Holy #%&$! : Cartoons Can Be Naughty : Cartoon Network Versus PBS

No TV is Good TV
As I help raise my grandson who is almost seven, I think back to when his daddy was this age. I had two little sons so close together that they thought they were twins. When one would have a birthday, the other one got presents too or it was chaos!

Fortunately, both my sons were born and raised on the island of Kauai in the Hawaii Islands. They reached seven and then we moved to the mainland in order to get an education. Until then, we had many little adventures on the beaches and trails. Kauai is almost a fairy tale land because there are no snakes or predators like alligators. If you want to jump in the river or hike down the jungle trails, then you did not have to worry about getting eaten! Of course if you went in the ocean, that was a different story.

The Boys of Gilligan’s Island

When they were little, it was so easy to entertain them. A rubber raft or a tent from the surplus store was enough to keep them going all day. It’s true that they did usually wreck their toys, but it was worth it. The cat and the dog escorted them into the bushes for their sword fighting adventures and the worst that could happen was falling out of the tree house.

Like most kids, my sons loved to watch cartoons and movies like “Pinocchio” and “Thunder Cats” On our little island, television reception was terrible and maybe that was fortunate. We were picking and choosing the entertainment that we were in the mood for. We bought video tapes at the Thrift Shop and yard sales. Our collection got so big that it was not easy to move. Thank goodness the DVD was invented!

Too Many Choices

Today, we have cable television which offers a large variety of channels. My grandson, Dylan, likes to grab the remote control and channel surf. The other night we watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade . We had a long conversation about the complex relationship between Indiana and his dad, Doctor Jones. This led to a discussion about James Bond and how his style of globe trotting action movie was the template for the Spielberg movies. The boy is not even seven yet and I don’t remember thinking thoughts quite this deep at his age.

Navigate with Caution

I am sure that you do not want your kid watching the Cartoon Network or any cartoons like “Family Guy” or “South Park.” The line between entertainment for kids and what is only appropriate for adults has been blurred. Cartoons used to have some kind of standards, but now a show that seems innocent enough at first glance can turn into something toxic! Thank goodness for PBS with “Curious George”, “Caillou”, and “Clifford, the Big Red Dog.” There is a lot of violence on the other channels, but the worst part is the naughty dialogue! You do not want your child repeating those lines at school!.

Childhood is Tough Enough

Have you seen the homework that they send home with a first grader these days?
It’s ridiculous! By the time he goes to school all day and attends his kick boxing class in the evening, an hour of homework seems like a lot. The teachers are under a lot of pressure to perform these days and that means they pass it on to the parents. I like for his television time to be as educational as possible. I don’t mind if he learns Universal sign language or some Spanish from Dora and Diego. I just don’t want him learning the purple language of “Archer” or “Drawn Together.” I guess we have to hold off on the remote control and get DVDs from the library.

Despite practically punching a clock, Dylan seems happy and I have to admit, I am happy too.
The days when he goes to visit his mother for the joint custody are deflated like an old balloon.
As much fun as I had raising my own sons, I have to say that grandchildren are even better.

Here are some links to other articles I wrote :
Bring your Dog to Las Vegas, but leave the Kids at Home
Best Books about Artists
Pets are good for Kids
Raising a Happy First Grader
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment.


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