The title to this article is a bit of an oxymoron. If the kids love watching a particular program, most parents are glad to have their children totally occupied for a half hour allowing them some uninterrupted time to get things done. In spite of this positive aspect of many children’s programs, parent’s toleration for the contents of many of these programs quickly reach their saturation levels after continual exposure. Here of some of the most loved/hated television programs for kids.
- Cailou. By far, this was the preschool television program that parents found the most irritating. The whining of the main character in this program was sited over and over as extremely annoying by parents. The emotional reactions of some parents at the mention of this program quickly demonstrates just how strongly this program affects them.
- Angelina Ballerina. Whether she’s on the television or in a book, kids love Angelina. A little dancing mouse that demonstrates fairly typical childhood behaviors, why wouldn’t parents love her? Mainly because many of her typical childhood behavior is along the lines that parents do not want to reinforce. Angelina is another whiner. She whines and pouts. She wants to be the center of attention. She wants to be dressed in the latest fashions. All struggles parents already face with their little would-be ballerinas.
- Ni Hao Kai Lam. The extremes in emotion this program creates in their children seems to be the issue parents have with this program. Kids seem to connect with the characters on a very emotional level. Each program has a difficult or sad life scenario which needs to be brought to resolution. Although there is always a positive ending, the deep identification of children with the difficulties of the characters has been a concern for parents when they see the emotional affects carrying over beyond the time limits of the program itself.
- Dora the Explorer. Dora has been very popular for many years. For the most part, parents complaints about Dora have to do with over exposure. Dora was everywhere. Dora hats, Dora pajamas, Dora sleeping bags, Dora backpacks, you name it and you could find one with Dora’s picture on it. Dora was so well loved by the little girls that they just had to have all things Dora.
- Barney. Barney may be past its prime but many parents are sending forth prayers of gratitude for that. There is no question to how much kids loved Barney the purple dinosaur. The first few times their parents watched the program, they probably like him too. It didn’t take long before the cute lovely Barney began to grate on the nerves of parents. The ‘Barney Song’ was being sung throughout the day. Kids were crying for more when the program ended. Every one loves sweet things but too much of this kind of sweetness turned parent’s stomach’s sour.
- Wonder Pets. Parents seem to have several issues with this kid’s favorite. One is the photo cut-out animation used. The others are the overly cutesy characters. Ming-ming the duckling with a lisp or other form of childhood speech impediment seems to be at the top of list for parents who hate this show. Parents do not find it the lease bit adorable when their children begin imitating her speech.
- The Fairly Odd Parents. This program is actually one that is generally popular with adults as well as children. This mainly due to the subtle weaving of adult thought lines into the program that make the story lines appeal to multiple generations. Parents who have objections to this program usually site the negative portrayal of the parents. Timmy’s parents seem preoccupied and uninvolved in their son’s life. Many parents prefer programs that positively reinforce their role in their children’s life.
- Teletubbies. These little multi-colored characters seem to make many parents uncomfortable. Often times parents can’t exactly articulate what their issue is with this program, they just think it’s strange. The cute little characters aren’t kids or animals. No one seems too sure what they are and why they have TV screens on their tummies. We’ll just label this the ‘weird’ factor.
- Transformers. Why wouldn’t parents like this program, you might ask. It doesn’t have annoying happy songs. It doesn’t have spoiled kids making their parents look stupid. So what is it that parents don’t like about this program that their sons enjoy watching? It isn’t the content of the program that is the issue. It is the subliminal marketing that is penetrating the minds of their youngsters during those thirty minutes that they have issues with. Transformer toys are a bit pricey. Once your child has conquered the challenge of the one he has, he will certainly be wanting another one, preferably one that is bigger and more expensive.
- In the Night Garden. Following in the footsteps of Teletubbies, we have this newer British production. Characters in the production have unusual names like Igglepiggle and the three Tombliboos, Un, Oo and Ee. Most of the dialogue consists of repetition of their strange names. For parents this program again fits into the weird category. People dressed in strange costumes with strange names living in an other-worldly environment slide smoothly into the imaginations of children. Parents are not as accepting of the unexplained.
You will notice when reading through this list that the reasons parents give for hating certain kid’s shows varies with the show. What one parent hates another one might praise. The biggest issue parents seem to have is over exposure to programs which have content that they find annoying or irritating. Obviously, as much as they might hate the programs, they prefer the irritation of listening to the program to that which would be provided by their own children if they weren’t sitting in front of the television. Gives one something to think about.