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August 19, 2008

Nick, you let me down

TvMaybe I'm overprotective.  No, wait, I know I'm overprotective.  A bit.  But I feel really strongly that little kids should be allowed to be little kids for as long as possible.  I'm a big fan of letting kids have unscheduled time and space to play outside as much as they want, to explore, to create, and I'm really good at standing back in those situations and on the playground.

But TV?  Is my problem.  TV is my responsibility.  I introduced it (at 20 months, in 20 minute/day quantities, and never more than 90 minutes a day now), and I feel responsible for every word that comes out of that TV set and into my little one's mind.  I watch the shows with him, ready to mute or change the channel at objectionable content.  We avoid that almost completely by watching Sprout and PBS kids.  But recently I have been allowing Widget to watch

Go, Diego Go.  He's really into the animal rescue part (which is great, because my husband and I have rescued and rehomed abandoned dogs for years), and I think it gives him power over troublesome situations.  He plays animal rescuer in the back yard a lot now, too, and the show is chock-full of science tidbits and the scientific approach.  So I've been allowing Go Diego Go whenever it fits into our schedule. And that's why I was so disappointed tonight.

Tonight NickJr aired a new Diego movie.   I let Widget stay up to watch it, as his very first movie, and the movie itself was awesome.

However, NickJr let me down.  NickJr always has commercials, but the ones tonight seemed a little extreme.  I just don't feel that they were all age-appropriate.  Not only was the big commercial break full of “stuff to buy” aimed at preschoolers, but it also included TWO ads, back-to-back, for National Lampoon’s College Road Trip. Yes, the one with Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone.  While the movie MAY be rated G, it is NOT appropriate for preschoolers.  Particularly since this particular spot was all about how embarrassing parents can be, and how you don’t want them along.


Nick, you let me down.  Again.

Educational TV is awesome, no matter the channel, but little kids don't know how to distinguish ads from content, and, no matter how much we talk about it, it's still exposure.

Exposure that my three-year-old doesn't need.

Susan also writes at Toddler Planet, Review Planet, and Mothers With Cancer.  This post original to DC Metro Moms Blog.


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