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Is Parental Discretion Advised for Today's Cartoons and Kids' TV Shows

Updated on April 21, 2016

Do You Know What Your Kids Are Watching On TV?

As a parent with now older children, 16 and 26 I am often asked by friends with babies to teens about what I think is suitable for kids to watch on TV. I honestly do not feel that is my call, but I will offer up my opinion no holds barred. I will tell them it is up to them what they deem acceptable for their kids to watch, but I have old-fashioned standards.

I do believe that some content even on some kids shows is just not suitable and teaches kids to be disrespectful and dishonest depending on the show and whether or not the parents watch it and discuss it with them during their TV viewing time. I think being there with the kids is one of the components to TV viewing. It is my opinion that parents do need to know what their own children are watching on TV.

Parents have to decide what is acceptable in their eyes for kids to watch.
Parents have to decide what is acceptable in their eyes for kids to watch.

How to Know When to Use Parental Controls

As I have already stated it is up to you, the parent what television programming you allow your kids to watch. If you don't mind snot, passing gas, boogers and other bodily functions being part of your kid's television shows and cartoons then no parental controls are needed for those shows. I have some qualms about that, but I digress.

I believe that bodily functions should be a discreet subject but I am not a prude about it at home. I think a gaseous toot can be quite the funny moment especially when it is embarrassing. Being a mom it gives me ammunition for later. Oops, I got a little off track.

Parental controls for TV programming and computer use can be an important part of good parenting when it is used as the parents desire. I would think that most of would agree that we do not want our toddlers and young ones to repeat all the really bad language used even on TV these days outside of kids' programming and I have even heard some on what is considered G rated television shows.

Parental control software and technology can be and should used at the parent's discretion. You don't want to over protect your kids, but then again you do want to know what they are watching.

Do You Use Parental Controls?

Modern Cartoons Vs Cartoons of the Past

I hear many parents complain about how different cartoons are today than they were even just a couple of years ago. These changes are mostly due to the generation that is now setting the tone for kids' entertainment and television programming. The same thing went on when we were kids and parents complained about it even before there was television to some extent. There was a time when some parents did not approve of radio programming when it was actually geared toward family time.

Modern cartoons are still entertaining just like they were back even when I was a kid in the '60s and '70s. I do see a trend in approaching current events and other issues I don't think kids should have to worry about and that parents need to be discussing with and teaching their kids through modern cartoons. I understand why, I just don't really like it so much.

I am also not fond of the use of so many bodily functions and grossness used in modern cartoons over the cartoons of the past. I know. I sound like one of those old fogies that believed that their were evil messages in rock in roll records in the 1950s. That is not how I am trying to come across since I am not a prude. I just think some things are more private and I believe in discretion.

Is Quality Cartoon and TV Time the Answer?

I see no reason why parents cannot watch cartoons and kids programming with them. It is fun and good quality time for the kids and the parents. It allows you to be there to reassure your child if/when something happens they do not understand. I do believe that spending this kind of quality cartoon and TV or movie time with your kids will make a huge difference in their lives now and later down the road when they become difficult teenagers.

I will say this worked well for me. I have two great kids, one young woman now 26 and living on her own and soon to have her MBA in her hand and one young man now 16 who I homeschool and is on the fast track to college now. I spent a lot of time watching TV and movies with them all week long while working a night time job five nights a week and a second job seven early mornings a week. I also believe I passed along my work ethic, manners and respectful behavior to them. No, I am certainly not perfect as I also believe I taught them what not to do by making mistakes. Somehow it all worked out and my kids are great. I am not a proud Mom at all she said sarcastically.

What Is That Show Teaching Our Little Angels?

Spending Quality Time With Your Kids

What Is Missing From Cartoons and Kids Television Programming?

Mostly what is really missing from modern cartoons, shows and other kids' TV programming is the parents. This does not mean all parents allow TV to babysit for them, but whatever makes things easier and more convenient is what most parents do. I will not say I was not guilty of that once or twice myself. I do no think allowing your child to watch an hour or two of TV cartoons, programming or a DVD movie while you make dinner and handle some things in the house. The problem arises when this happens on a regular basis.

Kids need their parents to be there for them and watch shows, movies and yes, even cartoons with them. Kids are curious and they have questions, but when you are not "present" to answer them they do not ask. They make their own assumptions and as they get older they begin to rely on their friends and class mates over their parents. This can turn into a real problem. No, it is not my place to tell you or any parent how to raise your child or what they should watch. This is just my own personal opinion and observations from being around kids for more than 45 years.


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      Alexandra 2 years ago

      I work in long term care and we have a resident that never uses the call bell and yells out nurse whevneer she needs or wants something this cartoon hits close to home.

    • CeLestialCameo profile image

      CeLeste Christopher 5 years ago from Madisonville, TN

      Thank you so much kelleyward. Kudos to you for being a watchful, savvy parent.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Very important hub for today's parents. I also watch the shows with my kids, most of the time that way I really know what they are watching. I shared this and voted it up!

    • CeLestialCameo profile image

      CeLeste Christopher 5 years ago from Madisonville, TN

      Thank you teaches12345. I was just going based off observations between what I remember watching and even the differences in the generations between my daughter and son. I agree with you.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      What a great hub for parenting in today's age of cartooning explosion! You are right in that we probably watched toons that were just as questionable when we were kids. However, the increase of use in "bodily expressions" is evident in today's cartoons. Yes, the parents need to sit and watch toons with their children to help guide them to what is appropriate in social interactions. Another great suggestion is to get some children's videos to alternate between cartoon viewing. Keep in mind that the American Pediatric Society recommends only 2 hours of total tech usage for children which includes TV, videos, gaming, ipod, etc.

      I am also concerned about today's cable programming that allows colorful metaphors and suggestive (if not actual) intimacy between couples on daytime TV. When children flip through channels they can easily catch these brief displays that leave a vivid impression. Parents, please screen your child's TV viewing and prevent him/her from acquiring bad social skills. Trust me, you don't want to have to deal with it during a parent-teacher meeting at school!

      Great hub and voted up!!!