Well I just found out my problem.  According to an article in Fox News this morning, I have a hard time paying attention because I watch Spongebob.     Researchers from the University of Virginia found that the learning ability of four-year-olds who watched nine minutes of “SpongeBob SquarePants” was severely compromised compared to four-year-olds who either watched the slower-paced TV show “Caillou” or spent time drawing.

Have you ever watched Caillou?  Makes me want to hurt myself.  Yes, I was the type of mother that would watch these TV shows with my kids.  I needed to know what they were watching.  None of us could stomach Caillou.  They need to research to find out just how many kids actually watch this show.

Yes, I am saying that sometimes I act like a 4 year old.  I enjoy Spongebob.  He is always so happy no matter what happens.  Of course he is also as dense as a field of rocks, but who cares.  Sometimes I think if we were all more like Spongebob we would get offended less by what other people say.

I grew up watching Looney Toons.  Now what does that tell you?  My daughter tells me that Looney Toons is educational.  She said she learned all of her classical music from these cartoons.  I am not sure that is entirely a good thing.  Some of my favorite Looney Toons was Road Runner and Coyote.  Now if that isn’t dangerous television, I don’t know what is.   Somehow in my child’s mind I was able to discern that nothing could survive what the coyote could survive,  why?  Because my mother watched them with us and would tell me so.  She taught me instead of letting the TV teach me.

The article goes on to say, “It is possible that the fast pacing, where characters are constantly in motion from one thing to the next, and extreme fantasy, where the characters do things that make no sense in the real world, may disrupt the child’s ability to concentrate immediately afterward.”  Is there any cartoon that exists that makes sense in the real world?  That is why they are called cartoons.

Sometimes I think that the “real world” is shoved down our kids throat so much that they don’t know how to imagine, or to pretend.  They wonder why kids have lost their ability to be creative anymore.  Kids need to be kids when they are kids. We need to quit trying to make adults out of our toddlers.  Society does not allow them to enjoy childhood anymore.  We start kids in school earlier and earlier.  I am waiting for Womb Preschool to show up someday.

Has the desire to have more educational shows for kids on TV come about because we as parents don’t want to “man” up to our responsiblity to teach them their ABC’s and 123’s?  Have we become so busy in our lives that we rely upon television to be a surrogate parent in our absence? 

My kids knew their ABC’s and 123’s before ever entering kindergarten because I sat and taught them to them with books, flashcards, while driving down the road and whenever I had the opportunity to do so.

I think the problem lies in too much TV.  We wonder why kids have behavior problems, etc.  Take a look at how much TV they are watching and perhaps the degrading content in them.  Take a look at how much time is spent playing video games.  We as parents have taken their ability to be creative away from them by constantly feeding them with entertainment until they cannot think for themselves.  

I watched an episode of Spongebob that truly depicts what is going on in our society.  It involves a big box that Spongebob and Patrick use to pretend they are many things.  It drives Squidward up a wall because he lives in “reality” and their box is completely stupid.  Finally Squidward succombs to the curiosity of the box and finds out how to pretend and finds just how much he enjoys it.

Spongebob harming kids?  I think not.  Sometimes it is healthy to be taken out of reality for a little while even if it is only for 9 minutes.  That is what keeps us sane.

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