mirai y (zafikel@hotmail.com)
Tue, 07 Mar 2000 23:30:05 EST


>From: "Federico Makabenta" <yenm@iconn.com.ph>
>
>
>Taking it from Tabby's pov, I wonder how kids would look or interpret
>Gundam
>Wing then? I mean, the images of Heero sacrificing his body to pilot the
>Wing Zero or the so-called "terrorist acts" they do are powerful ones. Will
>they just simply look at the kewl robots, or draw great insight from the
>story?

I waited a bit to reply to this message thread, because I wanted to see what
my 7-yr. old's reaction to Gundam W was. (He's seen it in Japanese before,
but he only understands rudimentary Japanese)

His comments: "Haven't I seen this before?" "Oh, yeah, it's Gundam... tell
me when the robots come out." He really liked the part when the Gundams
came out - "Oh cool! I have that guy! I have that one, too!" (anticipating
his interest, I had given him the models for Christmas and he's been playing
with them ;) He had no interest whatsoever in what the characters had to say
to each other...

Haven't been able to make my 13 yr. old watch it yet... I can't pry him off
the computer. (Sadly, he's not a big anime fan - he did like Escaflowne,
though)

Anyway, as a mom of 2 boys and family practice physician (we really delve
into touchy-feel-y psychosocial issues), I've dealt with lots of families
from all walks of life. Kids who act out violently have deeper
psychological issues than just "violence in the media". Well-adjusted kids
from stable families do not beat up or shoot other kids because they "saw it
on TV". We often hear from the extremist parents who believe all kids
should be protected from all violence on TV. The truth is, most parents
really don't care if their kids watch somewhat violent shows. I know many
parents who think nothing of letting their 5 yr. old watch extremely violent
R-rated movies.

I've always taken the middle approach, which is, I let my kids watch some
violent shows but do set limits. (e.g. Power Rangers was OK for my then 4
yr. old, Robocop movie with actual blood and gore was not) We talked about
what "real" and what's "pretend". Most Japanese moms also take this
approach (hence, the plethora of "violent" Japanese kiddie shows). Little
kids are allowed to "rough-house" much more than their American counterparts
but learn what really hurts and what doesn't. They see it as an acceptable
way of getting their aggressions out.

I think many Americans are too quick to point to the "media" and "society"
as the root of their kids' problems, but it's individual families that make
up society and if each is functioning well, society as a whole would also be
less violent.

My 34-yr. old brother says "I grew up on Power Ranger, Ultraman, and anime
and I turned out OK" (On the other hand, he's a Pathologist...)

OK, enough ranting!
mirai

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