Disney TV is Poisoning Your Daughters (Is there anything to this opinion piece?) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-13-2013, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What are your thoughts on this editorial? I don't think the shows are good for kids, but I think the criticism is over the top. Hmm I guess I have mixed feelings. My pre-teen gave up on this shows with iCarly so I haven't seen the latest group of these shows she's talking about. Any opinions?

http://www.laweekly.com/2013-06-20/film-tv/disney-tv-poison-daughters/full

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At first, these might seem to be disposable comedies about navigating school and teaming up with friends to triumph at love, popularity and the arts. But if you actually watch them, you'll see that the latest breed of girl-targeted tween sitcoms -- more than either their milder predecessors (Zooey 101) or their blander boy-centric compatriots (currently, Disney XD's testosterone-y Lab Rats and Kickin' It; Nickelodeon's goofy Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures) -- promote an adult-free universe in which wise-cracking tartlets mug for the camera in too-revealing mall-wear while prevailing over social obstacles through a combination of you-go-girl obnoxiousness and slapstick idiocy. That the shows aren't the least bit funny -- I dare anyone to laugh -- is inarguable. Far more distressing are the unpleasant lessons they teach about humility, civility, individuality and what it really means to be an adolescent girl.
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#2 of 10 Old 12-13-2013, 12:59 PM
 
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I think the author is confusing cause and effect here.  While I don't think teen culture is quite as bad as these shows depict, I do think these shows merely magnify what middle schoolers are like.  Sure, they aren't great shows but I don't think they are going to completely destroy my DD either.  And they do give me an opportunity to point out bad behavior and discuss consequences of your actions without having to criticize her directly and a context for discussions on things like friendship and clothing when I don't often actually see her with her school friends.  Like any other TV (or media in general), moderation, involvement and monitoring/discussing are key. 

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#3 of 10 Old 12-13-2013, 03:39 PM
 
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The problem with these shows is that they are considered juvenile by the age groups they are intended to portray. They instead are targeted towards younger children who then choose to "play middle school" where they once "played grown-up." No one needs to "play middle school." Middle school sucks lol.

 

While I agree that parents can use media as a chance to talk about the negative choices and behavior in others but lets be honest. How many families are really doing this? Every episode, every week? Do we even need to talk to our 8-year-olds about 13-year-old problems every week? Shouldn't we be talking to them about 8-year-old problems? How many more parents have watched half an episode and decided to use the time getting the laundry done instead?

 

We live in a country of free speech. Disney and Nickelodeon can produce anything they want. I'm not going to picket Disney. Lots of people are working because of these shows. I don't even blame them. None of us are forced to watch those shows. It's not like there isn't plenty of quality entertainment available (and with Netflix and Amazon Prime... there is tons of alternatives at the tip of our remotes.) As a society, we are lapping this stuff up. We even love many Disney movies (yes, my teenagers are eager to see Frozen.) We didn't forbid the tween shows but we didn't see them as non-toxic, innocent fun either. We tried to expose the kids to quality very early... more "Anne of Green Gables" and less "Hannah Montana." More handpicked DVD's and less random flipping on of the TV. Maybe it was our take. Maybe it was just the personalities of our kids but outside of Harry Potter and Star Wars, neither took much interest in the entertainment choices of their school friends (and I say "school" because their theatre friends were always more Sondheim than "High School Musical.")


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#4 of 10 Old 12-13-2013, 03:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

While I agree that parents can use media as a chance to talk about the negative choices and behavior in others but lets be honest. How many families are really doing this? Every episode, every week? Do we even need to talk to our 8-year-olds about 13-year-old problems every week? Shouldn't we be talking to them about 8-year-old problems? How many more parents have watched half an episode and decided to use the time getting the laundry done instead?

 

Speaking only for myself, my DD is 11 and will be in middle school next year. She watches a couple of these shows and I'm generally "around" while she does.  I don't sit and watch them (that would be torture!), I do listen in and pay attention as I walk through the living room, and I comment when appropriate.  I'm actually glad for the chance to point stuff out (positive and negative).  I confess, however, that I tolerate some better than others!

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#5 of 10 Old 12-14-2013, 01:12 AM
 
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I disagree with the depiction of the clothing. Most of the clothes are very conservative compared to what I wore as a child or even now to work in a conservative atmosphere. Some shows portray very thoughtful and respectful adult/child interactions and some don't. Some have independent kids solving their problems and some have a family aspect. None have negatively impacted my dd.
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#6 of 10 Old 12-14-2013, 07:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
 you'll see that the latest breed of girl-targeted tween sitcoms -- more than either their milder predecessors (Zooey 101) or their blander boy-centric compatriots (currently, Disney XD's testosterone-y Lab Rats and Kickin' It; Nickelodeon's goofy Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures) -- promote an adult-free universe.

 

I'm curious if the author is also concerned about classic children's literature such as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Julie of the Wolves, My Wide of the Mountain, The Secret Garden, and Little Women. Adults are pretty thin in children's literature -- they are either absent or inefectual. The modern turn is more harsh -- adults are often shown to be down right evil and children must fight them because the other adults are too weak, for example Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Part of the reason for this is because kids really can't do anything very dramatic and exciting if adults are keeping them safe and under control. If you want to minors at the center of the action, you HAVE to get the adults out of the way. A TV show, just like a book, where kids clean their rooms, do homework, follow rules, and listen to their mother's wisdom would be dull.

 

I'm no fan of Disney TV. I think it's crap, and they must put something in the water because most of their stars blow up in spectacular way around the time they reach 19, but this specific argument shows an ignorance of the tradition of literature for children and adolescents. My DDs did go through an iCarly phase when they were younger, and I can't see that it harmed them. I don't believe in censorship, but I do talk to them about why they enjoy what they enjoy and try to help them look at things critically.


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#7 of 10 Old 12-16-2013, 11:15 AM
 
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This is an extreme view aof the shows but I dont think they will destroy our daughters I personally hate extreme views like this, they over analyze everything and honestly kids don't even care or they notice those messages that adults pinpoint. I've read to many of these articles and I find most of them laughable. 

I have 5 daughters and all of them like very different things, they all prefer to watch old tapes that my mum had taped for my younger sister, they watch That's so Raven, Lizzie McGuire, Even Stevens , etc instead of Hannah Montana. Yes, we think most of the shows our kids watch are crap but so did our parents and our kids will think the shows their kids watch are crap and so on and so forth. 


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#8 of 10 Old 12-16-2013, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm curious if the author is also concerned about classic children's literature such as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Julie of the Wolves, My Wide of the Mountain, The Secret Garden, and Little Women. Adults are pretty thin in children's literature -- they are either absent or inefectual. The modern turn is more harsh -- adults are often shown to be down right evil and children must fight them because the other adults are too weak, for example Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Part of the reason for this is because kids really can't do anything very dramatic and exciting if adults are keeping them safe and under control. If you want to minors at the center of the action, you HAVE to get the adults out of the way. A TV show, just like a book, where kids clean their rooms, do homework, follow rules, and listen to their mother's wisdom would be dull.

I'm no fan of Disney TV. I think it's crap, and they must put something in the water because most of their stars blow up in spectacular way around the time they reach 19, but this specific argument shows an ignorance of the tradition of literature for children and adolescents. My DDs did go through an iCarly phase when they were younger, and I can't see that it harmed them. I don't believe in censorship, but I do talk to them about why they enjoy what they enjoy and try to help them look at things critically.

II definitely agree with this. There's a good reason why adults are seldom in children's literature. Because the story line, "Child faces adversity, parent finds out, parent solves problem" would get boring pretty quickly. If children are going to be the heros, parents can't be in the story.
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#9 of 10 Old 12-16-2013, 03:08 PM
 
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II definitely agree with this. There's a good reason why adults are seldom in children's literature. Because the story line, "Child faces adversity, parent finds out, parent solves problem" would get boring pretty quickly. If children are going to be the heros, parents can't be in the story.

That was an issue I had when I was a foster/adoptive parent. Adoptive families are almost always portrayed incredibly negatively in media, and foster families even more so! I understand where it comes from, but I ended up censoring some shows just because of the negativity that I didn't want my kids grasping on to 

 

In general, I agree with the take of the article. My kids haven't gotten into those shows thankfully, but they have been on a few times when I was at a friend's house and Wow! Those kids are so rude, deceitful, etc. Not something I want to willingly bring into my house. 


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#10 of 10 Old 12-27-2013, 09:15 PM
 
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My step kids have grown up with this stuff. I think it's affected them a lot. I don't think these shows are poison, especially with some thoughtful filtering and the presence of an adult who can model critical thinking about the characters' behavior. But without those things, my experience is that the influence can be strong. What comes across to me is a strong sense of entitlement- to do what you want, say what you want, have what you want, without regard for the rights and feelings of others. Hearing constant put downs and zingers from the cool kids on TV makes it seem not only ok, but necessary if you want to be admired.

Since people are complicated, I don't blame Disney for all of the behaviors and attitudes I see, but kids imitate others, and I think they have learned way too many social behaviors from these shows.

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