Sunday, August 14, 2011

Passing Down the Habits

My son is like all small children, in that he likes to watch movies, etc. over and over and over and over and over and over. He's seen the movie UP about 400,000,000 times just in the past month, for instance!

I's only been about 200,000,000 times.

We have tried many times to get Zane to watch other movies instead of the same one a kajillion times, finally resorting to telling him that the movie is in time out. For instance, Finding Nemo is currently in time out because Nemo did not listen to his father. The Toy Story movies are all doing time because the toys didn't put themselves away when they were done playing. Up is on the shelf because that little boy did not ask his mother for permission to head to South America. My son is learning valuable life lessons from the 'punishment' of his dvd collection.

I understand that kids have to watch movies repeatedly. I know that it is developmentally appropriate to repeat a task over and over again. I did the same thing with my Donny Osmond records. At least until they disappeared under 'mysterious circumstances' and somehow ended up on the top shelf of my parents' closet.

What I find interesting is that after about 10 minutes of watching, my son starts playing with his toys, wandering around the house and following me around. He seems completely oblivious to the television and what is on it, so I turn it off. The second the television is off or the channel is changed, Zane comes running, hollering that he was watching that. Huh?

Are viewing habits genetic? My husband has to be sitting right there in front of the television from the second the show starts. He cannot handle missing any part of the sequence of events; it completely ruins his enjoyment of the show. He enjoys watching the shows that he likes multiple times, and will buy the blu-rays of his favorites. On the other hand, I wander about while watching television, doing laundry and various brief tasks. I am pretty good about extrapolating what is happening, so it doesn't bother me if I miss a bit here and there. You can even tell me the end first, and I will still enjoy what comes before it. But there are very few movies or television shows that I want to watch more than once.

I focus more on the conversations and the people in books. Too many extraneous details(as if people stand around counting the windows on buildings!) make my eyes cross. I skim those parts to get to the meat of the story. I read submersively, from beginning to end, without a break. Once I read a book, unless it is an absolutely awesome book(such as Lonesome Dove) on a colossal scale, I am not likely to read it again. There are too many books and too little time for me to go back.

My husband, on the other hand, reads very slowly. He reads every single word painstakingly, sticking his mind into the smallest detail and committing them to memory. If he loves a book, he reads it again and again, until that particular book becomes a part of him. For example, Larry can quote Tolkien because he's read all the books so many times. He's currently rereading the books of A Song of Ice and Fire, just so he can then read A Dance With Dragons with the previous books still fresh in his mind.

My son isn't really old enough to have habits, but he seems to be taking after his father in the book reading. Whatever book he is 'reading'(meaning that Dad or Mom read to him) must be read repeatedly. Zane can repeat, almost word for word, the book When Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, and he points out specific details in the pictures on the pages, like the fact that the dinosaur got water on the floor while taking a bath, and his Mama was going to be mad. I think that is pretty awesome, whether it is genetic or not.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing the differences! We have some movies on high rotation right now. MegaMind is big right now. Funny thing is, for us, Alex can't watch the movie the first time. He wonders from room to room. Only after the first take will he sit down. Even then it's only for about 10 minutes!


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