Preschool and TV-Free - should I be worried? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 23 Old 06-09-2008, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
Shell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 530
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My daughter will be almost 4 next year when she starts a new 5 day morning preschool (Montessori). The class size is pretty big - as many as 30 kids in a class. I've noticed lately at parties that the girls her same age are increasingly obsessed with princesses. Since we don't do TV, Disney or characters in our house, my daughter really doesn't know what they are talking about, other than in the most basic way (knowing that she has seen their pictures before on shirts, lunchboxes, etc.). She is definitely interested in the princesses when she sees them, but doesn't know that a whole world of movies and toys exist around them. Therefore, she has never asked me for anything related to them.

Today at a party one girl said, "Hi, my name is ... and I LOVE LOVE LOVE princesses! Cinderella is on my bathing suit!" Well, my daughter replied with "I have flowers on my bathing suit, and look, my swim skirt has green swim underwear attached to it!" While I loved her response, the other girl looked at her like, "huh?" Then of course they moved on to other things, but the princess thing kept coming up all afternoon as they were playing, and my daughter was not "getting" it.

I don't want to shelter my daughter forever (okay, maybe I do!!!), but she is still so young and impressionable. I like to keep her out of commercialism's path the best that I can. I feel like I may be throwing her into the lion's den, even at a Montessori school where commercialism is kept out of the classroom. Like most of us, I want my daughter to be accepted and to fit in. Yet I'm certainly not about to start watching TV and Disney movies!

I know this is not exclusively a TV-Free issue, but more broadly related to commercialism.

Am I having an anxiety attack for no good reason? Or are these valid concerns? Anyone out there with some thoughts?
Shell is offline  
#2 of 23 Old 06-09-2008, 01:13 AM
 
hempmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 483
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How is she socially generally in groups? I've heard about some kids who have trouble socially and are also TV free sometimes having trouble relating to their peers in this sort of play, but generally it's completely fine, and in fact being TV free is looks to me to be a scapegoat in those situations. Either a kid has trouble socially or doesn't, and I just don't see how movie viewing can affect them in that arena at that age.

We are TV free and don't allow commercial characters in the house, same as about 80% of the other families at our (TV, commerical character free) Reggio preschool, but the kids all pretty much seem to know who and generally what princesses are, as well as some of the other more major characters (Dora, somebody McQueen). Preschool definitely gave my kids an awareness of the character names, but that's really as far as it's gone. They show up in games, and my kids can play along fine. It's not rocket science, you know? Generally "playing princess" means something like "dress up from the dress up box and go on a rescue adventure, where the princesses rescue _____ ," or are pirates, or salamanders, or whatever. Not different than any other sort of play I've observed.
hempmama is offline  
#3 of 23 Old 06-10-2008, 07:55 PM
 
loraxc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: In the Truffula Trees
Posts: 4,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Unfortunately, in my experience, you have some reason to be concerned. DD attends a pretty crunchy preschool, but this exact stuff was an issue for us. We actually got her a book of fairy tales with all the "princess" stories simply to familiarize her with the plots so she could play along.

What you can hope for is either a class where boys and girls mix freely, or one where there are some other kids who are TV-free or low-TV. In our case, DD was having trouble breaking into a clique where this was important; things got better when some new kids came who weren't so into that.

I will say that DD is a little behind socioemotionally anyway. She's an unusual kiddo (for reasons that have little or nothing to do with being TV-free). So hempmama may have a bit of a point, but I think it would have been an issue in our particular school anyway.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

loraxc is offline  
#4 of 23 Old 06-10-2008, 08:30 PM
 
wednesday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 5,575
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We are TV-free and also avoid licensed characters. DS has had 3 years of Montessori preschool (just "graduated") with kids who were clearly exposed to a lot more TV/branding than he was. But honestly -- I did not perceive it to be a major problem. He recognizes Batman, Spiderman, Power Rangers etc because the other boys had these characters on their shirts and lunchboxes, but he has never seen the shows and hasn't asked to. The extent to which it has come up is, recently, he saw Power Rangers underwear at Target and said he wanted to get them because they're "cool". I told him he has enough underwear already (which is the truth).

Anyway I think your DD's response about what she has on her own skirt was really sweet! It's about as appropriate a response as one could hope for. Being TV-free can sometimes have its awkward moments even for an adult -- like recently I was getting a haircut and the stylist started going on about reality shows and which ones she doesn't like and what do I think of blah blah reality show, etc. To which I responded something like "Oh I haven't seen that one" and changed the subject. Because I've noticed many people who are into their TV shows can get embarassed or take you to be a snob or putting them down somehow if you just point-blank say you don't watch TV, like, ever. I guess what I'm getting at is I think your DD is better off sweetly responding in her own way than somehow trying to learn the lingo and fit in.
wednesday is offline  
#5 of 23 Old 06-12-2008, 10:58 PM
 
naturally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we have this happen too, if we're at a party or playground around kids who aren't tv/character free. i've told my daughter some basic stuff so she doesn't feel like an outcast, she knows the princess names and some details - like "this one is ariel - she's a mermaid" and then we'll talk about how cool it would be to be a mermaid. but i loved your daughter's response about her bathing suit!
naturally is offline  
#6 of 23 Old 06-15-2008, 12:54 PM
 
chinaKat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think it's a big deal. We're pretty new to no TV but even before that we were limited to PBS and didn't do any disney characters. We do read a lot of fairy tales, so DD has been somewhat exposed to the concept of princesses.

She says that her preschool friends play princesses. I asked her what that entailed, and she said "twirling around".

Honestly, I think the names snow white, cinderella, etc. are just jumping off points for pretend play. I'm not too concerned about it.
chinaKat is offline  
#7 of 23 Old 06-25-2008, 01:29 PM
 
flyabuv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: I live in Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know there are some books out there about princesses that do not end with the prince rescuing her and living happily ever after. So those would be a good way to expose her to strong women characters and get to know about princesses.

I know my kids will definitely know about super heroes as my DH is really into comics and graphic novels (i actually like them too) and even draws his own. At least they will be reading about them instead of watching them on TV with many commercials trying to get them to yearn for the latest shooting toy.

Shannon 30 DH 31

dd- Kennedy 03/28/10

 

BFB on 2/12/13 due on 10/23/2013!!!!!

flyabuv is offline  
#8 of 23 Old 06-25-2008, 02:26 PM
 
zulupetalz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 446
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just read about the princess thing in that book, "Buy, Buy Baby." I wasn't aware that Disney had this whole princess marketing scheme to young girls. I think that the idea of getting fairy tales about princess themes is a great idea. You want her to be able to "fit in" with her peers but you don't have to abandon your style of parenting to make it happen.
zulupetalz is offline  
#9 of 23 Old 06-25-2008, 07:31 PM
 
zinemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: from the fire roads to the interstate
Posts: 6,588
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wednesday View Post
We are TV-free and also avoid licensed characters. DS has had 3 years of Montessori preschool (just "graduated") with kids who were clearly exposed to a lot more TV/branding than he was. But honestly -- I did not perceive it to be a major problem. He recognizes Batman, Spiderman, Power Rangers etc because the other boys had these characters on their shirts and lunchboxes, but he has never seen the shows and hasn't asked to.
This was my experience, too. Your dd will "get it" soon enough. I wouldn't worry about that. And she'll be fine. There's a lot more to fitting in and getting along with other little kids than familiarity with licensed characters.

You might find yourself having to answer some questions - I had to give a basic explanation of who Batman and Spiderman are. But that's probably as far as it will go.
zinemama is offline  
#10 of 23 Old 06-28-2008, 01:19 PM
 
goldfinch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: At home
Posts: 843
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My tv-free-since-birth dd caught the princess bug from other girls (& possibly toys/teachers at preschool. Only Disney princesses seem to be "right" to her.

She has not asked to see the movies (I am not sure she is aware that there ARE movies) but is drawn to various items (underpants, etc.) with the Disney princess theme (although, to be fair, she is not really asking for most them, just noticing them.)

We have read various non-Disney fairy tales and princess stories with her, so she has some familiarity with the main characters and can converse about the stories. She understands there are different versions, with different illustrators, and that different people have different ideas about what the princesses look like, etc.

Frankly, I'm a little aggravated, because she's got the "Disney princess" thing going on, and is susceptible to all its negatives, and we've never even seen the movies. I mean, at age 3.5/4, my kids watching the moving images on the screen is almost the least of my worries about the whole Disney phenomenon... and yet the whole commercial side has crept in the back door and my daughter, as I say, is identifying Disney princesses, with their Barbie-type bodies & hair, as the proper "princess" model. :

My son has also started talking about "superheroes" and "Spiderman" and, again, he's never seen a movie or a TV program or -- to my knowledge -- read a book with those type of characters in it.

So, if she's interested, your daughter will catch on soon enough. I wish my kids were "left" a little further "behind" in this area.

Decluttering SAHM of three. Going for 2011 items in 2011.
goldfinch is offline  
#11 of 23 Old 06-29-2008, 10:44 PM
 
boatbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Afloat
Posts: 3,424
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post

My son has also started talking about "superheroes" and "Spiderman" and, again, he's never seen a movie or a TV program or -- to my knowledge -- read a book with those type of characters in it.
My DS picked up the same thing in preschool. He talked about Spiderman, Pokeman, Superman, and literally has NO context or clue about these things. At all! I almost wish I could take back that year of preschool. I was/am so irked that he learned (1) commercial characters (2) what guns are and how they are used (3) fighting/ battles/ bad guys (4) how to exclude people and be on "teams" (aka cliques) ::

I love how people say kids need to go to preschool for socialization, for us the socialization was the WORST part. And this was a crunchy little Montessori school. DS has a group of like 12 friends NOT from school who don't do any of the above... I wonder now why I sent him off to be socialized?!

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
boatbaby is offline  
#12 of 23 Old 07-13-2008, 02:27 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: the Circle K
Posts: 6,062
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wednesday View Post
We are TV-free and also avoid licensed characters. DS has had 3 years of Montessori preschool (just "graduated") with kids who were clearly exposed to a lot more TV/branding than he was. But honestly -- I did not perceive it to be a major problem. He recognizes Batman, Spiderman, Power Rangers etc because the other boys had these characters on their shirts and lunchboxes, but he has never seen the shows and hasn't asked to. The extent to which it has come up is, recently, he saw Power Rangers underwear at Target and said he wanted to get them because they're "cool". I told him he has enough underwear already (which is the truth).
This is my experience too. In fact, we did allow DD to watch the Cars movie and you can tell she has much more branding to that movie than any others. The kids she is friends with talk about Spiderman all the time so she says blah blah Spiderman but I can tell she is not really interested in it. She couldn't give a flip about the princesses.

ETA: Cliques are absolutely verboten at DD's school. I said, "Oh I see there are some new kids in your class" and she looked at me with scorn and said, "those aren't kids, those are friends."
lalaland42 is offline  
#13 of 23 Old 07-17-2008, 12:56 AM
 
cagirlintexas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Doha, Qatar
Posts: 630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
My DS picked up the same thing in preschool. He talked about Spiderman, Pokeman, Superman, and literally has NO context or clue about these things. At all! I almost wish I could take back that year of preschool. I was/am so irked that he learned (1) commercial characters (2) what guns are and how they are used (3) fighting/ battles/ bad guys (4) how to exclude people and be on "teams" (aka cliques) ::

I love how people say kids need to go to preschool for socialization, for us the socialization was the WORST part. And this was a crunchy little Montessori school. DS has a group of like 12 friends NOT from school who don't do any of the above... I wonder now why I sent him off to be socialized?!

My son is still young for me to be thinking about preschool but I am seriously reconsidering its value after reading some of these posts

Fun loving crunchy mommy to an amazing outgoing adventurous boy named Logan Cloud 2/2/07 and our little ball of energy Jayden Edge 11/28/10 and wife to Jet 7/3/05 expecting our third 09/21/14

}
cagirlintexas is offline  
#14 of 23 Old 07-18-2008, 05:40 PM
 
spughy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 5,293
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is all very interesting... I have a 2 1/2 year old who formerly watched TV (and still watches some snippets of Scooby Doo on youtube with her dad)... she can identify Dora and Diego anywhere, but she hasn't got into princesses yet, and her imaginative play is shifting from being TV-based to book-based.

People have started asking me when I'm going to put her in preschool, and I can't see that it's all that necessary. We have lots of friends we see regularly, and *I* don't need the break because I have wonderful in-laws who take her 2 days a week so I can run errands on my own.

Honestly, I think preschool is more for parents than kids. It's a couple mornings/afternoons a week of freedom (or relative freedom if you've got younger ones too), guilt-free because it's good for kids to play with other kids, right? But IMHO I think that it's unnatural for kids to be in that narrow an age group - I prefer to see kids play in a group with an age range of at least 3 years... kids being kids, there will always be leaders and followers and it's better if the leaders are leaders by virtue of age and experience rather than charisma or bullying, kwim? Yet, there are some preschools that really ARE awesome and fantastic and really good positive nurturing environments... I just don't know. I think it's really important to think about it.

Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).

spughy is offline  
#15 of 23 Old 07-30-2008, 08:56 AM
 
foodmachine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=flyabuv;11550597]I know there are some books out there about princesses that do not end with the prince rescuing her and living happily ever after. So those would be a good way to expose her to strong women characters and get to know about princesses.

QUOTE]

Great idea. Anyone know the titles of some of those books? The Paperbag Princess is one.

wife to DH mama to DD14 Jan '08 and DS 6 Sept '10
and 2 rescued greyhounds
foodmachine is offline  
#16 of 23 Old 07-30-2008, 10:07 AM
 
Savoir Faire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nowhere near a shady tree.
Posts: 1,099
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I haven't read all responses but here's my three cents....

We don't do cable TV but do have movies. We typically don't watch too many Disney ones-- they scare my daughter-- but boy, when she went to the three year old class at school, she started talking a bit about princesses.

She doesn't really get it except that "some people like Cinderella." Typically princesses seems to involve walking around and waving your arms and such. Nothing too big. Then they move on to "mommies and babies" and such, which I much more prefer!

You do have valid concerns, but without really watching the movies or having all the stuff, she probably won't get too sucked in!

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
Savoir Faire is offline  
#17 of 23 Old 07-30-2008, 10:17 AM
 
ilikethedesert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: The baking is done. We have a son!
Posts: 1,083
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Shell,
We've had the same things happen as my girls circle of friends increases to include families with different at home rules as to what their kids are exposed to. As far as princesses go, I found that providing my kids with lots of non-commercial Princess dress up stuff helps and reading princess stories helps. You can find old fashioned fairy tales about Cinderella that are not all about plastic and cartoons. My girls know who cinderella is and have drawn pictures of her and played Cinderella dress up and can hold there own when someone else talks about their Cinderella night gown. Sounds like your daughter did well! (My girls have night gowns with fairies and ballerinas). I am also quite blunt in telling my girls there are some things other families do that we don't. No right or wrong, just different and different is okay.
ilikethedesert is offline  
#18 of 23 Old 07-30-2008, 03:11 PM
 
Montessori Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My daughters never had television and I avoid disney princesses like the plague. They both go to a Montessori school (and I work there so I am privy to alot of the goings on in their lives. My oldest is 6 now. Thing is, she started asking about Cinderella. I explained that I did not much like that kind of thing for her and explained why. We talked about what the movies teach young girls and what I wanted her to understand. I also talked to her about commercials and advertising "tricking" children and grown ups into giving up our money for unhealthy foods and things we don't need. She understands these things and even told her grandmother (after recieving a cinderella dress up set) that she does not like to be cinderella because she can "save herself") I don't think our unplugged children are at a disadvantage, and I do think that they can understand our intentions if we explain it to them correctly in a developmentally appropriate way.
Montessori Mama is offline  
#19 of 23 Old 07-31-2008, 09:53 AM
 
foodmachine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
forgot to sub

wife to DH mama to DD14 Jan '08 and DS 6 Sept '10
and 2 rescued greyhounds
foodmachine is offline  
#20 of 23 Old 07-31-2008, 10:04 AM
 
RomanGoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Across the pond
Posts: 2,051
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Cinderella is a fairy tale, not a commercial character. Unless you have other "Montessori" reasons for not telling your child about Cinderella (i.e. you object to telling her fiction / fantasy stories at her age), I don't see the problem with introducing her to the story. That way, when someone in her class says, hey look, I have Cinderella on my shirt, she will know what the person is talking about, even if she is not familiar with the commercial character.

Same thing goes for Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, Snow White etc. They are fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson and Brothers Grimm. Why not tell her the original stories? (Of course, you may not want to because Montessori is about stressing reality over fantasy but that is a whole other issue and lots of parents of Montessori kids still have fantasy stuff at home...).

Anyway, I have come to learn over the past year of having DD in preschool that Cinderalla is NOTHING. How about Bratz or Winx? Give me Cinderella any day over Bratz or Winx.

Roman Goddess, mom to J (August 2004) and J (April 2009).    h20homebirth.gif signcirc1.gif
RomanGoddess is offline  
#21 of 23 Old 07-31-2008, 10:06 AM
 
RomanGoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Across the pond
Posts: 2,051
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by spughy View Post
But IMHO I think that it's unnatural for kids to be in that narrow an age group - I prefer to see kids play in a group with an age range of at least 3 years... kids being kids, there will always be leaders and followers and it's better if the leaders are leaders by virtue of age and experience rather than charisma or bullying, kwim? Yet, there are some preschools that really ARE awesome and fantastic and really good positive nurturing environments... I just don't know. I think it's really important to think about it.
The OP has enrolled her child in a Montessori school. All Montessori classrooms are mixed age 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, etc. It's part of the pedagogy.

Roman Goddess, mom to J (August 2004) and J (April 2009).    h20homebirth.gif signcirc1.gif
RomanGoddess is offline  
#22 of 23 Old 07-31-2008, 11:25 AM
 
foodmachine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, Snow White etc. They are fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson and Brothers Grimm. Why not tell her the original stories? .
DH and I are currently discussing the value of the "classics"? That's why I was checking a few posts back if anyone knew of any alternatives. Sleeping Beauty is little passive for our tastes.
Or do we just save them until we can discuss them with the LOs?

wife to DH mama to DD14 Jan '08 and DS 6 Sept '10
and 2 rescued greyhounds
foodmachine is offline  
#23 of 23 Old 07-31-2008, 11:53 AM
 
RomanGoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Across the pond
Posts: 2,051
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodmachine View Post
DH and I are currently discussing the value of the "classics"? That's why I was checking a few posts back if anyone knew of any alternatives. Sleeping Beauty is little passive for our tastes.
Or do we just save them until we can discuss them with the LOs?
I know what you mean. My personal take is to tell them simply because they are part of western literature and, well, I think it's important to know about them even if you don't agree with the plotline, if you know what I mean? BUT perhaps the Montessori approach of waiting until the child is older and able to properly separate real from fantasy is a good way to go. And then the child is also old enough to discuss the story with you.

Roman Goddess, mom to J (August 2004) and J (April 2009).    h20homebirth.gif signcirc1.gif
RomanGoddess is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off