that way. Or it would just happen to be a coincidental move that they did and didn't repeat.
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#37 of 51 Old 01-27-2009, 06:26 PM
 
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An adult who would TEACH a little girl to dance like a stripper using chairs/poles, etc... obviously has pedophila issues.

It is an expression of sexuality that is being purposefully taught to a child and if an adult enjoys teaching/watching a child do that type of dancing, then hello? What would be the logical equation? :Puke

It would certainly be one thing for a little girl to pick this up from tv, video's, other children, etc...but a totally different thing to have an adult teach her to perform in such a manner. sheesh!

I'm sure I'll get tomatoes thrown my way for certain, but that's my .02 :
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#38 of 51 Old 01-27-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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Some of them are 9 and flat out boy hungry... it's digusting.
The average age of puberty-onset is decreasing. Some 9 year-olds (especially girls) are going through puberty. I think it's normal for some kids to start showing interest in the opposite sex (or the same sex ) at that time. I would hardly call natural feelings "disgusting". Granted, I think the earlier age of puberty-onset is highly related to Americans' poor diets. That is indeed disgusting.
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#39 of 51 Old 01-27-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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Then younger teens starting joining in. Now it's becoming more and more common for 8 and 9 yr olds to be having sex - kids who haven't even reached puberty yet!! When will it all stop?
Where do you live that you know of people who have 8 and 9 year olds having sex?

IMO dancing and having sex are two totally separate things. If and adult has a dirty enough mind to look at a 6 or 7 yr old moving to a good beat (not doing it be sexy nor have they seen anyone else doing it) and feels they are doing it to be "sexy" then perhaps that adult needs to take a look at the type of person they are for having such thoughts. My DD loves to dance and will dance to the Bee Gees and make an outsider probably think she is moving too well to the beat for her age. It doesn't make her nasty or provocative. She has never seen nor heard of Britney Spears either. She doesn't even know who Hanna Montana is, and thats good considering most every single girl over the age of 3 does know who she is.

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#40 of 51 Old 01-27-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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An adult who would TEACH a little girl to dance like a stripper using chairs/poles, etc... obviously has pedophila issues.

It is an expression of sexuality that is being purposefully taught to a child and if an adult enjoys teaching/watching a child do that type of dancing, then hello? What would be the logical equation? :Puke

It would certainly be one thing for a little girl to pick this up from tv, video's, other children, etc...but a totally different thing to have an adult teach her to perform in such a manner. sheesh!

I'm sure I'll get tomatoes thrown my way for certain, but that's my .02 :
No tomatoes here. I agree.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#41 of 51 Old 01-27-2009, 11:06 PM
 
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Where do you live that you know of people who have 8 and 9 year olds having sex?
I don't know about 9 year olds, but an acquaintance of mine was distraught to find out her 11 year old niece had sex simply because she was the only one in her circle who had not yet and she felt like an outsider.

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#42 of 51 Old 01-28-2009, 12:43 AM
 
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Doodlebugsmom,
"The average age of puberty-onset is decreasing. Some 9 year-olds (especially girls) are going through puberty. I think it's normal for some kids to start showing interest in the opposite sex (or the same sex ) at that time. I would hardly call natural feelings "disgusting". Granted, I think the earlier age of puberty-onset is highly related to Americans' poor diets. That is indeed disgusting"

ITA that girls can very well notice boys by that age. My dd thinks some boys are cute, some are not. She gets shy aronud the boys she has crushes on, all that jazz. I totally think THAT'S normal. But the particular incident I witnessed was a little girl whose father in currently incarcerated ( so her homelife is a bit screwed up to say the least) literally presenting herself like a cat in heat to a boy about 5 years older than her. Her mother allows her to dress provacatively as well so it's a mess. Trust me. It really was disgusting in a sad and heartbreaking way.

I fear there are many little girls like her who ARE hitting puberty earlier and have no friggin' idea what to do with the new feelings and desires this creates. They only watch older girls on TV and elsewhere and with those poor role models they think they should act that way too. It still IMHO still falls to the adults to teach them better. These tiny beings CAN'T "get it" on their own...
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#43 of 51 Old 01-28-2009, 02:13 AM
 
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as has already been said, i think most of the young girls who dance in ways we percieve as sexy have been exposed to media that promotes this, music videos and such. seems like an easy problem to solve- turn off the tv, or limit it or whatever. but every family gets to make their own choice. and i dont believe it's for us to say what they chose is wrong or disgusting. (re taterbug, i am editing to ad, becuase your new post came up while i was typing mine, that i am also disturbed when it is clear that the parents are not in a condition to make choices that protect their child) i wouldnt like it very much if someone told me something i chose for my kid was disgusting. i think we are lucky to have the freedom to make choices like these for our children.

and i dont think sexuality is something that...bing...suddenly happens at puberty, or at 18 or whenever. i think it developes gradually in a person over a lifetime. while i certainly do shelter my child from certain concepts, it is ok with me if she sees real people, acting in real, age apropriate ways. she sees me flirt with her dad. she sees me dance in less than perfectly un-sexual ways, she sees teenagers kissing in the park, she does the macarena at the roller rink. it seems counter intuitive to me to think i can seperate out sexuality and all its expressions from a daily life that includes people of all ages. this aint just an eight year old world. and she is sometimes going to imitate what she sees. if i think its harmful, i will chat with her about it, but i dont think its 'disgusting'. just like when i used to wear makeup round the house, but my mom wouldnt let me wear it out to the store, because i was too young, its natural for children to play at what they see older kids and adults doing.

i personally would never teach her a routine of sexy dance moves. (and i dont think the macarena counts, at least the way we do it at the roller rink, the hiney shaking is pretty much equivalent to the hokey pokey 'shake it all about') if i have to teach her to dance a certain way, it means i am pushing her towards something not age aprropriate. and possibly worse, i would be stifling her discovery of her own personal expression of dance and/or sexuality.
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#44 of 51 Old 01-28-2009, 02:24 AM
 
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Maybe it is us that is sexualizing the girls.

Just as we say breasts are meant for nursing, and not a sexual thing

Than bodies are made for movement, motion, etc. It is the movements that have been sexualized, just as the breasts have been.

I took my daughter to see a belly dance show. A cultural event. Most women wear clothing that covers much of their body and some show their bellies. My dd loves it and remembers the moves very well. When she does them it could be seen as something sexual but she is really just mastering the movement of her body.
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#45 of 51 Old 01-28-2009, 08:34 AM
 
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Maybe it is us that is sexualizing the girls.

Just as we say breasts are meant for nursing, and not a sexual thing

Than bodies are made for movement, motion, etc. It is the movements that have been sexualized, just as the breasts have been.

I took my daughter to see a belly dance show. A cultural event. Most women wear clothing that covers much of their body and some show their bellies. My dd loves it and remembers the moves very well. When she does them it could be seen as something sexual but she is really just mastering the movement of her body.
I totally agree.

When I was out yesterday shopping there was a little girl standing in line with her family that appeared to be around 8/9 who had on low cut sweat pants w/sweet spelled out on the butt area and the girl bent over to pick something up and my little girl (6) whispered that the little girl had a tattoo on her lower back. And sure enough, she had a huge wide-winged butterfly on her lower back just like the "big" girls have (one of those fake tattoos). Now something like that HAD to be influenced by an adult. And to think that this young girl's parents buy her clothes and they most likely knew she had that tattoo on her (which is scary). My DD mentioned in the car that she wanted to put a tattoo on her body in the same place and I quickly changed the subject. Just shows what peer pressure can quickly do to a child of any age, especially a girl. yuck.

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#46 of 51 Old 01-30-2009, 10:35 AM
 
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Maybe it is us that is sexualizing the girls.

Just as we say breasts are meant for nursing, and not a sexual thing

Than bodies are made for movement, motion, etc. It is the movements that have been sexualized, just as the breasts have been.

I took my daughter to see a belly dance show. A cultural event. Most women wear clothing that covers much of their body and some show their bellies. My dd loves it and remembers the moves very well. When she does them it could be seen as something sexual but she is really just mastering the movement of her body.
Belly dancing has a very different sexual energy than MTV style dancing. I love it too! And think it's a great introduction to healthy, respectful, powerful sensuality/ sexuality/ spirituality. I had hoped my d (now 17) would want to learn to belly dance, but she went for other forms of dance. Never what passes for "jazz" in the local dance schools, though. That sort of dance didn't appeal.

I thought belly dancing would be a great introduction to feeling her growing power as a young woman, physically as well as emotionally. Maybe someday, though, she'll take an interest. I hope so!

The lyrics/energy of much pop culture music is also very different than the energy of traditional music.

I don't belly dance, but I have a feeling that anyone who does could talk on and on as to the differences.

http://www.thegoddessdancing.com/

Just reading their home page convinces me even further.
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#47 of 51 Old 01-30-2009, 04:53 PM
 
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Belly dancing has a very different sexual energy than MTV style dancing. I love it too! And think it's a great introduction to healthy, respectful, powerful sensuality/ sexuality/ spirituality. I had hoped my d (now 17) would want to learn to belly dance, but she went for other forms of dance. Never what passes for "jazz" in the local dance schools, though. That sort of dance didn't appeal.

I thought belly dancing would be a great introduction to feeling her growing power as a young woman, physically as well as emotionally. Maybe someday, though, she'll take an interest. I hope so!

The lyrics/energy of much pop culture music is also very different than the energy of traditional music.

I don't belly dance, but I have a feeling that anyone who does could talk on and on as to the differences.

http://www.thegoddessdancing.com/

Just reading their home page convinces me even further.
Belly dancing is different. Except that most of the North American culture views it as sexual. Not everyone understands or knows the culture behind belly dancing, all they see is a woman wearing skimpy costumes shaking her butt because that's what the media has turned it into. Many don't even know that most belly dancers don't wear the stereotypical costume.

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Maybe it is us that is sexualizing the girls.

Just as we say breasts are meant for nursing, and not a sexual thing

Than bodies are made for movement, motion, etc. It is the movements that have been sexualized, just as the breasts have been.

I took my daughter to see a belly dance show. A cultural event. Most women wear clothing that covers much of their body and some show their bellies. My dd loves it and remembers the moves very well. When she does them it could be seen as something sexual but she is really just mastering the movement of her body.
:

If I look at a child and think "sex" automatically, then I always question where it's coming from and more often then not it comes from society and not what said child is doing.

That's why there is so much variation between cultures about what is construed as "sexy".

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#48 of 51 Old 01-31-2009, 11:12 AM
 
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Does anyone besides me think about the ramifications of this style of choreography on mind-body-spirit-heart connection of a growing child?

That even if these little girls are only mimicking choreography from adults, that over time the child is absorbing and internalizing these messages from the adult on every level?

That there are powerful messages in the movement that even if words are not used, the child is absorbing certain ideas and assuming them as truth? And will unconsciously carry these beliefs (about sex, love, women, power, victimization, men) into adulthood and act them out, again unconsciously, but nevertheless, incurring their consequences?

I just think there are better lessons about love, sex, power, the body we can teach our children. And society's ideas are so pervasive, why not give them some opposing views to chew on over their lifetimes?

(As the mom of an almost 18yo, I can only say it's a different world out there among adolescents than I could ever have imagined. When I talk w/ my d, listen to popular music, watch music videos, I'm stunned at what is considered "normal" and wonder where in the world they can go from here. seems to me the only option is backlash to victorian prudery, lol!!!)
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#49 of 51 Old 01-31-2009, 08:23 PM
 
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dhammama, i am so totally agreeing with you on this. dance is so much an expression of personal spirit (at least to me), that it feels like if my dd is copying a pop star that that will sort of BECOME her- i think the media is so pervasive these days, that it is to a large extent affecting who-how-what kids become.
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#50 of 51 Old 02-04-2009, 01:01 AM
 
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Does anyone besides me think about the ramifications of this style of choreography on mind-body-spirit-heart connection of a growing child?
Great post, dhammamama, and YES, other people have been thinking about the questions that you're thinking about. In fact, the American Psychological Association created a Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, to study these very issues - how the sexualization of girls, via media and cultural messages, affects girls' lives, bodies, minds, development, etc... and what we can do about it.

Read the executive summary here -
http://www.apa.org/pi/wpo/sexualizationsum.html

I also second the recommendation of "So Sexy So Soon," the Jean Kilbourne/Diane Levin book. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it right now and find it to be incredibly helpful. I particularly appreciate the section that debunks the myth that the inappropriate sexualization of kids is solely the parents' fault/responsibility. The authors talk about how it's a lot more complicated than "just say no!" - i.e. simply banning/removing inappropriate media from your children's lives doesn't work. Kids will see it at other kids' houses, in magazines in the grocery store check-out line, hear stuff on the radio, find stuff on the Internet, learn from kids in the neighborhood and at school, the toys in the toystore, etc., etc.
It's nearly IMPOSSIBLE for parents to fully shield their children from what parents deem inappropriate, because these corporate conglomerates, advertising agencies, etc, are extremely rich and powerful and pervasive. They care about profits, not children's well-being, and they do nasty things like pay big bucks to conduct research studies on things like how to get kids to nag their parents to buy products, and how to secure brand loyalty from toddlerhood.

The key isn't blaming parents, or trying to ban inappropriate media/toys/friends/etc., the key is learning how to discuss all of these things with our children. Teaching them media literacy, critical thinking, strategies for resisting peer pressure, etc.
Also, we can be activists and protest inappropriately violent or sexual toys/media/products/etc. by boycotting, writing or calling companies, talking with other adults and joining forces against things that harm our children, and creating healthy alternatives. We're swimming upstream, yes, but I believe it's worth the effort.
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#51 of 51 Old 02-08-2009, 02:47 PM
 
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Wow! Excellent link, Inci. Thank you! We vastly underestimate the media's pervasive influence, how it starts slowly and early, seemingly innocently drawing us in and making it very difficult from which to extricate ourselves and our kids.

Swimming upstream, indeed. And with dd at almost 18 my job feels far from over and only getting tougher. How to navigate the transition of mothering a child to mothering an adult, so as to retain as much connection and influence as possible? Quite the fine line, especially as an extremely liberal adult! That's some mighty subtle distinctions to try to make to an adolescent, hormonal brain and body.

Not like I've got a good model to follow, either.:
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