My husband made a comment about the silly cartoon on cable network this morning, that my kids were watching: "Isn't there something better on than this?"
It made me think. A lot of the cartoons that were on when we were kids taught lessons to the children. He-man? She-Ra? G.I. Joe? These shows laid out the lesson in the end in plain English. Then there were other shows where you learned from the character's experience. Even the Smurfs seemed to teach us that it never paid to be grumpy or vain or mean.
What ever happened to shows like these? Shows that kept our children's attention, and yet actually taught them something? Cartoons were nice and bright, funny, and most importantly, TAUGHT US SOMETHING!! And it wasn't just cartoons either. Remember Saved By the Bell? Full House? Always a good life lesson learned in those.
In today's crappy shows, our children see the characters disobey their parents, lie, do crazy things, and have little to no consequences. No wonder our society is such crap. In an age where parents us the T.V. as a babysitter, all the kids see is that they can get away with just about anything as long as they say they're sorry. There are no REAL consequences.
I know someone out there in cyberspace is going to wonder about Looney Tunes. What did those teach us? Weren't they a bunch of silly humor that the whole family could get a chuckle out of? The answer of course is, YUP! But, it really was one of just a very few shows that did this. It was the exception and not rule. I dare anyone out there to name me ONE show that teaches kids a lesson that isn't meant for preschoolers. Hard to think of one isn't it?
I think of the shows my kids have watched, there are clear problems and solutions. But they problems aren't real problems, they don't show REAL consequences, but some silly form instead. And as for the solution? Everyone is happy and moves on. That's not life. How many times did we see D.J. Tanner or Zack Morris get grounded (or say they were grounded)?
What has happened to children's shows? Where has the value in them gone? When did it all become nonsense or silliness or useless? When are we as parents, going to stand up and say something?
Now before some reader (as if I have all that many) get's all upset, I am NOT saying that we need to let TV teach our children these valuable life lessons. We as parents need to take up that responsibility. But I can remember learning somethings from these shows we watched. They helped drive home the points and lessons my parents taught us. They were a tool that helped, and not just a way to waste time. When it comes to the shows our kids watch, the T.V. has definitely evolved into "The Boob Tube". A useless waste of time.