Growing up in Ethiopia, there were limited options when it came to cartoons on TV. In fact, there was no daytime television, so we children of the 80s and earlier spent most of our days outdoors or creating our own entertainment indoors.
What I want to share with you today is one of the main reasons I started thinking of blogging. The standard of cartoons that are out there for toddlers seems to be mixed. As a result of watching several cartoons over the past 2 years with my son, mainly on ABC2/ABC4Kids, an Australian channel that runs the whole day for young children, I’ve come to realise that there are those that I prefer my son to watch like Octonauts and those that I try to avoid. The messages that some of them send to their audience unintentionally or perhaps purposely are, in my opinion, misguided.
Often times, I am happy with the entertainment and educational values in the cartoons that ABC2 chooses to show. However there are times when I’m just disappointed at the message that some cartoons send. Thinking of the creators of these cartoons, I’m left questioning,
Who are you writing for?
Is it for adults? I definitely don’t think so. Therefore why not cater these shows to a child’s way of thinking? One example that comes to mind is the word monster. I have come across more than 3 cartoons, that mention this word without actually needing to introduce it. Or sometimes repeatedly mention it to the point they are attempting to brainwash a child! I know this sounds extreme, but it definitely rings alarm bells to me.
My son watched one episode of Mike the Knight that mentioned the word monster and he began to repeat it to us by asking if there is one in the bathroom, the bedroom etc. My husband and I both agreed to let him know that “monsters don’t exist”, but the concept of existence is advanced for a 2 year old, so of course he didn’t understand what we meant. Somehow he grew out of it overtime. We got lucky! I wonder how parents out there deal with this kind of thing. Please share your thoughts below. I’d be happy to read them.