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#1 of 10 Old 04-09-2003, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Ds is a neat homeschooled kid, yet for some reason, seems gloms onto popular culture.

It all started when he was 3. He really got into the Pokemon craze (at 3! ). He's only watched PBS. We don't do Disney or buy commercial toys or eat at fast food. Obviously, this was pretty horrifying for us! He picked it up from a "big-kid" neighbor. And then constantly pointed it out when we were at Fred Meyers. I did buy him a pack of cards once, on the advice of my mom's "forbidden fruit" arguement. It only made it worse.

Now he is really into STAR WARS!!! In a big way. He's never even seen it!!! He will build podracers with his leggos for hours. And asks dh countless questions about the characters. He makes up his own stories, which I suppose is ok. But that's just it- he is so creative and imaginative, I wonder why he needs this pre-packaged deal to get him going?

I don't get it. He has always loved big kids and I wonder if this is a way for him to feel older? Maybe it is b/c we are so anti-commerial? I dunno. Definitely a personality thing, but I would love to hear your stories on this. And any thoughts on letting him watch Star Wars. Thanks!
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#2 of 10 Old 04-10-2003, 02:32 AM
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Sounds like your son is pretty creative! That's cool. I'm biased, being a Star Wars fan, but there are worse story lines to "get into".

Dd wasn't nearly as affected by commercials as ds is, and we watch plenty of tv. So I think it's partly just personality. Dd is 8 y.o. and ds is almost 4 y.o. And, yes, I think it makes ds feel like a big kid to partake of these things. They are sooo eye catching and appealing. He likes Pokemon, too. He saw one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I didn't even know that's still on.) and played 'Inja Turtles for a week! He asks for every Hot Wheels product he sees advertised.

As far as whether he should see the Star Wars movies, well, only you can say. We let ds see most parts of all the movies (we censored the monster fight at the Coliseum in "Clone Wars") and it never scared him or upset him. Though I do think it makes him more aggressive for a while. We've got friends who's daughter literally had nightmares after she saw...I don't remember what, now, but it was something really tame by my family's standards.

Ds is a neat homeschooled kid, yet for some reason, seems gloms onto popular culture.
Ds is a neat kid and yet seems to glom onto pop culture. Are they mutually exclusive? Is pop culture entirely bad? Obviously you don't think so or you wouldn't have bought him a Pokemon pack. But I wouldn't worry about it too much. In small doses it's just fun.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#3 of 10 Old 04-10-2003, 02:58 AM
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My son is similar- he gets really interested in the media characters, even though he's never seen the movies, etc. The good thing, is that he is using his imagination- he's just using the characters to get him started. Try to see them no different that if he used the three pigs or something, and made up a story. That's what helps me relax about it, anyway.
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#4 of 10 Old 04-10-2003, 01:06 PM
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My friend's son was like this, too. He would play for hours with licensed figurines making up stories. It was all incredibly creative. I think Krisday is right. They just use the TV show or whatever as a jumping off place. Maybe when he's older you can encourage him to write them down or draw them.
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#5 of 10 Old 04-10-2003, 02:55 PM
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I think kids just somehow pick up from other kids that this stuff is what's "cool," so even if you keep the commercial influence to a minimum, as we do, your kids wind up able to identify all the popular characters anyway, and get excited whenever they see them anywhere. If I take my dd shopping and she sees character clothes or shoes, she will say she wants them. She has heard the rule, "We don't wear clothing with tv characters on them" so many times that she often says it herself!

I think it probably bothers us non-commercial mamas more than it needs to. It's really no big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I agree that it is puzzling! I'm telling you, those people who research what kids are attracted to for the media do such a good job - it's like they know exactly what will make kids become addicted...think Teletubbies
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#6 of 10 Old 04-10-2003, 04:08 PM
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I look at this sort of thing this way. Kids have always latched on to "pop culture" heros to emulate in their fantasy play..."Pop culture" is basically the mythology of the day. If I were really well-rested and coherent I would cite Joseph Campbell and his theories about Star Wars and the similarities between the story and Homer's Odyssey.

You seem to be handling the balancing act really well, keeping an eye out to see if his media intake more or less lines up with your family's values. I woyldn't worry so much. Good job, mama!
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#7 of 10 Old 04-11-2003, 12:42 PM
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The reason Star Wars and Pokeman are so popular are that they have all this really detailed information to collect and then use as a jumping off point. Lots of boys seem to love to use this material as a basis for learning how to learn the basics of anything. After all if they can memorize all the different elements of a Pokeman character, they can do the same things with all the different elements of a chemical. (Indeed, my DH claims that he was able to learn the periodic table of elements, based on similiar learning techniques used to learn Star Trek detailed information.)
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#8 of 10 Old 04-11-2003, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies.

I agree with you ladies. And I have certainly mellowed out as he gets older. It was difficult when he was so young- I mean, we were doing everything "right" here- lol! I was so confounded where it was coming from. Maybe the universe playing a litttle joke on us. I also think it used to embarrass me a little b/c I was hanging out with so many ap mamas. Silly, I know. Now that we live in a more mainstream area, I see what freaks we really are! Not letting your almost 6 yo watch Star Wars!!! Really. : I am definitely a Star Wars fan and hope I didn't give the wrong impression.

Part of it is that he never really got into "age-appropriate" characters. I guess he doesn't branch-out much either. He has been building spaceships (in various forms) since he was quite young. And now he loves droids. I honor what he is into (fortunately he is not much into violence) but I wonder if he gets stuck in a rut?

Thanks for helping me explore this issue. I am realizing that many of these traits that concern me are actually pretty positive, especially as he gets older. Our commercial culture bums me out, though. I love alot of the stories, but why does there have to be so much plastic cr*p that goes along with it?
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#9 of 10 Old 04-12-2003, 01:18 PM
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I can definately identify with this. My dd who is almost 6 now, saw Toy Story2 at her grandmother's house when she was about 4. We don't watch tv at home. She was sooo crazy for Woody and Jesse after she saw that. Then my mother in law started buying her toy story toys! I was going crazy!
I too was embarrassed in front of the other ap moms, but it seems all of them have a similar story and we decided that since we don't live in a cave-they are going to pick up on stuff (pop culture) and it's okay. I , personally still love Hello Kitty.
She also never played scenes from the movie-she was always creating her own stories and used all her other hand made dolls with Jessie. I also used the opportunity to introduce her to cowgirl stories and the strong minded women in them.
I am still a bit crazy with trying to keep her away from it, but I am not as bad as I used to be!
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#10 of 10 Old 04-18-2003, 01:30 PM
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My 4 1/2 year old has a desire to go to "Disneyland."
Now she sees maybe an hour or two of PBS on the weekend, and the occasional Kipper or nature video for a special treat.
She's never even seen a "Disney" movie, but she does have friends who go yearly and rave about it.

What does SHE think the big attraction is at Disneyland?
"It's filled with butterfly families!"

Now I'm wondering if I can take her to one of those enclosed butterfly gardens and tell her 'this is it!'? LOL.
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