YOUR TURN: Age Appropriate STUFF

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When my daughter turned 1, my parents bought her a Little Mermaid tent. She loved it. She could crawl inside and be all by herself and play with her stuffed animals. The first time I crawled in I was a little shocked…the only thing I could see was a giant half naked girl with a shell push up bra staring back at me!

When High School Musical first came out, and every living and breathing middle school girl was in love with Zac–I was at WalMart and saw a little girl about 5 years old wearing a High School Musical shirt. It stared at her because it was so incongruous. She was probably not even in kindergarten and she already liked a movie about High School so much she wanted the shirt?! Granted, she probably had older siblings. I know, there wasn’t any kissing in the movie. Yeah, it’s Disney. But a five year old wearing a HIGH SCHOOL shirt?

One of my friends was telling me about a mom she knew with a three year old. She said the three year old knew every word to the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift and “isn’t that cute?!” We both looked at each other and said, “No. Not really. He’s three.” (Of course, that mom wasn’t there so really the conversation may have leaned toward the gossip-y side…)

Why do we feel the need to push our kids into age groups older than them? Why can’t we let little kids be little kids? I don’t want my three year old watching OR desiring to watch Hannah Montana. I don’t want her listening to or WANTING to listen to the new pre-teen pop star. I want her to stay a child as long as possible. I want her to be naiive to the things of this world. To be innocent about sin. To be soft and pliable for as long as possible.

In Song of Solomon, King Solomon’s lover tells the women of Jerusalem, “Don’t stir up love. Don’t wake it up until it’s ready.” Our society has pushed our kids to awaken love too early—and not just love or sexuality, but just grown up stuff! And then when they are 10 and 12 and want to go to the movies with a boy and are copping attitudes with us, we wonder why!

For me, I am protecting my kids from grown up stuff. I’m trying to keep them childish as long as possible. And I know I might be a little strict but, here are some of the things I do…

  • We watch kids’ shows. Old school kids shows even.
  • We do NOT watch shows geared to elementary kids or adults. Period.
  • We listen to kids’ music. Not elementary school kids music. Preschool music.
  • We don’t talk about boyfriends, high school or “big kid” stuff like it’s something we’re missing out on.

HOWEVER, instead of making these a RULE that she has to follow, it’s more of an unspoken way of behavior. We watch kids’ shows and she loves them. We listen to preschool music and when my husband turns on his “cool” music, she doesn’t like it. She talks about having a husband and being a mom. It’s just the way it is–we make it desirable AND then it IS desirable.

It’s your turn! How do you keep your kids KIDS? What age appropriate things do you purposely do with your kids?

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ps–this post was inspired by a great post I read at Modern Mami’s this week…

Comments

  1. Hmmm… so I could replace Jonas Brothers & Taylor Swift with Stevie Ray Vaughn. And honestly I do think it’s cute … even if you want to gossip about me:) Some of those songs he can listen to & others he can’t. But it’s hard to make those decisions … sure your chances are probably better with a “kid show”, but it’s unfortunate when you can’t even trust a G rated Disney movie or a PBS show!! Evan got the phrase “I hate you Dad” from Finding Nemo & he always whines more after wathing Calliou (which I hate that show anyways).
    .-= mandi @ it’s come to this´s last blog ..Happy birthday megan! =-.

  2. it is so hard – like Mandi said, inappropriate things are even in places we think are safe. We stay away from shows like Sponge Bob, too… although he knows who Sponge Bob is, Elias knows we don’t watch it. And we either listen to kid’s music, Christian music, or classical music.

    This is something we are trying to make a way of life, too. What you spend time on (listening to, watching) is what fills up your heart.

  3. Ouch, this post step on my toes, lol. In a good way, though. But really, it’s been something we’ve been trying to change for a while now. I know you’re going to cringe when you hear this, but we use to watch Everybody Loves Raymond & Friends. I know, I know! Horrible for young children. In truth, I never paid attention to it, until about a year or so ago. Then I realized how much sex talk there is in those shows. I’ve never had a problem with either of my girls saying inappropriate stuff, but I never wanted it to happen either.

    My girls use to watch Hannah Montana, but I’ve quickly realized that it’s not a show I want the girls to watch. They do watch Wizard’s of Waverly Place. Yes, it’s an older kids show, but it’s nothing like Hannah. They do listen to Jonas Brothers music, but I didn’t realize it was a bad thing. I guess I need to research lyrics. It’s also not something they listen to a lot of. We/I listen to mostly Christian music, occassionaly I’ll listen to 80’s music on Demand, but not often.

    My biggest problem is that there are 4 yrs difference between my girls. Emily is in between watching the preschool shows & the high school shows. However, I’m really working on cutting down TV, altogether.

    I definitely agree that it seems like our kids are thrust into grown up things very quickly. Clothes, electronics & TV all play a big part in that.

    Emily plays games on the computer, but they are ones that I’VE picked out for her. I try to keep them educational. She’s only just started playing on the computer & it’s only a few days a week, not every day. Olivia knows nothing about computers.

    Neither girl has a cell phone & won’t until they are in their teens.

    And I still pick out Emily’s clothes. I will let her show me what she likes, but if it’s not something I approve of (which is hardly ever a problem) then we move on to something else.

    I would rather my girls be outside or in their room playing, making up stories and innocent things, like Olivia riding a horse that has pedals! LOL Silly girl!
    .-= AmyG´s last blog ..Band aids =-.

  4. So glad that my post inspired a post of your own! Just like it’s been said in the comments, it IS hard and I can’t pretend my baby doesn’t watch things that are not age appropriate. But, I’m trying as much as I can. :)
    .-= Melanie (Modern Mami)´s last blog ..Weekends are Just not Long Enough =-.

  5. Amen sister! This subject is one of my soapboxes I feel so strongly about. People think I am naive when I say I want to keep my kids in a bubble. I don’t think there is any reason to expose them to things that are beyond their developmental age. My 3 and 4.5 year old daughters have a cousin who is 6 who watches Hanna Montana so they are know who she is and can recognize her because of all of the marketing that goes on, but they have never seen the show. I am blessed that my 4.5 year old respects my wishes and explanations about what she is permitted to watch on TV. We were on vacation with her older cousin who was watching Hanna Montana and my girls thankfully obeyed very nicely when I asked them to come into another room with me to do something else.
    I believe God has put us in charge of seriously censoring what our children’s hearts, eyes, and minds are subjected to. I am even very conscious of watching the news in front of my kids. I watch a lot less TV because of what I don’t want them to see, which is even a good thing for me.
    I’m sure as my girls and baby boy get older it will be harder and harder to limit their exposure to the world but I will work stubbornly to push the worldly things out and bring in things that help them be Christ-minded.
    .-= Tricia´s last blog ..Feb. 9, 2009 =-.

  6. Sarah Morrison says:

    I have recently stopped letting my kids watch a lot of shows and movies that I had not realized were making an impressiom on them. A negative impression. I have replaced tv time with family time and activities that get them moving and thinking. Apparently, kids love anything as long as you are doing it with them. Dishes,laundry,dusting,etc. We spend that time talking, joking around, singing, dancing,etc. And guess what everyone is a lot happier, attitudes have changed and I go to bed guilt free!

  7. Wonderful post!
    We have extremely limited TV time, and with a lot of parental supervision. My 4.5 year old still plays with Fisher Price Little People, watches Sesame Street and listens to Raffi.

    For years family members have been trying to buy her Barbie dolls and take her to the salon for a manicure. No thank you! I may seem over protective, but she doesn’t need to grow up so quickly.

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