Children Movies,, Too Much?

Updated on November 05, 2006
J.P. asks from Chardon, OH
18 answers

I have a 4 yr old boy. He has been getting in trouble at school, at least once a week. The problem is,, the things he's getting in trouble for are things he's learning from his movies... He only is aloud to watch one movie a day during the week,, & 2 a day on the weekend.. They are kids movies,, I'll give you an example,, Cat in the hat ( the new one w/ Mike myers) there is a sceen where the Cat steps on a garden hoe & says " Dirty Hoe,,,,, I'm sorry baby" My son would repeat that!! In the The movie Rugrats,, the babies are on a boat & the pull down there diapers & say " let's get naky" I try to pay attention when he laughs at things like that & tell him,, yes it's funny,, but we don't do that, it's just a movie... But I use the time he's watching,, to clean the house,, I don't always here things like that,, Should he not watch any TV!? Or is his daycare teaching being rediculas?? I don't know what to do but I feel like a bad parent ever time I have to go in there & sign an incedent report.

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J.

answers from Cleveland on

PG movies are out until just recently with my 5 1/2 year old girls. Parental guidance means just that. G movies are good and only tv shows with a Y.

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P.B.

answers from Dayton on

So he is watch like 8-10 full length movies a week. That sounds like an awful lot of watching and an unusual amount of cleaning for you to be doing.

I would say at his age to have him stick to much younger movies. He does not understand yet what is acceptable and what is not. Try to find educational shows instead of just junk. Like Little Einstiens or Dora. They are entertained, but at the same time really learning something. I think it is amazing when Jack looks at me and says "Crechendo" which is a musical term that he learned from Little Einstiens that means louder. And he is only 2 1/2.

If he likes TV so much, then I would not let him watch any on days that he gets incident reports. Or at least not any of his favorites. Make the punishment fit the crime!

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E.J.

answers from Cincinnati on

Don't stop letting him watch t.v. The cartoons that are suppose to be for children are rediculous. Its also hard to monitor what are on the cartoons that you think are age appropriate for your child. Spongebob is another cartoon that kids love and its more for a teenage level.
In response to the comment made earlier, Dora is a good for boys and girls. Thats one of those cartoons that doesn't matter what the sex is. I know that its hard but you're going to have to be a bit more cautious of what he watches. My son is 3 and I know exactly what you mean. The other thing about it thats hard, is that the movies that we prefer them not to watch again, are the ones that they want to see more and more of.

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T.K.

answers from Columbus on

There are better kids movies out there for a 4yr. Cat in the Hat really wasn't geared toward that age even though they used a kid's story.
But we really limit the movies our kids watch. So that is my perspective. I think the comment he got from the Cat in the Hat one would make me cringe too.
Sorry, but think you need to be screening movies BEFORE he watches them. Check out www.screenit.com. You don't have to subscribe but it you go through more ads if you don't. They really break it down to let you know what is appropiate.

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S.H.

answers from Columbus on

I find this very interesting, I am VERY careful about what my girls watch, some would say too careful. I just don't let them watch ANYTHING I haven't watched first.I think it is a good way to monitor things.
BUT
My sister in law lets her kids watch anything. I mean anything, "jay and silent bob", thats nothin, last thanksgiving, my sister in law was watching "the devil's rejects" with her 4 year old!!!
I was appalled, but then I started thinking about it. Her kids aren't "scared" of anything, and they don't talk back to her, and they very rarely get into trouble at school. I on the other hand have had uncountable incident reprts from my 4 year old biting, scratching, talking back, being loud and disruptive, and anything else you can think of....
I makes me wonder, in a way, Who is doing it right?
If I allowed my girls to watch everything, would they behave better, because they saw what happened to some guy in some movie when he was mean to someone? or would it back fire on me, and they would be terrified of everything? Acting out worse? what is one to do? I know I probably won't start letting them watch everything, but I wonder why they do that sort of thing, even though I try not to expose them to that behavior, they have somehow developed it.

I guess what Im saying, is kids are kids, and they are going to behave the way they think they want to behave, it is our job as parents/teachers, yo show them what is right and wrong, they will notice that you don't think its funny, and it hurts your feelings, you just need to show them your disapointment. I don't think a kid can be too young to learn what disapoints mommy. Good luck!!!

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M.R.

answers from Cleveland on

Hey J., I have been letting kate watch dora for awhile now and she has actually learned some spanish from it and knows her numbers and some letters, but i am not sure if you know but they have a boys version of dora its Deigo. Have him watch those get them from the library. When she goes to the sitters i have her bring some dora movies that i have because she has an 8 year old son, who watches whatever he wants and i don't want kate to watch what he watches. But this is just my opinion. And i wouldn't let the teachers bother you.

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J.R.

answers from Cleveland on

I would just like to echo what the other moms have said. My girls are 7 and 4. I don't let them watch Sponge Bob or Rugrats because I don't want them to imitate the behavior on those shows. (Plus Sponge Bob's voice is like nails on a chalk board for me.) So, yes, I think you need to take responsibility for what your son is watching.

However, kids will be kids. No matter how hard we try, they pick-up little gestures and phrases that make us cringe. You are right to correct the behavior, and his teacher has a right to correct it too. Try not to take it personally. Consider her a "teammate" instead.

Good luck!

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C.

answers from Cleveland on

My son is only one year old so I'm not sure I have room to talk but those don't sound like they are really "toddler" movies. The rugrats are notorious for doing "bad" things and the remake of cat in the hat isn't really made for kids that young. I think if you stick to Disney, you will be fine. Why not find activities he can do sitting at a table in the room you are cleaning rather than TV?

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C.G.

answers from Canton on

Id stick with Disney movies such as the classics.. and Nick jr also.. even PBS..Dont worry lots of other parents go through the same thing.. the kids hear a phrase and repeat it regardless to knowing what it means.Those r the safer things ive seen on tv..Good luck!!!

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J.

answers from Cincinnati on

I love the sprout channel. It is all PBS kids all the time! other than that I don't like them watching. But I must admit I am a terribel TV addict. My older kids know when they hear a bad word not to repeat it, my 4 year old does not know that and will go for the effect.

My son also loves to help me clean. Yes it can take me twice as long but I figure we are bonding and he might be learning something. The cleaning will wait your son is only young once!

J.

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M.R.

answers from Wheeling on

I'm fifty-fifty on this issue. I dislike letting the kids watch too much TV but I don't feel I should have to take the time to censor their rated G shows--- that should be the responibility of the television producers.

After all, who in their right mind wants their kids to think passing gas in someone's FACE is ok? Yet, I see that daily on his cartoons.

Try discussing real vs. make-believe or pretend. You'll find out your kid knows the difference. Once he knows the difference, you can start discussing why "You don't care what Spongebob/Scooby Doo/etc does... __________ is YOUR rules." You don't need to tell them why, that puts the control back in the hands of the kids, but should you decide to, you can let them know that rude behaviour makes people sad or not feel good about themselves. It doesn't have to be a long lecture or an afterschool special. Just a few very carefully chosen words tailored to fit your child and you shouldn't have to worry about their TV viewing...

If that doesn't work, let them know-- the TV will go. (That normally gets their attention pretty strongly.)

Incidentally, if they can hear it, they will probably repeat it. So, if it has an adult sub-text to it, you might want to turn it off. But the teacher is over-reacting a bit as well. Kids will be kids, and they honestly don't grasp that what they heard on something you've approved of is "bad" or "sexual".

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J.C.

answers from Dayton on

My 2 year old does this too... runs around saying "dirty hoe". I know it's because the first time he said it we laughed so hard. Bad-bad-bad on our part!

I don't have the same issues as you, as my boys (2 & 5) are home with me... however, I have thus far been able to curtail the inappropriate quotes by just saying "that's enough" - usually after he's repeated it about 5 times, laughing.

Anyway, I balance the "older" children movies with lots of other fun stuff... my boys are both totally into the holiday movies right now - so we've pulled out Rudolf, and similar.

My 2 year old loves to watch Elmo, Dora, Backyardigans, but on the other side of the spectrum, his favorite movie is Pirates of the Caribbean. While my 5 year old prefers Sponge Bob, Loony Toons and Tom & Jerry.

My kids go through spurts of watching lots of tv and other times none at all. If I'm getting a particularly bad behavior from one ('dirty hoe' for example) we don't play Cat in the Hat for a bit - not as punishment, but rather we just distract/encourage other movies. We have so many loved movies that it's easy to find a different one to watch.

As far as your child's teacher is concerned... in that position, I can certainly see why there is an issue.. your child could easily get other children running around saying "dirty hoe". Just imagine how many upset parents there'd be. whew! So, no, I don't think the teacher is being ridiculous at all.

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C.C.

answers from Dayton on

It is really important to watch what our kids are watching and to remember that even though we (the adults) may enjoy the movies and understand the humor, that our children do not. It is our responsibility to monitor what they watch. "The Cat In The Hat", "Rugrats", "Spongebob", and many more are cartoons/movies that really are not appropriate for young children (IMO). Yes, it may help you to put him in front of a tv to get housework done but perhaps it is better for him to play or to help you clean. Do you really need to clean that much to where he's watching close to 3-4 hours of tv per day on the weekends?? If his behavior is so bad to where you are having to sign an incident report, then I would say 'yes, he is watching too much tv'. He needs to learn from you how to act, not from the tv.

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N.D.

answers from Cincinnati on

My daughter is 2. She is only allowed to watch Elmo Videos, Baby Einstein (or Little Einsteins) or Dora the explorer. We've tried to show a couple of disney movies but she isnt interested. i've heard awful things about the rugrats and its not something toddlers should be watching. i've never watched it, so i dont know for sure. i was the last of my friends to have kids though and none of my friends let their kids watch that show. these women are all pretty laid back.

without knowing the full story or exactly what he is doing i cant say for sure, but I dont' think the daycare is blowing it out of proportion or anything. i would just change what he watches.

just my opinion.

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R.A.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi J.,
I think that no matter how much we monitor the TV our kids watch, the experiences they have, etc., they are going to pick up undesirable phrases. And I think that you are exactly right in explaining what is appropriate to your son. I know that my son only watches movies rated G unless my husband or I have watched it first and believe he's mature enough for it and my son still picks things up that I would rather he didn't. We just correct him. You would think that a teacher would be used to this but maybe she is not. I'm not sure what you should do beyond what you arleady doing. Hang in there. He'll grow out of this phase.
-R.

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C.B.

answers from Cleveland on

I personally think that tv is garbage. My son is addicted to it...he ALWAYS WANTS to watch it. His grandmother puts him in front of it all the time. But for me...I use the v chip. He is only able to watch "G" movies. PG may sound good but it means parental guidance. Spongebob is not educational and neither is most of the shows on Nick and when there are good shows like lazy town or dora, the commercials are of toys that shouldn't be for 4 year olds and that just so happens to make the kids want it.I say PBS Kids is the best. Ya can't go wrong with sesame street and only let him watch "G" movies. and Try to stay away from Nick or Nick JR. I buy the videos of Lazy Town so that my son doesn't have to see the commercials. Also, try to have your son help you do your chores. I have mine help since he was able to walk...of course he really doesn't clean anything but he thinks he is helping. Now that he's 4 he is responsible and makes the table, helps with the "plastic" dishes and helps with laundry. You'd be amazed how your child will have fun helping you do things that will end up making him a more responsible person. I hope that this helps you but I strongly recommend the v-chip or something like it. All you have to do is set it to his profile and he can flip the channels and Dad can't figure out to how to watch wrestling when it's only letting him watch G movies and shows! Ha Ha. Watch for those pg movies like Ants....my mother bought it for my son thinking it was for kids and in the movie it says damn and other more adult things. I was furious, not at my mom, but at the people who made it. We subject our children to things that we don't even know about and the movie industry does know but doesn't care. Good luck with your decision.

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C.F.

answers from Rochester on

Unfortunately, what they call "children's movies" now are actually just adult movies that happen to be cartoons. The "Cat in The Hat", while it has the illusion of being a kid's movie, is really for adults or older kids. Kids are constantly absorbing everything they see, and will emmulate it. They don't understand the difference between real and fantasy yet, so they think what they see is what they are supposed to do, even after we tell them no. It's the whole actions speak louder than words thing. If you let him watch it, he will think it is okay. I've never seen Rugrats, but from what you say, he is too young for that, too. I would put them away until he is old enough to understand fantasy vs. reality and mature enough not to repeat what is on them. It is good that you are setting limits on how much t.v. he watches, but I think it would benefit him more to be watching something more educational. Try the Baby Einstein DVD's, or Sesame Street, Mister Rogers, Elmo, or learning DVD's that teach the ABC's or children's songs. You can pick them up at the library for free, or at garage sales for cheap, or even borrow them from a friend. I would also limit his total t.v. time to even less if you can. Try substituting children's songs on CD or the radio, or something hands on that will stimulate his mind and help him with skills he needs for kindergarten. Work on ABC's, learning how to write letters and numbers, how to read (even if that is just pointing to pictures right now and making up a story as he goes along), how to write his name, what his full name, address, and phone number is, how to cut in a straight line, color inside the lines, give him fun craft projects to do, or have him help you with some of the chores you need to do. If you make chores fun, it will keep him busy, give him a sense of accomplishment, and teach him valuable skills. He could help you fold washclothes, or put socks together, or get things out of the dryer, or maybe even help with loading or unloading the dishwasher. Good luck!

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C.J.

answers from Youngstown on

The teacher is being silly. Kids are going to say things. Want to hear something really bad ? My son was watching Jay & Silent Bob, Strikes Back he's 3. My neice put it in (while they were in the bedroom), unknown to all the adults in the kitchen. My son waited a few days to repeat the song that Jay sings... Anyone ever watch that movie, you know which one Im talking about. He repeated to MY MOTHER !! I was in awe !!! I didnt even know what to say. That movie had belonged to my x-husband and I didnt even know my neice had put it in. I wanted to laugh (my eyes were watering as I contained myself), he asked me if I was laughing, I told him no I was crying cuz my sweet little boy repeated a bad word. He never said it again. You will find there will be lots of things that kids will say, some they will get/ learn from other children at daycare/school. You just have to let them know thats not very nice, and we dont say those things to other people. Little kids are little kids, they dont have a filter, what they hear or what they say automatically comes out of thier mouth.

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