Saturday, July 26, 2008


I have found that it really stresses me out to have to choose a video for my kids to watch (okay, mainly Micah - Jaden's not too interested, thankfully).  I carefully examine each cartoon or movie, looking at the reason it's rated PG, wondering if there's any hint of language, violence or scary themes.  I have really noticed how sensitive my boy is to movies.  He had never talked about being scared before, or being afraid of the dark - until he watched a VeggieTales cartoon where they sang the song "God is Bigger than the Boogey-man".  I thought "how cute!" until a few nights later when Micah started saying "Mommy, there's monsters! Leave the light on!"  I couldn't believe it.  I was so brokenhearted that my boy was experiencing fear for the first time (that I knew of, at least).  I could only tie it to that movie.  

I've also seen him jump and his eyes widen when he has watched certain scenes in "Finding Nemo" and other supposedly "safe" movies that have scary parts in them.  When I re-watch these cartoons through the innocent eyes of a 3 year old, I realize how scary things can be.   Tonight "Peter Pan" was on, and I watched him soak in the scenes of Captain Hook smoking 2 cigars at once, shooting (and killing) a pirate, and saying "you idiot!"   Earlier today he saw a scene from "Ice Age 2" where there is a gay animal couple (I didn't even see it coming).  I know I can't protect him forever, but for heaven's sake, he's only 3!  So, when is the right time to expose him to things like this?   You would think a cartoon would be safe!  

I do know that I definitely see in other kids (also) the effects of cartoons and movies.  I have seen young girls (3-5 years old) cop attitudes and look at themselves more in the mirror after watching The Disney Channel (usually teen shows).   I've seen young boys act just a little more violently after watching certain cartoons.  It is scary.  We have a big responsibility as parents to protect our children from growing up too fast.  So for now, we'll continue to skip getting cable, and limit the boy's viewing to things we've already seen (targeted for their ages).    I guess I just want to cherish the purity of the boy's minds, at least while I can.  


  1. I am super vigilent about what Miss Rose watches. We only recently started having her watch movies. She is also really sensitive to content. I am shocked to hear what some kids at her daycare watch. She mostly watches PBS cable channels and Jon and kate Plus 8 (her fave show!).

  2. We go back and forth on this issues - it was easier when Ella was young to keep a close eye on her viewing. Now that she's older Sleeping Beauty doesn't bother her the same way - she understands that everything WILL be ok and encourages her sisters to keep watching. . . I think it's good to stick with less is more. I barely watch the news as it is the worst!

  3. Yup...we used to watch the Disney channel a lot when we had cable. I enjoy lots of their kids shows, but you're right, some of the content in the movies are not really appropriate for a 2 year old. We're pretty a much a PBS family now...Sesame street, Super Readers...I even have some of my favorite shows on there now...America's Heartland is one of them. I started watching PBS during nap time because I was avoiding all of the court drama shows and soap operas, and PBS actually has some interesting stuff! :-)

  4. I totally understand...we like to look at a website called kids in tells you everything that could even remotely be a's fabulous