Friday, 20 January 2012

Are cartoons bad??

I read the other day an article on yahoo by TheFamilyGP.com that discussed ‘Are cartoons a bad influence on children?’ which got me thinking about what cartoons Tristan will grow up watching and are they good for him to watch.  Being a parent there are so many decisions about what to do for the best for your child/children and it seems even cartoons and their merits and influences both negative and positive have to be considered.



I don’t want Tristan to grow up glued to the TV for hours on end, I want him to play and enjoy activities indoors and outdoors rather than being plonked in front of the TV transfixed to cartoons and shows.  Even though a childhood with the TV being a great friend to him is not what I want there will be of course times when he does watch cartoons and shows which then leads to thinking are the cartoons on TV any good?? 

I grew up enjoying the Care Bears, Bagpuss, Postman Pat and I loved the Welsh cartoon ‘Wil Cwac Cwac’.  Some of the cartoons today that I have seen my nieces watch and what I’ve looked at with Tristan just don’t have the same quality to them as the cartoons I loved and remember well but then I am looking at them with fond memories of when I was a child.  

Many cartoons have come under criticism, Peppa Pig for encouraging cheeky behaviour, Scooby Doo because it encourages risky behaviour and fast paced cartoons for causing attention problems.  Are cartoons the cause for these behaviours??

Opinions about the value of programmes for little ones that are aimed at being entertaining and educational are divided; with some saying that they can slow speech development and shows like Waybuloo and Sesame Tree being unsuitable for babies whilst others believe that baby targeted shows are beneficial to child development.  With opinions being so varied the subject is a minefield and as with a variety of other parenting topics there will always be divided opinions and you should do what you feel is best whether that be to not let you child watch certain programmes or to not be restrictive over their viewing of cartoons and shows.

Tristan does watch some shows on CBeebies but so far prefers to play with his toys than watch the TV, only ever really paying attention when he is having a cuddle with mummy and feeling sleepy ready for a little nap.  He does seem to like Teletubbies which makes him smile and he loves his daddy copying the noises from In the Night Garden (I admit I find this programme a tad bizarre), so far he does not like Waybuloo and to be honest I think it’s quite weird and there are other cartoons I prefer that he watched.  He likes a few Welsh cartoons and I like to encourage Welsh.  He really likes ‘Raa Raa the noisy Lion’ and I like how it is bright and friendly, ‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ is another favourite which is again bright and colourful and he does love ‘Octonauts’ and dances along to the theme tune.  I like these cartoons and I think they are educational and entertaining, they are fun and colourful and best of all Tristan laughs and smiles when he occasionally watches them.

As a parent you only want to do your best and I would like the programmes Tristan watches to entertain and educate.  Like with most things in life the research and opinions about whether programmes are good or bad and if they entertain and educate vary and as a parent you can only do what you think is best and I think its good to look at the programmes and decide for yourself whether you believe they are right for your child or not.

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