Power Rangers for a 4 year old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS 4 years old is obsessed. He loves Power Rangers. Talks about them all the time. Pretend plays as a Power Ranger often.

This all started before he ever even SAW a Power Ranger TV show? He heard the older boys in his preschool class (Montesorri - they do mixed age classes) talking about PRs and became obsessed before even knowing what they are?

First question - Is this normal for a 4 year old?

Second question - Is this show OK for a 4 year old? More info. He started begging constantly to watch this show - relentlessly. My refusal to allow him to watch the show seemed to be creating more of an issue than if I let him watch it. Sort of "Forbidden Fruit Syndrome". Anyway - I let him watch the show - and he began to obsess and beg and beg to watch it over and over and over again. Admission - at times when the triplets were being particularly demanding - I took the easy way out on this. Now I've backed off and let him watch the show 1x each day. What does everyone think? Has anyone BTDT with this show? Or something similar with their 4 year old?

Thanks in advance.

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#2 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 08:38 PM
 
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I don't have any issues with Power Rangers myself but it's not unusual for a 4 yo to be interested.

The Montessori/Power Rangers connection is making me smile.

The same thing apparently happened at the Montessori School in my area.
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#3 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 09:06 PM
 
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Well, my 4-yo DD likes Power Rangers, too! I know that's around the age my nephews got interested in them.

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#4 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 09:18 PM
 
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My son really liked Power Rangers stuff from 4-5. He has still never seen the show as we don't even get it on our local channels and I do get the impression it is a bit grown-up (though I have never see it and don't know for sure)

DS pretty much started liking them because he saw kids trick-or-treating in the costumes and liked how they looked. We also visited friends with an 8 year old who let him play with his olds ones and wear his old Halloween costume.

I think it is pretty normal as I have seen a bunch of kids in the costumes, clothes, etc. right around that age.

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#5 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you think the show is OK for 4 year olds? How much do you allow your kiddos to watch? Thanks in advance.

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#6 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 12:27 AM
 
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Have you watched the show yourself? What was your opinion?

Obviously many people let their kids watch this show. My personal experience is that it was highly associated in preschool with kids who had problems with too much physical and violent play.
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#7 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 01:05 AM
 
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My older DS went through a similar obsession when he was 4-5. He learned about Power Rangers from neighborhood friends. For awhile, it was all that he talked about. We never let him watch the TV show, though.

Now that he's 6, he's obsessed with Star Wars.

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#8 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 05:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
Have you watched the show yourself? What was your opinion?

Obviously many people let their kids watch this show. My personal experience is that it was highly associated in preschool with kids who had problems with too much physical and violent play.
On the flip side, I would offer up the notion that many kids (often boys, but not always) are just way too active to be in preschool at all. My son is a super hero, you see, and I can not imagine his imagination + energy bound up in preschool. He's not a circle time sort of kid

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#9 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 05:59 AM
 
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My younger son and his friends are obsessed with power rangers. They save lives, ride elephants, run hospitals, take the teacher's "golden time" away- as parents, we agreed that we wouldn't let the lads watch the tv show, so it's all imaginative play. I hate the show, and I don't feel it's appropriate for children (or adults, or anything, really.)
The toys are fantastic from a small boys pov, though.
1.) They fit in pockets.
2.) They are more flexible than small boys- that's going some.
3.) They play dress-up. Anything that dresses up is cool.
4.) They're like superheroes, but they're not.
5.) They're friends, and they have a "gang." Again, from a 4/5 yo pov, this is a way cool thing.
And yes, like a pp, we're progressing to Star Wars.

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#10 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 07:15 AM
 
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A mom of yet another PR obsessed 6 yr old. I have watched the shows (Power rangers - Dino Thunder - mind you there are several programs within the Power rangers category). They are super heros who are saving the earth from some alien villians. I felt that this was quite violent (blowing up, lot of kicking and fighting) for a 5 yr old to watch and it did pump him up to be physically hyper active. I also have the issue of my 3 yr old dd watching it with my ds and i felt this was very inappropriate for a 3 yr old's brain. So now we do not watch any of these shows. But we do read about them on the net (toondisney) and play some games. Rest is all imaginative play of the various power rangers fighting the villians and defeating them. Sometimes the talk is a little too much for me. : But he loves them and i do not want to quelch his age appropriate hero obsession. Having seen other phases, i expect him to get over it in a few months.

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#11 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 10:47 AM
 
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My youngest brother was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle for years. He wore a cardboard box strapped to his back and a red headband everywhere for 2 years straight, and ran around yelling "Cowabunga, dude!".
My youngest ds was Spidey between the ages of 4 and 5, he would only wear blue and red clothes and tried to climb walls.

It's totally normal.

I cannot stand the Power Rangers show, though, it's violent AND cheesy. the toys are fine, the costumes are fine, but the show dances on my last nerve.
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#12 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 12:45 PM
 
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"On the flip side, I would offer up the notion that many kids (often boys, but not always) are just way too active to be in preschool at all. My son is a super hero, you see, and I can not imagine his imagination + energy bound up in preschool. He's not a circle time sort of kid"

If they are so active that they can't sit five minutes to have a snack at preschool then I'd think that having them sit still for half an hour to watch people hit and kick each other isn't probably very goodf or them either.

This was a very developmentally appropriate preschool with lots of time for gross motor and physical play. The issue was that the kids who watched Power Rangers weren't engaging in positive gross motor play (running, ball, slides, pulling each other in the wagon, pretending to be firefighters, climbing trees etc.) instead they were kicking and hitting because they'd spent time watching kicking and hitting as entertainment and it made it seem like these were appropriate and acceptable ways to vent gross motor energy.
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#13 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 01:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Roar
Obviously many people let their kids watch this show. My personal experience is that it was highly associated in preschool with kids who had problems with too much physical and violent play.
I have watched the show and have no issues with it. That's for me and my family though.

IKWYM about issues with violent and physical play. There were some Power Rangers obsessed kids in our playgroup. They never watched the show. In fact they watched very little TV. They were very physical and violent.
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#14 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
"
This was a very developmentally appropriate preschool with lots of time for gross motor and physical play. The issue was that the kids who watched Power Rangers weren't engaging in positive gross motor play (running, ball, slides, pulling each other in the wagon, pretending to be firefighters, climbing trees etc.) instead they were kicking and hitting because they'd spent time watching kicking and hitting as entertainment and it made it seem like these were appropriate and acceptable ways to vent gross motor energy.
FWIW my kids watched Power Rangers and they did NOT act like that. They are not perfect but they do do all the pretend play stuff you describe.

I know a kid who is like you describe. He is one of the kids who isn't allowed to watch much TV. I was watching the kids in the church nursery school once.

The "no TV" kid spent over an hour saying "I'm going to kill you/chop your head off, etc."

There were also some kids (mine included)who are allowed to watch TV (including Power Rangers) They played quietly and did arts and crafts.

The kids in our playgroup who are obsessed with Power Rangers are the ones who have never seen it. I wonder if they'd be worse if they did watch it.

I can only guess that it's their personality to be physical and obsessed with violence. There also may be other issues at play here. Could it be that they are forbidden things so they want to act it out more.

I'm genuinely curious.
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#15 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 01:12 PM
 
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I remember my son liked PR around that age too. He was more obsessed with batman though. I wouldn't worry about it. They will go from one thing to another, believe me! My son is almost 11 and still does it and right now it's Star Wars for him. I remember doing that as a child too. I would see a good movie and want to act like a character in the movie for a while. It seems normal to me.

My son is one of the most laidback children you will ever meet, more laidback than an 80 yr old sometimes, hehe, so I never had worries that he would become violent or anything. It was all just roleplaying for him. In fact, the only show I ever did forbid him to watch was Scooby Doo but only because it would keep him up at night. As soon as I nipped that in the bud he was fine.

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#16 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have watched the show -- and I have to say - I'd much prefer we watched Dora the Explorer or something. I don't like the fighting - and I don't like the "good guy/bad guy" concepts either.

However - before he started begging to watch the show and before I started letting him -- he was already acting out the good guy/bad guy stuff and, I hesitate to say "fighting" b/c that's not really a good descriptor -- maybe active play? I don't know. So that was already in swing.

So - I'm letting him watch 1x/day. I'm going to try and monitor the effect this has on his PR-play. Whehter it increases in frequency or gets more physical? If so - maybe then would be a good basis for a discussion on the topic with DS and more limitation on the TV show - maybe 1x/week? I don't know - making this up as I go along, I guess??

However - I do notice the obsession - at least the begging me over and over multiple times during the day -- has abated a bit. Especially since we made the 1x/day rule while the babies are having their bath.

Anyone else have the experience that "denying" the TV show (PR or anything else) actually intensified and worsened the obsession and seeminlgy turned it into a bigger problem than if you just let them watch the show in some kind of controlled way?

Just curious? And thanks for this discussion - its been really helpful.

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#17 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One more observation - I'm noticing that lots of posters who have or have witnessed in other DC the PR obsession - are also experiencing the Star Wars obsession. DS loves Star Wars too -- and that also is a frequent request! Interesting.

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#18 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 02:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marybethorama

I can only guess that it's their personality to be physical and obsessed with violence. There also may be other issues at play here. Could it be that they are forbidden things so they want to act it out more.

I'm genuinely curious.
Oh, I wouldn't argue it is exclusive to kids watching the show. Rather I'd share that the preschool teacher with 30+ years experience said she'd noticed a clear connection that the kids who watched more violent programming played in those ways much more often and had a harder time moving on from it. As parents I think most of us realize especially in the early years our kids are learning from what they see, hear and play. It makes sense to me to try to fill the child's world with things that model what you consider appropriate ways to behave.

As far as the "forbidden" thing I really don't buy it. Most of us have no problems with saying no to certain things that we consider unhealthy - porn, matches, drinking bleach, and we don't worry that it means that the child will become obsessed with it.
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#19 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 03:32 PM
 
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I posted earlier that my son loved Power Rangers. He never watched the show and he and his preschool friend who also loved them them were probably among the two most gentle kids (boys or girls) in their preschool class...neither one of them even liked tag or soccer because they were too rough. When his "Power Ranger friend" came over they would sit on the floor together with the action figures and through creative play have the action figures interact for hours.

Now my younger son is naturally a little rougher as is a little girl on our block and they constantly play with horses and the horses seem more violent than the Power Rangers ever did

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#20 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 03:53 PM
 
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My son is 4 and likes Power Rangers. He loves Rescue Heroes, loves Transformers, loves Spiderman, loves all kinds of action heroes. He has watched Power Rangers b/c someone gave us a video. I watched it, and I don't personally find it entertaining, there are things I'd rather he watch instead. He liked it, has watched it a few times, but it's not his favorite.

Here's my take: We are a family who works very hard to teach our kids about how to treat others. We talk about the difference between what we do for real and what we watch on tv or pretend. We just plain talk a lot and work together on conflict resolution, helping our kids learn those skills. We believe that kids have some natural aggressive urges, and that they work through those in part through play and fantasy-my son loves to wrestle and fight "bad guys" in play, b/c he's high energy and b/c he feels the need to do so (and did long before he ever saw a Power Ranger or a show with those kinds of themes). Shows like that can be just another outlet. I think that these shows are not a problem when a child comes from a family where: these issues are discussed, where limits on play are discussed (as in "it's okay to wrestle as long as everyone is having fun and no one is getting hurt" and intervening if necessary), where there is supervision when a child watches such a show, where respect for others and their bodies are promoted, where empathy for others is valued and modeled, and where the time spent watching is limited. My son loves anything related to superheroes, loves to play-fight, loves swords and is also a very gentle boy with a kind heart who does his best to get along with others. He doesn't have a problem with aggression, or with play that gets out of hand (except occasionally at home, and then it's likely not he who has crossed the line but one of his siblings involved in that play-and most kids at some point engage in play that has crossed the line in exuberance).

I don't think it's as simple as blaming a show, there are a lot of other factors that go along with it. I think it's likely more the time spent watching, and the degree of parental involvment/guidance, and personality that make the difference between kids who appear to be greatly affected by these shows and kids who do not.
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#21 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 04:01 PM
 
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My 4 yr old saw a commercial for the power rangers once. The next thing I knew I had a power ranger on my hands. He has a friend, 3 months younger, who saw a PR show. (his mom, my friend was given a video of it and did not realize what she was showing him and has presently "lost" the video) Anyway the two of them play power rangers. They stand and do weird arm motion stuff and then run around and then do more arm and leg stuff. It is really kind of funny. My son does not watch the PR show and we have told him it is for 7 yr old boys. He is not allowed to watch shows like this. I think he is too young and does not need exposure to all the violence. The PR stuff has morphed into super heroes and he has been spiderman for about a month now. My husband, myself, the baby, the sitter all are superheroes too with made up names my son gave us. I have another friend with 2 boys who said the same thing happened to her with the PR's. Her sons never saw the show but between school friends and toy stores they too are PR crazy. She too does not allow them the shows but lets them have the toys.

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#22 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 05:22 PM
 
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Hey OP, get out of my mind! My 3.5 y.o. is equally obsessed. He, too, became a fan before even watching an episode.

I finally gave in and watched an episode of PR: SPD with him. There are things I do not like (judgement mode, for instance), but it isn't that horrible. I will not allow the Mystic Force version because that seems way too dark. I talk to him about the particular themes to reinforce the "lessons" -- teamwork, pre-judging, etc.

I tivo the episodes so we can fast-forward through the commercials, which is what I hate most about a lot of cartoons. He gets 1 hour of tv viewing after school each day, and he always chooses PR. After that, it is mommy and daddy tv time. He will then play with his Rescue Heroes and pretend they are Power Rangers or will go outside and pretend play. Nothing funnier than a little kid doing karate moves complete with sound effects.

So, I guess I would say that this is all normal. For so long I was totally anti-violence in any shape or form, but read some books which seem to indicate that this fantasy stuff can be good for kids. He isn't what I would call violent at all, nor have I seen a change in the weeks we have been watching the show. We make a very clear distinction with him about physical play and violent play. Play does not involve anyone getting hurt by another.

The downfall is that I have the damn SPD themesong in my head all day long.

to add: I know that this is just a phase. This is the 6th tv show phase we have gone through this year: Thomas&Friends, Bob the Builder, Jimmy Neutron, Rescue Heroes, old 1967 Spiderman, 1970's Spiderman & Friends, Rescue Heroes.

silas has a Power Rangers bike helmet and some underwear. We have enough plastic toys around, and I prefer the Rescue Heroes toys to the Power Rangers. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, Silas just turns his RHs into PRs anyway. Fine by me -- saves me money. However, I'd love to get my hands on a PR: SPD communicator (flip phone morphing thing). Everything in the stores now is the Mystic Force stuff -- no more SPD items.
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#23 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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This is interesting...dh and I have struggled with allowing ds to watch the show. And, we know that sometimes he does watch it at daycare and he frequently plays PR's with the older boys there. But, we've never allowed him to watch the show at home.

He's now beginning to ask for the toys and honestly, because the show seems awfully violent (and we've seen him do the arm movements, kicking, punching, etc since taking a love for PR's) I've really struggled in getting him the toys.

However, we've considered purchasing them and really using them as a teaching tool. Helping ds learn what is appropriate behavior, both in real-life and in imaginative play.

Thanks for giving us more angles to think about this.

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#24 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 06:08 PM
 
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I have a DD who is really into any type of action/adventure figure, power rangers, superheros, pirates, etc. Whether she sees it as a DVD movie or hears about it from a friend, she has always liked the adventure aspect. Right now her barbies are forming a band . She has moved from one facination to another and seems just fine thru it all.

One thing I notice that any type of TV even an old Little House on the Prarie episode makes her act out more....we are currently TV free during the week to help with our night time attitude
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#25 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 10:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar

As far as the "forbidden" thing I really don't buy it. Most of us have no problems with saying no to certain things that we consider unhealthy - porn, matches, drinking bleach, and we don't worry that it means that the child will become obsessed with it.
Roar I agree with you here. As for the "forbidden" thing what I'm thinking (and I may be wrong) is that some of the kids I know who are agressive have parents with what I would consider control issues. I wonder if some of their aggression comes from having little control?
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#26 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 10:32 PM
 
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The only difference between the forbidden things you mention here, roar, and things like PR, or tv in general, is that they aren't going to run into friends, kids at the playground, etc, drinking bleach or playing with matches. Seeing a kid doing super cool ninja moves (with sound effects) who tells them he is a power ranger, however, is a tasty morsel!!

Personally, I love the super hero stuff -- My son has seen one video of the really old power ranger tv series, but that's it. He is really a spiderman guy at heart.

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#27 of 27 Old 07-13-2006, 10:34 PM
 
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DS1 loved Power Rangers (this was back when it was the original "Mighty Morphin" variety). I never stopped him from watching it. He'd jump around and do all the arm motions and martial arts moves and whatever...he never sat still for a whole episode. Sometimes, he and his cousin would act out Powre Rangers moves and stuff but neither of them got hurt. It was all very "I'm throwing this kick at you, but you're 10 feet away" stuff. He absolutely adored Power Rangers - to the point that he decided green was his favourite colour, because the Green Ranger was his favourite Power Ranger. DS1 is still into martial arts, acrobatics and he LOVES swords. He loves Star Wars, Spider-Man, X-Men, etc. He's also a very kind young man, very patient with his younger siblings, etc.

If I could go back and re-do his childhood, I'd probably find some way to homeschool him, even with the time constraints I was living with. I'd kick his dad out of the picture a few years earlier. I wouldn't even think twice about Power Rangers.

Oh - once when he was in kindgergarten, he was playing Power Rangers with his two best friends and apparently said something - nobody knows exactly what - that caused one of the girls to have a nightmare that night. When ds1 found out, he apologized profusely and became very, very careful that he never upset one of his friends that way again. He felt terrible for it. He would never, ever deliberately hurt, or even upset, anybody.

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