Okay. Those of you readers who have not been around young(ish) kids for quite some time will most likely not understand this post. I apologize in advance. But I feel it is my obligation to make what I consider a ‘public service announcement’.
During my stint as a stay-at-home mom I have observed many things that have gone awry in the world as we know it. Recently while tryingto placate my crabby child with television (I know…I won’t be winning any Mother of the Year awards anytime soon) I stopped from my daily regimen of laundry and dirty dishes to watch some child-centered programming.
I actually enjoyed a few of the shows. Which only goes to substantiate my self-diagnosis of what appears to bemy slowly diminishing IQ, no doubt accelerated due to my main source of human interaction being…a three year-old boy.
Anyway. While I found myself chuckling at some shows,I also found myself gasping at others.
I have decided to pinpoint a couple of Jack’s favorites. It would stand toreason.
Please read on:
Dora the Explorer: This adventurous child and her traveling companion, Boots the monkey, can’t be more than 7 or 8 years old. Which would be fine if she were exploring her way through supervised playdates with friends or dinner at Chuck E. Cheese. But, alas, this is not the case. The young ladyexplores her way all over the blasted country. Her and her monkey. Not an adult in sight. Occasionally, she hooks up with her *slightly older* cousin, Diego, but these meetings are far and few between. And where are her parents, one might ask, while the young lady is traisping all over the countryside?They are usually waiting for her with open armsat the end of her adventure offering up a huge congratulations for surviving the snake-infested jungle…making it across the rapid rushing river…sneaking past the gigantic hungry crocodiles, all the while avoiding contact with the fox that’s been stalking her. Responsible guardians? I think not.
The next time I find my 3 year-old son trekking around the neighborhood with a backpack strapped to his back and a very reluctant shih-poo following in his wake I know who to blame. (Some might say me. I prefer to blame Nickelodeon.)
Max & Ruby: Cute little bunny children. Catchy little theme song. But…where in the heck are thesekid’s caretakers? Due to the lack of any parental involvement I’ve gathered that they live alone with only an occasional check-in by their seemingly worldly Grandma, who I have a sinking feeling is engaged in some pretty sordid pasttimes. And whenGrandmaeventually decidesto show her furry little face, hervisits are shadowed by an utter lack of discipline and total disregard for rules. Who sends their3 year-old grandbunny trucking several blocks home pulling a trailer full of cake and ginger ale? Why no chaperone, grandma? You got some swinging party to attend?
I’m pretty sure this idea of minor bunnies living alone is sending the wrong message to my kids. I can only imagine that Avery and Jack lie in bed at night wondering how Max & Ruby got so lucky with their bachelor pad while they’re saddled with a couple of old people who are interrupting their swagger.
Now. The real question is this: what do I do with this garnered information? Shall I strike these shows from the kids’ collective television repertoirs? Or, shall I spend some time reinforcing the house rules, including, but not limited to:1) no unchaperoned trips through the jungle or over a raging river, and 2) no moving into their own place until they reach, at least, eighteen years of age?
While my immediate defensehas yet to be determined, one thing is for certain.
Rest assured. I’m watching you, Nickelodeon.
that is so funny and SO true! i’ve wondered more than once about the max and ruby one. maybe ruby is so darn bossy bc she’s been shackled with max’s primary care for her entire young life. and what about ni-hao ki lan? she’s all over the place, chaperone-free AND has animals talking to her. (much like dora!). and handy manny (i know, i know…disney and not nick)? weird guy who NEVER seems to pay for his supplies at the local hardware store (which i think is probably bc he and kelly have a little sumthin-sumthin goin’ on behind the scenes…..) and owns talking tools (which, in my opinion would make him a flippin’ millionaire just off of sideshow dollars alone and he would no longer have to fix people’s squeaky bicycle wheels anymore!). weird weird weird shows. keep an eye on ’em and take ’em down if necessary!
I wholeheartedly agree about the root cause of Ruby’s barely suppressed rage. Having an apparently non-functioning alcoholic mother who has saddled you with an obnoxious little brother and his annoying robot would send any little girl to the brink. Don’t get me started on Dora!
But I love Max and Ruby! They were the bunny embodiment of my children. Hayden used to watch and just get simmering mad at bossy Ruby. He really felt for poor Max.
These shows are quite after when Jake was small but I know what you mean. I think its just about daydreaming though and the kids kinda get the difference. My favorite story as a kid was pippi longstocking. She did whatever she wanted and had nobody telling her what to do. As a kid I knew it couldnt happen but what fun it was to read.
There’s a reason my boys aren’t allowed to watch Spongebob – it drops your IQ by about 50 points. It makes me wonder how many of these parents actually watch these cartoons. Have you watched the Adventures of Billy and Mandy? They showed it on one of the kids networks, but it was definately closer to adult humor. I don’t mind the kiddos seeing something like that, it’s the stupid cartoons I have a problem with. Ren and Stimpy is the exception to the rule.
Angelia Sims says
Hey, that’s a good a reason as any to watch Nickelodeon. LOL.
Syd was a big Rugrats fan. Yeah. Nuff said.
Dora drives me crazy with all the repeats. I have to say every one just to make it go faster. Kinda like singing a song you hate to get it over with sooner. My favorite episodes are when she takes the twins out (on her own). LOL.
I agree with you that I ended up liking a lot of these shows. I really liked Wishbone – with the dog that goes back in time. And of course there were several disney shows we liked – Blue’s Clues and I loved Bear in the Big Blue House. We saw that show live at Disney once. But I also agree with you that some require parental supervision. We no longer have cable and I never let her watch sponge bob – like it’s said above – lowers the iq.
Okay, my older sister was always disturbed by Scooby Doo.
As a child.
Seriously, she wondered where these kids parents were, and what were teenage boys and girl doing traveling around AT NIGHT with no parents…In a VAN no less!!!
Oh, and I totally love Phineas & Ferb and Wizards of Waverly place…
I have to say I agree about Max and Ruby. Ruby is so bossy, and I can’t see anything my kids are learning from that show except how to make your younger sibling do what you want them too. I also must admit by big girl never experienced Dora until her baby sister came along! I don’t mind Dora or Diego too much though. We giggle about how there are no Mama and Daddy helping her through her journey’s because it’s a cartoon, and therefore pretend…that helps me keep that issue at bay…what I do like about the 2 shows is how much my kids LEARN. Yes, I do work with both of my kids also, but there are things they pick up while the shows are on. My baby can count in Spanish as well as English now…it reinforces what we work on, and they retain it. Plus, they learn about sharing, and animals, and different customs!
There are still some that we don’t let them watch. Spongebob is on the top of that list! If ever there was a cartoon that was NOT made for children, it’s that one.