Hmmm…the children are our future

So what are we teaching them?

When I was growing up I was blessed to have a wonderful assortment of cartoons I could watch on Saturdays and when I got home from school.  The children today watch ridiculousness that I am not sure teaches them any real lessons. This is what I thought up until today…

I was flipping through the channels trying to find Golden Girl reruns when I came across the cutest little giant eyed cartoon, Kai Lan (and can somebody explain why so many cartoon characters have HUGE eyes…what is that about?). She appeared to be a cousin of Dora the Explorer. However, this little big eyed girl speaks chinese so I guess they aren’t related. Anyway I thought she was so cute and I thought it might be helpful to learn some chinese even at my old age.

In the episode they were building sand castles by the sea. Everything was bright and pretty, the waves were laping at the seashore, the sun was even smiling down on Kai Lan and her friends…then the most dreadful thing happened. A wave knocked over Toby’s sand castle. Stuff like that happens, but what concerned me was his reaction. Toby had a fit, he clenched his little cartoon fist and started stomping on the ruined sandcastle. Toby had a temper tantrum. I’m thinking wait the cartoon just had a temper tantrum? WTH?!? Why are they depicting temper tantrums? Do children need to be shown how to throw tamtrums? Obviously. This is when things got really weird educational. Kai Lan started singing a song about having to find the reason why Toby had a tantrum.

After reviewing the sequence of events with her cartoon gang they determine that he was mad that the waves knocked down his sand castle. Oh and of course they determine that when you are really mad you have to calm down. So what do they do to help Toby calm down? They started singing this song “When you feel too mad the first thing you do is calm, calm, calm down.” In addition to the song, they did this hula like dance where they swayed and waved their arms from side to side. Did I just learn something?  They just taught me a relaxation technique. I think the next time I want to jump up and down I will sing the song and do the calm down dance. But wait this is supposed to be for the children.

Are children so stressed that they need cartoons to show them how to get a grip on the sandbox life? Are they so strained that cartoons can’t just be fun escapes from reality where they learn how to share or that it’s not good to tell a lie? Obviously they need anger management therapy disguised and packaged as as a cute-little-big eyed-chinese girl. But is it this show really for children??? I know many adults who could benefit greatly from watching this show.


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