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DD is 3 years, 2 months and had NEVER seen TV or videos. And I do mean never. Not at grandparent's house, friends' houses, etc. We own a TV but if she is awake, it is turned off.

Well. . . we are moving, and trying to pack and organize takes twice as long with a "helpful" 3-year-old. So I made a fatal mistake. I took her to a video store and let her pick out a movie to rent. She chose a Dora the Explorer that had 4 episodes on it. Each was 22 minutes long. I figured I would let her watch 2 while I did a madwoman type of packing, each day for the 5-day rental. It worked beautifully -- she was entranced and never moved from in front of the TV. But you guessed it. . . the problem came when we had to return the video.

Now she BEGS to watch Dora. Whenever we go somewhere, she spots some type of merchandise with Dora on it and wants it (that girl is EVERYWHERE!!). It is hellish. She has never ever begged for any toy or food or anything before. We were at the grocery store today and there is a Dora cereal -- DD just about jumped out of the cart to try to grab it.

I am assuming that eventually this will die down if I don't give in.

I just wanted to warn everyone else -- don't take that first step toward TV, because it is very hard to go back!!
 

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You could get her some Dora books. It's kind of mean to introduce her to Dora, then deny her all things Dora after she has developed a fascination for her. I try to work with ds when he wants something commercial (like something for that cars movie that just came out). I would explain that the cereal just has a picture of Dora and we can go to the bookstore and get a story with lots of pictures of Dora instead. It would have happened sooner or later even without tv. Kids hear other kids playing Spiderman at the playground, then become fascinated with Spiderman (which they recognize because the kids playing Spiderman have Spiderman t-shirts).
 

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I found that with my Ds he thought the stuff animal of the character was real. I bought him a Dora doll (that really did not even look like her) and he lost interest in it after about a week. I think he just needed to take it home to see if she was real. Every once in a while he gets into a new character that he finds out about but he no longer asks for the merchandise. Of course he does sleep with a Clifford dog but that is more because he wants a dog and I refuse to have one. Poor kid!
 

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We are not completely TV free, but watch hardly any tv and have no cable. My 3 year old ds had never seen the Dora show...only read books and been to a few Dora parties and my mom took him to Dora Live (an actual stage show) and he became the exact same way. HE LOVES HER and everything to do with her, but the funny part is that I like it
. I think Dora is great. She is a children's character that is not skinny, white, a princess, or superhero
She introduces another language, following directions, reading maps, and her stories are always about her family and helping people/animals. We check her books out of the library and I think they are engaging children's books and follow a formula that I find dull, but is actually quite reassuring for a 3 year old. I have let ds check her movies out of the library a couple of times since he saw the show and he enjoyed watching them, but we have pretty much limited his obession to the books, a coloring book and a couple of pool toys. He also picked out pink Dora underwear


I understand it is annoying as ds1 never watched any tv until he was like 4 and he became obsessed with Spiderman
: at about 2.5, right after Halloween...truthfully he just thought they were cool costumes which is how he also came to like Power Rangers the next October...However, I wouldn't look at it as a total defeat since it is totally normal for a three year old to be pleased when she recognizes something in the store. As well as to like something you wish she wouldn't
I would check some of the books out of the library rather than drawing a no Dora line in the sand...

BJ
Barney & Ben
 

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Would you never let her see a movie either, because she might get obssesed with a character in the movie?????

This seems a strange reason for keeping your child from TV.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by maya44
Would you never let her see a movie either, because she might get obssesed with a character in the movie?????

This seems a strange reason for keeping your child from TV.
I don't think it's that strange. There is a lot of money to be made out of small children through the selling of character merchandise. If a child can get character recognition, he/she can then be exploited...they sell a lot of crap with well-known characters on it (even cheap lollipops) because they are counting on a small child recognizing the character and then begging for it. There is an absolute ton of money made that way. It's all very insidious, I think.

My kids watch TV, btw, but I understand where the OP is coming from. Little kids are generally unable to filter for themselves and think, "Hey, that's a cheap and tacky piece of merchandise with my favorite character's face slapped on it." They just think, "Dora! Dora! Dora! I want Dora!".
 

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It is creepy how quickly they can pick that stuff up. I remember when dd was 3, had NEVER seen Finding Nemo, but had seen the cover at a friend's house - she could spot Nemo at a distance on posters, merchandise, whatever!

Part of it is because these people are very, very good at merchandising to children, and part of it is because she's 3, and 3 is an amazing age for obsessing over a particular toy, dress, book, or (as the case may be) cartooon character.
 

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it will never die down.

my 4 year old step son loves dora. It is all he thinks about. Soon as we get into a car he asks if we can goto the movie store and get Dora.....

I think there is subliminal messages in it


Anyways, I agree with the PP, get her a book and bear with it..... I don't think the fascination will go away........ Jake does entire skits from the videos we rent, and if we want to get him to do things on occasion, it is easier to act like he is boots than Jake..... those who know, know what i mean.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mammastar2
It is creepy how quickly they can pick that stuff up. I remember when dd was 3, had NEVER seen Finding Nemo, but had seen the cover at a friend's house - she could spot Nemo at a distance on posters, merchandise, whatever!
My oldest was the same with Spongebob! That is not a program we have ever watched. And IMO, it's ugly-looking. But when ds1 was a year old, he spotted an ugly Spongebob beach towel at the store and he was completely taken with it. A few weeks later, he saw a Spongebob lollipop in the checkout line (he did not know what a lollipop was either!) and he was very excited. It must be the colors or something.

Even now, at 5, he still has not seen the show and doesn't have any friends who talk about it. But when the dentist asked him to choose a sticker for himself, he chose....Spongebob!! It blows my mind.
 

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I worked overseas & the kids had NEVER even seen a TV. Well, we got electricity and some kind soul donated a TV...Oh My...the kids actually thought there were miniature people inside that box. THey kept walking around & tapping it trying to figure it out.

But, yeah, no Dora.
 

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I started talking to my oldest about commercialization somewhere around that time (maybe a bit older). He wanted some Trix yogurt that was full of sugar and artificial stuff and I know it was because of the colorful and fun way in which it's packaged. I told him, "I know you love yogurt. We buy this other kind, because that kind has too much sugar in it and things that are not healthy for our body. It IS pretty-looking though, isn't it?" And I started working in the reasoning that it was pretty-looking on purpose, because it would make people want to buy it.

At 5, we're still talking about this and he's still trying to process it. He saw a guy dressed up in a goofy-way holding up a sign on the sidewalk. He asked, "What is he trying to get us to buy?" (finally!). I said, "He's trying to sell haircuts." Ds: "But we like getting our hair cut." Me: "Yes, but we don't need a hair cut right now, do we? Besides, we go to (insert place) for that, because we like the lady there."

Still, I know that if we went to a store that was packed with Backyardigans paraphenelia, he would go nuts.
Gee, isn't it nice that they thought of us enough to put this fun stuff out with no ulterior motive?

So, it depends on what the item is, but we take advantage of it to talk about commercialization. Yes, that cereal does have Dora on it! Isn't that cool? But we don't eat that kind of cereal, because it has so much sugar in it and it's not very healthy for our teeth. That's what I would say, anyway.

It's hard though, I know. This stuff is *everywhere* (and for a reason, of course).
 

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I started this book and haven't been able to finish it yet. Fascinating stats so far, though: Born to Buy. About commercialization of childhood and marketing to kids. Scary stuff.
 

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I think some shows are more marketing oriented than others. Dora is one of the most heavily marketing and addictive oriented children's shows out there. There are a lot of shows that are not nearly as hypnotic and aren't marketed on every square inch of children's material/clothing/ etc. out there. I avoid children's programs that I'm going to have to deal with the backlash of the marketing afterwards. Limited amounts of books on video (like Dr. Seuss being read aloud while the images are on the screen), etc., and other less marketed stuff, for me is a lifesaver on those days like you're describing. Kids like videos like that just as well and they don't end up haunting the parent afterwards.
 

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My kids had no tv for at least the first 5 years, with my eldest we did have one but one day when she was about 15m I banished it and that was fine. I can't stand it and hardly ever watch it, am much happier without it in my home and prefer to read if I've got spare time. Since we moved into a house a while back we got tv much to my displeasure and the arguments it causes! the loss of enthusiasm etc does me in and I have to spend a lot of time regulating their watching which they don't respect. I can't wait till I can have tv free space again.Actually since it's the summer hols here after we came back from camping I had a renewed surge of energy and implemented quite a harsh(in the kids minds)tv regime, you would have thought it was end of world for my eldest who is 14, the others weren't too bothered and often prefer to do other stuff anyway.We have game nights and I home-ed some of them full-time so I am usually sorting out more interesting things to do anyway.I know they are zoning out on it when I'm at work. My point is tv really sucks the imagination out of kids and adults imo its a brainwashing tool and there is hardly ever anything worth watching.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LeftField
I started talking to my oldest about commercialization somewhere around that time (maybe a bit older). He wanted some Trix yogurt that was full of sugar and artificial stuff and I know it was because of the colorful and fun way in which it's packaged. I told him, "I know you love yogurt. We buy this other kind, because that kind has too much sugar in it and things that are not healthy for our body. It IS pretty-looking though, isn't it?" And I started working in the reasoning that it was pretty-looking on purpose, because it would make people want to buy it.

At 5, we're still talking about this and he's still trying to process it. He saw a guy dressed up in a goofy-way holding up a sign on the sidewalk. He asked, "What is he trying to get us to buy?" (finally!). I said, "He's trying to sell haircuts." Ds: "But we like getting our hair cut." Me: "Yes, but we don't need a hair cut right now, do we? Besides, we go to (insert place) for that, because we like the lady there."

Still, I know that if we went to a store that was packed with Backyardigans paraphenelia, he would go nuts.
Gee, isn't it nice that they thought of us enough to put this fun stuff out with no ulterior motive?

So, it depends on what the item is, but we take advantage of it to talk about commercialization. Yes, that cereal does have Dora on it! Isn't that cool? But we don't eat that kind of cereal, because it has so much sugar in it and it's not very healthy for our teeth. That's what I would say, anyway.

It's hard though, I know. This stuff is *everywhere* (and for a reason, of course).
My one success story is that dd, who is 4.5 now, routinely points out at the grocery stores that the cereals with the cartoon characters on them are the "yucky cereals that don't help you grow!"
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by loveandkindness
she was entranced and never moved from in front of the TV.
Do you think it's okay to let her watch just a little Dora;

1. To teach her moderation and bring it back under control
2. Long enough for the newness and excitement to wear off.

I wonder if this happens to all TV Free kids when they see a movie/cartoon for the first time...

Just like the little kid who is denied candy and when he has access he gorges on it.
 

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OK, I'm going to be a lone voice of dissent here -- I think it's the "forbidden fruit" phenomenon. It might be faster to let her have a bit so it's not so special. Our kids do watch a limited amount of TV (no more than 1 hour a day of screen time, no more than 1/2 hr in the AM and 1/2 hr in the PM). Our son went through a Dora stage too. Begged to watch Dora. Then at some point in time he realized he'd seen all of the episodes, and lost interest. He'll watch it occasionally, but we often go days where the kids don't ask to watch TV (the TV is in the basement, away from anything fun
, so it has to be a conscious choice).

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeftField
So, it depends on what the item is, but we take advantage of it to talk about commercialization. Yes, that cereal does have Dora on it! Isn't that cool? But we don't eat that kind of cereal, because it has so much sugar in it and it's not very healthy for our teeth. That's what I would say, anyway. It's hard though, I know. This stuff is *everywhere* (and for a reason, of course).
We do that too - "Why do you think they put Dora on the box? Well, who likes Dora? Do you think kids will notice Dora? Do you think they might ask to buy that stuff because it's got Dora on it? Is playing Uno with Dora cards going to be more fun than with regular ones? Do you want to spend the extra 2 dollars on Dora Uno or on a different game?" (OK, not all these questions at once, but that's the line of thinking.)

And having just finished reading "Unconditional Parenting", I wonder if TV watching isn't one of the "big issues" that we might actually let kids have some say in?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BusyMommy
I worked overseas & the kids had NEVER even seen a TV. Well, we got electricity and some kind soul donated a TV...Oh My...the kids actually thought there were miniature people inside that box. THey kept walking around & tapping it trying to figure it out.
I was that kid. I even took the television apart, while it was ON! And tried to get them to come out.
: I'm lucky I didn't get hurt or killed.
I don't think my mom even knew/understood how dangerous it was because she's the one that gave me the screwdriver.
:

Seriously, it was years before I learned that ppl were not stuck in those contraptions.
 

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well, no offense, but this is one of the problems I see with no TV. Of course, my baby is only a year old, so I do NOT allow her to watch television, and will only begin to permit occasional viewing after age 2 due to the studies on the affect of tv on the brain. I'm not saying TV is good- far from it! I think ideally kids should watch little to no TV! Unfortunately, the parents who limit it the most often end up with the children who are most obsessed with it. There are exceptions to every rule, and every family does what they think is right for them- but in my experience in my own family, and in nannying many, many children- the ones who are allowed unlimited access care the least, and the ones who are severely limited become addicted and obsessed.

I know you didn't open this up to argue your choice- and I do respect you choice. Just my personal input.
 

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Quote:
I wonder if this happens to all TV Free kids when they see a movie/cartoon for the first time...
I don't think that it necessarily does... My DD is almost 4, and she is almost totally TV free (she's watched a bit of the figure skating during the winter Olympics with commercials edited out, Punxutawney Phil come out of his hole on Groundhog's Day, and that's it). She got a stomach virus this past Spring, and I got to a point where I was ready to let her watch a video or TV show. We had a video about weather from the library (it came with a pack of other stuff that we'd used). I also Tivo'd Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and Between the Lions for her. She had zero interest in any of them. None. She was really interested in figuring out the remote control for Tivo, but once she'd mastered that she was ready to turn off the TV. I don't think that obsession with TV is a necessary outcome of being TV-free, though it certainly could happen.
 
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