Stay Cool Dad

Permeation, power and pestering by Simon Sharwood
July 22, 2007, 10:08 am
Filed under: Family

The boy, who is five, has come back from school saying he has ‘played Harry Potter’.

Most of his games at school involve running around the playground with some kids being goodies and some being baddies shouting at each other and “killing” one another.

No worries there. It’s normal, if sometimes odd.

But we have hardly mentioned Harry Potter to him. Yet he knew he was Harry and that his pursuer/foe was “Voldemort.” Someone else got to be “Scabbers” the rat.

I have no idea how this stuff permeates his world, how other kids’ media consumption so quickly becomes part of his play lexicon.

But the barriers between one kid experiencing media and another one playing it out sure are permeable.

Another media-related incident today came in the form of a blackout. We were without power for about 90 minutes, through dinner time.

The kids took it well on the “can’t watch TV” front.

Tomorrow, we move into the next phase of media experimentation. Our weekday evenings have been largely  TV-free of late. We’re just too busy.

The same can be said for the 6:45-8:30 get ready for school time. The problem is that the morning is when us adults need time t, y’know, shower! And with nothing to control them as we go about making ourselves presentable, the kids have sometimes become tricky.

So our next experiment is 30 minutes of TV from 7:30AM to 8:00 AM as the  sole schoolday watching in the hope it makes for smoother watching.

The idea is that if we feed them before 7:30, get ourselves ready from 7:30 to 8:00, then dress the kids and eject oursleves from the  house around 8:20 all will go better.

Wish us luck.


4 Comments so far
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Just curious – are you keeping them away from Harry Potter for a reason? There’s plenty of better kid’s lit out there, but I wondered if you didn’t want him reading it for a particular reason.

Comment by Sarah Stokely

Not keeping them away from HP at all. It is a small part of their media diet. But we do try to keep their media age-appropriate. Stuff like HP permeates and we have learned that cannot be stopped. But we find that if we can steer them towards more age-appropriate stuff, the result is better.
Watching Play School, for example, never sparks anti-social behaviour or play that involves things the kids clearly do not comprehend. So instead of running around shouting “Avada Kedavra – you’re dead!” you get cute jokes playing with the lyrics of “I’m a little teapot.” The latter shows comprehension of a different order. That makes one feel a better parent.

Comment by Simon Sharwood

Very good information. Lucky me I found your website by chance (stumbleupon).

I’ve bookmarked it for later!

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Comment by เลขสวยทะเบียนรถ

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