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Mar 07

There be dragons

Julianna is afraid of dragons. Which you wouldn’t think would be all that big of a deal, I mean, it’s not like the streets of Worcester are teeming with them. But, oddly enough, there’s a ton of them on educational kids television. Perhaps educational is a bit of a stretch, but I’m talking about the standard kids fare, disney jr, nick jr, pbskids, etc. Dragons. Every time one is one, she screams in terror. Suffice it to say, Mike the Knight is an absolute no-go in this house. Also, Dora the Explorer can freak her out occasionally as well.

I let my kids watch television. And as my mother is fond of pointing out, my youngest probably watches more than the other two did combined at her age. I’m not exactly sure why, although I suspect it has something to do with the fact that Jessie was an only child until she was three and a half, and I was babysitting for two other babies Sam’s age from the time he was three months old. And on the upside, Julie is kind of brilliant. She’s super articulate, and knows all her colors, shapes, the alphabet and can count almost up to twenty. If you don’t notice that she skips sixteen-nineteen.

But television has always been kind of hard for my kids – and I’m always shocked at what will really affect them emotionally. Once I put on what I thought was a friendly little kids animated movie – The Prince of Egypt. Five year old Jessie came sobbing into the kitchen, horrified that the Mommy put the baby in the water and let him float away. And I can’t forget the Dora episode, where the baby blue bird is missing her mommy bird, that one reduced Jessie to tears whenever it was on. The Little Mermaid freaks Sam out – not the fighting scenes, not the scene where the shark is chasing them thru the shipwreck. No, what really made him cry was the end scene, he couldn’t get past the fact that Ariel was leaving her entire family forever.

My point, and I do have one, buried in here somewhere, is that I like to think that I am relatively cautious about what I’ll allow them to watch. But I have this touching faith that if it’s animated and put out by a family friendly network, like disney jr, or pbs, it’s not going to freak my kids out. And I’m frequently wrong.

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