So, we do allow our toddler to watch media – short clips on Youtube of Little Bear and Miss Piggy, movies like Mary Poppins and the Muppets – a limited number of things on video or dvd, mostly for those moments when we’re single parenting or as a special treat. We usually watch with her, talking about the show during and after. And we read to her and she reads by herself four times as much as she watches anything. So we feel okay about it. I know some who don’t let their kids watch anything, and others whose children have their own tv. So we’re kind of in the middle, I guess.
But boy, do I feel AWFUL about exposing my child to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the other night.
I had seen reviews of the movie that put it up there with Mary Poppins in terms of its acceptability for young children. So I didn’t expect:
1) A man yelling that he was going to beat up the little kids in the opening scene
2) An unexplained missing mother – “Where’s their mommy?” my daughter kept asking worriedly –
3) The granddad making fun/putting down the father figure.
Yikes! Depressing, scary, and traumatic, and the movie was just starting…
But it was the scene where the dogs bust into the candy factory that made my daughter erupt into tears. “Where dogs?” she cried, when the next scene popped up. “No, dogs don’t eat candy!” She started wailing.
She was so upset by the dogs eating candy and getting into trouble possibly that she couldn’t sleep. At 9, 10, 11, 12 pm that night, she kept coming out of her bedroom to declare: “Dogs don’t eat candy. Dogs eat dinner.” and “I don’t like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I like Mary Poppins.”
I have apparently scarred her for life.
Which just goes to show that you cannot always predict what is going to upset a young child – and that if you’re going to let your kid watch stuff, be prepared at all times… and don’t just go on reviews… stick with Little Bear…