Exploring the Impact of Kids on Hollywood: Perspectives from Different Ages

  • Thread starter Whipley Snidelash
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  • #1
Why does Hollywood think that kids want to watch kids on television or movies? I preferred watching my TV heroes, Flash Gordon (Steve Holland), Superman (truth, justice and the American way, lol it used to actually be true back then) and Tarzan. And I certainly don’t enjoy watching children most of the time on television now (there are notable exceptions like the Goonies). Mostly because I looked forward to becoming an adult and having adult toys and privileges (I graduated in 69 and everybody in my class was a virgin when they graduated). It makes me wonder though if this is a change in our society.

Modern society has basically given our children everything that, in my time, they had to be an adult for. With no regard for the social consequences by the way and I think there are some, like the teenage suicide rate. They have little reason to look forward to being an adult anymore, at least not like we did. So I think they might be less interested in watching adults on television or movies because they essentially are already.

Anyway my question is this, I’m 70, how old are you and what do you think about it?

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  • #2
My bet is that they don't "think", they do market research on focus groups and base their decisions on that.
  • #3
I’m 31. I’ve helped raise children and have my own. Children learn quite a bit learn from other children and are usually fascinated with children that are slightly older. It presents a healthy challenge and learning from other children is a vital part of growth and development (picking up skills, behaviors, “cool” ideas etc). Watching other children on TV is like an extended form of play. I’ve noticed that my daughter gets many ideas from watching other kids on TV, it motivates her to learn new skills and she sometimes directly applies it to when she does get around other kids. Moderate consumption of TV can help boost a child’s imagination and creativity.

Children are highly and often overwhelmingly motivated to observe and interact with other children- watching them on TV has a similar effect. Why would a child want to play with an adult at the adults level? While I wasn’t very sociable as a child and preferred adult activities, the norm across most cultures is that children stick together in groups and play (learn). It’s very important for developing socio-emotional intelligence, self-esteem, and helps sharpen self-awareness. It’s healthy for a child to have little interest in adults. When I was staying at home with my daughter, I sometimes had to wait at parks for a kid to finally arrive. Kids usually get enthusiastic and joyful when meeting another kid. Mine would run straight up to one and claim it as hers. It was like,“hello, I don’t care about your name or who you are, but what can you do? Let’s challenge each other and learn something cool”

Children can also relax and be more themselves around other children- it’s validating. With adults, they face a lot of judgement and it can be outright stifling to their spirit to constantly be forced to behave and think like adults, which they cannot usually comprehend yet- that is invalidating to their existence. Even though you were motivated to grow up, it’s common for children to be afraid of getting older. They see adults doing all these impressive things and compare it to their own level, and it can be overwhelming because in the mind of a child as they see it as impossible to ever achieve. For example, my almost 9 year old daughter is even afraid of driving one day. She just doesn’t understand yet, that she has to take baby steps to achieve that.

As far as the problems in society you are referring to, I don’t think that TV is the problem.

The problem may be that children aren’t being presented with the variety of consistent healthy challenges that we had growing up (essential for self growth and life long self-started learning/growth) and then there is the flip-side where some parents are hyper vigilant on the child’s performance (with there being problems in social-emotional development). Either so much is handed to them that they miss out on enriching experiences only earned through overcoming challenges or they are forced to grow up too fast under pressure that is inappropriate for their age. There is also less opportunity for free play with other children than we had. Their lives are super-structured nowadays.

I recall reading about a young boy that committed suicide because he lost control of his temper during play and broke another game system. To evade another confrontation with his father, he hung himself. He was said to have been highly talented and intelligent. However, there were emotional instability issues he suffered from. If socio-emotional challenges/growth are absent in development then I imagine kids may feel confused about how the world works and be unable to find a sense of meaning and place in the world, as well as being unable to bond with parents. That might make them vulnerable to extreme and uncontrollable feelings of shame, anger, confusion, insecurity, and other fear-based emotions (which are precursors to suicide). When a child commits suicide we know that they lacked comprehension of the consequences from it. It’s the saddest thing in the world to me.

It truly takes a village to raise a child.
-They need a stable and healthy bond with a caregiver that provides basic survival needs and is emotionally nurturing.
-They need the growth and validation offered by activity and friendships with other children.
-They need slightly older mentors and they also need the opportunity to mentor other children to develop both compassion, empathy, and self-esteem.
-Adult mentors like family and school teachers
-And even with all that, a different kind of adult mentor, one that deals with the child one-on-one is said to be highly protective and can offer some of the most growth. Like a coach or someone specifically helping the child develop into who they want to be. It helps the child to individualize and form an identity other than the parents/family/peers they are set off with. It allows children to break paths set for them by others/what they were born into. Say, the child has pressure to be military, but is artistically talented and finds meaning in becoming something else. This mentor helps them break free or the child is academically inclined but has pressure/expectations from dozens of people to become a laborer.
-A safe environment and community. Free of war and economical hardships.

And another important thing, the value of being giving, kind, and generous. The opportunities to give to other children and adults are almost absent nowadays. And life gets so hard, that nothing helps people more than being able to adjust their perspectives when it gets tough and focusing on others helps us find a more objective and wholesome perspective. It’s essential for learning to practice gratitude, that we are aware of what others are dealing with and that we can find that we can love our lives regardless of what failure, hardship, or challenge that we are dealing with. To realize that life isn’t over when accidentally breaking a video game. Loving and forgiving others helps us be more gentle on ourselves. Even if I had nothing at all, I know that my kindness can have value to others. There is always a reason to live for. Life is so fast-paced for kids these days that we aren’t being mindful that they aren’t being offered opportunities for the social-emotional growth that is vital to instilling values and setting these confused children off in life with no idea how to practice virtues. Humans have a natural instinct that they want to be better, but we aren’t even equipping them with the tools to get there- and mainstream is often contradictory to those values.

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