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Am I overprotective or is my kid oversensitive?

This is mostly in regards to movies/TV/Media.

My oldest DD is 3 and I try to limit what she can watch. If it makes me uncomfortable for her to see it I don't let her watch it again and I avoid those types of movies/shows/etc.

For instance, I took her to see Toy Story 3, and IMO it was way too grown up a movie for a 3 year old. Too many "scary" scenes, too many, nearly adult situations and just all together a bit too intense for a kids movie.

She cried at the beginning of UP when the wife passed away. She get's petrified when an intense scene comes on TV.

She always says no if I ask her if she's scared, and she understands what's going on in the scene. I've been saying she's just overly empathic but now I'm wondering if she's picking up subconsciously these feelings from me. I do try very hard to not show I'm concerned. Hmm, that doesn't sound right... I don't know how to rephrase that though.

So, what do you think?


Asked by Xynyth at 7:49 PM on Jul. 8, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (15)
  • I think we as parents are worried that our kids will grow up to fast- Just look around!!! Junior high girls wearing make up and going on real dates! We want to avoid this with our babys!! I would also say that you may be worrying a tiny bit to much, they dont get the little jokes in Shrek that we do or the "almost" adult parts in Toy Story. But she is your baby!! You get to say what she watches, she came from you!!!

    Answer by ashley_hatty at 7:55 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • Some things are part of life and she needs to learn them in a gentle manner. I think Up showed Ellie's death gently. Did she cry at Lion King when Mustafa died? that Circle of Life theme was important. Of course don't push the fact that it was a form of Shakepear's Hamlet where the uncle killed the brother and married his sister! That might be too much for a three year old!

    Answer by admckenzie at 8:02 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • She may be sensitive, but, I believe you might have planted a tiny bug in her ear that she should be scared instead of they aren't real and it's ok and fun.

    I know kids whose mom's had them convinced they would be scared and have nightmares if they watched a scary movie. And the mom was shocked a little kid like mine had no issues with them. Well, when said kid was 10, she finally caved and thought she better get him out of that and not scared to watch them because she felt embarrassed for him. Turns out, he was fine and never had an issue.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 7:53 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • Whenever something comes onto the TV that I don't think my kids should a commercial for a movie coming out.....I tense up and look at my kids to see if they're watching it. As soon as they see me looking at them they turn around and start watching the TV.......I've stopped doing that and now they don't even notice what's on.

    She probably picks a lot of it up from you. Kids are very perceptive and they know when we're tense or if something is wrong.

    Answer by colethky at 7:54 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • I am unsure as my kids seem completely unaffected as I do not shield them from anything short of X rated. They have watched Saw with me and they didn't understand that the old lady died in UP.

    Answer by ashisamom at 7:54 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • While I understand with you wanting her world to be rainbows and sunshine--that's not reality. I agree with admckenzie, she needs to learn this in a gentle manner. I understand your reluctance, but learning it while she is young will shield her from the harsh realities of it when she is older and it might not be so gentle no matter how hard you try at that point.

    Answer by layh41407 at 8:07 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • It's hard to really answer this based simply on the few lines you've shared here. It's possible she's a sensitive child and it's also possible that she's picking up on your tension.

    Regarding the movies - my kids are now 8 and almost-6. We avoided some programs when they were younger - still so. We do see a lot of kid movies. Most of them are made at two levels. The studios have been doing this for ages as a way to entertain the adults that get dragged in by the kids. If they can appeal to us AND the kids they are more likely to sell tickets. The jokes we get or see as 'suggestive' go right over the kid's heads. They see it at face value. We see it as cynical adults. Children's movies have also almost never been all rainbows and sunshine. My Disney past? Snow White? Bambi? Talk about sad and scary. ;) But they had lessons about life in a cartoon wrapping paper. We saw. We talked. We moved on and remembered the happy parts.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 11:33 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • I'm thinking that maybe you should start watching the movie before you let her see it.
    someone asked about toy story 3 on another question and I said that I wouldn't take kids to it.
    I don't know who got the idea that up was for kids- i regret seeing it, it was WAY too sad!

    Answer by ItsMe89 at 7:58 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • My son is 5 years old and saw Toy Story 3 he was so upset at one particular part that he actually screamed and told me he wanted to go home. I gently talked him through the one particular part of the movie and he was okay. I just think my son is emotional as some children are more then others. I could actually see the geniune concern on the look in his face at some parts of the movie. I found some parts of the movie disturbing for children.

    Answer by Kellyjude1 at 9:31 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • (cont) I see nothing wrong with making choices for your toddler/preschooler. We did, as I said. On the other hand, as a parent, I also keep in mind that as kids we were not privvy to the sunshiney world of gentle programming that is Sprout, Playhouse Disney and Noggin/Nick Jr. We had Sesame Street. Oh, and we had Bugs Bunny battling it out with Elmer Fudd and Coyote trying to kill off Roadrunner. (my kids LOVE the old Looney Toon shows! We have the DVDs.) Preschools encourage parents to share nursery rhymes with their children as an 'pre-literacy" building block. It helps build skills through their sing-songy delivery, rhyming and ease of committing to memory. Have you ever really listened, though, to those stories? They can be scary too. My point is, the fact that a child's movie has some tension isn't a new or ever a bad thing. It's quite normal - outside of the world of Noggin. ;)

    Answer by ldmrmom at 11:39 PM on Jul. 8, 2010