Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Educational Programming is Ruining My Kids

This evening as we were cleaning up after dinner, Teddy ran to the bathroom and tried to open the door.  He can't quite get the hang of pushing the handle down and pushing the door in at the same time.  "Slow down, Teddy, and you'll have more success," said Christian.  Yes, we are those people. The ones who talk to their kids like we're perpetually trying to impress a college professor or potential employer (I said perpetually).  We do it for the same reason we restrict their television viewing to the educational shows on public television, like "Sid, The Science Kid," about a boy who likes to learn about science, and "Martha Speaks," about a dog who can talk and who learns vocabulary words -- because we want to increase their exposure to knowledge and decrease their exposure to vulgarity (although apparently we don't want it enough to do without TV altogether).

Teddy opened the door, went into the bathroom, and stuck his head back out.  "But Daddy! Success means making a lot of money!"

Christian's jaw dropped and my head spun around so fast, I nearly pulled a muscle.  I recovered quickly enough to try to explain that for some people, success means being happy, or doing something to help others.  But Teddy insisted that "the man on 'Martha Speaks' said that success means making money!"  

That's it! No more PBS for you, young man.  From now it's Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel, 24/7!

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