Parental Guidance Is Advised

I was watching TV on Saturday morning, hoping to catch some funny cartoons to remind me of my not-so-distant childhood (cough cough, but do I say :)) but what I came across was disturbing, to say the least. When did cartoons become so…how shall I put it (at the risk of sounding redundant)…disturbing?

There was a cartoon programme which showed an old lady speaking to a monstrous creature whose dialect I could hardly make out. Is this what kids are watching nowadays?

Monsters, dragons, morphing humans turning into anything from a Transformers-like gadget to a cockroach (OK I may be exaggerating just a little bit)…it’s little wonder that these kids have nightmares and basically have a very different childhood experience from the rest of us born in the 90’s and earlier.

I remember once like five years ago I watched a cartoon where the whole episode was about this family made up of the parents and two kids and how the dad had been working too hard and was always coming home late, leaving his wife frustrated. The wife decided to take matters into her own hands and dressed in a seductive, low-cut top and proceeded to try and seduce the neighbor (or was it her husband’s boss?). This was a cartoon that kids were watching!

I realized things were getting out of hand when I noticed I can no longer watch cartoons (and I love cartoons). If I find them disturbing, I can only imagine the kind of effect they are having on our younger generation.

Other kids’ programmes are not without fault either. Most of them are either about wizardry or super powers. I was shocked when my little 3 year old, relatively shy and quiet cousin spread her arms wide and growled “I’m alive!” What?! Where did she watch that? We can’t have little growling, fighting, seductive kids running around while we watch.

We think that we will filter all the other “grown-up” programmes from our televisions and let our kids watch cartoons but guess what, they (I’m not sure who “they” are in your case but I know who “they” would be in my case) are getting to our precious little ones through that too. Video games are full of violence, cursing and excess competitiveness.

Cartoons, video games, prime-time television and even advertising are all reaching our little ones without any obstruction. Movies and other television shows have strange ratings these days. You will find a PG-13 movie full of violence and “mild sexual situations”,  a PG-10 movie that should clearly have been rated “18”…really, who filters these things?

Cow and Chicken

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but whatever happened to Tom & Jerry, Looney Tunes, Cow & Chicken, Animaniacs….you know, the childish, nice and innocent cartoons?

How can sex sell in children’s entertainment?

Clearly, something is wrong with our generation. Seriously wrong.

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  • http://lily.co.ke/members/crystal/ Crystal

    Well, I quite like Ben 10 *cheeky grin* Even the neighbour kids call it Cartoon ya Mama *insert my baby’s name here* I can’t stand Cow and Chicken though, and I mostly watch more cartoons than my baby does. She prefers Paloma and Marimar.

    I guess it’s just a different generation. I mean, in the 80s people complained that Tom & Jerry was too violent, what with things chainsawing each other and blowing up. Still it’s important to know what your kids are watching, if on;y to know what their influences are.

  • http://willpress.blogspot.com willpress

    Local TV stations are not serious about ratings and censoring. We can see that very well from NTV’s terrible rating system and how they desparately censor the word GAY in their programmes – whatever for, if I may ask?

    As regards cartoons, I agree with Crystal. Its a totally different generation with different dynamics influencing them. I was at a family function the other day and was totally taken aback when my 10, 9 and 11 yr old cousins drew me into an argument about whether Stewie from Family Guy was gay!!

    I guess the kind of society we are in violence is day to day and people begin to be aware of and begin to explore their sexuality much much earlier. One has to now work on to nonetheless create values that can make sense in such a society.

  • Ms.Drama

    Our parents worried about the same things then that we do today.

    They disapproved of Tom & Jerry, Road Runner – lyrics of music those days. Its the same issue today with one difference there is more time to watch cartoons and there are more options. our generation is also abit lazier in parenting they leave it to the TV.
    PG rating is for you to sit there AND WATCH with the children and explain the various situations that are occurrence or basically tell them what you disapprove off or what is morally wrong. Like Crystal says watch TV with the little ones (and the big ones)

  • Africangel

    I watched cartoons all the time with my Mom; she loved road runner, Marina (am sure most of you never heard of that one), the little Mermaid, Pop Eye the Sailor and Tom &Jerry. As a mother, I feel Cow and Chicken are ok to watch. Note that the violence in Tom and Jerry teaches a lesson; being big and strong does not necessarily make you a winner neither does it give you the license to be a bully. Another lesson Jerry uses brain power to get back at Tom, not super powers. But all the Ben10s and so on just teach our kids you have to be a super hero to win, or you need this super-gadget or that one to win a fight. Is that what we want our kids to learn?? I wonder!!

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