Kid Shows That Make You Hide The Remote

August 30, 2010  |  

Let’s face it, as a parent you have to have some tolerance for the shows your kids watch. I grew up on “Sesame Street” and Big Bird, so when I gave birth to daughter, I thought she would too. Boy, was I wrong. While my daughter loved “Sesame Street” as a toddler and has a soft spot in her heart for Elmo, as soon as she could make a decision, it was Nick Jr.–Nickelodeon’s pre-school little sister channel.

Even when she’s not watching the TV, she needs to hear the television box blasting “a pirate, a pirate, a pirate says ‘arrrgghhh'” in the distance. Parenting police, please note: I am aware that television is not necessarily “good” for children, and some parents believe in keeping their children away from it, but I happen to be a parent who allows my child to watch children’s programming and movies. We’re not laying up watching “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” every week. I am also aware that the average child spends over five hours a day consuming media. That is not my household either.

We watch Nick Jr. because she loves it. “The Backyardigans,” “Ni Hao, Kai-Lan,” “Wow Wow Wubbzy,” “Max and Ruby,” and “Dora, the Explorer” all rule in our house. I sing their songs around the house before I sing a Melanie Fiona song or even a commercial jingle (now, commercials are really brainwashing). We draw the line at “Lazy Town.” The creepy, adult male characters would rival Ru Paul at Sephora and they hang out with this little girl with a pink wig? All to promote healthy lifestyles? Gross.

There are phases for what entertains children. For babies under one year old, in my opinion, DVDs with sounds and images work well. I especially loved the four DVDs in the “Sesame Beginnings: Beginning Together” series which feature young versions of all their favorite “Sesame Street” characters interacting with a parent, friend or other relative. Besides the characters, each series is hosted by a celebrity parent and child: Brandy Norwood and her daughter, Matt Lauer and his daughter, Sarah Jessica Parker and her niece, and Wayne Brady and his daughter. These videos were very stimulating for her and the songs also soothed my daughter at nighttime. I found them more interesting and fun than the very popular “Baby Einstein” DVDs but I recommend parents view clips of different videos before purchasing. It’s all about what you feel works best for your child.

The show that makes me hide the remote? The latest sensation Nick Jr. sensation, “The Fresh Beat Band.” I have to admit when it first debuted, I was into it. My daughter is a music fiend, so I loved that she enjoyed the songs and the dance routines, but when she asked if the tall lanky Shout was a rapper, I had to break it down to her: “He wants to be a rapper, but he’s NOT a rapper.” I’ll still never understand why young adults make good entertainers for preschoolers (someone explain that to me).

This current phase is definitely the trickiest, it’s the teenagers. Though my daughter is not a teen, the shows she’s attracted to feature teenagers. We’re dealing with “iCarly” right now. Compared to some of the other show featuring teens, “iCarly” is pretty clean: planning birthday parties, running a website, and school. But once those stars start to pucker up (yes, kids and teens kiss on television), now that’s where I may have to draw the line and we might have to make a deal with that remote…

Parents: What shows do your kids watch? Do your children watch TV at all? At which shows do you draw the line?

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