What can be learned when dredging the bowels of Children’s programming

As parents we are sometimes forced to sit through seemingly never ending incessant and mind melting situations. Be it whining, tantrums, horribly off-key and slightly monotonous recitals that threaten to pierce the eardrum- we do it all out of love. We do it because they like it, they want it, and we want them happy. This includes Children’s shows. It’s no secret that I have a deep seeded hatred for the majority of them. The little voices constantly yelling through the screen, the “ah-yuck!” of Goofy… it’s all a little much for me. I wish Parker were going to school with Holden next year so I could be 100% rid of the shit, but unfortunately I have a few more years of mind-melting bullshit to sit through… so i’ve had to try and put my brain ache aside and see the lessons my children are being taught for what they are.

From what I can gather, this is what my children are learning:

1. Apparently parental supervision ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.
I mean, look at Dora. Her ass runs around the jungle likely high off of whatever magic mushroom she ate because she spends all day talking to a monkey and a backpack, and her parents are nowhere to be found. Methinks Dora’s parents have a death wish for her. Max & Ruby? Where the hell is their parental supervision while Max is being a stupid little asshole and Ruby is bossing him around like she’s the queen bitch? Jake & The Neverland Pirates? Well the whole POINT is to be without parents.
Parents suck and you don’t need them!

2. Being an idiot will get you ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE!
Just look at Special Agent Oso. He’s a total idiot and he’s a frickin’ SPECIAL AGENT. The folks over at Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? GOD FORBID their Handy Helpers break or they can’t even figure out how the fuck to open the front door. And don’t get me started (again) on the Sponge. That stupid idiot Sponge.

3. The proper way to treat a sibling is to be a sadistic asshole. Or a tyrannical overbearing bitch. Two words. Max. Ruby. yes they’ve been mentioned before but they deserve to be mentioned again. If my kids ever treated each other that way in real life i’d sell the both of them on Craigslist.

4. Terrible music is awesome and should be danced to like a crack head- 
just watch Fresh beat Band, The Wiggles, Yo Gabba Gabba and the like. Have you EVER seen a good dancer on those shows? have you ever heard good music on those shows?? I didn’t think so. Can’t we give the kids the good shit, even if it’s a dumbed down lullaby version??

Ok, to really be honest… while I hate those damn shows, I do understand and appreciate some of the things they really do teach to those a little too young (and probably too dense) to pick up on like the things above. Sharing is caring, how to tie your shoes, not to be a whiny little shit, manners (thank you JEEBUS for manners!)- but there are also things that can be learned from them by us adults, too. I know, SHOCKING right?

Here is what I have learned, or at least been reminded of (because sometimes all we need is a good reminder) from a few things directed at children:

1. NEVER put your dreams off until the last second, you never know what you could be missing all along, or who you might lose before you get the chance to make them come true. 
I learned that from “Up”- crotchety old Mr. Fredericksen had a point, even if it took him a long time to see it.

2. NEVER let someone hold you down and tell you that you’re nothing without them. They are wrong.
Believe it or not, I learned that from my slightly weird obsession with Tangled. Screw the evil old witch, no matter who they are in your life.

3. It’s ok to be silly.
So many people put a focus on growing up, being a role model for your children and blah de blah BORING. Look, you can be a role-model, but I think what a lot of shows try to show us, as much as I hate them, is that you are NEVER too old to be a kid at heart, and it’s fun… not just for your kids, but for you, too!

4. Beauty is more than skin deep.
yes, I know it’s cliche’d, but I know PLENTY of adults who would benefit from learning this lesson. From the Muppets to Beauty and the Beast. You would think if every single childrens show and movie tried to push this into peoples heads, they’d get it by now. Holden certainly seemed to understand early, he had his very first profound thought while watching Beauty and the Beast “Mommy, the beauty is IN the beast”
Now… if only that would last through his teen years.

5. Be your damn SELF.
If Happy Feet can’t teach you that, I don’t know what can.

There are so many things to be learned when we’re not being so damn cynical (or laughing at the complete idiocy of the things our children insist on watching). From the obvious to the subtle, we adults, far past our innocent stage, could really take a lot in if we just allowed it (sorry Dora, this doesn’t include your stupid ass, now could you STOP YELLING?)

My favorite and most treasured lesson, one I still tell myself today when things get tough and when I think this might actually be the time I can’t push through… all comes from one of my boys favorite movies of all time. Finding Nemo:


It’s amazing the things you can take away from something so simple if you just open yourself enough to do so.
What have YOU learned from programs aimed at children?

Posted on January 6, 2012 by Holdin' Holden 5 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • So I know I’m crazy, but I’m an early childhood major and after watching Max and Ruby with the two little girls i nanny, I actually googled to find out if Max is autistic and found an article that explains why the author never shows their parents. She claims she wants to show children how to work together to problem solve without the interference of adults…. Yet their grandmother randomly shows up? Personally, I think the author has issues because Ruby is honestly the biggest bitch… And she’s what… Six?! And how Max, who has to be at least four, gets so focused on ONE thing and can never let that one thing he wants go while only using one or two words at most to demand what he wants? Definitely a red flag…. Unless the author is just trying to show kids how to be difficult little assholes who can’t listen to reason at an age where they should be able to comprehend something as simple as “After I finish this I’ll get you what you want”. Ok that was my rant… 🙂

  • haha! well, that makes more sense but FUCK! WHY?! Kids don’t need to problem solve without parents AT ALL at that age! and they are ANNOYING. I’d take Dora over them ANY DAY OF THE WEEK!

  • 1. Sometimes it’s ok to be Cinderella for awhile. It means you won’t be as helpless as the stepsisters must have been when Cinderella finally takes off. My brother is case in point of this. He called me near midnight one week after he was dropped off at his college dorm room and was desperate for help. He ran out of the ready made meals our parents had bought for him before leaving him there and he had not eaten all day because he had no idea how to cook the only other thing he had left: eggs. His dumb ass is on the other end pleading with me to talk him through how to turn on his little portable stovetop and scramble an egg because he spent his life acting like an evil stepsister while all the rest of us had to be Cinderella to keep the peace for the manipulative little asshole. The result is he never learned to do any of it himself. There were also calls for how to boil an egg, what to buy to make a salad besides lettuce and dressing, what to buy if the next stop is the laundry mat, when to use or not use bleach, whats to difference between kitchen hand soap/hand washing dish soap/dish washer soap/kitchen cleaner, and my personal favorite: “I’m at the laundry mat, now what do I do?”

  • Oh I agree!!! But she annoys the shit out of me too. The whole waiting for the kids to respond thing is crap, honestly, the kids either are staring blankly at the screen in a trance and don’t respond, or when adults try and get the to interact the kids state at us responding like we are complete morons! And I would like my kids to learn that if they get lost they should stay where they are and wait for me to find them or look for the police/an adult in charge- not go running off to god-knows-where off the advice of a talking map!