I was shocked today. By what? An innocent children’s show.
As as child, my parents did not allow my brothers and I to watch cartoons. Colleen and I decided we did not want that for our children. We wanted them to be able to see the same television shows their peers were watching.
However, it was made very clear to me today that if we are going to allow our children to watch popular children’s programming we need to monitor the content.
Take for example, an episode of Dora the Explorer that was replayed today. All started off alright. The heroin, Dora somehow got a magic stick that needed to be delivered to the highest hill. As any parent who’s seen more than three episodes of Dora, you start to tune the show out. The show has a certain formula that might be good for children.
However, this time, the end of the show got my attention. Once the magic stick was delivered to the highest hill, Dora was surrounded by the animals that lived on the hill. To get the magic stick to perform its magic trick, they had to chant the magic poem. As they chanted the poem, the hill turned green and sprouted flowers. The magic stick started to float. At this point I was not just seeing red flags, I was in full damage control.
This show just taught my three year old to worship a stick and the land will produce beautiful flowers. Whoa! Did that really just happen? Am I being over sensitive? No. Confirmed by my three year old. I asked, “Who makes the grass green and flowers grow?” His reply, “The magic stick.”
That is worse than my telling him that lima beans would put hair on his chest. Why? Because I believe there is only one God who created this universe, Who can control the weather and who deserves praise. Not some made up magic stick. My three year old was just shown to worship an idol. This is not how I want his world view formed.
So, yes, Dora looks like an innocent TV show. However, the core of this episode was nothing but innocent. It is important that I monitor what my children will be watching.