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The Problem with Ni Hao Kai-Lan

Updated on January 3, 2014

Kai-Lan Looks Innocent Enough. But What's Behind her Ni Hao?

The Nick Jr. program Ni-Hao Kai-Lan caused some problems with my toddler and her self-expression.

But how could a program designed to help children learn to express themselves be such a problem?

There are many things to like about Kai-Lan, but unfortunately in this case, the bad outweighs the good, and I have had to stop my daughter from watching this show unless it is an episode I have pre-viewed and recorded.

Please take a moment to read through my reasoning, and if you disagree, feel free to say so!

Ni-Hao Kai-Lan on Nick Jr.

What about Your Toddler?

Does your Toddler/Preschooler watch Ni Hao Kai-Lan?

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Let's Talk Kai-Lan

When searching for interesting and educational programs for my little daughter (who is two and a half) to watch, I immediately resonated with Ni Hao Kai-Lan, a children's show on Nick Jr. In theory, the show teaches children Chinese culture and language, and also teaches them how to identify various different emotions. The first two elements appealed to me quite a bit, considering that I have a significant interest in anthropology and culture, but also because my daughter has (adult) friends who are from Asia and speak Chinese, Japanese and Korean. It has been fun to watch her greet them with a happy "Ni Hao!"

On the other hand, the secondary part of the lessons interested me because I feel that it is essential that children be able to identify their emotions. Though my daughter is, as yet, quite young to fully understand the full range of feeling as a fully individual person, I felt that this was a good start. She could see Kai-Lan identifying happy emotions, sad emotions, anger, and so on and so forth. The setting is relatively upbeat and fun, and I felt as though there was a lot that she could take away from the experience.

There is always going to be a problem when we let popular media educate our children in place of their parents. I take full blame for allowing a television program to teach my daughter something that I should have been working on (exclusively within the family). However, I have to say that I have a serious complaint regarding Ni Hao Kai-Lan, and my daughter will no longer be watching this show.

Okay, so What's the Problem?

There is no range of emotion taught

While I understand that very young children aren't able to easily identify the full range of emotions, I am disturbed by the fact that Kai-Lan mostly identifies only two emotions: Happy and Anger. Once in a very long while there will be an example of a "sad" character, but my daughter sees so few episodes about "Happy" and "Sad" that she has become focused on the "anger" in these episodes. As a result, she has begun to emulate the behaviors that she sees in the show, making growling faces, sometimes verbally growling, and then stating "I'm MAD!"

This behavior may not be a problem if she was actually identifying with angry emotions. However, these incidents often come about in the middle of an otherwise normal play time. She will stop what she is doing, fist her hands, and stomp her foot, stating "I'm MAD!" often in a loud voice and in a public place. Instead of learning what "mad" feels like, our daughter is learning what mad looks and sounds like. I also feel that the show may be over emphasizing situations in which it is "okay" or "normal" to become "mad."

The Problem is Hoho

A three year old monkey friend of Kai-Lan's

Hoho is a three year-old monkey friend of Kai-Lan's. He likes to be the center of attention, and whenever he doesn't get what he wants, he has a tantrum. He often doesn't listen to YeYe (Kai-Lan's grandfather) and is almost constantly in some kind of trouble, resulting either in being punished with a time-out or having to have Kai-Lan talk him through his anger issues. He rarely exhibits any emotion other than sheer anger and he is always talking about how he's "MAD".

While it is normal for a child of two to four years old to wish to be the center of attention and to have a temper tantrum when he or she is not, it is not normal for a toddler/pre-schooler to be angry all of the time. Because young children emulate the behaviors that they see in the world around them, including in the television that they watch, it is inappropriate to display their peers (even if that peer is an animated monkey) always being angry.

To make matters worse, Hoho gets attention from the other "kids" for acting out. While it is typical (in real life) for children who act out to get attention from grown ups, most other children will avoid the tantrumy child for someone who is better able to share their toys and play appropriately. Hoho does not, and much of Kai-Lans and Tolee's time is spent trying to get him to calm down. I simply do not see a five and a six year old behaving this way in real life, and I think that the show sets up strange and unrealistic expectations in toddlers and preschoolers who watch the show regularly.

What's Your Opinion?

I have finally chosen to remove a comment from this duel that I feel was inappropriate. Please keep things civil and do not make personal attacks against me or others choosing to comment on this lens. I will remove any comments of that nature. Please be respectful to one another and to me. I am not going to have my parenting practices or my character questioned or accused on my page. Thank you.

Is Ni Hao Kai-Lan Confusing for Children?

Yes, absolutely! My child has over-reacted to the emotions on the show too!

Yes, absolutely! My child has over-reacted to the emotions on the show too!

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    • anonymous 3 years ago

      I have to completely agree with you. Our 3 yr old daughter has been verbally stating that she is mad, mean or both. This happens often in public and although she's verbally stating she's mad, I definitely see that she had yet to graspe the actual emotion. This is new for her...maybe in the last couple of weeks which also happens to be the same time she started showing interest in the show. Funny because I told my husband I think the show is having a negative influence on our daughter which is exactky how I came across your article. I completely agree with you and have decided the show, at this time, is unfit for her.

    • anonymous 3 years ago

      I don't really like kids watching this "show".There is one episode when Hoho doesn't get banana stickers and he HITS Rintoo.Rude.This behavior of Kai Lans friends can make little kids overreact to the emotions.

    • Everyday-Miracles 4 years ago

      @anonymous: My daughter is an only child without anyone to set an example for her. However, as other commenters have noted, Kai-Lan doesn't help the situation by catering to the tantrumy character in the show. Tolee has gotten pretty bad, too. We don't let my daughter watch it but every now and again I review it to see if it's improved -- it hasn't.

      Unfortunately for my daughter, her reactions to the show aren't immediate and I don't even know where to begin talking to her about what she sees since we view tantrums as bad behavior. At five years old, we deal with 5-10 meltdowns (not small tantrums, full on MELTDOWNS) every. single. day.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I haven't actually noticed my kids reacting to the emotions in this show, but I am always in the room to talk it over and my older child sets a good example for my more impressionable younger one. However, I wanted to not that every time I see an episode its not Hoho but TOLEE that is acting angry. That little koala is always having an attitude lol

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      The show seems to reward pouting and being a cry baby. More than one episode, Rentu the tiger has been punished for being very out going and energetic and positive because Tolie and Ho-Ho is isn't. Rentu enjoys running and playing and is good at but the other two aren't and whine and pouts, getting Rentu in trouble. What message is that to send?

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I so agree thank you. I just had to stop my almost three year old from watching it. My husband thought i was crazy, but I did see a big behavior change with watching it. We are day three with out it. Thank you.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      Thankfully we have finally gotten past the stage where my two children have any interest in seeing Kai Lan. This show was one of the first to be banned in our house. The characters definitely tend to overreact, and they (mainly Rintoo, Toley, and Hoho) have hair trigger emotional flip-flops from happy to angry or happy to sad. Seriously, those are the only three emotions that seem to exist in Kai Lan's world. Then, the character feeling angry or sad will repeatedly shout out how they feel while stomping around and sulking. The other characters will eventually notice this, but they are so clueless that they have no idea what's going on. Example: Rintoo doesn't get his favorite color of paint because Toley is using it. Rintoo: "Grrrr! I'm MAD!!!!" *flips over tables and chairs* Kai Lan: "Gee, do you think something is bothering Rintoo?" Seriously, people this clueless should never be allowed to reproduce.

      My other complaint is that the show does a poor job presenting the Chinese words it purports to teach. Like Dora, Kai Lan mostly speaks in English, but she tosses out an occasional Chinese word. Like, she'll say, "Today we're going to the park. In Chinese, we say 'gongyuan'. Can you say 'gongyuan' (repeated once or twice). The problem is, to kids who have no previous exposure to Chinese, 'gongyuan' comes out sounding like 'glpkstlvm', which really isn't helpful in learning proper pronunciation. Chinese is also a 'tonal' language, in that the tone you use can totally change the meaning of the word. So, even if you get the pronunciation exactly correct from the show (hard for me to do, even with 3 years of Mandarin in school), if you get the tone wrong, you could come off as a babbling fool to a native speaker (or worse yet, unintentionally insult someone).

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      This show is terrible. On one episode, the tiger flips out and screams "I'm so mad because you took the panda plate!" At Lulu (the only emotionally stable character in the entire show besides the saccharine-sweet Kai-Lan. Yeye tells him he did a "smart thing", because "you didn't HIT her." WHAT??? In what universe do you garner praise for screaming at another person at he top of your lungs simply because you refrained from physically assaulting them? No wonder kids today are such brats. I would never accept this behavior from my child. My 2/3 year old has MUCH more self-control than the osychos on this show. This show is banned.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      We recently stopped watching this. My son who is almost 2 has started kicking people and animals after he saw it on the show. He is at an age where he picks things up and mimics others, so we can't have things like this on our tv.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      YES KAI-LAN SHOULD BE CANCELLED BECAUSE DISNEY AFTERNOON WILL SHOW PROGRAMS 24 HOURS A DAY W/ NO COMMERCIALS

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I am no longer letting my 3 year old daughter watch this show either. While I think that they are trying to get a good point across, and toward the end of the episode it all works out. But the problem is that the characters have these gnarly fits, do they need to make them that dramatic? Unreal. They allow these fits and tantrums to go on and on, and yeah, now my little girl is acting like that when things don't go her way. She is absorbing the bad parts of the show and not the 'good' part at the end when everyone learns their lesson. I just feel badly that I let her watch this show as long as I did, thinking to myself it was great, but after watching a few episodes, we are done..

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      To cliché, I hate Kai -Lan. It's worse than Dora. As you can see, that monkey thing,(was his name Hoho??) is too self- centered. It's like he is the spoiled brat of the show or something. Seriously! What kind of show teaches children how to be spoiled and to add, Kai-Lan is too much of a Mary Sue (perfect girl type). The story is too cliché for every child. Its not the output of that of the children but also the evaluation of the parent towards the show that they are actually watching. I'm a teenager and my younger get pretty annoyed of these shows. Come on, are there any shows that give children some common sense and logic. This isn't some psychological TV show that could show you on how to deal your problems because most of the time, THESE NEVER WORK. Hello? this the real world, not some easy place where you get crap from others, you find ways to get that crap, not to just claim things. This based on the episode where Hoho becomes monkey king.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      Yes, I have a 3 yr old daughter, I wish there was a way to change the content or take some of these shows off the air!!. My 3 yr has picking up a lot of bad habits from this show and now she stomps off, and throws tantrums when she can't have her way and mimics all the bad habits that Hoho does. She acts just like Hoho and this was all learned behavior from these tv shows. I have deleted and blocked Nick Jr from her tv in her room and only allow her to watch PBS now. I feel Nick jr has some good shows but some of the content being taught on it is not helping but hurting our children.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      After my son watched an episode about hitting, he came over to me and hit me!!! I was shocked. My son had never shown behavior like this. He has never hit anyone before. I will NEVER let him watch this show again!

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      We banned this show in our house! It taught my son that if he doesn't get what he wants, he can throw a tantrum and everyone will do whatever they can to please him. How about NO! The moment I say him stomp his foot, ball his fists up and say "IM SO MAD!" I said "OK! No more Kai Lan for you ,son!" He cried at first when we said he can't watch it, but now he no longer throws out-of-the-ordinary tantrums or demands for things like 'panda plates' that we don't even have lol! He saw angry an koala bear and monkey on every episode and was copying ther form of anger. It took a while but he is back to normal. I see what the show was TRYING to do, but instead it taught my son to be mean, angry and demanding. So yes I agree it confuses/misleads children.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      My daughter doesn't even watch it that much but I have observed these bratty characters every time she has. We also see a commercial on Nick Jr daily in which Toley (sp) gets mad because he wanted a panda plate and acts out. The part that bothers me the most is that Ye Ye commends him for using his words and not hitting. He then gives him what he wants. 1. This character is rewarded for negative, angry behavior and for not wanting to share. 2. I don't know that my daughter would have thought about hitting another child to get what she wants but now the suggestion has been made. Just a thought.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I completely agree!!! My daughter has some mild developmental delays but i noticed some of her tantrums seemed fake or orchestrated. At first, we loved the idea of completely educational/fun commercial free tv but when it began to look like my daughter was taking acting classes during her tantrums and at times able to narrate, I knew something else was going on. Even though we really like Nick Jr and all the sing-a-longs PBS is a better option there's not nearly as much of an emotional roller coaster

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      My child has never over-reacted to this show because I quickly stopped her from watching it. The characters on this show are always doing mean things to each other and getting into arguments. It really bothers me that Ho-ho gets to run around the house stealing panda plates, ripping paintings, and telling you he doesn't like to snacks you offered him so he's leaving, then after you force him to apologize you have to forgive him immediately because if you don't it might make HIM feel bad! If my daughter had a friend like that, I wouldn't care if he felt bad at the end of our playmate because we wouldn't be playing with that bratty, hurtful, and ungrateful child ever again.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      My son hasn't overreacted to the show, but we also don't watch it too much. I can see the point about how Hoho and some of the other characters behave. There are other aspects to the show that outweight it in my opinion, but I can see how other parents can come to a different conclusion. It probably depends on which parts of the show your child ends up focusing on the most. I think the problem may be that they don't spend enough time talking about how to better express emotions. They model bad behavior but sometimes don't spend enough time modeling the appropriate way to express emotions. "Hoho, I understand that you are mad about X and we can try to take care X, but when you are mad that is not the way you handle it. You don't yell, stomp, growl, etc. you use your words nicely and tell others how you are feeling." Sometimes they get that, but sometimes they don't.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      My son hasn't overreacted to the show, but we also don't watch it too much. I can see the point about how Hoho and some of the other characters behave. There are other aspects to the show that outweight it in my opinion, but I can see how other parents can come to a different conclusion. It probably depends on which parts of the show your child ends up focusing on the most. I think the problem may be that they don't spend enough time talking about how to better express emotions. They model bad behavior but sometimes don't spend enough time modeling the appropriate way to express emotions. "Hoho, I understand that you are mad about X and we can try to take care X, but when you are mad that is not the way you handle it. You don't yell, stomp, growl, etc. you use your words nicely and tell others how you are feeling." Sometimes they get that, but sometimes they don't.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I like this show for its cultural lessons. I like that a midst the more predominant characters that there is an Asian American character who is fun, loving and thoughtful! I understand the premise is to show emotions and how to handle them but to a 2 year old the lesson is lost. Temper tantrums are to be had but the characters take too long to address it. Present, address, resolve and repeat for younger viewers to understand the lesson. Instead, the emotion is presented, it continues, it escalates to the point of one character punching the other, it continues and then it resolves. All a 2 year old gets at this point is that he/she can be angry and then he/she can hit someone for it. I can't continue to let my children watch this show. Definitely agree that the bad outweighs the good.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I will not allow my 2.5 LO to watch it either. He has been aggressively pushing his friends at school and stomping around saying "I'm Mad." This is exactly where his behavoir issues are coming from. I just had a talk with all of his teachers today so this weekend the TV will be off and we will see if there is a difference on Monday. I'm so glad that I found this article because I wanted to hear other parent's opinions regarding this cartoon and I haven't found any that is totally against it. Thanks! - and yes my son actually calls me ye-ye (pronounced ye-ye and not yeah-yeah)

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Ni Hao Kai-Lan is a terrible show for toddlers. It's banned from our house.

      My three year old was watching it months back. I didn't like how the show focuses on anger. I can see that the show is trying to teach toddlers how to deal with emotions but lets face it. A toddler does not have a huge attention span to see the lesson being taught. I think a character stomping around telling everyone "i'm really, really mad" is a bit much. Then to have the other characters talk him through it. I really can't stand that show. Characters having temper tantrums because their not getting their way is not teaching a toddler anything except that oh its fine to throw a fit someone will talk me through it. It sends wrong messages to our kids.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Technically, my son has never over-reacted to the emotions on the show, but I don't think that makes your kid weird. This show is going to affect kids like that. The problem isn't Hoho exactly, it's every character on that show. They all have behavior issues, and get attention for acting out. Rintoo is ADHD, Tolee is emo, and Hoho is... angry, I guess. This show teaches children to cater to the weakest link, and not to be individual. I don't know, I just don't like my son watching it, I feel like it's communist brainwashing. And what's with Kai Lan's voice???? Why is her nose always stuffed up? I don't know- my 2 year old loves this show but it does nothing but irritate my husband and myself.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I dont like many of the lessons they TEACH on Kai-Lan. For example. There is one episode where the "kids" are playing musical chairs. Tolee gets upset ( as usual, biggest emo child there is ) because he keeps loosing the game and is getting LEFT OUT from playing with his friends. So, to solve the problem Kai lan suggest changing the rules of the game to make him happy so that NO ONE loses. Well im sorry but this is basically teaching our kids that if you dont like the rules of the game because you keep loosing, you dont have to strive to get better, you just have to whine and cry enough and the world will CHANGE THE RULES for you. ummmm NO, that is not how the world works. Thats how the game is played Tolee. If you dont like loosing then strive to get better, but stop whining for crying out loud!

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      my son did watch this show until i noticed he started to throw tantrums just like ho ho does. he first watched it at age 2-3 and he is now almost 4. he would cross his arms on his chest like ho ho, make the same grunts, and say similar things. i decided some time ago to block the show on all tv's in the house and i have noticed a difference in his behavior. sometimes his dad will un-block it and the crossed arms on the chest will start again. i will absolutely not let him watch this show anymore. i liked it when i first seen an episode i thought it was cute but after a while i definately changed my mind.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      yes - i recently banned kai-lan. first i thought it was just irritating but when my otherwise happy, cheerful daughter started copying the behavior exhibited in the show, i decided the show was not right for us. I also have always been bothered by the episode where the "kids" play musical chairs and one of the characters is the first out twice and gets upset, in response, the other kids decide that they should play a different game "where everyone can play." They easily could have explained that other kids would be out too and that it is only a game. It is a shame that the character's bad behavior and emotional outbursts result in that child getting exactly what he wants. The outburst don't upset my daughter but they seem to teach her that she will get what she wants if she has emotional outbursts.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      TOTALLY AGREE! i just sent nickjr an email about it. i change the channel everytime i see it coming on. After my 2 1/2 yr old watches it, she'll yell, "i can't do it!" and stomp around saying, "i'm mad!" it is banned from our television! HATE HATE HATE Ni Hao Kai-lan!

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I stumbled across this blog after watching about our fourth episode of Ni Hao Kai-Lan. What is most interesting about our situation was that it wasn't my concern, but my 10 and 7 year old children that expressed their worry with my 2 1/2 year old watching this show. Both requested that I not allow my youngest to watch anymore. Not only has my youngest inappropriately expressed herself after watching the show emulating Hoho and Tolee's poor behavior, but there also seems rewards given to these characters after they behave poorly. One example is when one character is playing musical chairs with the others. After getting out, he goes to a corner to cry. At which point all the other characters change up the game- and in essence- take out the lesson of losing, good sportsmanship, and patience. My 2 1/2 year old has watched her last Ni Hao.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you soooooo much for your article. I have noticed the same reaction from my 2 year old son. I was wondering where all this anger came from. The mad face, the angry talk, and yes, even saying....I'm mad. Then I decided to really tune into kai-lan, and noticed the same portrayed! I searched the internet to see if anyone had written on it, and found yours. As of today, he will never watch this program again. I only pray that the bad effects of it goes away quickly. It is so important that we parents stay intuned to the things that are badly affecting our children, especially during these first very impressive years. Thanks again for your information!

    • Cinnamonbite 6 years ago

      Kid's tv has always been crappy. Sesame Street teaches short attention span and nothing else. And really, who learns anything from these supposedly educational shows anyway? I didn't. My kid didn't. I don't let him watch him any cartoons because the dumbest characters are always the most popular and my boy starts emulating them. Any time the dumb behavior starts up, I shut down the tv for a few months and find him other things to do along with lectures of, "stupid is neither cute nor charming."

    • Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      I could see how a cute character illustrating anger could make it a behavior that a child would want to emulate.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I stopped letting my 2yo daughter watching it when she started stoping her feet and saying "I'm mad" that was the end of this show for us, they should really fix these problems so that our kids can enjoy the positives of this show.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      SOOO weird... My almost 2 year old goes around saying "Im MAD" At first it was funny... but then my husband pointed out that instead of learning how to solve problems shes learning how to throw fits. I have already planned her 2nd birthday party and purchased ni hao for the decorations but am quickly cutting this show out of her lineup as soon as her party is over!

    • LouisaDembul 6 years ago

      I haven't noticed any reaction in my daughter, but it sounds very true what you are saying.

    • knitter82 6 years ago

      Sounds like it would be. I've never seen it but then again I don't let my 2 1/2 year old watch tv.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      they shuold be to gether

    No, not at all. Your kid must be weird or something.

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      • anonymous 3 years ago

        I disagree. maybe your kid(s) throws a tantrum because you don't know how to handle them obviously. How can you blame that on a cartoon??

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        It sounds quite funny. I can just picture a little girl stomping her foot, clenching her fists, and yelling "I'm MAD!" in public, to the bewilderment of the people nearby. I'm gonna have my kids start watching it so they can be mad too!

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        There's nothing wrong with utilizing TV as an aid in teaching your daughter, but you shouldn't have allowed it to become the sole thing that would teach your daughter about emotions. You should have needed to take part in teaching her about the other emotions which Ni Hao Kai Lan does not tackle. In my case, my little sister (whom I closely supervise), also watches the show and I make it a point to watch the show with her in order to debunk whatever oddities I may notice in the show. I take the time to explain things to her and sometimes comment on the said oddities I can see (yes, like Ho-ho). And I do not think your kid is weird, maybe you just need to divide her time equally between the TV and other activities. :)

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        no

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        it's a great show and you shouldn't let TV educate your children. My mom lets my little sister watch it. At least she trying to teach them how to handle their anger problems. At least she told you that she is mad and maybe she dose know the meaning of mad. You never know. Let me remind yourself what you said "my daughter is 2" 2 year olds are going to do and say everything they see or hear so its your fault. Just don't say certain things around her or do certain things either

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Do you get angry, break things, act selfish, or behave inappropriately? No parent or adult can truthfully say no. So lets cut the blame game and look at the fact that if an adult can't control their emotions or keep from making mistake why do you except a newly formed life to do so? kai lan shows that it is normal to make mistakes but you are accountable for your behavior. It then gives a positive solution to lots of normal behavior problems that preschoolers experience with or without watching kai lan.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        I wouldn't say your child is weird but I do think children are individuals. My son has been watching Ni Hao Kai-Lan since 18 months, he is now 2 1/2 and we have no behavioral problems. And my son is a consummate actor, but he copies real people not tv.

      • gogolf162 5 years ago

        My grandkids watch Ni Hao once in a while but I never associated that show with their behavior. For the most part, they are really good kids. I will have to pay more attention.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        I don't much care for the choice implicating that I would think your kid was weird, cause I don't.

        That being said, I have really enjoyed watching my kids learn with Kai-Lan and her friends about being frustrated and owning up to accidents when they happen.

        I think that anger is something that isn't addressed often and sometime children don't know how to outlet their anger and this show is a good example in my opinion.

        I can also see how a two year old would emulate Hoho. My five year old daughter less so.

      What I Like about Ni Hao Kai-Lan

      Yes, there are some things!

      I don't hate Ni Hao Kai-Lan. In fact, I never would have guessed at my daughter's reaction to the program. It certainly occurs to me that perhaps Nick Jr. is simply playing a lot of episodes featuring "mad" as the primary emotion instead of focusing on some of the other (positive) principles that the show teaches, such as sharing, friendliness and Chinese culture.

      But there are several things that I really do enjoy about Ni Hao Kai-Lan. The show is redeemable, I just wish that the producers would back off the anger quite a bit.

      • I love the fact that it teaches Chinese culture. There are many aspects of the culture that even I can learn throw this show!
      • My daughter actually uses the language that she learns, and we have both begun to pick up some of the Madarin being spoken around us. I never would have imagined this to be possible.
      • The Chinese language being taught is relevant. The words aren't random, and most of them are verbs. I like that about the show, since verbs are the basis of language.
      • Though it is unrealistic, I like the fact that Kai-Lan is so mature. I do believe that if my daughter was more focused on her, than on the cute little monkey, she would be more likely to try to socialize more with children her own age.
      • The show teaches principles which I share, and I don't have an argument with the morality of Ni Hao Kai-Lan the way that I do with many other Nick Jr. shows.

      An Update on the "Ki-Lan Situation"

      An unexpected turn of events

      Recently my daughter began to approach me and say "You make me super happy!" Recognizing this as a line from Ki-Lan, I was concerned at first, given that she wasn't supposed to be watching the show, and I was careful to make sure that she avoided it. As it turned out, she was watching the show at a friend's house, and picking up on lines from the show as she had before. However, as she has gotten older, she has begun to pick up more on the positive aspects of the show rather than on the negative.

      I have also recently reviewed the show again. I still have a problem with Hoho, though Rintoo is now having some of the same "mad" issues.

      For the purpose of clarification, I should say that my husband and I almost never use the word "mad" in our house. I usually say that I'm "upset" and both of us use the word "angry." Having lived in England for some time, "mad" to me means "crazy" and I never use the word to mean "angry." The only source for this word that my daughter had is Ki-Lan. I maintain that the show was the problem, but I am beginning to understand that perhaps it isn't appropriate for children under the age of three.

      What do you think of Ni Hao Kai-Lan? Please feel free to disagree with me. I would like to be able to expand this lens (and others) as a resource for other parents.

      What's Your Experience?

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          i just love her and i still don't see how they cancelled it. nothings wrong with her.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          I disagree with the bad things you've said about this show. I personally love this show and so do my son and daughter. My daughter is currently 6 and she's been watching this show since she was 2 and she still loves it. She never imitated any of the mad emotions or anything in this show. She only mimiced the positive emotions and sayings though. My son is now 3 and he likes the show too, and watches it at times, as it airs in the Nick Jr. channel. He tells me he loves this show, and I've also never got any issues with his regarding this show. Please let your daughter still watch this. It's not the show's fault that she gets mad. It's not the show's purpose to make children mad.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          @amkatee: My daughter who is 2 is starting to act like Hoho when she doesn't gets her way. I switch to Disney Jr instead. May be when she gets a bit older and understand the lesson at the end. i think it can be of benefit to older children who have a better understanding.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          I'm honestly confused why so many parents have a problem with Kai-Lan. Yes, there are some "mad" episodes and children like to mimic some of these things, but part of being a parent is helping our children learn what "mad" really is, and when it's ok to "pretend" to stomp around or not. When my daughter says "I'm Mad!" I just respond the same way Kai-Lan does "what's wrong? why are you mad?" I always engage my daughter in conversation about her feelings and I help her understand what she is actually feeling. In fact Kai-lan has helped me at times, for example, when my daughter really is angry, sometimes I sing the song "when you're feeling mad, the first thing you do, is calm, calm down". Sometimes we even dance like the hula ducks and she actually calms down. The bottom line is that kids are going to have tantrums regardless, it's not Kai-lan's fault. Kai-lan opens doors for parents and children to engage in discussion about emotions, it just seems like perhaps some parents don't want to have that conversation to begin with, or aren't comfortable dealing with the negative emotions (but they are even more important than the positive ones). I love Kai-lan and I think this show has such great potential, but it looks like Nick should put out a guide to help parents who may not be comfortable with dealing with some of these emotions.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          I'm honestly confused why so many parents have a problem with Kai-Lan. Yes, there are some "mad" episodes and children like to mimic some of these things, but part of being a parent is helping our children learn what "mad" really is, and when it's ok to "pretend" to stomp around or not. When my daughter says "I'm Mad!" I just respond the same way Kai-Lan does "what's wrong? why are you mad?" I always engage my daughter in conversation about her feelings and I help her understand what she is actually feeling. In fact Kai-lan has helped me at times, for example, when my daughter really is angry, sometimes I sing the song "when you're feeling mad, the first thing you do, is calm, calm down". Sometimes we even dance like the hula ducks and she actually calms down. The bottom line is that kids are going to have tantrums regardless, it's not Kai-lan's fault. Kai-lan opens doors for parents and children to engage in discussion about emotions, it just seems like perhaps some parents don't want to have that conversation to begin with, or aren't comfortable dealing with the negative emotions (but they are even more important than the positive ones). I love Kai-lan and I think this show has such great potential, but it looks like Nick should put out a guide to help parents who may not be comfortable with dealing with some of these emotions.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          i don't think any child should watch a show that continuously presents anger into the world of a child not only that but the child watching the show will most likely pay more attention to the "anger" more than the solution and the anger shown goes un-punished only followed by a stalemate when the two arguing walk away from each other leaving a by-stander there are goods in the show but by percentage it is placed like so for good to bad 65% bad to 35% good. and to all who care or don't care this was written by a 14 yr old observing his niece and nephew watch and emulate what goes on in the outright horrible children show.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          I allow my son to watch it. He learns not only Chinese words from it but some sign language as well. He always puts his hand to his ear "ting--listen" and says "where she at?" when he wants to watch it. He's absolutely in love with kai-lan and could careless about the other characters. Although he is speech delayed he can still pick up on words and has yet to pick up on angry words. But he does point to things and answer kai-lans questions which impresses me. She is hardly ever on so I see no problem in him watching. He's been watching all three years of his life. He learned as a baby to say ni-hao even though now he has stopped saying it. He expresses his emotions on his own, always has. And I, myself enjoy watching. Its one of my favorite cartoons. My son and I enjoy it bc it is so plain. Not over done in the stories or illustrations.

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          amkatee 5 years ago

          While my son mimics some of the behavior, it is true for anyone he is around. He tends to say things that he hears his sister saying for instance. I wouldn't say that it is a negative. They both learn empathy by learning that others have feelings. Most of the time they play out the feelings and comfort each other. If I'm upset, then they will play the "let's find out why" part of the show to help. I think Ni Hao Kai Lan takes an approach to feelings that is different than other shows. More kids could use a little more empathy. Parents should of course teach this, but Ni Hao makes it simple for a child to understand.

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          I would much prefer my children learn about a democratic culture. Born and raised in a provence in China. I love Tibet and can't stand the horrible atrocities perpetrated by this wonderful chinese culture.

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          I recently started to notice my 3yr old grunting, stomping, doing a 'humpfh' noise and stating 'I am MAD'. I knew this type of language and action was not something she has learned from our household and she is a not in daycare or around other young children much. I then happened to sit down and watch this show through several episodes and it was like an exact replay to her recent activity. I no longer let her watch it. Which is a shame, as there are positive lessons within the shows dynamic. Yet, I believe her age level is focusing on the 'anger' or the throwing a fit to get your way type lessons. I have no plans on returning this show to her acceptable list.

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          Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

          Excellent review of this product for parents who are considering what to include into their children's lifestyle. Best wishes

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          Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

          I've never heard of Ni Hao Kai-Lan and while it would have appealed to me as a great thing for a young child to learn from, just as it did you, it was very interesting to read of your own toddler's experience and how the show influenced her. Parental reviews are so important and it's good to know that many parents will pay attention to what their children watch rather than assuming it's all OK. It's also good to hear your daughter is now getting more positive influences from the show. Oh and good point about the geographic differences in the meaning of 'mad'! A child saying that here might not be understood quite in the way he or she intended.

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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          My 4-year-old daughter only occasionally watches this show, so I may not have seen enough episodes to notice the issues you mention, but now I'll keep a closer eye on what's happening.

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          Everyday-Miracles 6 years ago

          @jimmielanley: She reads quite a bit now, Jimmie, and she's definitely interested in it. Which is good, I think. I'm amazed that at three she also knows simple arithmetic. I wasn't trying to teach her, but she's logical enough to have picked it up.

          I think that my favorite show has to be Franklin because she has a bunch of the books in the series as well, and she connects the two. So she watches the show and wants to go get some books and read, which is great.

          Thanks for the blessings!

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          Jimmie Lanley 6 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

          I have no experience with this particular show, but I do know that TV programs have amazing power to change our children's perceptions and behaviors. A parent must use extreme discernment to choose programs. Besides, reading and play are better for kids than TV.

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          Rainbowzz 6 years ago

          @Paul Ward: That is actually a really good idea I think! You could also sort of use the episodes with anger as the focus as some sort of teaching experience about media and media content. Perhaps you could engage your daughter in some role-play, expanding on what anger feels like. You could be a character and so could she, so that she gets the information you want her to!

          Also a good time to talk about how things on cartoons are "make-beleive" and not everything you watch is true to life. Maybe some would consider that to be takingn away the magic so to speak, but I don't think she is too young to think and talk about it.

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          Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

          Why don't you tape a few shows that don't feature the negatives too strongly and let the child watch those.