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AIBU to think school shouldn't show this film to 6 year olds!

(38 Posts)
Figamol Wed 12-Oct-16 15:12:38

My 6 year old came home from school totally traumatised today after being shown a charity film of a detailed heart operation on a 2 year old African girl. She's been pale and crying since and even had to pick her up from the school reception as she was about to faint and had got one of her stress headaches.

How would you handle it? AIBU? Too late to do anything now! How to debrief her?!! Or ask the school to?!

BlackeyedSusan Wed 12-Oct-16 15:16:06

explain child could not feel anything due to anaesthetic and it is like being asleep.

explain child will be a lot better and able to do (insert activty your child likes, eg skipping) now they have mended her heart.

Figamol Wed 12-Oct-16 15:17:40

I'll have a go, but she was shown something I would never have let her see!!!

ICanCountToOneHundred Wed 12-Oct-16 15:18:03

Let her know that the little girl will be able to live a full life now and that some people are not as lucky as we are to have health care readily available. How detailed is detailed do you know what she saw exactly?

Figamol Wed 12-Oct-16 15:22:50

Yes I found the charity video online. It was the girl being taken to America and leaving her parents for over a month and then about 20 minutes in the operating room, close ups on the heart itself!!!

I'll see what I can explain but she's refusing to talk about it whilst lying on her bed in the dark!

ICanCountToOneHundred Wed 12-Oct-16 15:40:57

That does sound quite graphic especially the 20 mins in the OR. I think the same message could have been put across in a child friendly manner. Why was it shown are they doing a fundraiser at the school. It might be worth having a chat to her teacher, seeing as she was so upset by it.

Fusspilz Wed 12-Oct-16 16:05:26

Please don't say it's like being asleep - that could make her fearful of sleeping! Just tell her the doctors fixed a part of the girl that wasn't working so as to make her all better. Tell her it might have looked unpleasant, but the girl won't have been in any pain, and sometimes things look messy and unpleasant but don't feel that way at all. If she's just lying in bed not talking, is now maybe the time for a disney film treat so she has some other images to focus on and thing about? Maybe don't ask her to talk about it, just reassure her that it's nothing to worry about, and here's a cake as a treat and nice film smile

Fusspilz Wed 12-Oct-16 16:07:10

Oh, and tell her that having an illness that needs fixing in that way is very rare and not about to happen to her or anyone she knows. She may be thinking that this sort of thing is common and may happen to her!

Andro Wed 12-Oct-16 16:12:41

Let her decompress, then refocus on favourite dinner/programming/book. Trying to talk to her while she's stressed out will only make it worse, talk to her once she's calmed down - then found out which bit has done the damage.

I think her teacher also needs to know about this, that way adjustments can be made in future.

Andro Wed 12-Oct-16 16:13:40

Program, find etc...I loath auto correct!

pipsqueak25 Wed 12-Oct-16 16:15:59

plenty of adults wouldn't want to watch this stuff, let alone young kids [am ex nurse]

DurhamDurham Wed 12-Oct-16 16:22:54

For starters I'd get her up on off her bed, it won't help her lying there thinking about it in the dark. Do something fun with her, anything to distract her and then if she opens up you can have a conversation with her to put it into context.

myownprivateidaho Wed 12-Oct-16 16:25:18

In what context were they show a video with 20 mins in the operating theatre? that doesn't sound remotely child friendly, quite aside from the goriness of it. Comepletely weird, and yes I'd definitely raise it.

Ifailed Wed 12-Oct-16 16:29:24

What's the problem - it's about a young child, like your daughter, receiving medical treatment. Gore - it's her body?
Or are insides somehow disgusting, it's bad enough being judged by our outsides?

Note3 Wed 12-Oct-16 16:34:00

My children (5 & 7)love gory stuff and relish things like operation ouch and other medical stuff. That said this video sounds fairly graphic??

I've explained to my children that Dr's give ppl a special medicine which is like being asleep so they don't feel anything but they wake up as soon as they take the medicine away.

seminakedinsomebodyelsesroom Wed 12-Oct-16 16:35:24

Have you tried to google the film to see it for yourself, so you know what she saw? It might help you to talk it through with her.

I agree a bit of distraction will probably help. And a dose of calpol for the headache.

BearGryllsHasaBigRope Wed 12-Oct-16 16:40:10

I can't believe how many think that this is ok?! I wouldn't want to watch this and I am definitely not a 6 year old! Also - judging the inside of bodies? Really?
OP I hope your daughter is feeling a bit better now. If i was you I'd be having a discussion with the school about this. They shouldn't have shown this without parents permission. Was there no letter home or anything about the video?

srslylikeomg Wed 12-Oct-16 16:43:07

I'd be worried about my six year old if she had such extreme reactions to stress to be honest. Her response sounds waaay over the top.

Peach9876 Wed 12-Oct-16 16:44:46

Wow! I used to work in a school and had parents complaining that their child was traumatised by clips from Shrek (was watching as it has so many fairy tale characters which was the topic for writing) and a few other similar movies even though we skipped any 'scary' parts.

But open heart surgery... watching an actual child be removed from parents and flown overseas... That's a bit too hard core in my opinion. Most teenagers/adults would feel bad about it. It probably talked about how many die, had the typical emotional music. It's used to make adults feel sorry and give money. It shouldn't be shown to children. But I think most charity adds shouldn't be shown to children. I feel bad enough when they come on the TV even if I'm already donating.

I do worry about how badly your child has reacted to it, I think once she's over the initial horror of it you need to talk about how these things happen in a more age appropriate gentle way. Some books are nice and put a positive spin on it in an educational way. But I doubt she was the only child upset. You need to make sure it was just the goriness that was the issue, or if it was something else so you can ask her teacher to remove her if similar things are shown again. It's no good making a general complaint, as she might end up being banned from watching any videos at school.

We once showed a video (to 10 year olds) in RE of a Christian family talking about the death of their son and how they forgave his killers. It was very touching and emotional and upset a few of the kids in our class. We did warm them prior and told them they could leave etc, and afterwards we discussed everything and it was all done in a emotional but age appropriate way. There was no gore, or description of death etc just they killed him and now they are in jail forever etc and it still got to a few kids.

Torkhole Wed 12-Oct-16 16:51:52

Or are insides somehow disgusting, it's bad enough being judged by our outsides?


Torkhole Wed 12-Oct-16 16:53:40

OP, as a fellow owner of a sensitive child yanbu. My 6yo would be shaken up by that too. Totally inappropriate.

Benedikte2 Wed 12-Oct-16 17:08:04

OP tell your daughter the little girl was born with a heart defect - so nothing she herself has to worry about.
I think it is very poor judgment to show young children films of operations -- people forget children find it hard to drag their eyes away from a screen, let alone leave the room.
Well known even some adults find such film distressing.
I would tell the teacher about your DDs reaction so that other similar films are not presented. If teacher seems unconcerned about the issue talk to the head teacher.
Good luck

Ifailed Wed 12-Oct-16 17:52:42

What the heck is the problem? It's a film about how a young child was 'fixed' by an operation. Why all the distaste and fear about the human body? Gory - WTF.
We have a wonderful body that does amazing things - why be scared of it, and definitely why teach young children that there is something distasteful or even fearful about what goes on in our abdomen.
Girls are going to have to get used to menstruation, does anyone think its a good idea to teach them that blood is yucky, or gory?

Torkhole Wed 12-Oct-16 18:12:11

Most six year olds process things entirely differently to adults. To an adult, seeing a child on an operating table will make sense - they're being healed, and chances are they'll have seen far more graphic images of blood and organs in lots of different contexts. No big deal.

Six year olds aren't as rational, are they? They're six. As much as someone may try to explain what was happening, some will be badly affected by it.

ItShouldHaveBeenJess Wed 12-Oct-16 18:13:36

Does it really matter what the adults on this thread feel about watching this stuff? The important difference is that you are adults, and this is a six year old girl. Can you remember back to being that age? How you may have felt after seeing this?

Comments such as this little girl is being 'over-sensitive' are really unhelpful. OP - cuddles, reassurance and as much explanation as you feel able to offer.

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