Kid's shows...advice?

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wturri78

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi!

When I was growing up, I remember watching Saturday morning cartoons, mainly Looney Tunes (complete with Wile E. Coyote getting blown up, before the "violence" was taken out). I think I grew up OK. But let's face it, I'm totally out of touch with all things aimed at kids now, and mine is almost 18 mo. and is suddenly taking an interest in the flickering images on the TV. Anyway, we visited my cousin last month who has a 20-mo. old girl who has suddenly become obsessed with Barney after some other kid came over with a DVD. Now I'm paniced that my kid could get hooked on that junk. In my humble opinion, Barney is the epitome of liberal children's psychology. I got in trouble about 15 years ago in high school for calling him a "Big Purple Pedophile" in class. And I stand by it! :lol:

Anyway, are there any shows that you all think are good or OK for kids to watch? I read an article somewhere saying it's better for parents to introduce books, TV shows, etc. that they want their kids to watch rather than waiting for them to discover something that might not be good. About the only character he seems to recognize so far is Clifford the big red dog, and I haven't found anything to object to there--basic "share your toys" platitudes but cute anyway.

What about the "Christian" kids shows? Veggie Tales have been popular for ages now--is that good stuff? Most of what I see in the Christian bookstores looks like cheap knock-offs of the regular kid's shows. Any recommendations for stuff that he can learn from and maybe pick up some reinforcement of Christian morality at a minimum? Any shows you all specifically avoid and refuse to let into the house? (So far Barney and Teletubbies top my list--and the Wiggles frighten me, to be honest...)

Thanks!

ps. When he's older, it's Pixar all the way. Because I want to watch them all again :p
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
Rather than letting you little one watch TV why not read to them? If they are sitting in front of a TV they are not spending time with their parents, they are getting their brains shaped by people you don't know, and they are stunting their ability to think.

If you need for them to be doing something while you are doing something else they are much better off playing with objects than watching TV. Put some good music on in the room. You'll never regret it.
 

Montanablue

Puritan Board Doctor
I don't think there's harm in letting your children watch a limited amount of television. My siblings and I were allowed a half hour every day when we were young and we've emerged untraumatized.

As far as shows that are okay for kids to watch - PBS has some good things and a lot of stations tend to run older shows. Reading Rainbow is excellent. It actually got my little brother excited about reading when little else did. Wishbone is also good. Bill Nye the Science Guy is really excellent too. You'll probably have so screen Bill Nye for some evolution talk - but my parents always used this as an opportunity to talk about what we believed and applying our critical thinking skills.

We also used to watch some of the older 1950s shows - Leave it to Beaver, I love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke. I'm not as crazy about these because I think there's a weird family dynamic in a lot of the episodes (especially I Love Lucy - ugh), but if you watch it with your kids, there's some good clean comedy and it can be a nice way to relax in the evening together.
 

dr_parsley

Puritan Board Freshman
The thing with watching any television (unless it's on a public no-adverts channel) is that you get adverts. These adverts alone are more than enough to warp your children and turn them into self centered consumers immersed in the desires of the world.

If you're talking about DVDs though, I think a limited amount can be OK. Our 3 and 4 year old watch maybe an hour twice a week. For 20 months, Boobah is like a fascinating surreal piece of entertainment. As slightly older children, ours love Charlie and Lola, which improved their diction almost overnight.
 

Reformed Thomist

Puritan Board Sophomore
A lot of these kiddie shows have their agendas. I recall watching as a boy a popular Canadian cartoon called The Smoggies, which was basically gratuitous environmentalist/socialist propaganda.

For anyone interested, here is the Smoggies intro (watch it all the way through):

[video=youtube;EdCfCSfkLqQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdCfCSfkLqQ[/video]
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
I used to go to the local library and borrow videos. They had an enormous selection of nature ones. I suppose you might want to watch for godless evolutionary theory in the National Geographic ones, but some of them are just so great. Animals from all over the world. Volcanos and coral reefs and every sort of natural wonder. All kinds of old movies too. I would at least check out the library.
 

Montanablue

Puritan Board Doctor
I used to go to the local library and borrow videos. They had an enormous selection of nature ones. I suppose you might want to watch for godless evolutionary theory in the National Geographic ones, but some of them are just so great. Animals from all over the world. Volcanos and coral reefs and every sort of natural wonder. All kinds of old movies too. I would at least check out the library.
Ooooooooooo... National Geographic videos are really excellent usually. Good suggestion.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
The thing I find so irritating about so many "kids' shows" is how bratty they are and the level of brazenness they display in their disrespect of each other and particularly adults. Those types of things are the primary things we look at when determining what our kids can watch.

To clarify, since our individual perceptions of things are so different: My wife and I allow our kids to watch the old school Warner Brothers cartoons - Bugs Bunny et al - without any problems. So if you think those old shows were "inappropriate" then the kids' shows that my wife and I deem to be noxious would probably give you a coronary, so beware.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
The thing with watching any television (unless it's on a public no-adverts channel) is that you get adverts. These adverts alone are more than enough to warp your children and turn them into self centered consumers immersed in the desires of the world.

If you're talking about DVDs though, I think a limited amount can be OK. Our 3 and 4 year old watch maybe an hour twice a week. For 20 months, Boobah is like a fascinating surreal piece of entertainment. As slightly older children, ours love Charlie and Lola, which improved their diction almost overnight.
Here, even the publicly funded channels have ads on them "This show presented by" or "This show made possible by a grant from" followed by a brief promotion (but no hard sell)

More here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/business/media/08adco.html
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
Not Veggie Tales. If you do, you'll regret it.

The one thing with kids is, if you try to present them a lesson in a silly manner, they may or may not remember the lesson--but they'll never forget the silliness. Let alone the irreverent attitudes.

Go for something educational, like a National Geographic video. There's also a series by Moody Science that presents a variety of topics from a Christian perspective.
 

dr_parsley

Puritan Board Freshman
The thing with watching any television (unless it's on a public no-adverts channel) is that you get adverts. These adverts alone are more than enough to warp your children and turn them into self centered consumers immersed in the desires of the world.
Here, even the publicly funded channels have ads on them "This show presented by" or "This show made possible by a grant from" followed by a brief promotion (but no hard sell)
Then that would be too much for me.
 

Vonnie Dee

Puritan Board Freshman
I like Dora and Blue's Clues. I don't care for Caillou. He is a whiner. Dora and Blue's Clues have (fake) interaction and simple problem solving.
 

wturri78

Puritan Board Freshman
Not Veggie Tales. If you do, you'll regret it.

The one thing with kids is, if you try to present them a lesson in a silly manner, they may or may not remember the lesson--but they'll never forget the silliness. Let alone the irreverent attitudes.

Go for something educational, like a National Geographic video. There's also a series by Moody Science that presents a variety of topics from a Christian perspective.
So do you find the silliness itself the problem, or do you think the silliness with which it treats Christian themes is troubling?

I despise ads marketed at children--whatever we watch will likely come through Netflix :)
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
Not Veggie Tales. If you do, you'll regret it.

The one thing with kids is, if you try to present them a lesson in a silly manner, they may or may not remember the lesson--but they'll never forget the silliness. Let alone the irreverent attitudes.

Go for something educational, like a National Geographic video. There's also a series by Moody Science that presents a variety of topics from a Christian perspective.
So do you find the silliness itself the problem, or do you think the silliness with which it treats Christian themes is troubling?
Well, Proverbs says that "foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child". If we don't want this to characterize their lives later in life, why give it to them when they're young and impressionable?

Secondly, I do find their irreverent attitudes toward great men of God disturbing. To quote a pastor who brought up the subject: "King David is a cucumber!"
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
I like to go on You Tube and find the old Bugs Bunny and Tom & Jerry cartoons.

1. They're clean, politically incorrect, and genuinely funny.
2. They're short, so as to not numb the brain.
3. I lo . . . err . . . Chloe loves them!
Exactly!
 

CredoFidoSpero

Puritan Board Freshman
I like to go on You Tube and find the old Bugs Bunny and Tom & Jerry cartoons.

1. They're clean, politically incorrect, and genuinely funny.
2. They're short, so as to not numb the brain.
3. I lo . . . err . . . Chloe loves them!
And they're a good, low-key introduction to classical music and opera :lol:
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
One of the concerns with children entertainment is that it dumbs down the imagination. Rather than building and completing thoughts in their minds it's all done for them. This has a programing affect on little brains that can inhibit skills such as spacial processing and "dreaming" up ideas. Of course, this isn't true about all videos, but something to be considered, especially in regard to "entertainment." Nature shows, such as the Moody series on creation, are excellent though, because they expand on the understanding of God's creation.
Lawrence's suggestion was excellent. Furthermore, you can get the Bible on CD, many great books in audio form, dramatized books such as those offered by Focus on the Family. Some of them are excellent, such as Ben Hur. They stir the imagination by making the child think and picture things as they hear the story.
Give them spacial things to do. Building blocks, Lincoln Logs, a tire rim and a stick, whatever. These activities spur and develop thought. Give them problems to solve.
You might also consider different languages. There are many audio tutorials that could be simply turned on and listened to. You'll be amazed at how much they pick up.

Just some rambling considerations. May God grant wisdom and grace in the raising of your precious child.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
When I was a child I was an Animal Planet addict. I probably watched way more than I should have. I learned a tremendous amount of information though and for a long time wanted to be an animal biologist (i.e. wrastle with critters like Steve Irwin!). I would suggest letting them watch shows about animals and likewise providing opportunities for them to interact with animals, whether it's raising chickens or playing with a dog.
 

Montanablue

Puritan Board Doctor
One of the concerns with children entertainment is that it dumbs down the imagination. Rather than building and completing thoughts in their minds it's all done for them. This has a programing affect on little brains that can inhibit skills such as spacial processing and "dreaming" up ideas. Of course, this isn't true about all videos, but something to be considered, especially in regard to "entertainment." Nature shows, such as the Moody series on creation, are excellent though, because they expand on the understanding of God's creation.
Lawrence's suggestion was excellent. Furthermore, you can get the Bible on CD, many great books in audio form, dramatized books such as those offered by Focus on the Family. Some of them are excellent, such as Ben Hur. They stir the imagination by making the child think and picture things as they hear the story.
Give them spacial things to do. Building blocks, Lincoln Logs, a tire rim and a stick, whatever. These activities spur and develop thought. Give them problems to solve.
You might also consider different languages. There are many audio tutorials that could be simply turned on and listened to. You'll be amazed at how much they pick up.

Just some rambling considerations. May God grant wisdom and grace in the raising of your precious child.
Focus on the Family's dramatized "radio shows" are great. Their Dietrich Bonhoffer one is really excellent - its what made me a history major!
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
The thing with watching any television (unless it's on a public no-adverts channel) is that you get adverts. These adverts alone are more than enough to warp your children and turn them into self centered consumers immersed in the desires of the world.
It's just so bad. We don't have a TV, but when we travel, there's usually something with cable wherever we end up. I remember watching the Discovery channel in one hotel we were in, and the commercials during the otherwise great shows were simply appaling. From what I recall, there was witchcraft (a new movie coming out), plenty of greed, and general narcissism flowing throughout. :barfy:

Oh yeah, and Disney, for the most part, stinks. The way children treat their parents/figures of authority in those shows is disgusting and sinful. I don't want my children drinking from that river.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
We watch no broadcast or cable TV. The only thing I might consider is Mr. Rogers.

My kids really enjoyed the Baby Einstein videos -- not that I believe in forcing education early, but the music was very good and has none of that whiny, excited "kids" dialog that I find so annoying.

Cars is a big hit around here (though I hate supporting the modern Disney enterprise) and we like movies based on good literature, like Charlotte's Web.

We love the library and reading. There's a bear series "Bear Snores On," and "Bear Gets Lost," with nice artwork and good story lines. And I think the kids snuggling with me while I read the morning paper has gone a long way toward their reading interest.
 

jonmo

Puritan Board Freshman
I agree with the Baby Einstein video suggestion - both my daughters enjoy/enjoyed those whilst relatively young. I don't particularly like the Veggie Tales - it's not from any theological high ground - they are just annoying (and thankfully my eldest didn't ever take to them). She did go through a Teletubbies, Wiggles, Balamory (BBC), Peppa Pig phase but is now completely into the stuff I "grew up on" - Tom 'n Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck. DVDs are also a good option - you know what is coming - Aristocats, Jungle Book, Toy Story are among her favourites.

My eldest watches about an hour of TV a day pretty much every day so but she does balance it with many more hours at ballet, soccer, the playground and on her scooter, so I am not too bothered by the amount of time.
 

asc

Puritan Board Sophomore
My children are preschool age, and I have found shows geared toward them educational, without much to object about. They regularly watch the Noggin channel: Blues Clues, Dora, Wonder Pets, and PBS channel: Word World, Super Why. I'd be curious if anyone's found anything problematic with these shows.

A couple of the shows I've found very educational are: Leap Frog DVD's teaching phonic and basic reading, and Signing Time which teaches basic sign language to hearing children (available in expensive DVDs, but was on PBS, too).
 

CatherineL

Puritan Board Freshman
We're careful about t.v. time, but do allow it in small doses. Sometimes its so helpful to something to let them zone out and calm done for a little bit (at least for mine, who are very high energy). Its also helpful for us when we go to friends houses - many who have no kids. We bring a dvd as a special treat for our kids to watch while we talk and hang out in the next room. Often times our kids fall asleep at this point. We notice that when there are a bunch of kids at a party or something and we put on a video, usually the kids who watch a lot are only momentarily distracted, but ours are immovable!

Our kids are 4, 2 and 1. (The 1 year old has no interest in tv of course!) We have dvds with Blue's Clues, Backyardigans, and Bob the Builder. I like dvds since you can skip the commercials. We have one Dora video that my girls love, but I went through a few others that had themes I didn't like (a witch, for example).

Some other movies we like are movies by Studio Ghibli that have been dubbed in English by Disney. Our favorites are My Neighbor Totoro and The Cat Returns. We generally avoid all other things Disney, at this point because they're way too scary, and I don't like all the marketing attached to them. We rent things on netflix where you can read good reviews a lot and also check things out of the library.

I don't have these, but a friend of mine likes to show her kids the Steve Green "Hide 'em in Your Heart" music videos - scripture memory songs. I've only seen them on VHS though.

We don't have cable, and that helps a lot. They don't really want to watch the same few dvd's over and over - so when we find something new its a treat, but then it has to go back in a few days. I think its nice to use tv as a treat, a few times a week at most. I really don't think its hurting their imagination or attention span if its used as an every-once-in-a-while.
 

DanMcCormack

Puritan Board Freshman
Ahh, the old TV debate -- er, discussion...

My son (youngest of 3 children) used to watch Prince Valiant cartoon reruns every morning. He was 4 or 5 and used to sit and watched wearing a sword.

Our Granddaughter (19 months) loves The Wonder Pets (Noggin channel). The music is great, the shows are short (15 minutes), and the three main characters are adorable and low key.

I spent my summers in Quebec and every day would watch The Friendly Giant (CBC). The difference between TFG and American frenetic cartoons was (and remains) striking.
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
I don't have these, but a friend of mine likes to show her kids the Steve Green "Hide 'em in Your Heart" music videos - scripture memory songs. I've only seen them on VHS though.
We have these, and my daughter loves them. They are very cheesy and very early 90s, but the songs and scripture are good. We bought the DVDs, which include the corresponding audio CDs. It's definitely a good purchase.
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
I have found Jimmy Neutron to be a fabulous vocabulary builder. My 6 year has gotten much of his speech patterns from Jimmy Neutron. We don't watch much TV at all but the whole family likes Jimmy.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Oh my, Jimmy was too big a hit with our child with developmental delays -- he's been barking, burping, and all kinds of other things.

On the flip side, we recently bought some of the original Pink Panther cartoon series -- they are laugh-out-loud funny and since they have no dialog, are great for teaching kids to look for information through context, expressions, and so forth. Plus the music's great. Ba dum, pa dum, pad dum ...
 

Lady of the Lake

Puritan Board Freshman
I appreciate the breadth of discussion here so here's my :2cents: We spent a lot of time reading to our children because we wanted them to enjoy reading, to want to read, and to be good at it. They loved going through books on tape independently - giving us some time here and there to attend to other things. We listened to tapes on long rides in the car and the children drew pictures to accompany the stories, somethings adding imaginative endings.

They grew solid attention spans early and developed good visual and auditory skills as well. We haven't heard a single complaint about missing cartoons or other TV characters. Now we've got Shirley Temple movies and Roy Rogers shows on tape for our grandchildren, but we only turn to them when we're feeling like really old people. We all much prefer to play board games, build castles, and/or read a good book.
 

Curt

Puritan Board Graduate
Rather than letting you little one watch TV why not read to them? If they are sitting in front of a TV they are not spending time with their parents, they are getting their brains shaped by people you don't know, and they are stunting their ability to think.

If you need for them to be doing something while you are doing something else they are much better off playing with objects than watching TV. Put some good music on in the room. You'll never regret it.
There's obviosly something wrong here. I keep agreeing with the Zoomie, Lawrence. But books are good.

Since our kids were homeschooled, as are our grandkids, we spent a lot of time with them, reading to them and teaching them to read.

However, there are times when watching a movie or a TV show is good and reasonable. We found "Lost in Space" on hulu.com and our almost 11 year old grandson has just loved it.
 
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