I want to be like Peppa Pig’s mom
The issue of letting children watch TV or not is quite a controversial one among parents. Some say that TV leaves their children behaving like zombies, turns them violent and empties their heads. Others say that TV is educational, teaches important concepts and makes family life easier, and some others don’t say anything because they make sure their children NEVER watch TV.
I think we need to come out of the closet on this issue.
Nobody acknowledges the truth about what really happens inside each home: how much their children actually watch TV, how many vegetables they eat and what time they go to bed, I believe these are issues that every mother lies about a little. And, if we lie about that, we will lie even more about how much TV WE watch.
I admit that I like watching TV, especially TV series, and I would like to watch more of them than I do, or my children allow me to. So, given that I like it, I sometimes watch TV with them. Sure, I watch Alma’s favorite programs: The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Bill, Peppa Pig, Caillou, Doc McStuffins and recently, the new series about Sofia the First, which amazes her.
Every time we watch TV together and one of the characters does something good, I say things like these to Alma: “see how Little Bill obeys his mother? I think this is a good example you should follow…”, “see how Caillou plays so well with his little sister Rosie? You could play like this with Lucas…” or “see how Doc McStuffins takes care of her dolls?”… and so on. She almost never answers, but I hope that deep down inside her mind something is sticking and she is learning the good behavior of these perfect cartoon-character children. This way, I feel “less guilty” about spending time together watching the “wicked TV”.
One day we watched a chapter of Peppa Pig, where Peppa and her brother George messed up their room. Mommy Pig and Daddy Pig asked them kindly to tidy up their mess and help them clean their room. When everything was in its place Peppa went to look for her favorite doll, so she tipped everything out again until she found it. The room was upside down again, everybody looked at each other and fell about laughing, and that’s the end of this episode. :O
Right after, Alma said to me: “see how Peppa’s mom does not get angry because of the mess? You should be like Peppa’s mom and laugh every time you see things thrown all over the place…”
I got to thinking…
…should I really be like that?
Maybe these programs are not only good examples for children, but also for parents.
Ever since, I have taken a better look at how the cartoon-character moms react, and I have discovered great teachers in these characters, who are experts in transmitting values. Here are some good examples that make you reflect upon this.
Mommy Pig, maximum empathy with her children: she laughs rather than getting angry due to the children’s mischief
Mommy Pig is an accomplice. Besides laughing at the mess and not taking anything seriously ever, this little pig always sympathizes with her children’s’ ideas.
I pay tribute to the chapter where Peppa goes to wake up her parents at 5Am because it’s her birthday and she wants to start celebrating it right away. After very little resistance, the whole family gets up and starts with the fun even before the sun comes up. This is remarkable.
As for me, I get in a very bad mood when I am woken before 7, but I will try and follow the Pig family’s example, and next time I will try and get up to play for a couple of hours before the day starts (ha ha ha… I don’t even believe this myself!)
Caillou’s parents are always stimulating and motivating
Caillou’s mom and dad are a couple to be admired. They must have met each other at university while they were studying child psychology, or pre-school psychology, and must have graduated with honors, because nothing seems to bother them, they are patient, loving and their priority is to teach their children the world.
Just take, for example, the episode where not only does the mom not get mad at Caillou because he wakes up his sister from her nap with the noise of his playing, but she also kindly invites him to play outside, where his father decides to take him for a ride around the city to look for the loudest noise around. Oh my gosh!
Bear this in mind the next time the noise in the house bothers us.
Mrs. Bill: she always speaks quietly and never yells, even if she is furious
Mrs. Bill (I don’t remember her name or family name), always know how to get little Bill to do what she wants, without ever raising her voice or losing her patience. Her kind, loving and sometimes strong tone, transmits such peace and serenity that it immediately neutralizes any signs of aggressiveness from her 5-year old son.
This lady, who always wears the same clothes wherever she goes, must be into yoga, meditation or Tai Chi, because nothing gets her anxious or drives her to despair. You don’t notice anything. I have tried this technique, and although sometimes it’s hard not to lose control when children are simply unbearable, I admit that if I am able to speak calmly but firmly, I achieve better results than when I lose my patience and reprimand them.
These are just some examples, but there are so many children’s programs that it is easy to find similar cases on any channel for preschoolers.
So, I invite you to stop debating so much as to whether TV is good or bad, and to take better advantage of the content, specially developed for children. It is clear that not only the little ones are reflected in the cartoons!