What is "SAFE" to watch on TV when your child takes everything literally?

Toni - posted on 07/16/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My child is 10 now and still asks me thinks like "Can SpongeBob live out of the water." As usual my answer is to explain, once again, that it's only a cartoon. No matter what he's watching there are questions about the reality of the show. Most shows including ones made for younger children raise questions. Help!!!!! How do I get through to his mind, real and not real?

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Donna - posted on 07/27/2010

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Toni, I just realized that this question is in the MofSNC section. I can't find my answer, yet, to modify it. My original answer is not really helpful to you since your son's level of taking things literal is more severe than my daughter's. She has been in the Gifted classes since Kindergarten and the teacher says that this type of literalism is "normal" for children like her, but it sounds like you are dealing with more than that. However, there is NOTHING on tv, video, radio, etc., that will not inspire questions.



You have my prayers for patience :)

Donna



Now I can see my original post :)

Donna - posted on 07/27/2010

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When he asks "dumb questions" ask him a few in return to find out what the REAL question is. Don't make him stop asking questions. Also, some things that happen on shows and movies mirror things that can happen in real life. If he's not able to ask you to quide him, then he will ask someone else and do you trust what others will teach him?

Also, be glad he has the ability to annoy you with questions. Some parents would love to have that problem. It took my son 4 years to get to the point where almost everyone can understand him. He's 7 now. Before he was 4 years old, we couldn't understand what he was saying. He's been in speech therapy since age 3. Now I can't get him to stop :) I am so happy about it that I don't ask him to be quiet if it's just me and him. I love the sound of him talking and asking questions.

EVERYTHING my kids watch encourages questions. They watch Spongebob, Wubbzy, Diego, Nature Shows, Medical Shows. It doesn't matter what they watch, they ask questions. Our 10 year old daughter and 7 year old son know the difference between reality and fantasy. However, they will still ask things like "Can Spongebob live out of water?" When I remind them it's a cartoon, my daughter usually replies "I MEANT, can A SPONGE live out of water? What IS a sponge?" Sometimes she says "I know, but WHAT IF...?" She likes hypothetical conversations AND she is very literal. If I say "Get your shoes on" and she's wearing her "Sunday Best" most people will expect her to get her dress shoes on. She'll put on her flip-flops and then tell me "you didn't say it HAD to be the dress shoes."

While I get frustrated with her literalism, I also let her ask her "dumb questions" because she usually is aiming at something else. She is very curious and always asking "what if?". I do not want to break that. She has already decided on her career choice: She wants to be a zoologist who majors in herpetology (snakes and lizards). She is always asking questions about everything under the sun and we encourage her to "look it up" in books and on the computer (with supervision). Our son is very much like her and we encourage him to explore and experiment, as well. He enjoys inventing and plans to be a Train Engineer. Because we will answer questions even if we're annoyed by them, they are willing to talk to us about anything, even embarassing body questions. If we don't know the answer or want to find age appropriate answers, my husband and I say "Let me think think about that a bit. I'll give you an answer after I figure it out how to answer that."

Enjoy him while he still wants your answers :)

Loveingmyhubby - posted on 07/17/2010

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it seeem's like everthing is literally not good anymore for kid's to watch tv i mean in that case why is it even worth worrying over? i mean if they have cable then when you arent around how do we know what they are watching they can say and tell you anything right?

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