Now believe me I am not anti TV, it is a great virtual babysitter when in fact you just have not got enough pairs of arms, need 10 minutes peace for sanity’s sake, or when confined to the house due to illness and you have have exhausted every toy and activity ,it is a great last resort, but seriously, does it get on my wick and annoy me sometimes? The ideas they put in their heads!
My son’s most favourite programmes are Peppa Pig, Mickey Mouse Club house, Fireman Sam, Baby Einstein, Humf and most recently Jake and the Pirates.
Now, I have to say apart from being American, Mickey Mouse club house and Jake and the Pirates so far seem to have few flaws. They encourage learning, discuss shapes, counting and problem solving, BBis obsessed with Mickey and his birthday is in a couple of weeks and he wants a Mickey party and a Mickey cake! (I am going to have to get creative!)
But Peppa…I think I want to push her over! She has annoyed me lately. She has told my son to be scared of spiders…now I am not the biggest fan, but I am trying really hard to make BBrespect living creatures and their space and not to put my fears onto him. He would not have even known the word scared if it hadn’t been because of her, and he has only recently stopped saying, ‘No mummy, I can’t do that, it scares me!’ Now Peppa being scared is one thing, but you would then expect Daddy pig to come in and say ‘Don’t be silly Peppa, it can’t hurt you,’ but no Daddy pig is scared and so is bloody Mummy pig!
George Pig doesn’t like anything food wise and says ‘Don’t like it all the time’ and cries when he doesn’t get his own way, and Humf won’t try things although they do try to encourage him to lick to taste!
As for Norman in Fireman Sam, well how can a child be so obnoxious and damn right naughty and get away with all the time! He is naughty every episode so it is not like he is learning not to be! Grrrrrrrr It makes me so cross. So why do I let him watch them? Well as far as programmes go, they are fairly harmless. Plus I want him to have his interests and likes, it is more for the fire engines than Norman. There is no bad language and at least they talk properly. Plus out of the not bad, but not so well thought through story lines…(I wonder if children’s programs have parent reviewers?) does actually emerge some excellent learning and understanding.
For example last week BBand I were doing some drawing he he was drawing lines and dots in different places this is how our conversation went:
Me : Wow BBthat’s cool, is that rain?
Noah: No Mummy, it’s music!
Me : (huh?) *stares at page and then realises he is attempting to draw musical notes*
Me: (Impressed Mummy) Well BBthat is clever, musical notes!
Noah: *Big sigh* No Mummy, that’s a chord!
Well, we are not a musical family at all, where on earth would he get something like that from? It must be Baby Einstein as it constantly talks about classical music. In addition he understands numbers so much more, and will notice animals when we visit the zoo that he knows what they are and I have not told him before. These programmes have also encouraged and improved his imagination and we are noticing that he will role play with his toys a whole lot more! it can be a little embarrassing when he asks me to chase the man that lives opposite us who walk his dog every day in a bright yellow jacket, because he thinks he is Fireman Sam, which is strange because Fireman Sam wears a blue jacket, but that’s my son for you.
So I think that I will have to grit my teeth and bear it when they put silly ideas in my little ones head and hope that I can turn them around because in actual fact I think TV does have a place when it comes to learning, if not used as the only tool in the box!