how do you manage all the princess, Tranformers, TV talking/playing of other kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 10-04-2012, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have worked hard on keeping my 3 1/2 year old naive of princesses and TV shows etc. She only watches Barney and occationally Sesame St type stuff (which actually is NOT all good). We always run into other kids who are playing or talking about things I don't want to her to be exposed to. She loves meeting people and being with people. How do you handle this?

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#2 of 21 Old 10-05-2012, 06:21 AM
 
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Her peer group is going to be full of this stuff - short of avoiding other kids entirely, you can't protect her from princesses. Or transformers, Power Rangers, or Dora the Explorer. They're out there.

You can be sort of indifferent to them, personally. You can tell her that you like the games and stories she comes up with herself better then the ones her friends tell her from tv.
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#3 of 21 Old 10-05-2012, 07:31 AM
 
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As she gets older it's going to get even harder. I actually watch some of the shows with my kids including the commercials and talk to them about it. I started training my children at a very young age to critique advertisements. I have even gone as far as to buy one of the toys we saw on tv so that we could compare it to the ad. My children at the age of three, easily identified the flaws and understands false advertising. Media and junk food/toys are part of my community so I used the approach of controlled exposure so that my children would be prepared for what they encountered when interacting with society as a whole. My older children are actually quite proud of themselves with this knowledge.

 

A friend of mine who public schools but didn't allow tv ended up having to allow some tv because her son came home from school multiple times crying because he didn't understand what the other kids were talking about. So he and his mom watched the show together and talked about it. He never did buy into the gimmicks.

 

I have found that as long as my children understand what our values are as a family they are not strongly influenced by what they see in media.

 

I can't stand the princesses movies, except for Sherk princess Fiona is ok, and even though my girls have seen the princess movies they are not impressed with the idea of waiting for a prince to save you. They are very much into being strong independent girls.

 

Besides as your daughter gets older you might not have any idea what they are watching at a friend's house.
 

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#4 of 21 Old 10-05-2012, 12:35 PM
 
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My baby isn't old enough yet, but I think about this all the time. He has cousins and others whom we have to be around and that watch alot of things I don't want him watching...and they don't just watch it...they have all the games, costumes and everything else that goes with it.

 

I think we will have to tell their parents where we stand...and then after we are around them try to keep an open discussion with our kids about it and why we don't play with, watch, or do the same things they do. 

 

It's tough...but I don't  think its impossible...

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#5 of 21 Old 10-05-2012, 12:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pattimomma View Post

 

 

Besides as your daughter gets older you might not have any idea what they are watching at a friend's house.
 

 

 

Or the opposite! DD1 has a 11 year old friend that is very, very limited in what she can be exposed to, news, music, TV, food, language. Nice girl but she isn't allowed at my house because of it. I will not take responsibility for monitoring everything every single member of my family is doing that she could potentially come into contact with. We've known the family for several years and the older the girls get, the more excluded she is becoming. 

 


Once upon a time I had such ideals, no character clothing, my children would not know what a drive through is, on and on. Well, life moved on and I realized that I can't control the outside world I can only control what I do with my particular children. Which is basically all you can do. You either pick up the child and and run, which I have literally seen parents do, or talk later about why you do not approve of such item, play, etc... You can't tell others what they can or can not do around your kid. I used to be really good friends with a family that used to ask me to cover our TV when they came over, it was never on of course, but they didn't want their children even knowing what one was. Back to the not telling others how to parent... we often get offended when people think our parenting isn't good enough. 

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#6 of 21 Old 10-05-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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I handled it with moderation. I didn't buy clothing with characters because I didn't want my kids to be walking billboards. I avoided underwear, lunchboxes, umbrellas, and any other thing you can think of that was licensed, at least as much as practical. (A few things snuck through.) But, so long as TV doesn't become a big deal to my kids, they're allowed to watch TV. Our house isn't structured around TV. We only have one and it isn't conveniently located and isn't on that much. But we do watch a bit and I'm ok with it. I don't think exposure to this stuff is a big deal, but I do think the way it's all encompassing and on EVERYTHING is a big deal. My older daughter knew all the princesses pretty young despite my attempts to avoid them, but the younger one calls them all "Snow White" because she can't tell the difference as she doesn't know who they are, but she has heard the name Snow White. Maybe I'm doing better this time? Or maybe she just isn't interested in princesses. She is into superheros and we don't have superhero stuff here, or at least much of it if any, but it's out in the world so she's familiar with it regardless.

Anyway, IMO, I would try to avoid stuff with licensed characters and/or violent/sexist images. If an occasional licensed character item slips in, I wouldn't stress about it, but I think it's good to avoid all that marketing as much as practical - as much as you can without stressing too much about what Grandma gives them. And then I'd try not to worry. So long as they aren't surrounded by it, your influence is so much bigger than a princess umbrella or a Transformers backpack here and there.
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#7 of 21 Old 10-05-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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As pp have said, you're not going to be able to shelter her forever and you may be creating a very attractive forbidden fruit.  If your DD is anything like mine, in less than two years (my DD is 5), your DD will be running around the neighborhood into other kids' houses and being invited to playdates with her classmates. 

 

I haven't really censored anything with DD.  She's gone through several phases of shows she likes, some of which I can't stand, some of which are ok, and some of which I enjoy watching with her.  She likes Winx, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Signing Time and documentaries about Egypt.  If I don't like a show, I'll critique it in a playful way.  I point out if a character is whiny or acting helpless.  I point out if the characters' bodies are unrealistic.  IMO, creating an open environment and encouraging and modeling critical thinking is a better strategy than censorship. 


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#8 of 21 Old 10-05-2012, 03:26 PM
 
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I just let it go. The amount of input on the subject she receives from other kids is minor compared to the message she's receiving day in and day out at home. For us, the value of developing friendships far outweighs the "risk" (in quotes because I don't consider it one) of her learning that some of her friends enjoy particular television shows. 


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#9 of 21 Old 10-05-2012, 05:34 PM
 
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I didn't get involved in it and I still don't regret not making it an issue. My issue with TV is the sexism and violence. I just worked nonviolence and not putting up with sexism into our lives and didn't make an issue of how my dd played or what she played with.
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#10 of 21 Old 10-06-2012, 08:04 AM
 
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You cant control it. Or you could go and live in a media free intentional community somewhere. I also think its snobbery to disrupt a budding friendship because one family is less stringent than the other about media exposure. (you might prefer snobbery to the other negatives of media exposure i guess)   also depends on how much  time and energy you have to 'avoiding' other children. (and money)

 

My kids like Dora because they saw it somewhere we had never watched it. My son liked turning wheels, which lead to trains which led to Thomas.

 

Both my boys made guns out of anything they had, before they even saw guns, or knew the word.

 

Then came star wars, and the light sabers seemed like a good substitute for guns so i supported it more. Yesterday in the park, my 4yo and 7yo encountered a 10yo boy dressed as a jedi knight.  They followed him around, and eventually he pulled out his collection of light sabers, soon there was a group of 5 or 6 kids including mine fighting each other with light sabers, and running around the playground. This went on for a couple of hours. I thought that was actually a positive thing, they made friends, they got exercise, they  used their imaginations, with running commentaries as they fought. They never actually hurt or hit each other.

 

 I hear you on the media influence,  but i say, let it go. Just explain to your kid/s why you dont like something. We talk about violence, and why that is bad, or why certain words are bad etc. You can  set your limits, but you cant avoid exposure.

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#11 of 21 Old 10-06-2012, 08:15 AM
 
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 I hear you on the media influence,  but i say, let it go. Just explain to your kid/s why you dont like something. We talk about violence, and why that is bad, or why certain words are bad etc. You can  set your limits, but you cant avoid exposure.

 

 

Yep - I have had conversation with my kids about advertising, about violence, about sexism, about becoming obsessed with things, abut "celebrity worship" (becasue when you come down to it, that's what it all is, even the princess/transformers thing).  And I am still comfortable with them being exposed to these things and really liking them, and having some character stuff because it's not ALL of who they are.  They are insanely creative, inquisitive, bright, happy, decent little kids.  Being exposed to (age appropriate) media doesn't necessarily have to be an awful thing.  It gives you the opportunity to actually TALK about all the issues instead of never being exposed to them and only discussing them theoretically. 

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I think we will have to tell their parents where we stand...

 

I really, really would advise *against* this.  The only peopel you should have these discussions with are you own kids.  Even if you're talking about presents with family members, instead of telling them all the things you *don't* want and the various reasons why, just give them ideas for things you DO want.  For instance - my daughter was ZERO into princesses (and still mostly isn't)....so for her 3rd birthday party when preschool friend moms asked what she liked, I didn't go into a monologue about why I don't like the princess thing, I just said, "She LOVE arts and crafts kits, and stuffed animals, and Star Wars!"  and it was ALL GOOD.  Nary a princess in sight. 

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#12 of 21 Old 10-06-2012, 11:05 AM
 
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There are as many characters, movies, TV shows, and video games as there are kids that your child will be exposed to.  There is no way that one child is going to like or even know all of them.  My son is in 1st grade and there is a ton of stuff his friends are into that he doesn't even know, and it's not a big deal at all.  He probably talks about Phineas and Ferb and some of them have probably never seen that either.

 

It really doesn't have to be an issue, and I think kids are a lot better about not stressing about it than we give them credit for.  

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#13 of 21 Old 10-06-2012, 06:17 PM
 
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I think it's a balance of controlling what really bothers you (for us it's character clothing) and then let go a little. We don't have cable, so the only commercial tv they watch is Qubo sometimes (which has weird ones), so that has not been much of an issue.

 

My ds is now 6.5 and starting about age 4, we made some compromises (before that we were only pbs, Little Bear, Scholastic videos, and the occasional Max&Ruby). He was getting into superhero play, so we let him watch the 1967 and 1981 Spiderman cartoons and the Superman cartoons from the 1950's. He still prefers them over more modern superhero shows he has seen and they have the same "bad guys", so it gives him some social currency when playing with kids. Another one we had to address was Star Wars. He has not seen any Star Wars, but was fascinated by other children's play, so we have allowed him some simple Star War toys and he plays with them with his playmobil people. We didn't completely ban these characters, but did find a way to allow them to be a small part of his play, and his play with other children.

 

My dd is almost 3 so she's just coming into this, especially all the princess stuff, and of course she would end up being frilly unlike me :) So far, she has generic princess gear and we are really encouraging the fairies. We don't watch much Disney anyway, so that obsession has not started, but she does have some fairy dolls from the Tinkerbell series. And she plays with them with her wooden and cloth fairies. We allow little glimpses and don't make a big deal about it. 

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#14 of 21 Old 10-07-2012, 08:56 AM
 
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I think it's a balance of controlling what really bothers you (for us it's character clothing) and then let go a little. We don't have cable, so the only commercial tv they watch is Qubo sometimes (which has weird ones), so that has not been much of an issue.

 

 Last year, we only had  Qubo. My son loved magic school bus. I think they have a weird market, kids and old people (adds for wheelchairs?) That also got my kids hooked on pillow pets.

 

Then we moved, and we lived without tv and media for about a year. Mainly because i was too lazy to hook up the tv. 

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#15 of 21 Old 10-10-2012, 02:12 PM
 
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I'm kind of posting from the other side of the coin as when my son got to around the age of 3 I realised how inspired he could be by media and how it seemed to trigger his imagination and interests in many areas. The old Superman films began his interest in space and also began a love of dressing up which lasted many years, for example. My son has usually had a media inspired passion running through his life and many of his games have been inspired by this. However, it was rarely the latest craze - after Superman came The Wizard of Oz and then Tom and Jerry and then the Narnia films. What I noticed was that it didn't seem to matter whether the other children had seen these films/programmes or not, what they wanted to do was play! My son seems good at motivating people to join his games and before long his friends would know the character names and basic plot but I'm not sure they even knew that they came from films!

 

I'm not sure if this is comforting to you or makes you more anxious. Very often though children just want to play and will take from it what they personally understand and find a way to join in. For a child who hasn't seen the particular films or programmes then I guess they just get to use their imaginations even more! If what you are actually saying is that you don't want your daughter to even play with children who talk about or play media inspired games it seems like you could be setting her up to be very lonely which seems sad. As others have said, short of living in a media free chosen community you can't avoid it. What are you concerned about with regards to your daughter hearing children talk about TV?

 

I often find that the challenging aspects of some media provide excellent opportunities for discussion about the world we live in and the various prejudices and injustices around us. Just today I was critiquing a film that we watched at his friend's birthday sleepover the other day (The Reef.) I talked about how the only female characters in the film were a 'pretty girlfriend' and a mother, where as all the other characters with interesting roles were males. The fact he watched this enabled us to review it and criticise it so that he can be more aware of it and notice it in the future.

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#16 of 21 Old 10-15-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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My kids are tv-free and we don't buy any licensed anything and it really hasn't been a big deal. Some of the kids we encounter can't adapt at all regular imaginative play. They can only reinact what they've seen. But more kids can and our preschool has a lot of kids with limited tv and the dress code doesn't allow licensed characters on anything. We generally try and have playdates at our house too.

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#17 of 21 Old 10-15-2012, 09:29 PM
 
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Some of the kids we encounter can't adapt at all regular imaginative play. They can only reinact what they've seen. 

This.  And I believe imaginative play is important- so that's reason 1 we don't do "kids" TV.  Reason 2 is because it's so darned addicting.

 

 

FWIW, we have a few character things- DD1 has a batman shirt, I own quite a few licensed screen print t's.  DD2 is obsessed with pointing Minnie Mouse out wherever she sees her.  But they never ask for things- they're aware that they exist, but have some understanding that it's just not what we do.  They don't watch TV, and never ask.  DH and I watch shows after they go to bed, and the kids know that.  DD1 knows that what we watch isn't appropriate for kids- and has no desire to watch what we do, because we never talk about it in front of her.  If the TV is on in our house, which is really only if I'm feeling sick and am veging out in front of it- it's National Geographic or Science Channel stuff on Hulu or Netflix.  We don't have a means of watching live TV, either.


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#18 of 21 Old 10-16-2012, 02:51 PM
 
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I had tried it for a v. long time. I don' t remember till how old. Maybe 4.5. All she was allowed was educational dvds. In the end I let go. At school many girls were totally into pop culture. And by that age she had received I don't know how many princess and Barbie presents. The good thing about this is she doesn't crave t.v. She will turn off dvds or the t.v. by herself unlike many other kids we know who seem kind of hypnotized when watching t.v. I'm all for avoiding it as long as possible.


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#19 of 21 Old 10-16-2012, 07:15 PM
 
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Sometimes I feel like Disney put a microchip in my daughter when she was born (or at some point!), I have no idea how she knows about all the princesses when she has only ever seen Tangled (and I skipped the commercials).  I guess it is from daycare, all the kids like what all the other kids like, so she knows all the princess' names and everything.  I guess it is inevitable, but I try to limit tv as much as possible -we cancelled the cable so now only stream Netflix.  The other day in Target, she said "Hello Kitty, I LOVE her!!!"  And I said "Well, I guess if they put Hello Kitty on a hammer or a nail gun, you would want that too!"  Too much marketing!

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#20 of 21 Old 10-17-2012, 03:00 PM
 
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There are as many characters, movies, TV shows, and video games as there are kids that your child will be exposed to.  There is no way that one child is going to like or even know all of them.  My son is in 1st grade and there is a ton of stuff his friends are into that he doesn't even know, and it's not a big deal at all.  He probably talks about Phineas and Ferb and some of them have probably never seen that either.

It really doesn't have to be an issue, and I think kids are a lot better about not stressing about it than we give them credit for.  



Totally agree.
With my oldest we only had 1 station, CBS, poor kids knows all season of survivor and had a couple of VHS of Barney, that was atleast 10yrs out of date.
Never an issue of friends talking about tv. Now as a teen she watches lots of cooking shows with me, but never any mainstream stuff like glee, etc, and for the most part I never overhear her friends talking about tv.
My toddler watches spiderman cartoon with her dad, but knows nothing of current kid shows. The kids she is with never talk about tv.

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#21 of 21 Old 10-18-2012, 04:10 AM
 
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i am curious - what are you afraid of? that she will want more tv? that now she will want character stuff? that she will forget imaginative play (by the way i dont buy kids who like characters dont do imaginative play. that's not correct. yes they will act out dora goes on an adventure, but the adventure is their own story, not what they saw on tv. i still call it imaginative play. kids not used to character still introduce their own characters, so i dont really find any difference between character and characterless imaginative play. however some kids DO imaginative plays more than others, and some are far more imaginative than others)?

 

just coz they are talked to doesnt mean they will get into it. dd's bf in daycare LOVED, loved princesses. dd listened to her and didnt get into princesses till she was almost 5. even then she assessed all the princesses and decided princess fiona was her favourite because she was such a kickass princess :)

 

now that i have a 10 year old, looking back - in the whole realm of things - it wasnt such a big deal.

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