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Old 06-01-2009, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
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I think parents should try to put things into perspective for their kids. My son isn't quite old enough for this to be an issue yet, but I remember seeing images of the first Gulf war on TV at about 11 or 12, and that was the first truly scary thing I think I was exposed to through the media. (Thank goodness I never knew about the Cold War - I would've been a basket case). I didn't know that it was in the Middle East and that no-one was going to invade New Zealand. It was world war as far as I could tell. I wish I'd had someone to give me a very basic grounding in the geo-political realities of such an event so I didn't have to lie awake in bed worrying about it.

I don't think you need to make issues of things they aren't yet aware of, but if they do become aware try to discuss it in relatively simple terms and try to work through some of the things that might be frightening about it and discuss how unlikely those things are. The worst thing for a young, imaginative child is to be creating scenarios in their head of all the terrible things that MIGHT happen.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:28 AM
 
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Our family doesn't own a television, so my children (10 & 7) are pretty sheltered from day-to-day news coverage; however, we do talk openly about the big issues. My husband and I don't believe in protecting our children from the idea that bad things happen, but we try to keep it age appropriate. They are aware that our economy is struggling, that our country has recently elected a new president, that our Supreme Court is going to have a new justice, that there is a war in Iraq, and that there is civil unrest in parts of Africa. The older one, at least, knows what happened on September 11th, but she has never seen video footage, and I don't plan to show it to her. Our kids do not know that George Tiller was assassinated yesterday, that a jet is missing over the Atlantic, or that Billy Bob Thornton's daughter has been arrested, because those stories are largely irrelevant to their lives, and I doubt they'll come up during dinner table conversation.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:33 AM
 
467 posts, read 844,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
Our family doesn't own a television, so my children (10 & 7) are pretty sheltered from day-to-day news coverage; however, we do talk openly about the big issues. My husband and I don't believe in protecting our children from the idea that bad things happen, but we try to keep it age appropriate. They are aware that our economy is struggling, that our country has recently elected a new president, that our Supreme Court is going to have a new justice, that there is a war in Iraq, and that there is civil unrest in parts of Africa. The older one, at least, knows what happened on September 11th, but she has never seen video footage, and I don't plan to show it to her. Our kids do not know that George Tiller was assassinated yesterday, that a jet is missing over the Atlantic, or that Billy Bob Thornton's daughter has been arrested, because those stories are largely irrelevant to their lives, and I doubt they'll come up during dinner table conversation.
Unless thats the only station you get, you can always change the channel to something more lighthearted and they still won't know about that stuff

No tv in the house wouldn't work for us.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I was going to disagree with you here, but my son (who I referenced above) tells me that 6 years olds want to understand more than the location.
Disagreeing is ok, but I think your son knows where I was going with that. If a 6 year old is going to ask, it's most likely out of some kind of personal concern, therefore he/she needs enough information to relieve that concern.

In my experience, when mine were very young and even babies, when they asked a question for information, I always gave a bit more than they were asking. That way they could take their thinking beyond where it had been. They used the information originally sought to fill the need for asking in the first place, and had some left over to chew on. That usually led to more sophistocated questions.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MrMom2 View Post
Unless thats the only station you get, you can always change the channel to something more lighthearted and they still won't know about that stuff

No tv in the house wouldn't work for us.
Our reason for not having a television has nothing to do with sheltering our children from the news or modern life. Nothing could be further from the truth. We choose not to have a television because TV viewing gets in the way of the healthy, active lifestyle we want our entire family to lead.

And, before it comes up... yes, I know we have the power to turn it off, but my thought is that if our TV is turned off most of the time, why have it in the first place? We got rid of our set about ten years ago and haven't missed it yet. The newspaper and internet keep us reasonably well-informed.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormy night View Post

In my experience, when mine were very young and even babies, when they asked a question for information, I always gave a bit more than they were asking. That way they could take their thinking beyond where it had been. They used the information originally sought to fill the need for asking in the first place, and had some left over to chew on. That usually led to more sophistocated questions.
Excellent perspective. Good thinking.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:19 PM
 
1,986 posts, read 3,465,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
Our reason for not having a television has nothing to do with sheltering our children from the news or modern life. Nothing could be further from the truth. We choose not to have a television because TV viewing gets in the way of the healthy, active lifestyle we want our entire family to lead.

And, before it comes up... yes, I know we have the power to turn it off, but my thought is that if our TV is turned off most of the time, why have it in the first place? We got rid of our set about ten years ago and haven't missed it yet. The newspaper and internet keep us reasonably well-informed.
I know people with no TV. They do a lot of gardening, projects, etc., and don't seem the worse for wear.

I have visions of the family around the radio in the living room evenings instead of scattered around the house watching different programs on different sets.I like that idea.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stormy night View Post
I know people with no TV. They do a lot of gardening, projects, etc., and don't seem the worse for wear.

I have visions of the family around the radio in the living room evenings instead of scattered around the house watching different programs on different sets.I like that idea.
Usually we're all sprawled across the living room couches with our noses buried in books. Lately, we've been taking turns reading aloud for an hour or so before bedtime. It's very retro and much more enjoyable than I might have assumed before our household went TV-free.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 06-01-2009 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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Well we do have the tv but we only watch it at night. For the most part it stays off and we find other things we can do.
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrMom2 View Post
Well we do have the tv but we only watch it at night. For the most part it stays off and we find other things we can do.
We do too, but it's used mostly for background noise.
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