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Inappropriate T.v. Viewing


sunnyday
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Hi - would really like some help/opinions on this one.........

 

I have a four year old boy in my setting who has some behaviour problems. He is extremely bright and can be very sweet .......sometimes!

 

I have been out of the setting on training today (complete waste of time - but that's another story). As soon as I got home I rang my deputy to see how the day had gone - her first comment was xxxxxx was so poorly behaved again, but guess what he had been watching Star Wars immediately before coming in (again) - this child is completely obsessed with Star Wars and it directly impacts on his behaviour - all paintings, models, drawings based on Star Wars - play is shooting other children, using all available resources to make weapons, light sabres etc. - now I fully understand that we are meant to be supporting children's interests but his behaviour is just so awful when he is in Star Wars mode.

 

I have made gentle hints to his mum that I really don't like Star Wars - but is it, do you feel, appropriate to comment on what he is doing at home and sharing our thoughts on how this affects his behaviour? She is really concerned about this 'downturn' and was terribly upset when he behaved 'badly' yesterday when we had our local reception class teacher in pre-school.

 

HELP

 

sunnyday

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It's a fine line, isn't it. If she's aware of how it's impacting on his behaviour we have to ask what on earth she's thinking of!

I'm not sure how star wars is graded for age, but I suspect it's not really suitable viewing for a 4 year old - especially such an impressionable one!

 

I think we can't really say "I don't like" something - ergo it's not acceptable in preschool - like guns for instance - even though deep inside ourselves we're seriously uncomfortable with them.

 

I wonder if Mum would be prepared to work with you and perhaps use the dvd as a reward when he's home - if he's been good. I definitely don't think it's appropriate viewing before Preschool. I do understand that for some families, the tv in the morning is a part of their routine, and is useful for a calmer start to their morning, and although I never had it on at that time, I can understand that in families where there are more children than I had (2) it may be a boon!

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Star wars would be one of the tamer DVD's our children watch :o I was asked if I'd seen Edward Scissorhands this week

Edited by Guest
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Thank you so much for your reply Cait - I feel so torn about this, I usually make it a rule to never, ever criiticise/judge/comment on whatever choices parents make at home - but I really feel this doing him such a disservice(Sp?). We can tell as soon as he arrives whether he has been watching it - I don't think mum has seen the connection.

 

Should say that daddy is a big Star Wars fan - obviously that's just fine - he is in his forties!

 

Sunnyday

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Its the same with a lot of our nearly 4 year old boys. They all seem to be watching Spiderman, Star Wars, Transformers or Power Rangers and their play does reflect it. We are trying to go with their interests in a positive way. Our manager brought in her husband's light saber last week and the boys had never sat so still on the mat, they were completely facinated. Also during P.E. today we did "Sleeping Spidermen" inside of Sleeping Bunnies (and also dancing princesses for the girls).

 

It is very hard though. Whatever happened to Thomas the Tank Engine and Noddy??

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Hi lol I have a three year old who's into watching (are your ready!!!) Ben 10, power rangers, star wars, doctor who. tom and jerry and these are the few i know about. His behaviour is sad to say bad. He has no concept of action and consequence and is quite physical all the time!!!!to staff and children just the other day he spat at a member of staff and then refused to come away from the soft play area. AHHHHHH the parent seems to think that its boys in general and is no support what so ever ften cuddeling said child when leaving!!!! am at witts end. Would like to get help but can't due to refusal of parent. My heart goes out to you I know where your comming from.

 

Kat

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First off - I don't think you should ever say to a child or their parent "I don't like ..." something that they are interested in, if my son's reception teacher said that to me I would not have a successful relationship with her. What I would try to say to her though - very diplomatically - is how the morning viewing affects his behaviour, you could maybe suggest that when mum or dad watch it with him they point out the positive behaviours the characters display.

I don't think you can really expect 4yr olds to be watching Noddy and Thomas the tank either - in my experience that stage is well and truly over by 3

My son is 5 now - he was into power rangers at age 3/4 - gone off them now, he loves dora the explorer, go, diego go, wonder pets(have you seen it - it's so cool) and (I can see everyone gasping in horror) primeval and demons and star wars.

I don't really believe that this is to do with what children watch - it's how they're parented alongside what they watch. My son loves rough and tumbling, has a fantastic imagination - driven by his love of books so that he has other things to draw on in his play than what he watches on telly. At his last parents evening I was told that his profile was taken to moderation and was the only one high enough to use in PSED -proud parent :o - but I think it illustrates that it's not the innappropriate telly viewing thats the issue

sorry if I've ranted, I feel quite strongly about this, maybe it's something to do with time spent watching telly - we never have it on in the morning or after school, we watch a film on a friday and sometime over the weekend.

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Oh you're not serious - are you?

 

I'm afraid I am. One child's favourite electronic game is 'Grand Theft Auto' and he is always trying to role play it and include the other boys. I asked my OH about it as I didn't know what it was and he was really shocked so it must be bad. Many of our children seem to have access to DVD's that are not on release yet :o so I'm waiting for Lesbian Vampire Killers to appear in role play. We even went through a phrase of boys saying 'Run, fat boy, run' after watching 'Hot Fuzz'.I'm afraid nothing suprises me now about what the children view. In fact its more a case of not letting my shock show.

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My own son is very bright (don't like to boast but he really is :o ). He was equally obsessed with Star Wars at that age, and although I didn't like it that much he was able to distinguish between fact and fantasy so it did not impact on his behaviour in a negative fashion. I also didn't let him watch it before school but that's another matter altogether.

 

Anyway he has a number of books about the film which you might be able to use to capture the child in question's interest. They are published by DK and can be found cheap on Amazon, etc. They detail all of the spacecraft and weapons and characters with very detailed pictures and labels. I want to say they are called Visual Dictionaries. If you could use these to show him how they explain all the various parts and functions could you encourage him to draw and label his own construction, extending his chosen play and developing other skills? And at the same time getting him to do something less intrusive in the play of others! My son really liked this kind of idea and then went on to develop lots of technical pictures of items he designed himself as well as maps, etc with lots of labelling, etc.

 

Hope this makes some sense as I am slightly dizzy from three meetings in one day!

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This thread has grabbed my attention so I thought I'd reply!

 

I too agree that it is a combination of how much tv a child watches as well as what they watch. I have a 4 year old boy in Nursery who has a lot of behaviour issues that I believe stem from what he has been allowed to watch. He used to watch a lot of horror films (rated 18) and would talk about them a lot and re-visit them in his play. Mum has stopped this (it wasn't always her allowing him to watch them) and his behaviour has improved although is still violent. We now have a home-school diary but all that is ever written from home is '........... was good, watched tom and jerry / power rangers' etc. We really struggle at Nursery to focus him on task, he just runs around with a drill or playdough tool or pencil as a weapon, playing games relating to the tv he watches. As we currently have a large number of boys (more than double the number of girls!), they soon all join in with him as he is a very dominant personality in the setting.

 

I am really struggling with this at the moment and would appreciate any advice! Mum isn't really working with us anymore to address the issue, I think she thinks that we are too hard on him. Whereas I feel that our rules are just different to hers.

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Again though - it's not the telly thats the problem, it's the lack of any other sort of mental stimulation alongside it

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First off - I don't think you should ever say to a child or their parent "I don't like ..." something that they are interested in, if my son's reception teacher said that to me I would not have a successful relationship with her. What I would try to say to her though - very diplomatically - is how the morning viewing affects his behaviour, you could maybe suggest that when mum or dad watch it with him they point out the positive behaviours the characters display.

I don't think you can really expect 4yr olds to be watching Noddy and Thomas the tank either - in my experience that stage is well and truly over by 3

My son is 5 now - he was into power rangers at age 3/4 - gone off them now, he loves dora the explorer, go, diego go, wonder pets(have you seen it - it's so cool) and (I can see everyone gasping in horror) primeval and demons and star wars.

I don't really believe that this is to do with what children watch - it's how they're parented alongside what they watch. My son loves rough and tumbling, has a fantastic imagination - driven by his love of books so that he has other things to draw on in his play than what he watches on telly. At his last parents evening I was told that his profile was taken to moderation and was the only one high enough to use in PSED -proud parent :o - but I think it illustrates that it's not the innappropriate telly viewing thats the issue

sorry if I've ranted, I feel quite strongly about this, maybe it's something to do with time spent watching telly - we never have it on in the morning or after school, we watch a film on a friday and sometime over the weekend.

Thank you for your reply - I am extremely careful about how and what I say to parents - my comments that I don't like Star Wars have only been made in response to her despair about his 'obsession' - all I want to do is help him and his family - not make judgements - that's really not my style.

 

Sunnyday

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That's very thoughtful of you Jeanine - thank you.

 

Yes of course there is an element of attention seeking - I know exactly how to deal with that - that's no problem at all and I must stress that I really care for this little chap all I want is the best for him - he is fast losing friends now because they are becoming frightened of and overwhelmed by him - it's very sad - he is not like this when he hasn't been watching S.Wars.

 

My anxiety is about whether it is appropriate to speak to his family about what is after all their business - I feel strongly that it is not my place to comment on or judge what parents decide to do at home unless I am directly asked for an opinion/advice - big sigh.

 

Sunnyday

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I think looking at how you link into their interests and going with them, our children consrtruct guns with anything but soon get bored of it as they don't quite have the imagination to go very far with it. They are not allowed to kill each other, alot of this stems from one parent who doesnt have a TV as they dont agree with it, however their 3 year old son was happily telling me that Jason Bourne is a baddie and he kills people!!

 

I think that allowing children to play at star wars is a good way for you to help them identify the difference between pretend and reality. Research shows that chidlren do understand this. If in doubt read Penny Hollands book 'we dont play with guns here'. I promise it will change your opinion. As for Power Rangers if you look at the principles behind them you will also be suprised, looking out for each other, workign as a team etc, can't seem to get onto the website but all positive.

 

Also from the research I have done on it parents have a much bigger influence on children than spiderman etc. Mum will possibly be encouraging this if it makes her mornings easier. Maybe his morning is very hectic and this is what makes him behave in such a way(?)

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One child's favourite electronic game is 'Grand Theft Auto'

 

This actually really shocks me!

It's an 18 rated game, and I cannot stand it!

My boyfriend and his friend play it all the time, and some of the things you can do it and some of the language used in it really shocked me! Certainly not suitable for a pre-schooler.

 

But saying that, I've heard children at nursery quoting "Get that guy a lisence!" and other lines (a lot worse) from games they've obviously played/watched. :o

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I think looking at how you link into their interests and going with them, our children consrtruct guns with anything but soon get bored of it as they don't quite have the imagination to go very far with it. They are not allowed to kill each other, alot of this stems from one parent who doesnt have a TV as they dont agree with it, however their 3 year old son was happily telling me that Jason Bourne is a baddie and he kills people!!

 

I think that allowing children to play at star wars is a good way for you to help them identify the difference between pretend and reality. Research shows that chidlren do understand this. If in doubt read Penny Hollands book 'we dont play with guns here'. I promise it will change your opinion. As for Power Rangers if you look at the principles behind them you will also be suprised, looking out for each other, workign as a team etc, can't seem to get onto the website but all positive.

 

Also from the research I have done on it parents have a much bigger influence on children than spiderman etc. Mum will possibly be encouraging this if it makes her mornings easier. Maybe his morning is very hectic and this is what makes him behave in such a way(?)

I have never stopped him from enjoying his Star War based play and always admire and label his models, paintings etc. as per his direction - without any judgement made - as said earlier that is just not my style.

 

Sunnyday

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really sorry sunnyday - I misread what you were saying.

it's a touchy subject for me after seeing the hurt on my son's face when he took his cowboy gun to preschool for show and tell (i didn't realise he'd taken it otherwise I would have gently persuaded him to take something else) only to be told very sternly "we don't like guns here" and what made me even more sad was that he didn't make a fuss he just quietly went and put it i his bag looking very sad and ashamed.

So I really do apologise for reading your post the wrong way :o

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Just been reading this thread, and thought I would let you know about a little girl I had a few years ago, and even though it was funny it was also sad and in the end did end up as a social services child in need (but thats another story)

This little girl spent so much time infront of the Television watching Pingui that she "spoke" Pingui. She talked in a high pitch sound exactly like the cartoon. It was quite endearing but did take about 2 years to get her to speak properly.

Maybe if you could find some research on the effects of television on children and give them out to parents as information you might find you tackle more than one behaviour problem. I often find at pre-school it is easier to give out information to all then one parent doesn't feel singled out.

I must admit at the moment we are not to bad with the role play at the moment, although it goes in fits and starts of the spiderman etc.

 

Steph

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really sorry sunnyday - I misread what you were saying.

it's a touchy subject for me after seeing the hurt on my son's face when he took his cowboy gun to preschool for show and tell (i didn't realise he'd taken it otherwise I would have gently persuaded him to take something else) only to be told very sternly "we don't like guns here" and what made me even more sad was that he didn't make a fuss he just quietly went and put it i his bag looking very sad and ashamed.

So I really do apologise for reading your post the wrong way :o

Thank you - that is so kind of you - we all get passionate about our children - our own and those we care for - absolutely no hard feelings - I really appreciate your input.

 

Many thanks

Sunnyday x

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Just been reading this thread, and thought I would let you know about a little girl I had a few years ago, and even though it was funny it was also sad and in the end did end up as a social services child in need (but thats another story)

This little girl spent so much time infront of the Television watching Pingui that she "spoke" Pingui. She talked in a high pitch sound exactly like the cartoon. It was quite endearing but did take about 2 years to get her to speak properly.

Maybe if you could find some research on the effects of television on children and give them out to parents as information you might find you tackle more than one behaviour problem. I often find at pre-school it is easier to give out information to all then one parent doesn't feel singled out.

I must admit at the moment we are not to bad with the role play at the moment, although it goes in fits and starts of the spiderman etc.

 

Steph

Steph - thank you - I think that's a great idea.

 

Sunnyday

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Thank you to all who replied to this thread - all input read carefully - I really am most grateful.

 

Today was, I'm afraid, even worse - at one point he had one of youngest girls pinned in the corner of the playhouse with his hands grasping her hair and was violently shaking her head from side to side - she was, needless to say absolutely terrified.

 

Just a little background that I probably should have given before - he came to us at 2.5 with some mild behaviour problems but never any real aggression - really it was more a case of not knowing how to play - parents recognised his problem and were very concerned and supportive. We worked very hard with him and his behaviour really improved. This 'downturn' is very recent - just the last month - and he has become quite aggressive - this is happening at home too - this morning the little boy who lives next door to him came in with scratches on one side of his face - 3 guesses who was responsible for that! For the first time ever (I have been working in early years for over thirty years) I have parents saying to me that their children don't want to come because they are frightened of xxxxxx - I am finding this very difficult to deal with, I can't discuss him with them, all I can really say is that we are aware of the problem and are working hard to find a solution and that I will keep a close eye on their children. The reason I have linked his behaviour to his T.V. viewing is partly the timing - behaviour changed just as soon as the Star Wars obsession began and also the way he refers to it all the time - he seems to be convinced that he is a Jedi knight!

 

Anyway I'm rambling here - my real question last night was whether or not it is appropriate to ask a parent to change something that is happening at home - as I said that is just not my style.

 

Well I decided this morning that the time was right - when mum and I were discussing 'how he had been' - I chose my words very carefully and explained that I knew it 'wasn't my place' - mum was great and said "no please I want any advice I can get - I know it's not doing him any good and now he's dad is letting him watch Harry Potter too"................

 

So she is going to give it a try - no more DVDs accept those deemed suitable for a four year old - we will see - if this has no effect I think I am going to have to involve our area Senco - for the sake of the other children as well as for him (not to mention my sanity).

 

Thank you again for your help.

 

Sunnyday

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Hi - I think there is on here a thread last year on gun play - star wars play etc and there is a book on "we don't have guns here" which is well worth taking a look at - there is a real fine line in this, but I have some super hero pictures on a wall and when any gun play takes over I look at the pictures with the children and we try to think how a superhero could help rather than kill - this does sometimes difuse situations - Dot

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Well I am afraid I did have stern words for one of my mums after her child tried to stab a member of staff with a plastic knife saying "I'm Chucky, I'm going to kill you". The thing is mum was really blase about it and just laughed and said she watches all those films with her brother (aged 11) I can't stop her.

 

GRRRRRRR!

 

Sue

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Hi - I think there is on here a thread last year on gun play - star wars play etc and there is a book on "we don't have guns here" which is well worth taking a look at - there is a real fine line in this, but I have some super hero pictures on a wall and when any gun play takes over I look at the pictures with the children and we try to think how a superhero could help rather than kill - this does sometimes difuse situations - Dot

Hi Dot - thank you for your reply - if you read from the beginning you will see that I have tried 'going with the flow' supporting his interests etc. - but we have gone a little beyond that now I think.

 

Sunnyday

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Well I am afraid I did have stern words for one of my mums after her child tried to stab a member of staff with a plastic knife saying "I'm Chucky, I'm going to kill you". The thing is mum was really blase about it and just laughed and said she watches all those films with her brother (aged 11) I can't stop her.

 

GRRRRRRR!

 

Sue

That is so sad.

 

Sunnyday

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Well done for raising something that must have been very difficult. It does sound though that you need to get someone else involved - do you have access to someone from behaviour support. If his behaviour is concerning you and a lot of other parents and also the fact that it has become a lot more extreme suddenly - I think I would want to get somebody else involved in that.

I hope his behaviour improves for you soon

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I think you did very well 'biting the bullet' so to speak. I'm sure his mother must be at the end of her tether by the sound of it. Hopefully she'll be able to carry it through and her partner will back her up

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Well done for raising something that must have been very difficult. It does sound though that you need to get someone else involved - do you have access to someone from behaviour support. If his behaviour is concerning you and a lot of other parents and also the fact that it has become a lot more extreme suddenly - I think I would want to get somebody else involved in that.

I hope his behaviour improves for you soon

Thank you - yes as I said this has only been a recent development - but if things don't improve drastically I will, with parental permission involve some outside agencies.

 

Sunnyday

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