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Educational Cartoons

April 24, 2012

It may just be me, but I’m starting to wonder about the lessons some of these “educational cartoons” are teaching my children.  For example, the other day on Diego, Alicia (his sister) was trying to save a baby animal from a rock slide coming towards it down the mountain.  So, she hops in her supercharged vehicle and rides towards the rock slide.  I don’t know about any other mother, but this seems ill-advised at best.  And one time on Dora, they met a “friendly” polar bear.  I know it’s just a cartoon, but I’m sensing a pattern here.  Did I mention they both hang-glide, despite clearly being under eighteen?  Add to that rocket packs, jet skis, rappelling, parachuting, etc. and I’m starting to worry my youngest daughter, clearly the risk taker of the two, might be led down a scary path.  The theme of incredibly dangerous animals appearing friendly seems all too common as well.  In one week alone, I saw cartoons showing humans playing with alligators, sharks, bears, and snakes.  Now, this might not seem like a big deal to most parents, but I do live in Florida.  All four of those creatures live here, and I definitely don’t want my kids getting any funny ideas.

I knew I wasn’t alone when my three year old, full of sense, turned to me one day and announced (in her most grown up voice) that “Mama, bears don’t talk.”  Her voice was dripping with condescension and scorn.  Really?  My three year old is doing a reality check on a cartoon?  Clearly, I don’t have to worry about this one.  But my two year old–the one who climbs playground equipment designed for pre-teens–that may be a different story.

Is it so wrong that I long for the days of Mr. Rogers’ silly little puppets?  Now, our cartoons are transforming backpacks into jet skis.  How innocent and boring we seemed in comparison to that.  Ho hum, we were content to just play with pieces of cloth, rocks and sticks in imaginary worlds.  Not our toddlers though–no, they are adrenaline junkies from the beginning.  Fearless (and perhaps senseless if they are going to go trotting after alligators) our toddlers are ready to take on the world!  Just as soon as they are done learning to use the potty, that is…

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From → Motherhood

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