Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Why My Kids Haven't Seen "Brave"

Someone gave us this DVD to watch.
As I was putting it in, Georgia asked nervously, "Mommy, is the counting going to be scary?"

So, um, yeah.  Gotta know your own kids I guess.

(FYI, here's an interesting take if this subject interests you further: "Brave: Do kids need a good scare?")


Danni said...

Wow. She has me beat.

Frances said...

There's a book by Bruno Bettleheim, one of those kooky Austrian psychologists, called "The Uses of Enchantment," where he argues that kids need to hear traditional fairytales like Grimm's. That being scared by these tales is important for their development and their understanding of the world. And that the traditional fairy tales don't really scare kids as much as instruct them that there can be malice and struggle in life, independent of whether you are good. It's a pretty good book. Joseph Campbell says these things about myths, too. That they help kids through their rites of passage. But I think that reading Grimm's fairy tales or hearing a myth is much different than going to a movie, where you SEE the violence on screen. Maybe I am being biased, but I feel like Disney is not as enriching as traditional bedtime stories or fairy tales, where the child's imagination is doing the work. Anyway, that's a long way of saying that the Brave article you posted is really interesting, and I wonder if movies and visual media stimulate kids and teach them about scary things in life as well as reading or oral storytelling.

Ann said...

Timely post. We took Elisa to see Brave just a few days past her 4th birthday and she loved it. She was also scared shitless at one point. But I think I agree with the viewpoint that some kids need that. I wouldn´t take a kid that I thought would flip out completely, but for Elisa, it was a good tension release I think. She definitely started to worry about the mother-turned-bear and the bear fight towards the end was pretty spectacular. But I talked to her a bit during the scary scenes and told her what was happening and that it was all okay. Since this was our first movie with her, I wasn´t really sure what she would do. But she sat through it and I think she was happy to see how it ended. I definitely think most kids movies have some sad-scary element so the exposure might be a good thing if they can handle it. But you know your own child best. I also wonder what Georgia means by scary. Does she absorb news well or worry about weather-life-change in general? My nephew was a bit like that and at 18 he´s VERY risk averse. But otherwise a pretty cool kid.

Leslie Stafford said...

Peyton thinks Finding Nemo starts at the "First Day of School" scene and Monsters Inc starts on Chapter 4, when Sully wakes up. The only movies he's watched all the way through from the beginning are Bambi and Toy Story. He knows when scary parts are coming up in movies and he moves away from the tv and watches from the side, but still watches. He's a little daredevil, so I suspect he'll enjoy scary movies in the future, which I can't stand. Another father son activity for him and James. :-)

Kate said...

Ooh, thanks for all the thoughtful comments! I love it when things get interesting on here.
Frances - those are interesting points. I think the children's authoer Maurice Sendak would also agree with that view. In fact, he goes further and says that childhood really is largely a frightening experience (I'm paraphrasing - hope I'm not butchering his thoughts). That all makes some sense, and I am persuaded by the idea of overcoming fears, and seeing characters making it through "scary" situations being good preparation for the real world. However, I am also very persuaded by the idea that we do not prepare our children for adulthood by bringing bits of adulthood into their lives, as if the whole idea is to build up a tolerance. I am sorry to bring up this book for the umpteenth time, but I think that Simplicity Parenting would instead argue that by creating the most secure, comfortable environment for your children you are raising happy beings who will be secure and strong enough to later face the challenges of the "real world" that come their way. Given that my kids (well, Georgia anyway) are so sensitive and easily frightened, that's where I'm coming out right now. Maybe it will change with age. Oh, and I think your comment about fairy tales and one's own imagination being quite different from the audio visual experience of a movie is quite valid.

Ann - you are so right. Georgia definitely still struggles with new situations, new people, and is easily worried about weather, etc. Hopefully she'll grow out of some of her anxieties, but we'll see. I could see her becoming a cautious teen or adult. Sometimes I feel bad about her food allergies because it causes us to say "that's not safe!" to her a lot, and I don't want that to turn her into a frightened person. She is used to being extra careful.

Leslie - brilliant idea. Nemo was June's first movie, because I remembered it fondly as a good "starter" film. And then you get into it and realize, wait, this plot is pretty upsetting for a little one! Mom is eaten in like the first five minutes, and then for most of the rest of the movie Nemo is separated from Dad and left trying to find him.

TomT said...

OK now can we get back to pictures of daring kids?!! :-)