Watch your kids cartoons…It’s not funny

April 23, 2010 | Categrory: parenting

Last night I spent some time watching cartoons with my two grandchildren. It was not fun. I ended up turning off the TV and insisting that a bath was a better use of time, making me the unpopular grandma for the evening. I think that parents think cartoons are like they used to be, cute, funny and a pleasant distraction that allows the grownups to get a few chores done while the kids are fairly safe for a moment. Not so anymore.

The show we were watching was called Back at the Barnyard, on Nickelodeon. I will pick on this one, but believe me, it is not alone. Many cartoons I have found are dark, with adult innuendos and blatant disrespect. Don’t try telling me that the kids don’t understand these innuendos. You would have been right years ago, but no more, our little ones are exposed to so much, that some are nearly adults before they learn to walk.

OK, here is what I saw last night. A cow that has pickup lines and tries to seduce another barnyard animal. A cow explaining that she has a date not because she wants to, but because the person buys her stuff (nice thing to teach) . Later on this date, with a nasty acting boy who is overweight with braces (talk about stereotype and encouraging kids to be mean ) she says she is feigning interest in her date and asks him about his parents. Then, the kid begins venomously spouting , that he hates his Dad (another nice moral value) the reason? because he is a clown (that is his job)…off went the TV . I have noticed that several cartoons that are pretty popular, have the theme that parents are stupid, and kids barely tolerate them.

I hope this little commentary will send you to the TV with your kids for an evaluation of your own. Kids are learning disrespect, lying, fabricating stories to get their own way, complaining, self centerdness, rudeness, partying, and unkind behaviors, all while we are doing the dishes, thinking they are safe and happy for the moment.

Are there good cartoons? Of course, but be careful, they are mainly the older ones reflecting a time when it was considered important to extend values and morals to kids. It seems the prevailing idea now is to give kids what their little hearts desire including plenty of gags that have to do with bathroom humor ( and yes all kids like that, and always have). The difference between then and now is, that kids were taught that those things are not best, and they were taught not only by parents but by the culture. The culture has switched gears in the opposite direction. Now it is up to parents to teach what they believe is right.

I can hear you saying, come on Kathleen, it is just cartoons, besides you are an old fashioned grandma. Maybe, but I bet if you really take a look at what the kids are looking at, you might not find it so funny.