Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Educational TV and Sesame Street

This particular rant is nothing more than such. A rant. Not a rave. I have to say that in the last ten years with three different children, I've watched a lot of kid's shows. Some are pure entertainment, but mostly TV for younger children (pre-school/toddler) is always educational in some sort of way. I've been through Dora the Explorer, Veggie Tales, Sid the Science Kid, Between the Lions, Blue's Clues. The one show that I loved as a child, I now can't stand as an adult. Sesame Street.

Isn't that sad? I remember coming home from Kindergarten and racing inside to turn on Sesame Street with Big Bird and Snuffalouffagus (however u spell it!). And the dog...Barkley. Loved him. Now, when Sesame Street comes on, if the young prince is not enthralled with it, I change it. *gasp* There is only one culprit.

ELMO. Kristi can't stand the way Elmo talks. :0) No, not referring to himself in third person. I actually understand that from early childhood development. Babies and toddlers are not always so good at understanding pronouns. But, I remember something else from ECD....Talk to your child properly. Yes, they prefer a higher pitch and you should always snuggy wuggy once in a while. But, for the most part as soon as my children started pronouncing words, I started speaking to them as if they were just another tiny adult walking around.

Elmo is difficult to understand and while I realize that makes him more 'real' to his audience, it is frustrating to hear him speak. I want my kids to communicate well as they grow up. Communication is the groundwork for all future learning. Therefore, why are we teaching them to talk like a crazy, ticklish red puppet??!!

What do you think? Are there cartoons/educational TV programs that you feel might not be as educational or appropriate as you'd like? I know there are a ton to choose from. My other hated cartoon? Spongebob. And if my kids heard me say that, I'd be tarred and feathered. :0) So, I have to pretend that he's "cool" so I'm not a totally lame mother. Can't wait to hear from you.


  1. Yeah, I hate spongebob too. You are not alone. As for elmo, thank god I am past that phase with my little one. I never understood why he talked that way and it too always bothered me.

  2. I have to agree with you on this. Elmo drives me INSANE. His voice is grating and difficult to understand. The funny thing is, I never really like Sesame Street as a kid. I watched black and white episodes of Perry Mason. LOL!

  3. My kids are older so I didn't have to endure Spongebob :)

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  5. Sesame Street jumped the shark after R2-D2 & C-3PO appeared on it. It was never the same - we were so pumped for their appearence that nothing else could ever come close again.

    There's some sort of big old sloth that my 3.5 year old is hooked on right now which drives me nuts. And my serioso and I debate (bitterly) about this one because I will swear to God they have auto-tuned him.

    I would love to claw my eyes out...

  6. lol! I've never thought about that but you're right. With me, it was Barney. I can't stand that thing. My son went through a Barney phase for a bit, but my daughter thought he was lame from the get-go.

  7. I get why TV writers feel they have to make children's shows educational, but I got really tired of every single kids' show having some moral or educational point, or pushing some agenda like saving the planet and recycling.

    Not that I think those things are bad. I just thought, Why not just entertain??

    I didn't have a problem with Elmo, although none of my kids loved him. I do hate Spongebob, and until this summer they were not allowed to watch him in our house. Then my son's teacher showed them episodes on rainy days when they couldn't go to recess and it was downhill from there. They do know they can't watch it when I'm in the room though. :)

    And I thoroughly agree with talking to kids in a grown up way. I never talked down to my kids. If they didn't understand a word, I defined it. They have a huge vocabulary, and the stuff that comes out of my 6 year olds mouth astounds me sometimes.

  8. I can't stand Elmo's voice. I do NOT like Barney, forget about Spongebob, he's banned in my house and the other one is Caillou. The kid is a whiner and gets into way too much trouble.

  9. Pat: I love Kermit! :0)
    Dean: I babysat some kids that watched a big sloth puppet thing. Or maybe it was a Lemur. I don't remember, but it was annoying. LOL
    Amy: Oh, I'm so glad Barney never was a hit around here! :)
    Heidi: I agree...why does everything have to teach. I figure watching tv must exhaust little ones. LOL And I agree, the vocabulary our children come up with when they are spoken to correctly is priceless.
    Writer: I totally forgot about Caillou! I couldn't stand him, he was princess Kayla's favorite. But you're right, he always whined and didn't listen to his parents. Then they didn't beat his a$$ like they should. LOL :0)

  10. Wow, someone who actually doesn't like Spongebob, I'm not alone. LOL. I get a lot of strange looks from others when I state very firmly that I do not like Spongebob and no, you will not be able to change my mind by debating the merits of the show with me. LOL

    As to others, Barney was never a favorite of mine. I didn't particularly like Fairly Odd Parents or That's So Raven (or its brother show) either. Most of the shows the girls watch though, I'm okay with. I miss the Disney line up that my eldest used to watch in the morning (Bear in the Big Blue House, Rolie Polie Olie, Winnie the Pooh, etc.). Unfortunately those shows are no longer on so my little DD can enjoy them.

  11. I can't stand SpongeBob, if it's on when I walk in the room it quickly gets changed. It's grating on the nerves. Gavin was never really into Barney, but he did like Dora and Diego. I can't stand Diego - he's way too self-righteous!! m#$%-effer!
    And I don't like Elmo much either. We don't really watch Sesame Street though so it hasn't been an issue. I was in Afternoon kindergarten, so I got to watch almost the entire episode of Sesame Street. I really liked all of the characters.
    The one cartoon the whole family loves (meaning my husband, the kid and I) and we'll even sit on the couch and watch the all-day marathons...is Phineus and Ferb, we LOVE it. and it's not really educational - just about having a good time and using your imagination.

  12. Oh and Eric and I are pretty sure that Elmo is in an insane asylum...really 'Elmo's World'? - it's just a padded room he's colored with crayons

  13. I hated the Teletubbies! Thankfully, they have disappeared from the radar, but I still shiver when I think of them - UGH!

  14. LOL Maxine, I like the insane asylum comparison for Elmo. LOL We also all like Phineas and Pherb :)
    Shannon: Oh I had forgotten about those evil little things. LOL

  15. You asked the question of children's shows we hate and Spongebob was the first thing that jumped to mind. Another one I'm not too fond of is Phineas and Ferb on Disney Channel. I work around children though, so I pretend to like them and listen when they rave about them.

    Thanks for your insights! I'll have to pay more attention to Elmo is I am ever watching Sesame Street!


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