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I'm reading a very interesting book called NurtureShock by Po Bronson. Some of the chapter titles/topics: the inverse power of praise, the effects of less sleep on children, talking to kids about race, why kids lie, and other child development topics.

 

Here's a portion about the surprising effects of some kinds of educational tv shows:

 

"Relational aggression, at the preschool age, involved saying things like, "You can't play with us," or just ignoring a child who wanted to play, and withdrawing friendship or telling lies about another child--all of which attack a relationship at its core. Verbal aggression included calling someone a mean name and saying things like "Shut up!" or "You're stupid"--it often accompanied by physical aggression.

 

[Dr. Jamie] Ostrov corss-referenced what his observers recorded with teacher ratings of the children's behavior, the parents' own ratings, and their reports on how much television the children were watching. Over the course of the study, the children watched an average of eleven hours of media per week, according to the parents--a normal mix of television shows and DVDs.

 

At first glance, the scholars' hypotheses were confirmed--but something unexpected was also revealed in the data. The more educational media the children watched, the more relationally aggressive they were. They were increasingly bossy, controlling, and manipulative. This wasn't a small effect. It was stronger than the connection between violent media and physical aggression.

 

Curious why this could be, Ostrov's team sat down and watched several programs on PBS, Nickelodeon, and the Disney Channel. Ostrov saw that, in some shows, relational aggression is modeled at a fairly high rate. Ostrov theorized that many educational shows spend most of the half-hour establishing a conflict between characters and only a few minutes resolving that conflict.

 

"Preschoolers have a difficult time being able to connect information at the end of the show to what happened earlier," Ostrov wrote in his paper. "It is likely that young children do not attend to the overall 'lesson' in the manner an older child or adult can, but instead learn from each of the behaviors shown." ...

 

...The more kids watched, the crueler they'd be to their classmates. This correclation was 2.5 times higher than the correlation between violent media and physical aggression.

 

Essentially, Ostrov had just found that Arthur is more dangerous for children than Power Rangers.

 

...[Dr. Cynthia] Scheibe's analysis subsequently revealed that 96% of all children's programming includes verbal insults and put-downs, averaging 7.7 put-downs per half-hour episode. Programs specifically considered "prosocial" weren't much better--66.7% of them still contained insults. Had the insult lines been said in real life, they would have been breathtaking in their cruelty. ("How do you sleep at night knowing you're a complete failure?" from SpongeBob SquarePants.)

 

We can imagine educational television might use an initial insult to then teach a lesson about how insults are hurtful, but that never was the case, Schiebe found. Of the 2,628 put-downs the team identified, in only 50 instances was the insulter reprimanded or corrected--and not once in an educational show. Fully 84% of the time, there was either only laughter or no response at all." (p. 181-182)

 

 

 

Wow. This book has really opened my eyes to many things how kids grow and learn and about parenting and family relationships, etc etc. But this portion about tv shows really surpised me. I have really started evaluating the things I let my kids watch now, so I can either choose different media for them to watch or to use some of these situations as teachable moments!

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This is really very interesting, and confirms my own experience here at home. I noticed early on that my children were so quick to pick up on and immitate negative behavior. It didn't matter if it was from a video or a book, or if in the end the bad character was taught a lesson. Since I didn't want them thinking that name-calling, little sister/brother-hating, parent-disobeying kids were the norm, we just stayed away from those books and shows.

 

Even some "Christian" shows/audios the kids act like such brats. We have a whole set of Adventures in Odyssey that we got as a gift and I just threw away because of the snotty way the kids communicated with each other.

 

I'm going to check out that book!

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Personally, I don't think of PBS, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon to be "educational" in nature. PBS is entertaining w/ Clifford and Arthur, but educational?

 

"Educational," in my mind, for kids would be National Geographic shows, Liberty Kids (okay, I guess this was on PBS,we watch on dvd), schoolhouse rock etc.

 

I've never thought of anything Disney does as being "educational."

 

Alley

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What shows do they consider "educational". When I think of that word, I think of David Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth. Clearly other people are thinking something else (and as usual the band has marched off in a different direction, and I'm alone at the other end of the field with my Sousaphone).

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My ds, now 25, hated Sesame Street. He would only watch Mr. Rogers.

 

My dds watched Mr. Rogers and the early Barney shows.

 

None of these had any of those aggressive behaviors mentioned in the study, and since they watched more Mr. Rogers than Barney (except for my youngest dd), I can tell you that none of my dc had any type of nasty or aggressive behavior. Ever.

 

I'm not sure that one can label tv shows as 'educational', lump them all together, and call them dangerous. One must look at the content of the show. Mr. Rogers was most definitely educational, but the content was totally different than Sesame Street or Arthur. There is just no comparison.

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Personally, I don't think of PBS, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon to be "educational" in nature. PBS is entertaining w/ Clifford and Arthur, but educational?

 

"Educational," in my mind, for kids would be National Geographic shows, Liberty Kids (okay, I guess this was on PBS,we watch on dvd), schoolhouse rock etc.

 

I've never thought of anything Disney does as being "educational."

 

Alley

 

:iagree: I think the Disney Channel is garbage and refuse to let my kids watch it. We only watch some PBS (mostly Sesame Street -- I won't let them watch Arthur because I don't like the way the kids on that show treat each other in the few episodes I've watched) and Nickelodeon is completely out of the question. I don't think any of those things are educational. My kids will watch the Planet Earth dvds, Walking With Dinosaurs dvds, the History Channel, and things like that. I consider those shows educational in nature.

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Personally, I don't think of PBS, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon to be "educational" in nature. PBS is entertaining w/ Clifford and Arthur, but educational?

 

"Educational," in my mind, for kids would be National Geographic shows, Liberty Kids (okay, I guess this was on PBS,we watch on dvd), schoolhouse rock etc.

 

I've never thought of anything Disney does as being "educational."

 

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree: What is passed off as "educational" tv for kids, even by PBS, is crapola. The only TV actually aimed at kids I let my kids watch is Mr. Rogers. Other than that, it's Nova and Nature or National Geographic specials.

 

Okay, I admit I've been letting them watch the Christmas specials since last year (when youngest turned 8). But the snotty kids on most kids' shows are toxic!! And in no way educational other than "how to be a snot".

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When dd was younger she was only allowed to watch PBS. (We would have let her watch the Nature Channel, except we didn't have cable.)

 

But I didn't just put PBS on and leave it go, and I think a lot of parents actually do that. I watched each show first before I exposed her to it.

 

I decided that FOR HER Sesame Street was a bad idea--it postulates a short attention span, and she had a long one. I didn't like the snarky tone in Arthur, so that was not on our list. And, in fact, later when she was a little older and I let her try it, whenever she watched it she would turn into such a little smart-a&& that I would tell her she couldn't watch it again for a while. She really had a lot of self-control, but it played into that inclination and she could not control that tendency at all.

 

One show that I really liked was Teletubbies--it's pretty childish, but the longish segments in the middle were actual life rather than being so staged. I would rather that kids see actual life in a benign, sort of broadening way, narrated, than most staged pieces. (That's one of the reasons that I more or less oppose TV for littles--I think it replaces actual interactions that they should have instead.)

 

Between the Lions was good.

 

Mr. Rogers was great.

 

I actually liked Barney, but I would tell DD that he doesn't really love us, because how can he? He doesn't even know us! But that it's nice that the show makes it seem like everyone should love everyone else, because that is true.

 

One thing that really bugged me when DD was quite young is that she heard an ad for PBS that said something like "When kids watch KQED, they are more cooperative and friendly!" over and over. I didn't think anything of this until she told me about it, kind of wistfully, and I realized that she had decided that since she didn't watch KQED (which she actually did), she was not cooperative or friendly. Nothing could have been further from the truth, and it was just another example of TV conveying something that was not accurate in a way that was unexpected.

 

I think that young kids don't have the critical thinking capabilities to sort all this out, and that they should not have to.

 

And I think, actually I know, that it behooves parents to be extremely careful about what their children are exposed to. I just wish that it was not so hard.

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Wow. I just requested this from the library. Our county owns 10 copies, all of which are checked out and I am 26 on the wait list!

 

We have never been big tv watchers here. I do remember that I didn't allow my son to watch Arthur because of the constant sibling conflict.

 

I can't wait to read this book!

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That seems very... un-intuitive. I looked up the study that I think it's referring to and I have a feeling that the author of your book may not have been accurately describing the results.

http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/~dgentile/pdfs/Ostrov_Gentile_Crick_in_press.pdf

 

The point of their study was to look at whether violent vs educational media led to aggressive or positive behavior and whether that result was gender related.

 

They found that actually watching more educational media was linked to an increase in pro-social behavior. "We found that in this study of relatively high SES and high functioning children, where most of the children were exposed to educational programming (i.e., PBS Kids), that amount of television viewing was associated with concurrent prosocial behavior. In addition, those children that were the most prosocial tended to watch television more than their peers."

 

They also found that watching more violent television was linked with increased physical aggression in boys (and more verbal aggression in girls); and that watching more educational TV (they cite 'Arthur') is linked to higher relational aggression in girls, but not boys.

 

 

So before you condemn educational television, I'd keep in mind a few things. The study showed positive pro-social effects for 'educational TV'. The study wasn't particularly big and wasn't very representative (38 girls, 39 boys of high social/economic status). Your idea of 'educational' might not be the same as the researcher...

Finally, the entire idea that TV is influencing behavior may be backwards.. it could also be that boys with physically aggressive tendencies are drawn towards aggressive programs... and girls who are relationally aggressive (cliquey, snubbing others...) are drawn to programs which deal with these behaviors (i.e., Arthur).

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What shows do they consider "educational". When I think of that word, I think of David Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth. Clearly other people are thinking something else (and as usual the band has marched off in a different direction, and I'm alone at the other end of the field with my Sousaphone).

 

:iagree:

 

I think it's very hard to find good educational media. We skip tv all together, and are huge David Attenborough fans. Nothing is dumbed down, and the explanations and footage are simply breathtaking. Life of a Bird might be my favorite, but it's very hard to choose! A lot of the National Geographic shows create dramatic stories in the animal world where none exists, and the stuff especially for kids just has a lot of zips, zaps, "COOL!"s, and informal talk. It's just not what I'm looking for.

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Here's a portion about the surprising effects of some kinds of educational tv shows:

 

"Relational aggression, at the preschool age, involved saying things like, "You can't play with us," or just ignoring a child who wanted to play, and withdrawing friendship or telling lies about another child--all of which attack a relationship at its core. Verbal aggression included calling someone a mean name and saying things like "Shut up!" or "You're stupid"--it often accompanied by physical aggression.

 

 

 

I'm guessing that with or without television of any sort, children will not always be kind to one another. Shocking - not.

 

That's why the ideal place for the majority of a preschoolers' day, IMNSHO, is not with large peer groups, but with their primary caregiver.

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:iagree: with everyone who mentioned that the content of the shows should be taken into account.

 

I in no way consider anything on Nickelodeon or Disney "educational". PBS is my choice and even some of the shows on there are not my cup of tea. My 19 month old has just become interested in television over the past 2 months and PBS, along with a few shows on Nick Jr. (formerly Noggin) is the only thing I don't mind him watching. Sid the Science Kid is really good as far as educational value. Clifford & Curious George are both entertaining (my son loves animals). And then there's Seseme Street, which I grew up with and am happy to see my son interested in. I remember learning a lot of things from Seseme Street (counting to 10 in spanish being a big one). The other shows on there he doesn't care much for. And I must admit, I almost pulled the plug on PBS completely when our local station removed Mister Rogers from their line up! In my opinion, Mister Rogers is the best children's show ever. Period. :)

 

When he's at my dad's he'll sit with "Papa" and watch Wonder Pets and Dora on Nick Jr. Nothing else interests him, and I've given my dad strict orders that the main Nickelodeon channel, Disney, or Cartoon Channel is not to pass before his eyes.

 

I've haven't noticed any aggressive behavior in my son yet....he's very well mannered and polite to others (something I notice is not the norm for most kids his age).

 

Studies like these are helpful but they should be taken with a grain of salt, imho, as there are soooo many other factors that go into influencing a child's behavior (parental discipline, behavior with brother/sisters, daycare/playgroup atmosphere, child temperament, etc.).

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Personally, I don't think of PBS, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon to be "educational" in nature. PBS is entertaining w/ Clifford and Arthur, but educational?

 

"Educational," in my mind, for kids would be National Geographic shows, Liberty Kids (okay, I guess this was on PBS,we watch on dvd), schoolhouse rock etc.

 

I've never thought of anything Disney does as being "educational."

 

Alley

 

Ditto. I'd be interested in seeing the original data, particularly which programs they chose as "educational."

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That seems very... un-intuitive. I looked up the study that I think it's referring to and I have a feeling that the author of your book may not have been accurately describing the results.

http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/~dgentile/pdfs/Ostrov_Gentile_Crick_in_press.pdf

 

The point of their study was to look at whether violent vs educational media led to aggressive or positive behavior and whether that result was gender related.

 

They found that actually watching more educational media was linked to an increase in pro-social behavior. "We found that in this study of relatively high SES and high functioning children, where most of the children were exposed to educational programming (i.e., PBS Kids), that amount of television viewing was associated with concurrent prosocial behavior. In addition, those children that were the most prosocial tended to watch television more than their peers."

 

They also found that watching more violent television was linked with increased physical aggression in boys (and more verbal aggression in girls); and that watching more educational TV (they cite 'Arthur') is linked to higher relational aggression in girls, but not boys.

 

 

So before you condemn educational television, I'd keep in mind a few things. The study showed positive pro-social effects for 'educational TV'. The study wasn't particularly big and wasn't very representative (38 girls, 39 boys of high social/economic status). Your idea of 'educational' might not be the same as the researcher...

Finally, the entire idea that TV is influencing behavior may be backwards.. it could also be that boys with physically aggressive tendencies are drawn towards aggressive programs... and girls who are relationally aggressive (cliquey, snubbing others...) are drawn to programs which deal with these behaviors (i.e., Arthur).

 

Thank you for posting the info from the original study. My daughter was not allowed to watch TV until I started watching a baby for a friend, but then there was a slippery slope as I realized how hard it was to take care of two kids. I eventually had a to end the favor for my friend, but the TV had taken hold. Now it's a constant struggle to keep her from watching it, but I am hoping that the force of habit will take hold soon. If not we're cancelling the cable, LOL.

 

But I did notice that her attention span shortened, her desire to be read to lessened, and her behavior suffered. She somewhat acts like a person with an addiction. But the less TV she watches, the more she returns to who she was before we started letting her watch it.

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Part of the reason I think we have teens that are as mature, cooperative, and great to be around (according to everyone - not just proud parents) is because we really limited their TV from modern shows. What we did watch we taped - the commercials tend to be worse than the shows in attitude as well as encouraging materialism.

 

I fully support educational TV, but nothing on Disney or Nickelodeon ever fit that bill for us. Some on PBS did. Otherwise, we're Discovery, Documentary, History, Travel, and TV Land channel fans (and not all shows on these either). We ONLY watch TV as a family. We don't plop the kids in front and use it as a babysitter - not even now when they are teens.

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Ditto. I'd be interested in seeing the original data, particularly which programs they chose as "educational."

 

Well,they included Spongebob. I think that indicates something about their choices. :D

 

As to the original question. I turned off PBS and Nick shows looong ago because they model horrible interactions among children. I get that they are trying to "meet kids where they are at" and "be relevant," but I prefer to model the best instead.

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So do kids who watch Power Rangers speak as though they are catching up to subtitles, do kids who watch Caliou whine more and/or tend to have mothers with no waists, and do children who watch Teletubbies have a greater urge to vacuum?

 

I don't think kids can control whether their mothers have waists, but I have seen kids who watch Caillou whine, and kids who watch Teletubbies talk like babies. :D

Edited by angela in ohio
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So do kids who watch Power Rangers speak as though they are catching up to subtitles, do kids who watch Caliou whine more and/or tend to have mothers with no waists, and do children who watch Teletubbies have a greater urge to vacuum?

 

 

:thumbup: Love the snarkiness! I have a real problem respecting "child behavior" studies ever since the one came out several years ago saying "children who eat breakfast in the mornings do better in school, have less stress, and are less aggressive."

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Personally, I don't think of PBS, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon to be "educational" in nature. PBS is entertaining w/ Clifford and Arthur, but educational?

 

"Educational," in my mind, for kids would be National Geographic shows, Liberty Kids (okay, I guess this was on PBS,we watch on dvd), schoolhouse rock etc.

 

I've never thought of anything Disney does as being "educational."

 

Alley

 

:iagree:We were cautious about what we let ds watch when he was younger. There were a few shows I didn't allow because I didn't like the way the characters treated each other. But I never considered them educational, with exception like "Blues' Clues".

 

I read this last night and my dh and ds were watching "How's that Made" and initially thought How can knowing how a diaper is made make you violent?

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What shows do they consider "educational". When I think of that word, I think of David Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth. Clearly other people are thinking something else (and as usual the band has marched off in a different direction, and I'm alone at the other end of the field with my Sousaphone).

 

:lol: Don't worry, I don't think you're on your own this time!

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I really don't consider much on those channels to be educational; I think Between the Lions and Reading Rainbow are, but Between the Lions has some obnoxious behavior.

 

Did they test using specific programs or just the channels? Also, the children who watched more educational television could also watch more television overall. It could also be that the children that watched the most television also spent less time with real people, specifically parents. To me, there are so many variables in tests like these.

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Well,they included Spongebob. I think that indicates something about their choices. :D

 

As to the original question. I turned off PBS and Nick shows looong ago because they model horrible interactions among children. I get that they are trying to "meet kids where they are at" and "be relevant," but I prefer to model the best instead.

 

:iagree:

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I haven't read the other responses, but I have serious issues with their methodology and premise. First of all, on what planet do Nickelodeon and Disney qualify as educational television? I always considered them junk TV. I would think that Discovery channel and History channel and PBS programs like NOVA and Nature to be educational (and yes, for preschoolers.) We never allowed Nickelodeon or Disney because I hated the crassness and the commercials specifically designed for maximum whine factor.

 

My kids watched lots of real educational television and they are the most gentle kids - definitely not aggressive. I have never heard those things out of their mouths - not even to their siblings. (My kids are not perfect and they do get angry, but they do not behave in the ways that this article describes.)

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If you read carefully, they define the types of shows they call educational:

 

Ostrov's team sat down and watched several programs on PBS, Nickelodeon, and the Disney Channel. Ostrov saw that, in some shows, relational aggression is modeled at a fairly high rate. Ostrov theorized that many educational shows spend most of the half-hour establishing a conflict between characters and only a few minutes resolving that conflict.

 

I don't think we need to get caught up in defining "educational TV." They are referring to shows that create a conflict so that it can be resolved in the last few minutes. Whether or not that's a good definition of educational TV isn't really the point.

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I do not find Disney or Nickelodeon to be educational and find some shows objectionable which is why we axed the satellite;) However, Between the Lions and a couple of other PBSKids shows are superb educational shows IMHO for the preschool to early elementary set:) Between the Lions is a great assist in teaching a young child to read IMHO and I did not find it objectionable at all.

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Personally, I don't think of PBS, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon to be "educational" in nature. PBS is entertaining w/ Clifford and Arthur, but educational?

 

"Educational," in my mind, for kids would be National Geographic shows, Liberty Kids (okay, I guess this was on PBS,we watch on dvd), schoolhouse rock etc.

 

I've never thought of anything Disney does as being "educational."

 

Alley

 

I agree with you... there is a difference in "educational" pbs shows and "entertaining" pbs shows. We banned Arthur in our household back in August b/c I noticed that my kids started arguing more once they started watching it. They keep asking for it back, but I think there are so many other BETTER shows out there.

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I think that much of the television programming that children watch actually *introduces* poor relationship skills and bad attitudes. The media believe that they're being proactive by showing small children how to deal with negative situations that they assume they're going to experience (that early?). But to demonstrate the lesson on how to be "good", they have to portray a plethora of terrible, snotty, ridiculous, irrational behavior first--by the time a kid has "learned" that they're supposed to share or cooperate or accept others, they've already been exposed to children grabbing from each other, calling names, ganging up on someone who's different and maybe even physical violence.

 

Children are naturally ornery up to a point, of course, but on every cartoon and kids' show there is a bully or rude kid (or adult) and adults are usually shown as the enemy, siblings are supposed to get on each others' nerves and tease or ignore one another, students are racist or elitist or afraid of differences or can't stand up to bad behavior...when our kids may not have ever had that negative inner motivation on their radar. I know that many times our children wonder what half of the conflict on t.v. is even all about because people should just BE KIND, you know?

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To be fair, Arthur seems like a pretty decent show for early school-aged kids, but the research was really about 4 year olds. I think the researchers had suggested that pre-schoolers may not be able to fully understand the 'resolution' of the social conflict.

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I think that much of the television programming that children watch actually *introduces* poor relationship skills and bad attitudes. The media believe that they're being proactive by showing small children how to deal with negative situations that they assume they're going to experience (that early?). But to demonstrate the lesson on how to be "good", they have to portray a plethora of terrible, snotty, ridiculous, irrational behavior first--by the time a kid has "learned" that they're supposed to share or cooperate or accept others, they've already been exposed to children grabbing from each other, calling names, ganging up on someone who's different and maybe even physical violence.

 

Children are naturally ornery up to a point, of course, but on every cartoon and kids' show there is a bully or rude kid (or adult) and adults are usually shown as the enemy, siblings are supposed to get on each others' nerves and tease or ignore one another, students are racist or elitist or afraid of differences or can't stand up to bad behavior...when our kids may not have ever had that negative inner motivation on their radar. I know that many times our children wonder what half of the conflict on t.v. is even all about because people should just BE KIND, you know?

 

Exactly! When I was expecting my second child, my first was 6 years old. I went to the store to get him a "new baby" book. They had a display of tons of them. They were horrible! Books about wanting to send the baby back, hit the baby, hurt the baby, being mad at the baby...I thought, OK, if he has any of those problems, we'll deal with it, but why INTRODUCE the thought?! I ended up with the Berenstain Bears new baby book, which has a very sweet story about how Brother Bear is now too big for his baby bed, and while he and Papa are out in the woods cutting down a tree to make him a bigger bed, Mama gives birth to Sister Bear and he gives her his baby bed.

 

Oh, and I banned Arthur in my house YEARS AGO.

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PBS is entertaining w/ Clifford and Arthur, but educational?

 

 

There are quite a few shows on PBS that are educational and not just entertainment: Sesame Street, Electric Company, Sid the Science Kid, Word World, Between the Lions, and even Word Girl. ;)

 

The study is interesting, and I've definitely noticed the meanness in some shows. It gets irritating even if it isn't treated as a positive thing. I wouldn't let my kids watch Sagwa because EVERY. SINGLE. EPISODE. involved bullying and teasing as a plot point in some way.

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Guest janainaz

My kids watch ALL kinds of kids shows on TV - from Disney Channel, to Nick, PBS, History Channel, Animal Planet and graphic shows on Disc. Health (accidents, operations, you name it). I'm more careful of teenage shows on Nick and Disney. I don't see my kids acting agressive at all. I don't see them being nasty or mean to other kids, but the opposite. Both of my kids watched Caillou and I never have had whiners. I have never seen my kids model behavior on TV and maybe that is because I've been with them to teach them along the way. Teasing is not ok, being mean is not ok, other than play wrestling - aggressiveness is not ok. But, it's just not IN the personality of my kids.

 

My MIL made a HUGE deal out of everything her kids watched. I think the bigger deal she made, the worse they acted.

 

Maybe for kids that live in front of the TV and then run off to PS all day, it's not good, but even negative stuff is opportunity for a parent to step in a teach small lessons along the way. Like, "Wow, Caillou is really whiney...." or "Those kids on Arthur are acting like brats and hurting that kids feelings...." This is what I've always done and I would hear my kids from young ages start to point out bad behavior.

 

My kids are homeschooled and I'm not going to make an environment of everything being nice and lovely all the time. If they were at school, they'd have to toughen up. That does not mean I just give my kids the remote and tell them to have at it, but I don't live in the realm that they are going to be warped for life by watching kids argue on Arthur.

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I agree with you... there is a difference in "educational" pbs shows and "entertaining" pbs shows. We banned Arthur in our household back in August b/c I noticed that my kids started arguing more once they started watching it. They keep asking for it back, but I think there are so many other BETTER shows out there.

 

Exactly. Broadcast/cable TV is entertainment, and usually not the type of which I prefer. My husband commented after a rare occasion where I let my kids watch Arthur that when our children grow up, they'll have a love for the "Director's Comments" extras on DVDs. Why? Because I had a running commentary during the entire program exclaiming, "Oh my! Why would they parent like that?" -- "Well, that's how they do things, but it isn't our way." etc. :tongue_smilie:

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That seems very... un-intuitive. I looked up the study that I think it's referring to and I have a feeling that the author of your book may not have been accurately describing the results.

 

:iagree:

 

 

 

I heard this guy interviewed on the CBC radio in a fairly long segment. He's very slick & personable but I have some doubts as to his actual arguments.

 

(not disagreeing about the tv issue though)

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What shows do they consider "educational". When I think of that word, I think of David Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth. Clearly other people are thinking something else (and as usual the band has marched off in a different direction, and I'm alone at the other end of the field with my Sousaphone).

 

 

 

I am reading this thread with interest, but had to stop here and :lol::D, mainly b/c I'm with you. I love your posts!

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Exactly! When I was expecting my second child, my first was 6 years old. I went to the store to get him a "new baby" book. They had a display of tons of them. They were horrible! Books about wanting to send the baby back, hit the baby, hurt the baby, being mad at the baby...I thought, OK, if he has any of those problems, we'll deal with it, but why INTRODUCE the thought?! I ended up with the Berenstain Bears new baby book, which has a very sweet story about how Brother Bear is now too big for his baby bed, and while he and Papa are out in the woods cutting down a tree to make him a bigger bed, Mama gives birth to Sister Bear and he gives her his baby bed.

 

Oh, and I banned Arthur in my house YEARS AGO.

 

Why SUGGEST that the new baby will be a problem? Crazy!

The second baby book that I most like to give is called "Baby Talk." It is a beautiful picture book that describes a child slowly learning to understand what a baby is trying to communicate, before the baby can talk. It has a much more positive spin on the whole new baby thing!

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Guest AshleyMerryman

Forgive me for jumping in here - but as one of the authors of the book - I was so delighted to see the thoughtfulness of conversation, that I couldn't resist. Thanks, very much, elw_miller for starting this dialogue!

 

Just to clarify some of the questions raised by Momling and others.

 

The study that Momling linked to is a 2006 study - one of two studies done by Ostrov et al. on preschoolers' watching of TV and aggression. Ostrov's newer study is yet not available online (at least that I know of) - but in it, he found even stronger results than in the 2006 study.

 

Also, please note that we are clear in the book that the results related to preschoolers' relational aggression. Moreover, we accurately explain Ostrov's findings that the kids who watched a lot of edTV were not just more aggressive - they were also more prosocial. They increased both sets of behavior - because they learn both. It's just that's just in another part of the chapter, not included in the excerpt here in the forum.

 

As for what is considered "educational TV" - I do agree that this is up for debate, but we/the scholars were working along the lines of what the shows are marketed as (e.g., some are for "pure entertainment" while others are intended to be educational). And Oak Knoll's point that we were talking about shows that spent most of their time focusing on conflict, with very little for resolution of the conflict, was exactly correct.

 

I'd also like to point out that we've spoken to some of the producers of these shows, and they are well-aware of the issue.

 

Thank you again, very much, for this impassioned dialogue. And I do hope that you will be able to pick up copies of the book, and that you will continue to discuss its issues.

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  • 2 years later...

I would have guessed that most Disney or Nickelodeon programming was FOR preschoolers anyway. Most of it seems to be more aimed at preteens.

 

We aren't big tv watchers. And are SUPER careful about what they watch when we do allow it.

 

However, a friend had mentioned this phenomenon with Ni Hao Kai Lan. I watched it to see if I could see what she was talking about and I *did*! Wow!

 

This is another good reason not to use schools around here. The preK (3-5yo) classes watch tv *very* regularly. The other grades still do more regularly than I agree with. We didn't let our kids watch ANY tv during the school year because of that alone. How much time do kids really need to be sitting in front of a screen regardless. But then when the shows are questionable or even just not helpful? Huge difference between Letter Factory and Arthur !

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I haven never considered SpongeBob Squarepants (which is banned in my house) to be educational. I think they need to be more accurate in their study. :glare: Blue's Clues, on the other hand, has all of the characters being nice. If a small conflict arises they address it immediately. I can not think of any Sid the Science kid with the kids being mean or making snide comments either (all though I have not seen them all.) On Go, Diego, Go the worst that happens is animals being afraid of their natural predators, or the Bobo brothers, who always say they are sorry. And in Super Why they start with a conflict, but the whole issue is devoted to solving it. I consider all those shows to educational, and not causing aggression.

 

ETA: these are the only tv shows that I let the kids watch. They are 5.5 and 3.

 

ETA: also, Little Einsteins is awesome.

Edited by theYoungerMrsWarde
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Personally, I don't think of PBS, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon to be "educational" in nature. PBS is entertaining w/ Clifford and Arthur, but educational?

 

"Educational," in my mind, for kids would be National Geographic shows, Liberty Kids (okay, I guess this was on PBS,we watch on dvd), schoolhouse rock etc.

 

I've never thought of anything Disney does as being "educational."

 

Alley

 

I agree.

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Personally, I don't think of PBS, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon to be "educational" in nature. PBS is entertaining w/ Clifford and Arthur, but educational?

 

"Educational," in my mind, for kids would be National Geographic shows, Liberty Kids (okay, I guess this was on PBS,we watch on dvd), schoolhouse rock etc.

 

I've never thought of anything Disney does as being "educational."

 

Alley

 

I totally agree except my 8 yr old has loved watching NOVA since he was about 5. He likes some of the other documentaries on PBS as well.

 

Actually I was surprised that at the bottom of the quote that OP posted they referred to PBS, Nicklelodian, and Disney Channel. As I was reading I assumed they meant educational as in documentaries and nature-type shoes. Not cartoons.

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