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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'd Rather Stick Pins in my Eyeballs

By Rachel H
One day when I asked my daughter to do something that she wasn’t too crazy about doing, she looked at me and replied with a bit of sass, “I’d Rather Stick Pins in My Eyeballs.” You might be thinking. “Oh, she is going through the teenager attitude phase right?” No, the girl is FOUR! I couldn’t believe when that came out of her mouth! Initially, it struck me as funny and I could not help but laugh. Then I asked her where she had heard that and she replied, “High School Musical.” I know what you are thinking – “It is HIGH SCHOOL musical, Rachel, not PRESCHOOL musical, of course she is going to hear things like that and mimic what they do.”

I guess I have just always tried to be laid back and consider that I ran around the house singing, “Push It” and “Like a Virgin” when I was a kid having no idea what they meant and I think I turned out OK! (Enter zinger comments from my friends here!) I watched Three’s Company, Grease, and other things that had “suggestive” plots , but never really caught on.

But then other times I wonder if I am totally warping their minds when I let my kids watch shows or movies like this. My son’s new response when I ask him to clean his room or pick up his things is, “Got it, girl!” Far cry from the “Yes, ma’am” that many parents would expect, huh?

Personally, I think most of these sayings and actions are harmless and more than likely they are catching on to my own personality and common sayings more than anything from TV! As long as my children are respectful to others and to themselves, I think that is the number one priority, but it still brings me to the topic that I wanted to discuss today – which TV shows and movies do you think are inappropriate for your kids?

I personally love Noggin – good, clean, fun, but needless to say, my son who is almost seven is absolutely over that channel, which means my daughter only watches it when he is not around. I also like Boomerang because it brings back memories of my childhood when we watched the Flintstones and the Jetsons. I am not crazy about Cartoon Network, and even Disney sometimes has shows that I am not too happy about letting my kids watch. Don’t even get me started on Nickelodeon.

I may need to throw in here that we do not have DVR, so there is no advance planning for shows. If we are home on a weekday, my children get about an hour of TV, so it totally depends on what time homework is done, if we have any other activities, etc. What they watch just depends on what happens to be on television at the time that we have a free hour.

And what is up with the dark and dreary movies for kids lately? Have you seen Corraline? What about the remakes of Alice in Wonderland, A Christmas Carol, and Where the Wild Things Are? Why do they have to be so creepy, dark, and dismal?

Realistically, most parents do not have the time to sit with their children and monitor every TV show, or prescreen every movie before we allow them to watch it, so let’s help each other out here – what shows and movies are appropriate for what ages?

Again, my top recommendations for children ages 4-7 are the Noggin shows and Boomerang Channel. I also think the PBS shows are great for younger kids. For movies, we recently saw How to Train Your Dragon. It was so cute. A great DVD ... I thought Kung Fu Panda was so cute for adults and kids without being too scary or sad. And the classics ... I love The Parent Trap (old and new versions).

You can also check out our past blog on TV ratings for kids here. Tell us what you think!

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JessMess said...

Funny you should bring up the dark and dreary movies. I made the same comment to my husband the other day. The Alice in Wonderland previews looked creepy!

I have tried to introduce my children to some old classics like Little House on the Prarie, etc. So far so good, but they always seem to prefer the Disney channel

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is: where are the movies for kids? Most of the kids movies are PG. Why do they have to be scary to be made? And why are McDonald's Happy Meals always featuring PG movies, which can't possibly be appropriate for the Happy Meal crowd? Good grief.

Ashley M. said...

Rach! I just LOVE you!! But, that is why we are friends! Recently bought Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is was a little on the dark edge. I watched it with the kids, but ahve recently DVR's the old version Willy Wonka and Chocolate Factory, and I think I am going to like the old one better!!
I agree, I do not always like what is on TV. My kids do not watch a lot, however some days it does slow things down!!

Katie M said...

Rachel, all I have to say is that I was quite impressed with your children the first time they came to play at my house, and recited all the words to "Don't Cha" - and then taught my children as well! Hilarious!

Anonymous said...

I agree that most children under 8 should stick to Boomergang and Disney. THe shows after about 4pm can get a little "edgier" such as icarly and suite life. Those kids of shoes are not terrible, bu tnot my first choice. Every so often they have the boyfriend/girlfriend drama that isn't great for young children.

Betsy B said...

Great post! This was hysterical!

Anonymous said...

There's a cartoon that is like a teenager's survivor episode. It is called Total Drama Island. I cannot remember what channel it comes on, but it is SO not appropriate for kids under 10!

Lisa Witherspoon said...

I agree completely! I think they should bring back the good old family shows like Cosby and Family times. I used to sit and watch those shows with my whole family in the evenings. Now, there is pretty much nothing we can all watch together. And don't worry - your kids are not the only ones who say things like that!

Rachel H said...

Katie, I must tell you that they got that song from Alvin & The Chipmunks. Although I can't deny that I enjoy the real version. :)
Lisa - you are right - there are no kids shows that I enjoy watching with them, and there are no "adult" shows that seem appropriate for them to watch with me! Once in a while we'll find a Save By the Bell episode on TV and I will admit that I will watch that with them as my husband makes fun of me! One other thing we will do sometimes is watch the Game Show Network and enjoy some Family Feud, Lingo, and Price Is Right together!

my3sons said...

Interestingly enough, the problem in my house isn't what's on TV at home, it's what their Dad allows them to see when he has our kids for the weekend. My little guys were introduced to such "classics" as "Dumb and Dumber," and "Pirates of the Caribbean" around the ages of 7 and 8 (my youngest had nightmares about the latter). I am smart enough to know that, although I can complain to the ex about his poor decisions, I cannot control what they see when I'm not around to guide them. I can only hope that my guidance and explanations of why certain shows and movies are inappropriate stick in their brains and keep them on the right track morally. Like Rachel, I wish there were more G rated options available, especially for the tween set!

Summer said...

One time Hannah stuck her leg out as her Brother was turning the corner of the train table to TRIP HIM! I was astonished!! "Where did you learn to do something like that?" I asked obviously confused. "from that show you let us watch mommy the one with the cat and the mouse." Frickin' TOM AND JERRY!! I know.. so what they are watching is probably as important as what you say as they watch it. As a family we watch SPongeBOb. HE's rarely violent, has a job, cares about his friends, takes school seriously, cleans up after himself, and has a particular brand of humor that is quite entertaining for the family. When we watch movies, we have found musicals to be the best hit for movie night. Bedknobs and broom sticks, Annie, Parenttrap, Charilie and chocolate factory, sound of music, wizard of oz.. and some shirley temple movies. We also love Babe, and Charlotte's web.

We love Shrek 1 and 2 but I was very disappointed with 3 it just seemed so dark!! I'm curious how this final chapter will work out,

Angela S. said...

LOVE The Parent Trap-old and new version! Couple of years ago a friend and I were watching the new version with our kids. Finally turned it off when I realized I was the only one who was REALLY enjoying it. Love those old movies!

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