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i struggle with parenting and where to go to for suggestions as i have no onw here. i rely on my own research as i have no one to defer to. does anyone else struggle in this way? i do not value TV, we do not have the kids watch it. we also do not buy many gifts for birthdays or holidays. we value exercise and eating a healthy veg*n diet. i do not like barbie dolls because i feel that it sets up girls to feel unhealthy about what they should look like. i do not value guns in any form. i also feel that the way people parenyt their kids has a graet effect on how society is going. and i feel that a huge downfall in society is how we all choose to parent our kids. society has taken a big spiral downward, and i suspect that this will continue. what the f*ck happened to social niceties??? nobody cares for their neighbor and on and on and on. anyone else feel in this manner?
 

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My son is only 9 months old, so I have not had to deal with all the commercialism yet. I would say I am mainstream in the sence that I am pretty materialistic. However, I am bringing up my son and hopefully future daughter as vegetarians. I would like to teach them to be polite and respectful of all living creatures. I am going to fight commercialism by using my Tivo to zap commercials. I heard that if you dont let your kids watch commercials then they are not as prone to ask for everything in the toy store.<br><br><br><br>
I think every parent struggles with choices, especially if they do not have other parental support in those decisions. When I was a teenager it was difficult for me to have a curfew because none of my friends had one. But my brother did not have a problem because all of his friends had one. So it was easier on my parents to discipline my brother because the other parents had the same values as they did.
 

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Well, I have some pretty cool neighbors, but I know it's not always so great. Society's become to overgrown. People are overwhelmed. Information overload. Over-everything. Leads to wanting to just avoid everything and to not think, but to accept what you're told. I leads at not wanting to have to work at relationships. It leads to abdicating responsibility.<br><br><br><br>
I think some of us, and I've noticed a lot of vegans, particularly at this board, have not abdicated their lives to this overload, and have found a way to manage it and take some control over our lives. But a lot of people have not. I see people struggling with it everyday and I hope that, as society, someday we can free ourselves.
 

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I pretty much agree with everything you say, except for the downward spiral part. When did this utopia from which contemporary society spiralled exist? I think that, for a couple thousand years now, existence has been rather dismal.<br><br><br><br>
>>i do not value TV, we do not have the kids watch it. >><br><br><br><br>
This can be only a good thing. Television drives impulsive consumerism, encourages the herd-mentality, and wastes so much time.<br><br><br><br>
>>we also do not buy many gifts for birthdays or holidays. >><br><br><br><br>
This can be so hard to do, especially when our social relations are so often mediated by mass-produced commodities.<br><br><br><br>
>>i do not like barbie dolls because i feel that it sets up girls to feel unhealthy about what they should look like. >><br><br><br><br>
When and if I have kids, I can't see myself giving them barbies. They are both a symptom of and help to enforce a long-standing tradition of gender-oppression. On the other hand, I believe in freedom of thought, so I dunno what I'd do if my daughter or son spontaneously asked for me to give her or him a barbie.<br><br><br><br>
>>nobody cares for their neighbor and on and on and on. >><br><br><br><br>
I think that since our social relations are mediated by commodities, people find themselves alienated from each other. When people are bound together through only common purchases, they loose touch. Compassion, empathy, and understanding become a challange.<br><br><br><br>
ebola
 

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Our family is pretty different from others I know. We're vegan, don't really watch t.v. ( no cable- but we do watch the Simpsons ) I plan on homeschooling our son, ect. and so on. In the beginning, I wasn't going to allow my son to play with toy guns, but my husband did when he was young, and he's a healthy-minded vegan adult. He also had his parents love, time and attention, as does our son. I know this is a big dividing line with a lot of people. I would never allow a real gun in my home. If we had a daughter, I might be interested to find a better female figure than Barbie.<br><br><br><br>
It seems though that people are way to busy and self-involved to give a crap about their effect on someone else. We just try to do the best , and extend that lesson to our son.
 

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In regards to Barbie dolls- I was a huge barbie fan. I loved to play with them until I was like, 13 or 14 and I dont think it altered my body image or made me believe I was less than a man. Actually, I loved turning everyday objects into barbie furniture and I loved dressing them up. I have always been a girly-girl, but I dont think it was the barbies that made me that way, I wanted the barbies because I was already that way. As for body image, barbie is but one drop in the bucket of insecurity that girls are going to have to deal with. I never wanted big boobs because barbie had them, I wanted big boobs because EVERYBODY has them-on tv, in the movies, in magazines, on the street, etc. But I still have my small boobs and I have learned how to deal with that insecurity. Anyway, I look fondly at my memories of playing with barbie, and I just dont think that they were harmful in any way- kind of like punkmommy's husband letting her child play with fake guns because he played with them. JMHO.
 

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i'm with beach about the barbie issue. sometimes, i still play with them. and my sister and i played soem pretty liberal games with our barbies such as:<br><br><br><br>
lesbian/bisexual barbies<br><br>
gay ken<br><br>
cross dressing ken and the back up back of drag king barbies<br><br><br><br>
we had a thing for L-G-B-T issues and concerns. We had ardent feminists barbies who worked hard at tough jobs and demanded equal pay ofr equal work. it was an interseting play.<br><br><br><br>
TV can be a problem, but some TV can be good. there are a number of excellent education programs on television that children may find interesting, and may broaden their horizons beyond school books or the activities that we participate in. I remember growing up watching a lot of PBS, Nova, Scientific American, any nature show that i could get my hands on--and even travel shows, which piqued my interest in world cultures.<br><br><br><br>
It's not *all* bad. Are there problems? sure, but sometimes complete abstainance is not the best policy. Rather, teaching children how to make choices regarding "good tv" and "bad tv" and "good body image" and "bad body image" or whatever. . .is part of a parent's roll.<br><br><br><br>
I think it's great that you are into a healthy lifestyle. I think it's great if your kids are active in a number of outdoors or active activities. It's awesome! i like to be active too! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> And if you decide that no tv is the way to go--more power to you! if you decide no barbies is the way to go--more power to you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
I think you'll find your way. And if you live in a large enough community, you'll find other parents like you. most of them hang out around organic food coops, quaker meetings and unitarian churches, health food stores, funky little arts and craft fairs, and folk music festivals. So, it's very likely that you can find someone, in one of those venues, who has interests and parenting ideals similar to your own! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Be well and happy!
 

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Lets see...yes and no I'd say.<br><br><br><br>
I don't like barbies because they 'objectify' women. My daughter ADORES them. Or did at one time. At first she got them from friends and family members <sigh>, and finally one or two from me (though I still don't barbie shop with her or encourage her to be interested in barbies)...She really is just a full blown girl and I am not...well I'm a girl okay, I have boobs, I'm just not and have never been terribly girly.<br><br><br><br>
TV...Madison and I have a deal about the TV. We don't watch during the week...and if she wants, she can turn it on on the weekends. People think this is really harsh, but it's so funny because since we started turning it off, more and more often she simply isn't interested. Sometimes on Saturdays I ask her if she wants to watch a movie, and more than half the time she says, "No Mom, I'd rather play."<br><br><br><br>
Madison is five and she's a master of the monkey bars...she can do tricks like no other kids I've seen. Why? We go to the park and play. I look at other girls her age who can't even hang yet...or some kids who are her age and already too overweight. You know, it make me sad. And it isn't their fault. They are really too young to be held responsible for that kind of thing.<br><br><br><br>
I practice and teach nonviolence to my daughter. However we do have some rather non-gun looking squirt guns. I think if water were the only thing to ever come from a pistol...we'd all be a lot happier <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)">.<br><br><br><br>
Social graces...the best way to teach your child good manners is to practice good manners. Children model what they see parents and other adults doing (which is a BIG problem if you ask me...in society as we know it)<br><br><br><br>
I'm a teacher (teaching assistant at present) so rather than trying to lay blame on parents...which is really not helpful...I try and invite parents I'm in contact with into a different way of looking at things. Many parents are as they are...do as they do because that is what they were taught to do. In order to be/do differently, they sometimes need to learn a different way. If helping the parent doesn't work, then I change my approach and invite the child into seeing there's another way.<br><br><br><br>
Children are our future. It's SO important to teach them well and invest our time and energy into making our world a better place by setting a good example...leading our children into a better world.<br><br><br><br>
Act humbly,<br><br>
live differently<br><br>
love completely<br><br><br><br>
B
 

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Oh...a funny about the TV. Last weekend when Madison DID sit down for a while and watch cartoons she made a very astute discovery. She had watched something for about thirty minutes before she said, "Mom, all this tv makes me want to eat and have more barbies!"--all the commercials. Normally we watch pbs shows, so when she sees network, she's still not used to all the commercialism. LOL, I really cracked up. I was watching with her so I suddenly noticed that the last half dozen commercials had been barbie or various junk foods.<br><br><br><br>
B
 

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We're raising 5 children in a simple fashion. Unfortunately, they all have followed Dad's lead with diet and eat meat when they can get it. I try not to bring it/allow it in the the house. DH seems to be opening up to veggie more and more though, so I have hope.<br><br><br><br>
We have a TV, used primarily for vidoes/DVD's that we have purchased using our "family friendly" guide. TV can be a tool, or a trial depending upon how you use it.<br><br><br><br>
We get small gifts for birthdays and Christmas, the kids love to get their Mindware stuff!<br><br><br><br>
We don't do Barbie for our 1 daughter and not simply because of the false body, but the whole Barbie "thing" is about materialism. "Gotta get the 'vetter, the dream house, the clothes..."<br><br><br><br>
We garden together, play together, particiapte in sports, cook together.<br><br><br><br>
We're trying to teach our children that what it's "all about" is realtionships, not accumulation of material goods and money. We're pretty strong Catholics, and feel the "culture of death" of the US is the tendency to place importance on production (wealth, goods) rather than value people. It becomes pretty easy to marginalize people, kill them even, to hurt the enviornment and animals etc, when one values getting stuff more than caring for themselves and others. Wacko priorities, imo.
 

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I need to defend Barbie for a moment. I had 3 barbies growing up and none interferred with my self-image or my imagination.<br><br><br><br>
Using halloween makeup, I used to camo the barbies up and they'd rescue Bear, who was being held captive by the evil Bunny.<br><br><br><br>
I wanted the barbie house, so I could turn it into a hotel or perhaps a house of ill-repute. (I'd like to add I didn't know what went on in brothels, but they seemed cool at 7 years old). Sometimes my barbies were poor street girls and would beg from the other toys for monopoly money.<br><br><br><br>
No wonder people used to say I was different....
 

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When I was a kid we were so poor my sister and I would get barbies out of a trash dump to have something to play with. I would take my one legged barbie and cover her in mud and pretend that she was stuck in a land slide. Then, I would drop her in the horse trough and rescue her just before her head sunk. I would pretend she was in the ocean and was being rescued from drowning. So...Krista...you weren't the only strange one. I had a couple of nice barbies, but those NEVER saw the great outdoors. Barbies were a luxury in my home, so I took great care of the good ones I did manage to get. I had a lot of pitiful dolls that came from that trash dump.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by smedley</i><br><br><b>anyone else feel in this manner?</b></div>
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Yes, and I agree with almost everything.<br><br><br><br>
I disagree with epski on the "information overload", I think there is alot of information around, but people choose to ignore it.<br><br><br><br>
There are more sitcoms on TV than documentairies.<br><br><br><br>
(yes typo)
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by 1vegan</i><br><br><b>Yes, and I agree with almost everything.<br><br><br><br>
I disagree with epski on the "information overload", I think there is alot of information around, but people choose to ignore it.<br><br><br><br>
There are more sitcoms on TV than documentairies.<br><br><br><br>
(yes typo)</b></div>
</div>
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Wow. That's some hardcore research you just used to refute something heavily studied. LOL.<br><br><br><br>
You're welcome to disagree with me, but information overload is documented fact, not a hypothesis I just pulled out of my <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/moonpie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":moonpie:">.<br><br><br><br>
I'll have to go gather some studies the next time I have some time. The point is not that people ignore information. They're overloaded by the wealth of information out there, which often conflicts, thanks to subversive agendas. It's that they're programmed to accept information from certain paths, especially the path of least resistance.
 

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I'm going to jump on the "defending Barbie" bandwagon. I had Barbie's growing up and played with them LOTS and I don't think it had anything to do with my self-esteem issues. My issues came instead from the kids I went to school with--seems like all adolescence is just insulting other kids all day long.<br><br><br><br>
Kristadb--you're not alone. My friends and I used to play Barbie and Star Wars together--my Western Barbie and Han Solo were one hot item, let me tell you!
 

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What a thought provoking thread.<br><br><br><br>
ON SOCIAL NICETIES... It has to start somewhere and often I find that it must start with me. I cannot waste emotion wondering where the love is. I am the one who must be aware of who in the neighborhood has suffered a loss and could use a pie and a visit. I am the one who must holler hello over the fence. I am the one who needs to bring cookies at Christmas, fuss over neighbor kids, and keep the kettle hot. It opens doors to hearts and often they respond in kind.<br><br><br><br>
ON GUNS AND BARBIES I am neutral. My brother and I were the only kids in our neighborhood for a number of years growing up. On rainy days we played dolls with the tea set and played Barbies under the table with the blanket on it to make a "house." On nice days we played trucks in the garden or whatever ball was in season. We had guns but never toy guns; we were not even allowed to aim water guns at each other. My dad was and is a hunter who wanted us to take weapons seriously. When we played army or "Daniel Boone" it was with sticks or finger guns. We always found a way.<br><br><br><br>
Much to my shock, my father in law bought ping-pong ball guns for all the kids and they would have wars. I was troubled at first but my boys loved that time with him. They also had water wars in the summer that involved a heavy arsenal of "guns." These days the cousins all love to get together for paint ball and talk of what grandpa would have done. None of them have the least desire to kill or hurt people, though they do get a little crazy when they drive. I'm the guilty one for teaching them to race and 4-wheel.<br><br><br><br>
ON BIRTHDAY GIFTS... I agree that less is more. However the aunts and grandmas did not agree while my children were growing up. The prince and I liked to let the child choose his favorite meal and cake. We would make a point of making a celebration of the day rather then a wrapping paper ripping bash that was too soon over. We would play with them, get out the best china and cake plate, spend the morning at the beach, go for a ferry ride, they even enjoyed going to a construction site just to see the big trucks. My husband worked in the woods at the time and often the boys thought the best treat in the world was going to the woods after hours with dad to climb all over those huge bulldozers and log-loaders. They are grown now but still love the pictures I have of them in the drivers seat of those huge rigs. The day is about so much more then stuff.<br><br><br><br>
When there were too many gifts, I gave them a day to see what they were most interested in, then put the rest away. Later if they had the flue or we were snowed in without power I would bring out one on the hidden gifts. It was a way to add color to a dull tedious day.<br><br><br><br>
ON TV... what freedom to not need it! My children did not have TV growing up because of an incident were my oldest was watching a soap that was on when a woman was raped, and at the tender age of six he wanted me to explain why that lady was crying when that man was kissing her. I had considering getting rid of it already but that put the thing out the door that day. Besides, we are Christians and the anti Christian propaganda on those things can make even me cringe about my fellow believers when I know different.<br><br><br><br>
Question everything!
 

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Well, we refuse to have cable (everyone in AZ has it practically), we maintain a vegetarian home (OMG! Do you live on tofu??!! NO!), and we have never and will never get our son toys like Guns, GI Joe, etc. Funny, he's still turning out to be a normal, healthy, active, intelligent, well-adjusted little boy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
As to barbie, what can I say? I had several, and they did everything from being mommies to ruling kingdoms to building rocketships and cities on mars :p. I think Barbie is fine for girls that are a little older to explore imaginitive play, but I think a littler girl's baby-dolls should look like babies, and she should move on to other dollies when she's a little older.<br><br>
A *baby* dolly encourages so much gentleness and caring and the beginnings of responsibilities. Under loving guidance, it teaches her to be careful, to cuddly tiny things close, to take good care of them. Of course, things like trains and trucks and wagons are also excellent toys for a little girl. I still remember wrapping up my baby dolly in a pretty blanket, then laying her carefully in the bed of my big metal Tonka Truck to go racing around the yard.
 
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