Spiderman and my TV-free 3 yo DS - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 12-09-2009, 02:23 AM - Thread Starter
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We don't have a TV. We don't have a lot of money, either. And when my child needed a new toothbrush, I made the split moment decision at the dollar store to get a toothbrush with Spiderman on it.

He asked us who spiderman is the very next day. I wasn't prepared, but I still feel like I did ok with my answer. "Spiderman is a pretend person who tries to get all people to have really good behavior and protects the people with good behavior from the people with bad behavior."

I somehow hooked him, because that was months ago, and still we hear about spiderman with amazing regularity (even though the toothbrush is long gone and there is nothing else in our house relating to him.)

We did go to a friend's house who had a DVD collection within toddler level, and what do you know? They had a copy of the movie. That prompted more discussion.

So we've been working with him to write his "Dear Santa" letter and he keeps saying he wants Santa to bring him a book or a movie about spiderman.

I want help with this decision. He is my firstborn, and both my DH and I were raised by parents and television. My philosophy pertaining to TV has less to do with the detrimental effects of watching stories played out on TV (so long as they are age-appropriate) and more to do with a hatred of commercialism, esp when it overlaps with childhood. So... I guess I'm not altogether opposed to him having a book or even a DVD of spiderman if there is one geared for preschoolers. (A quick look at amazon told me there are at least megablocks and action figures and... and and and lunchboxes scooters pillows sheets mr. potato heads backpacks notebooks skateboards ... I had to come back to MDC to get my wits about me before I saw a DVD for preschoolers.)

So I don't need Spiderman-specific advice (though I welcome it) as much as I need general advice about how different families have sought to cope with the mainstream when it comes to commercial characters. Spiderman isn't the issue, for me-- not even that he is an "action" hero. What is an issue for me is Spiderman's face being plastered on every cheap crappy made in who-knows-where toy in WalMart.

Help! What's a conscientious Santa to do? He is getting probably two or three things from Santa... do I dare make this one of them?

Distraction is not the same thing as play.
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DS1, 8 years.  DS2, 6 years.  DS3, 2 years. DD1, due April 2015
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#2 of 4 Old 12-09-2009, 04:44 PM
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We allow DS some commercial toys, usually to act out books. However, we do not do character clothes or other non-toy items. The exception is big boy underwear, since we allowed him to pick whatever he wanted when he was potty trained.

Go with your gut.

P.S. We love the "Firefly" toothbrushes at target ($1). They have a light that blinks for one minute so the child knows how ling to brush. He brushes for the first light, then mommy or daddy have a turn to help him finish up.

Wife to M , Mommy to DS aka Captain Obvious  (06/06) and DD aka Lissalot  (03/09, anoxic brain injury)
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#3 of 4 Old 12-13-2009, 12:57 PM
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Comic books are a great literacy tool. Obv the Spiderman comics are above his age level.... I wouldn't see a problem with him reading the comics when he is older... is there anything age appropriate that is Spiderman for 3 yos? How about Spidey undies?

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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#4 of 4 Old 12-22-2009, 12:24 AM
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I think an interest in superheroes and villains is something that just happens to little boys. My almost-5 y/o has been obsessed with Darth Vader, Spiderman, and Batman forever, and he's certainly never seen any of those movies, cartoons or shows. What can you do, they're everywhere! We have a Spiderman and DV costumes and the Imaginext Bat Cave and they get a lot of play. For some reason they don't bother me from a marketing standpoint like Dora the Explorer or Elmo. When he was about your son's age he got Spiderman band-aids in his Christmas stocking. It was a big hit, let me tell you. I was initially surprised at his even knowing who those characters were, let alone being so interested in them, but now I just roll with it and lump it along with knights or pirates or anything else.

Oh, but if you get him a superhero book, preread it first!!! I have been seriously burned a number of times buying a book that looked harmless, the first few pages seemed ok, only to find an inappropriate (to me) story line, pictures, depictions of violence or whatever. My DH banned me from buying Batman books after I got one that had a city scene with drug addicts and drunks, complete with needles and bottles on the ground. And the book was in the preschool section!
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