I was watching Rachael Ray the other day, as I often do, and noticed my little monkey man looking up at the TV once and a while from his toys. He full out ignored his toys once she was cooking at the end of the show. I enjoy watching Rachael Ray most days. I’d say I turn it on maybe three or four times a week. It’s on at a perfect time. Monkey man is always fed and happily playing by the time the show comes on; and I get to sit down and have a little breakfast myself.
I monitor how much TV monkey man gets to watch. I know children are naturally drawn to screen because of the bright colours and movement, but I don’t want my little guy to get sucked in. He’s so naturally curious and full of energy, I’d like him to discover the world rather than sit in front of the idiot box 24/7.
I felt a little guilty that I watch Rachael Ray and sometimes Cityline most mornings while playing with monkey man. Even though he doesn’t pay too much attention, he’s stuck watching two hours of adult shows; unless he goes down for a nap. Normally he’s sleeping by the time Cityline comes on. Still, I felt guilty. We only watch a Baby Einstein video once or twice a week. So I thought I would let him watch something geared more towards his age group a few days ago. The only kid show I could find that wasn’t on the cartoon network (those cartoons just seemed too old for monkey man) was George Shrinks. Monkey man watched for a little, then found a leaf the dog dragged in from outside that was more interesting. I was appalled by the cartoon.
George Shrinks is a spoiled, little rich kid! At one point of the show we were watching, George couldn’t decide what luxury pastime to do. He rattled off all the possibilities he had in front of him and his mother answered back. “yes, life is hard” in a nonchalant way. What does this teach kids? This isn’t the only children’s television show I don’t like. Peep, on TLC, is one that tops my list. The cartoon isn’t too bad, but at the end of each episode, they show kids playing and doing stuff. They encourage kids to play in their parents’ closets and make messy crafts without reminding the kids watching to ask their parents for permission first. Caillou teaches kids it’s okay to take temper tantrums to get what you want.
I don’t remember cartoons being like this when I was little. What happened to good old shows like Sesame Street, The Polka Dot Door, Today’s Special, The Elephant Show, Eureka, Harriet’s Magic Hats, Hattytown or Readlong (I loved those talking shoes!)? Or where they just as bad and I never realized it?
Until next time...