Both my boys (6 and 4) don't like to watch most movies/tv shows because of their dramatic content. By that, I mean when tv makes a big dramatic deal out of sadness/pain/fear/etc, my boys will literally hide under a blanket or run out of the room (can be a cartoon or regular movie). This is fine when we are in our house. But now that my 6 yr old is in K, he has been invited to pizza/movie parties where his friends will be watching a movie he doesn't like for the above reasons. So he won't go to the party and it makes him very upset; in the long run I know this won't dramatically effect his life, but in the present, it makes him sad that he can't go.
Do others have kids like this? Does anyone understand why it happens with some kids and not others? We watch tv or movies weekly but not daily (as in, we sometimes have Friday night family movie time, or the kids watch a show on 1 or 2 other days during the week, but none of that happened until the kids were well over 2 yrs old). I've wondered if its a sheltered response since we limit tv so they're not exposed to it. I've also seen others mention that some gifted kids have harder times watching tv/movies--if anyone has read about that, could you point me to a resource?
From a personal and common sense perspective, *I* have a hard time watching lots of things on tv, even the news. But I am likewise aware that some kids (even if they don't watch a lot of tv) don't experience the level of fear/sadness my kids do when they watch. I also wonder if over time it will ease up a bit.
Any thoughts? Thx
For the gifted link, read up on overexcitabilities. Here is a good starting point:
We have the suspected gifted connection too. In fact, I came across the gifted connection as I was exploring her sensitivities and it when I put all the pieces together it made a lot more sense.
Honestly, I am quite comfortable with her being sensitive about movies. She's only 5.5 and it seems like far too young to need to be tough about these things. I am trying to work with her on the fictional literature, though. I think it is important that she eventually be able to handle conflict/resolution but, again, she's still quite young IMO.
I'm not worried either, but it is actually interfering with my 6 yr olds life (in that he won't go to a movie/pizza party). He is a MEGA social kid. This has truly been the first time he's said no to hanging out with friends, and he was really sad about it. Also, family and friends are really noticing that my 2 boys won't watch most tv/movies, and I haven't really known what to say to them when asked (though they aren't in any way being rude, just curious).
Has he tried going to a movie night? Sometimes what you do at home and what you do in presence of friends is different.
Sadly, Jan 21, 2011 m/c 6w5d
I strongly recommend the book: The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron. It's a nice complement to the info from the Hoagie's Gifted site.
(i'm definitely like that too, sensitive -- i hate horror films, and tragic imagery stays with me a LONG time. i am very careful about what i watch, and when i am pregnant i am SUPER sensitive, not wanting to watch anything but the happiest, lightest, most predictable films.)
our girls don't watch any live TV, just movies we carefully select. i've always figured that they haven't been desensitized to TV the way other kids who watch all the time have been? i've heard some parents talk about how it's a problem how easily scared their kids are, but i think of it as a good thing. their sensitivity is beautiful to me.
we find there are lots of films the girls love watching, but they are almost never the ones people think are for children. we don't want to hurry them out of this lovely, sensitive time in their lives. we always tell them those movies will be there 2 years, 5 years, 10 years from now and be more appropriate for them then.
our girls love watching old broadway shows with gene kelly and fred astaire, ginger rogers, ann ******, vera ellen. some of their favorites: annie get your gun, take me out to the ballgame, on the town, easter parade, american in paris, seven brides for seven brothers -- there are so many once one starts exploring the genre! and they have recently discovered gilbert and sullivan. they adore pirates of penzance and iolanthe both.
Pat, dh and I have tried over and over again to help them understand its fake. You'd be surprised even when you limit tv in your own house, what you are exposed to everywhere else anyway (grandparents, going over to the neighbors to borrow butter, even while shopping in the stores!) My older boys will hide. I did try telling him to go to the movie party, and he could just stay upstairs while his friends watched or play with toys...but he's old enough to realize thats not the point of the party. Trully, I'm happy he's confident enough to know his limits. I just feel for the kid, and was hoping maybe it would get easier over time. Glad to know though my kid isn't the only one!
Even as an infant she would become visibly upset and concerned if she saw or heard another infant or child cry--even in random places like restaurants, stores, etc. She is extraordinarily empathetic.
I know those of you who suggest just telling them that it's imaginary mean well, but it truly is not as simple as that.
In our case, DD understands quite clearly that it's fake and imaginary. It just doesn't matter. She feels such empathy for these characters. It's truly not as simple as just explaining the distinction between imaginary and real. She gets that, and has for a very long time.
It's partly developmental, partly empathy, and partly a really good ability to suspend disbelief. People with less of a willing suspension of disbelief don't seem to have this issue. (Dh is like that.)
My sister was a young adult when she saw The Other Side of the Mountain (I think it was that movie) and at the end of the movie she was sobbing so hard that she attracted attention from other movie goers. She just puts herself so much into another person's shoes that she gets really involved. She's a brilliant person who can easily tell fiction from reality.
DD (4) has a completely different personality. She's always loved Curious George, threw a fit that we had to leave Space Chimps b/c DS didn't want to stay (and she was maybe 2.75 at the time), and wasn't in the least phased by the Harry Potter exhibit/film clips today.
We do very selective media exposure with both - mostly all PBS - so at least for my kids, the difference is their personalities, and not the amount/kind of media exposure they have.
I love DS's tender soul, and actually hope it's something that he doesn't outgrow
We had to skip a family movie night at church last week because a relatively tame movie for others would have been too much for her.
I was always the same way so I understand.
Most of her little friends are always going to the movies. One friend actually loves the Wizard of Oz, which to this day creeps me out.
Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys!
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Funny thing is DH and I are huge movie fans and we loved our scary-violent films. I even loved scary movies as a child.
I found it interesting that there are many children here that react that way. In her classroom (in a pretty crunchy school) dd is probably the only one behaving that way.
Looking forward to reading more about this.
We did no screen time til 2, we watch a movie once a week, and my 4yo is highly gifted but still, not affected by movie drama.
I see no end so far in sight for us. Ds is 5 and his K class was going to watch 101 Dalmations on the 101 day of school, and I've asked the teacher to find something else for ds to do--there is no way he said he'll watch that, however he will actually read the book. Luckily a few other kids in his class don't even LIKE the movie so he'll have company and will probably have fun doing something else.
All grown I'm up I still don't watch things like Saw or Se7en, but I have a degree in film sooooo... yeah, it didn't ruin my life. She'll probably gradually grow out of it. Not that she needs to be acclimated to horror (one could make a good case for that being a bad thing, indeed), but I got over my fear of creepy/supernatural stuff to some degree by watching Buffy. It was camp enough with strong enough storylines that the odd scary episode was bearable, and the show got darker as the seasons progressed so I was kinda eased into it. All nine seasons of the X-Files later and my tolerance for drippy, oozing, slimy hybrid liver-eating mutant critters is greatly improved. I'm very proud.
If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.
Ds isn't bothered. He and dd were watching The 3 Stooges with my dad one day, and dd said, "Why are they doing that? He's HURTING him!" Ds says, "Hahaha. He whack him in da head. Hahaha. DAT funny." Just different kids.
Dd can't watch ANYTHING. She is so literal and so concrete, and so...internalizing? that she can't handle it. Little House episodes are too much for her. We watched an old Charlie Brown tonight, and that was pushing it. Dh told her that our dog would eventually die one day. . NEVER NEVER before bed drop a gem like that.
She's just a super sensitive kid. And that's okay.
Could you maybe, in some non-embarrassing way, make it known to the parents of your ds's closest friends that you don't watch TV or, if you do, that because of x, you very carefully screen his viewing, or something like that? Then he would be invited over to do non-TV things, but it wouldn't be because he was scared.
"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."