�There are some people who, in order not to pray, use an excuse the fact that life is so hectic that it prevents them from praying. This cannot be�Prayer does not demand that we interrupt our work, but that we continue working as if it were a prayer�It is not necessary to always be meditating, nor to consciously experience the sensation that we are talking to God, no matter how nice this would be�.What matters is being with Him, living in Him, in His will. To love with a pure heart, to love everybody, especially to love the poor, is a twenty-four hour prayer.� ~Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
It is interesting. My girls know Disney, quite a bit of it. They also know Thomas the Tank Engine, Sesame Street and Mario Bros. They also know book characters like Olivia, Mike Mulligan, Clifford, etc. They also have general animal and dinosaur figures. And, while occasionally they play by the plots of the stories in which they learned of the character, that is not usually the case. It isn’t unusual to see Bowser, the Scarecrow, Cinderella, Noah and a dinosaur all in the same story. (It is why we find figurines in our shoes, beds, fridge, etc.)
I admit that characters whose names the girls know do not often change, but that hasn’t stopped them from naming more generic figures. Cecilia tends not to be quite as creative as Felicity does in this regard. Felicity tells me almost daily about her imaginary “girls” (whether that means daughters or friends I’m not sure, but sometimes she calls one her baby, so I assume daughters). Anna is a common name for one. “Shinah” (I’m not sure how to spell it but the “i” is long) is another. I don’t even know where she got that name. Sometimes she talks on the phone to them, other times she names her stuffed animals after them and makes them beds in her own bed.
So, on the one hand, I haven’t experienced what you describe when it comes to “following the script” of the characters but, on the other hand, I have also seen noticeable differences in the way my girls expand and create. Felicity is definitely my most creative (so far) whereas Cecilia is my super-inquisitive athlete. So, while I certainly think knowing the script can have effects, I really think how much of an effect depends on the personality of the child and to what degree the child is saturated with it.
I can’t really fault Cecilia either. She has a constant desire to learn things. Just recently, as I’ve been planning her school year, she has asked to learn about dinosaurs, outer space, insects, and, just this morning, mud. (We will be doing the first three, but I think mud will be an outside play experiment ) I think her personality is just driven more toward learning facts and exploring than creating. Felicity on the other hand is, as I type this, having a toy phone acting as a truck threatening to run over a girl. She prefers to make up songs (Oh I LOVE when she does that!) and stories. I’m not sure how their personalities could be more different! (It makes me so curious to see how Elizabeth’s personality is different!)
That said, we do try to avoid marketing campaigns. I’ve seen how the girls react when they see commercials geared towards them. It irritates me to no end. Hence we don’t watch any. We also don’t eat McDonalds and we usually avoid kids meals to avoid such toys and marketing, etc. (The exception being Chick Fil-A since they give books!)
Sorry if this is a bit scatter-brained. My “Mommy time” is nearing its end and I know it so my thoughts are a bit garbled.
I’m not into marketing at all either- it is much easier when one doesn’t watch commercial tv- my little kids don’t even know the name McDonald’s- I call it the ‘fry store’ when we go there (as rarely as possible)
My son is WAY into Cars, so he knows Mater and the rest of the characters. He spends hours with this play vehicles, which he may or may call by the name Disney gave them during his play, and has elaborate rescue scenarios involving all his cars and trucks.
I don’t think it’s the marketing—I think it’s the kid (and the person in charge of the kid).
Oh, you’ve hit on one of my pet peeves… I wish so much that toy manufacturers didn’t feel the need to NAME every redacted thing they make. Even trendy toys, like Ugly Dolls do this – my sister gave GeekBaby and Ugly Doll dragon (which isn’t nearly dragon-y enough in my opinion; it looks like a big, flat, pea green bat) and even that stupid thing is named. Poe. What a perfectly awful name for a dragon!
While GeekBaby and I do watch a lot of movies, when he plays it’s more quoting or borrowing plot elements than just acting it out. Maybe it helps to watch things with more complex plots? I loathe kid programs and won’t let him watch them. They teach bad lessons anyway, in my opinion. He subsists on a heavily rationed media diet of Pixar, Wallace & Gromit, and the kid friendly Miyazaki films. Miyazaki is by far his favorite, which I guess works out the toy issue. We can’t get those movie toys here without exorbitant cost.
He’s not much for naming toys on his own, though. I don’t know if this is because he expects everything to already have names, or if it’s just that he’s still three and hasn’t reached that developmental stage yet. Maybe it’s a mix of both? He’s very stubborn about the world conforming to his expectations.
Hmmm, I don’t think I managed to say what I set out to say in this piece. I had an idea that I was trying to think through but from the comments by Katherine and cmh it’s clear that I haven’t thought it through well enough to make someone else understand what I was trying to get at. But that’s what this blogging thing is all about for me. I’m thinking out loud. Sometimes my thinking doesn’t make as much sense written out as it did when I was thinking it in my head.
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